This historic monument was erected by Humayun`s queen Hamida Banu Begam (Haji Begam) at a cost of about 1.5 million. It is believed that she designed the tomb.
Humayun`s tomb is a complex of buildings of Mughal architecture located in Nizamuddin East, New Delhi. In time of Slave Dynasty this land was under the KiloKheri Fort which was capital of Sultan Kequbad Nasiruddin(1268-1287 AD). It encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun as well as numerous others. The complex is a World Heritage Site and the first example of this type of Mughal architecture in India. This style of Mausoleum was the same that created the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Humayun, the eldest son of Babur, succeeded his father and became the second emperor of the Mughal Empire. He ruled India for nearly a decade but was ousted by Sher Shah Suri, the Afghan ruler. Humayun took refuge at the court of the Safavid ruler, Shah of Persia, who helped in regain Delhi in 1555 AD. Unfortunately, he was not able to rule for a long time and met with his untimely death after he fell from the stairs of the Sher Mandal library. Her Persian Queen built this Tomb in his memory. The tomb of Humayun was built by the orders of Hamida Banu Begum, Humayun`s widow starting in 1562. The architect of the edifice was reportedly Sayyed Muhammad ibn Mirak Ghiyathuddin and his father Mirak Ghiyathuddin who were brought in from Herat. It took 8 years to build this Tomb and had a Charbagh in its design, the first of its kind in the region.The splendour of this monument becomes evident on entering the grandiose double-storeyed gateway.
Site & Architecture
Char Bagh GardenThe Humayun`s Tomb was a landmark in establishing some of the essential norms for later Mughal mausoleums in India. The tomb can be compared with the mausoleums of Timur and Bibi Khanam at Samarqand. It is set in the middle of a geometrically arranged garden. In Islam, there is a concept that paradise or jannat is a place set somewhere in the middle of the garden with water flowing through the. It is called the Char Bagh as the entire garden is divided into four parts.
Humayun`s Tomb was the first garden tomb made in India. The garden is divided into 36 squares by a grid of water channels and paths. The square garden is surrounded by a high rubble wall divided initially into four large squares separated by causeways and channels, each square divided again into smaller squares by pathways creating a char bagh. The laying down of the gardens in the Persian style was introduced by Babur and continued till the period of Shah Jahan.
The entry to the Humayun`s Tomb is through a long axial processional track. On the way, there are gateways, which offer a glimpse of the tomb. The tomb is octagonal in shape and placed over a platform with colonnades, under which there are numerous graves of lesser known people and can be ascribed to various nobles and workers of Humayun`s period. A great central chamber has four offsets, double storeyed in height and with arcade on their facades. Their openings closed with perforated screens. Three emphatic arches dominate each side, the central one being the highest. The central room contains the cenotaph of the emperor Humayun and his queen Bega begum. The tomb is crowned by 42.5 m high colossal double dome.
High rubble walls enclose a square garden divided into four large squares separated by causeways and water channels. Each square is divided again into smaller squares by pathways, forming a typical Mughal garden called Charbagh. The fountains were worked with simple yet highly developed engineering skills quite common in India during this period. The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar II had taken refuge in this tomb during the first War of Independence in 1857. Several rulers of the Mughal dynasty lie buried here. Humayun`s wife is buried here too.
The mausoleum also known for several of the eminent Mughal personalities buried here. Among others, there are graves of Hamida Begum, Akbar`s mother Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan`s son and Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal Emperor. The Humayun`s Tomb is a protected monument under the ownership of Archaeological Survey of India. It is the first significant example of the Mughal architecture with high arches and double dome, which occurs for the first time in India. It is also the first finest example of the garden-tomb, which culminated in the Taj Mahal at Agra. The design of the Taj Mahal is inspired from the Humayun`s Tomb. The Humayun`s Tomb is in the UNESCO`s list of World Heritage Sites. The Aga Khan Trust provided the funds for the restoration project of the Humayun`s Tomb. Since 2003, water has again started flowing from the fountains and water channels as it originally did. It is still maintained in its original grandeur.