Humayun's Tomb

Home to a phase of history that has shaped much of present day India, Delhi, is a historian's paradise. Much of this revolves around the activities of the Mughal Dynasty, who were responsible to a large extent in influencing the Indian way of life as we see it today. One of the greatest rulers of this dynasty was Humayan, whose promising reign was tragically cut short by a freak accident on the stairs of the Sher Mandal Library.

Humayun's Tomb was built in the memory of this charismatic ruler whom fate prevented from proving his charisma to the rest of the world. Built by his Persian widow, Haji Begum, Humayun's Tomb was the first architectural construction built during Akbar's reign. Built around 1562-1572 AD, Humayun's Tomb is one of the leading attractions of Delhi today, drawing thousands of visitors everyday. Exhibiting a very obvious influence of Persian architecture that owes its origin to its Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, the mausoleum was built on the banks of the Yamuna River, next to the shrine of Sufi saint of Chisti Silsilah, Nizamuddin Auliya. A number of other Mughal luminaries are buried here like:

  • Hamida Begum, Akbar's mother
  • Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's son 
  • Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal Emperor

One of the greatest examples of architecture in India, Humayun's Tomb is known for influencing the structure of the Taj Mahal as well. The first example of the garden tomb, Humayun's Tomb is in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites as well. Humayun's Tomb is also protected under the ownership of the Archaeological Survey of India. The tomb is an architectural masterpiece forming the basis of the definition of Mughal architecture that is characterized by high arches and double domes. The Tomb is maintained by the Aga Khan Trust that has to a large extent restored its lost glory to the tomb.

Histoty:

Much of the tourist attractions of Delhi surround the history of the Mughal dynasty, most of whom have shaped India as we see her today. One of these rulers is the charming and charismatic Mughal emperor Humayun, a capable ruler, whose life was tragically cut short by a freak accident when he fell down the stairs of the Sher Mandal Library. Built in memory of this charismatic ruler, the history of Humayun’s Tomb is an important part of the history of India as well as the history of Delhi.

The tomb was built in the memory of Humayun by his Persian widow Haji Begum who planned the architecture of the tomb after consulting with one of the most notable architects of her homeland, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath. The architecture, which showcases a very prominent influence of the Persian style of architecture, is credited to be the first and the most important architectural endeavor of the reign of Emperor Akbar, often regarded to be the greatest of all the Mughal emperors.

One of the most important factors that have added to the claim to fame of the Humayun’s Tomb is the fact that the architecture of the tomb as been one of the greatest influences in the architecture of one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.

Fast - Facts:

Location

Located on Mathura Road, Old Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb is situated near the crossing of Lodi Road, one of the prominent localities of the capital.  

Built by

Built by Humayun’s Persian widow, Haji Begum, the structure is the mausoleum of the 2nd Mughal emperor of India.  

Nature & Architectural style

A tomb built following the Charbagh pattern for mausoleums, a pattern that was to become extremely popular among the tombs of Muslim nobility in later years.

Timings

Humayun’s Tomb is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday.

Admission charges

The admission fees range from INR 10 for citizens/ INR 250 for foreigners. Besides these, there is a parking fee whose rates are INR 10 for 4 hrs, besides video charges of INR 50.  

How To Reach:

Located in the heart of the city of Old Delhi, reaching Humayun’s Tomb can be easily accomplished as it is well-connected by:

  • Nearest airport                       Indira Gandhi International Airport
  • Nearest railway station         Old Delhi Railway Station
  • Nearest metro station           Kashmir Gate 

Nearby Attractions:

A fitting tribute to a charismatic ruler, Humayun’s Tomb is one of the most important tourist attractions of Delhi. Adding further importance to the landmark are the various nearby attractions of the Humayun’s Tomb. These include:  

India Gate

Built as a memorial for the Indian soldiers who were killed in the 1st World War, the India Gate is an imposing structure that arches to give a glimpse of the red sandstone structure of the Red Fort.

Other places of interest:

  • Purana Qila
  • Delhi Zoo
  • Sabz Burz
  • Nili Chhatri
  • Ashokan Rock Edict
  • Nizam-ud-din's Shrine
  • Khairul Manzil Masjid 

Eateries:

Besides these, Humayun’s Tomb is also home to a number of roadside eateries which include the Sweet Corner and Nathu's in Sunder Nagar Market which offer traditional Indian sweets, while you can check out Karims at Nizamuddin's for delicious Kebabs.

Shopping:

Delhi and specially the area around Humayun’s Tomb is a shopper’s paradise. The shopping options here are presented by The Crafts Museum just off Mathura Road, which is famous for its handicrafts. Sunder Nagar Market has stores that offer antiques, jewelry, and brassware while at Connaught Place you can buy everything from jewelry, books, art, leather goods and a wide choice of Indian and international clothes stores. Central Cottage Industries Emporium has Indian handicrafts and curios with an ensured quality and price, while, Janpath offers clothes, low priced gifts and souvenirs and Palika Bazaar sells a wide range of electronic items.

Structures near Humayun’s Tomb:

One of the most important tourist attractions of Delhi, Humayun’s Tomb is located at an area which is home to many of the other tourist attractions of the Indian capital. These include several brilliant examples of Persian landscaping and architecture many of which hold tremendous influence in the history of the Mughal Empire as well as the history of India. The Structures near Humayun’s Tomb include:

Isa Khan's Tomb

One of the best examples of the architecture of the Mughal period, the tomb of Isa Khan is located in the vicinity of Humayun’s Tomb. The tomb which was built in 1547, in the memory of Isa Khan, a brilliant warrior under Sher Shah Suri is said to be influenced by the Tomb of Sikander Lodi, which was built around 300 years before.  

Bu Halima's Garden

Located at the very entrance of the tomb, the rectangular enclosure which shares a gate with Humayun’s Tomb is known as Bu Halima's Garden.

Afsarwala Mosque and Tomb

Though the exact identity and date of constructions of the Afsarwala Mosque and Tomb is yet to be ascertained, yet the importance of the tomb in the history of India, still remains a matter of conjecture. The tomb which according to an inscription engraved on it dates back to 1567-67 is, however, one of the important one of the important sites of history in Delhi.

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