Humayun’s Tomb DelhiNov 02 2022 Attractions Delhi Humayun's Tomb
About Humayun’s Tomb
Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begam, also known as Haji Begam, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death.Humayun’s senior widow Bega Begum, popularly known as Haji Begum, built the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi, in 1565. It is one of the most beautiful Mughal monuments, with features like high arches and a full double dome. Located on Mathura Road, near its crossing with Lodi Road, Humayun’s Tomb is built on a large stone platform, surrounded by green lawns and has a crescent on the top of the dome, instead of the usual lotus.The life of Humayun, the second Mughal emperor, was marked by struggle and vicissitude.
He ascended the throne of Delhi after the death of his father, Babur, in 1530. The Mughal empire was not yet firm on its foundations, and Humayun had to suppress a number of rebellions at the outset of his reign. Early success was followed by prolonged disaster. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect. The tomb was constructed at a cost of 15 lakh rupees (1.5 million).The main sarcophagus stands in the central hall, oriented – in accordance with Muslim practice – on the north-south axis.
Traditionally, the body is placed with the head to the north, the face turned sideways towards Mecca. The dome is what is called a full dome, a complete semi-circle which is a special feature of Mughal architecture. The structure is built with red sandstone, but white and black marble has been used in the borders. UNESCO has declared this magnificent masterpiece a world heritage.On the southwestern side of the tomb is located barber’s tomb (Nai-ka-Gumbad) which stands on a raised platform, reached by seven steps from the south.
The building is square on plan and consists of a single compartment covered with a double-dome.Humayun, who took over the Mughul Dynasty after Babar’s death was overthrown by Sher Shah Suri after ruling for about a decade. But he regained his throne back around 1555, but was not able to enjoy his kingdom for a long time anymore. He died in an accident as he fell from the stairs of his library. His widow; Haji Begum or Bega begum, the Persian wife of Humayun took the charge of constructing a tomb for her husband. Built with the help of Persian Architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, Humayun’s tomb, Delhi clearly shows signs of Persian influence. It was the first building to be made during the reign of Akbar.
The name of Humayun’s tomb is found in the list of UNESCO Heritage buildings and was the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome. Its harmonious proportions are undoubtedly the work of skilled craftsmen. Set upon a platform, it exhibits certain Indian architectural features too, such as the small kiosks or ‘chhatris’ on the roof. The attractive inlaid tile work is carved intricately using Indian and Persian patterns and elements. Its carved stone screens are praiseworthy for their delicate look. Most 15th century Timurid architecture was built to symmetrical plans. These included monuments such as the Ghur-i-Mir (1404) built by Timur for his grandson at Samarkand, and which was his own final resting place as well; Ishrat Khaneh also at Samarkand (c.1460-64); and the shrine of Abu Nasr Parsa in Balkh (c. 1460-64).
The Ghur-i-Mir also had a bulbous dome and high drum that was repeated in Humayun’s Tomb, the first mausoleum for an emperor of the Mughal dynasty. As one of the first important buildings the Mughals erected in India, Humayun’s Tomb introduced purely Persian features to the subcontinent, but it also drew several elements from the land it was built in. The red sandstone and white marble, for instance, was a common feature of 14th century architecture of the Delhi Sultanate.His successors continued to dream of regaining Samarkand and would interrogate visitors about Timur’s tomb. Humayun’s tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome; it is noteworthy for its harmonious proportions. As with later Mughal tombs, that of Humayun is set upon a podium or platform (see another example in the Taj Mahal).
The most obvious Indian features of the architecture are the small kiosks or chhatris on the roof. The building is also noteworthy for its inlaid tile work, carving embodying both Indian and Persian decorative elements, and its carved stone screens. 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. The structure is built mainly with red sandstone along with use of white and black marble to relieve the monotony. The marble is used largely in the borders. The dome is made of white marble. The Humayun’s tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian concept of a double dome. You would find clear view of Jama Masjid and Qutab Minar. A bird’s eye view from the roof would show you many ruined tombs and ancient structures belonging to various nobles. A very special anecdote with reference to Humayun’s Tomb is the plight of Bahadur Shah who took refuge in this very tomb in 1857 and later surrendered to the British.
General Fact about Humayun’s Tomb
- Location:On Mathura Road, near the crossing with Lodi Road.
- Time to Visit: Open on all days from sunrise to sunset
- Preferred Timings:Late afternoon is the best time to see Humayun’s Tomb, because the natural light aids photography
- Day Closed:Open All Days
- Admission Fee: Indian citizen: INR 10 / Foreigner: INR 250
- Photography Charges:INR 25
- Parking: INR 10 for 4 hrs. (Rates are subject to change)
- Nearest Railway Station:Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station
- Nearest Metro Station:JLN Stadium Metro Station
- Nearest International Airport:Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Time required for sightseeing:Approximately 1.5 Hours
- Famous As :World Heritage Monuments
- Built By :Hamida Banu Begam
- Entrance Fee: Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) – Rs. 10 per head. Others: US $ 5 or Indian Rs. 250/- per head (children up to 15 years free)
- Variant Names: Mausoleum of Humayun, Humayun’s Tomb
- Date: 1562-72
- Style/Period: Mughal
- Century: 16th
- Building Types: funerary, funerary, landscape
- Building Usage: mausoleum, tomb, garden