Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 AD, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India, close to the Dina-panah citadel also known as Purana Qila (Old Fort), that Humayun founded in 1533.
It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is still underway. Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years; it is the tomb complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri's court of the Suri dynasty, who fought against the Mughals, constructed in 1547 CE.
After his death on January 20, 1556, Humayun's body was first buried in his palace in Purana Quila at Delhi. Thereafter it was taken to Sirhind, in Punjab by Khanjar Beg, because it was feared that Hindu king Hemu, who had defeated Mughal forces in Agra and Delhi in Oct. 1556 and captured Purana Quila, will damage the tomb. In 1558, it was seen by his son, then the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Akbar subsequently visited the tomb when it was about to be completed in 1571.
Turkic and Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent, also introduced Central Asian and Persian styles of Islamic architecture in the region, and by late 12-century early monuments in this style were appearing in and around Delhi, the capital of Delhi Sultanate. Starting with the Turkic Slave dynasty which built the Qutb Minar (1192 AD) and its adjacent Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque (1193 CE).
North India was successive ruled foreign dynasties in the coming centuries giving rise to the Indo-Islamic architecture. While the prevailing style of architecture was trabeate, employing pillars, beams and lintels, this brought in the arcuate style of construction, with its arches and beams, which flourished under Mughal patronage and by incorporating elements of Indian architecture, especially Rajasthani architecture including decorative corbel brackets, balconies, pendentive decorations and indeed kiosks or chhatris, to developed a distinct, Mughal architecture style, which was to become a lasting legacy of the nearly four hundred years of the Mughal rule.
Char Bagh Garden
While the main tomb took over eight years to build, it was also placed in centre of a 30-acre (120,000 m2) Char Bagh Garden (Four Gardens), a Persian-style garden with quadrilateral layout and was the first of its kind in the South Asia region in such a scale. The highly geometrical and enclosed Paradise garden is divided into four squares by paved walkways (khiyabans) and two bisecting central water channels, reflecting the four rivers that flow in jannat, the Islamic concept of paradise.
Towards the south-east corner, within the 'char bagh' garden, lies a tomb known as Nai-ka-Gumbad, or Barber's Tomb, belonging to royal barber, it is datable to 1590-91 CE, through an inscription found inside. Its proximity to the main tomb and the fact that it is the only other structure within the main tomb complex suggests its importance, however there are no inscriptions suggesting as to who is interred therein, the name Barbers tomb is the local name of the structure, hence still in use.
Before the restoration work was undertaken, vandalism and illegal encroachments were rampant at the site of the tomb presenting a serious danger to the preservation of this invaluable treasure. At the main entry of Humayun’s Tomb, dingy stalls had been put up under a very corrupt system of municipal patronage known as tehbazari, and all sorts of heavy vehicles were allowed to be parked illegally in these open spaces.
- Tomb and mosque of Isa Khan
- Bu Halima's Tomb and Garden
- Afsarwala Tomb and mosque
- Arab Sarai
- Nila Gumbad
- Chillah Nizamuddin Aulia