Rediscovering Humayun's tomb in Delhi
Humayun's Tomb, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, underwent large-scale conservation that began in 2007, and was completed in September 2013. On a recent visit, Dhara Vora discovered many unknown pages of Indian history, including the time when the site served as asylum to Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor
The tomb is considered as a precursor to the Taj Mahal; it was the first structure in India to use sandstone and marble in great quantities and popularise the Persian ‘paradise’ garden or char bagh format. The restoration work of the 30-acre garden surrounding the monument involved various processes such as conservation of 3 km of water channels and planting of 2,500 plants favoured by the Mughals.
The construction of Humayun’s Tomb was commissioned by his widow, Hamida Banu Begam in 1569. Humayun was the son of Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, the first Mughal emperor of India and the father of emperor Akbar. The restoration work on the tomb was undertaken in 2007 by The Aga Khan Trust for Culture with co-funding from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and in partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India.
Ornamental lattice work seen inside the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi.
Apart from Humayun’s Tomb, this heritage structure is also the burial place for several other members of the royal family, which includes Dara Shikoh, son of Shahjahan. Of the several structures housed in the complex, one can also find Nai Ka Gumbad or the barber’s tomb.
The complex also houses the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, a noble in the court of Sher Shah Suri. Until the 20th century, a village was settled in this enclosure too. What’s interesting about this structure is that it pre-dates Humayun’s Tomb by 20 years. All Pics/Dhara Vora.
The West Gate is now the main entrance to the tomb and stands 16 metres high. The six-sided stars seen on the façade, are common Mughal ornamental cosmic symbols.
1.5K: The number of craftsmen employed for the conservation of Humayun’s Tomb