World Heritage Sites
- Humayun's Tomb, Delhi (1993), Delhi
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. 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).
Mirak Mirza Ghiyath,
a Persian, was the architect employed by Haji Begam for this tomb.
The tomb proper stands
in the centre of a square garden, divided into four main parterres by
causeways (charbagh), in the centre of which ran shallow water-channels.
The high rubble built enclosure is entered through two lofty double-storeyed
gateways on the west and south. A baradari (pavilion) occupies the centre
of the eastern wall and a hammam (bath chamber) in the centre of northern
square red sandstone double-storeyed structure of the mausoleum with chamfered
corners rises from a 7-m. high square terrace, raised over a series of
cells, which are accessible through, arches on each side. The grave proper
in the centre of this cell-complex is reached by a passage on the south.
The octagonal central chamber contains the cenotaph, and the diagonal
sides lead to corner-chambers which house the graves of other members
of the royal family. Externally each side of the tomb, its elevations
decorated by marble borders and panels, is dominated by three arched alcoves,
the central one being the highest. Over the roof pillared kiosks are disposed
around the high emphatic double dome in the centre. The central octagonal
chamber contains the cenotaph, encompassed by octagonal chambers at the
diagonals and arched lobbies on the sides. Their openings are closed with
perforated screens. Each side is dominated by three arches, the central
one being the highest. This plan is repeated on the second storey too.
The roof surmounted by a double dome (42.5m) of marble has pillared kiosks
(chhatris) placed around it.
mausoleum is a synthesis of Persian architecture and Indian traditions-the
former exemplified by the arched alcoves, corridors and the high double
dome, and the latter by the kiosks, which give it a pyramidal outline
from distance. Although Sikandar Lodi's tomb was the first garden-tomb
to be built in India, it is Humayun's tomb which set up a new vogue, the
crowning achievement of which is the Taj at Agra. There is also a somewhat
common human impetus behind these two edifices-one erected by a devoted
wife for her husband and the other by an equally or more devoted husband
for his wife.
Several rulers of
the Mughal dynasty lie buried here. Bahadur Shah Zafar had taken refuge
in this tomb with three princes during the first war of Independence (AD
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
Open from sunrise to sunset
UNESCO Heritage Monuments in India