Humayun's Tomb in Delhi
The Humayun's Tomb was a landmark in establishing some of the essential norms for later Mughal mausoleums in India. Humayun’s Tomb, in Delhi, was one of the first garden tombs that was made in India. Designed by Humayun’s widow, this tomb was based on the description of Islamic Paradise Gardens and served as an inspiration for many of the later Mughul landmark architectures, including the famous Taj Mahal. This kind of a garden, the first of its kind in the sub continent is called Charbagh as the garden is divided into four parts. Humayun’s Tomb, built in the year 1570 has been labeled as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO and a protected monument under Archeological Survey of India.
History of Humayun's Tomb
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.
Architecture of Humayun's Tomb
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.
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.
The enclosure is entered through two eminent double-storeyed gateways, one on the west and the other on the south. The southern gateway remains closed nowadays. The baradari or the pavilion occupies the center of the eastern wall and the hamam or the bath chamber the center of northern wall. 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.
Best time to visit Humayun's Tomb
The best time to visit Delhi is between October and March, when the weather is very pleasant and totally conducive for sightseeing in this historic city. Delhi is culturally alive at this time of the year with lots of concerts and theatre performances. By the time February comes, the flowers are a riot of colour and the city is really quite pretty then. Summer temperatures are unbearably hot and dry, so do come prepared for the weather.
Timings and Fare: You can visit Humayun’s Tomb on all days from sunrise to sunset. However, late afternoon will be the best time to sightsee. Citizens of India will have to pay a fee of Rs 10 for entry, whereas the entry fee for foreign tourists will be Rs. 250/- per head. On Fridays, the entry is free of cost.
How to reach Humayun's Tomb
Air: Delhi has an international Airport, the Indira Gandhi International Airport. Taxi and Coach Transfer, pre paid taxis, air conditioned and non A/C coaches all can take you to the Humayun’s Tomb from the Airport.
Rail: Delhi is also the hub of Indian railways Network with trains running to and from all parts of the country.
Road: Buses from all the major places in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are available for getting to Delhi. During the summer months, air-conditioned coaches are recommended. Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) operates special services from railway stations to different parts of the city.