Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

During the 1560s, Humayun's tomb was constructed under the patronage of his son, Akbar. A garden tomb that was far grander than any before in the Islamic world, the tomb was built by Persian and Indian craftsmen. There are pools connected by channels in Humayun's garden-tomb, which is a four-quadrant charbagh (a garden representing the four rivers of the Quranic paradise). On the eastern and northern walls, pavilions are located in the center of lofty gates on the south and west.

On all four sides of the mausoleum, there are deep vaulted cells with two bays each. Four of its long sides are irregular octagons with chamfered edges. Among the domes of the central chhatris are glazed ceramic tiles embelished with domes adorned with glazed ceramic tiles. A double dome stands 42.5 m high and is flanked by pillared kiosks (chhatris). Large arched vaults are set into the facade on each side, with a series of smaller ones set in the middle.


In order to immortalize her husband, Emperor Humayun’s first wife Begum Bega aka Haji Begum built this fine mausoleum near the River Yamuna. Despite the Emperor’s passing in 1556, the construction of the monument did not begin until 1565. It took seven years for the tomb and Charbagh Garden to be completed in 1572. It's not surprising that Begum Bega bore the entire construction cost of the memorial, which came to 1.5 million rupees.

The tomb of Humayun has suffered much neglect and degradation over the centuries. When the colonial rulers took over Delhi in 1860, the Charbagh Garden was overlaid with an English-style garden. The beautiful gardens surrounding the monument were replaced by vegetable gardens. As a result of Lord Curzon's order, the tomb complex was restored with its original gardens in the early 20th century. Humayun's Tomb was also an influential part of India's modern history when it was divided in 1947. Along with the Purana Qila, it was a refugee camp for those migrating to Pakistan during that time. The camps were held here for almost five years, causing significant damage to the buildings and gardens. Once again, it was restored to its original glory by the Archaeological Survey of India.


As a result, the Begum selected a Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, to design the grand tomb complex. Incorporating elements of Indian and Persian styles into Mughal architecture, the tomb is 154 feet high and 299 feet wide. The huge tomb is largely made up of red sandstone, whereas the double-layered dome is made of white marble. With 124 small vaulted chambers within its walls, the mausoleum was designed as a dynastic mausoleum.

A quadrilateral Persian-style garden surrounds the tomb complex and has paved pathways, water channels, bath chambers, and pavilions. There are two entrance gates, one south and one west of the walled tomb complex.


This mausoleum is situated in a large charbagh-style garden.

The Humayun's Garden Tomb is classified as a charbagh garden because it is divided by two intersecting streams of water. Catherine Asher explains the meaning of charbagh gardens.

Each garden plot is further subdivided by narrow waterways upon entering any gate, which leads to the centrally located tomb and its charbagh setting. The formal and geometrically planned garden settings became standard for all of the imperial Mughal mausoleums as well as those of many nobles. These settings were based on the charbagh types cultivated in Iran and further developed in Babur's conception of the ideal garden. A long time ago, charbagh gardens were associated with a paradisiacal image, but Humayun's tomb exemplifies the association more clearly, as water channels appear to disappear beneath the mausoleum and then to reappear on the other side along the same straight course. This recalls a Qur'anic passage that describes rivers flowing beneath paradise gardens.

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Best time to visit Humayun's Tomb is between october to march.

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Humayun's tomb (Maqbaera ae Humayun)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the first-ever tomb of a Mughal Emperor to be built in India, this grand mausoleum is the tomb of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun, situated in Delhi. A remarkable specimen of Persian architecture, Humayun’s Tomb is the resting place of over 150 Mughal family members which was built by Bega Begum, the chief consort of Humayun.

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