India: home of the curry, spirituality, the rupee and apparently, the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any single country in the world. Topping the list with 36 UNESCO sites (as of 2018), India has no shortage of important places to visit.
|Opening Times||:||Sunrise to Sunset|
|Entry Price||:||– Indian: 30 Rupees |
– Foreigners: 500 Rupees (£5.30/$7.60)
– No charge for taking a camera in for pictures but there is a 25 Rupee (around £0.27/$0.38) charge for filming anything.
|Location||:||Mathura Road, Oppo. Nizamuddin Police Station, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi, Delhi 110013|
|Nearest Metro||:||JLN Stadium|
Completed 16 years after the death of Emperor Humayun (the 2nd Mughal Emperor and Great Grandfather to Shah Jahan), this garden tomb was commissioned by first wife and chief consort, the Empress Bega Begum. The first of its kind, the design would inspire a whole dynasty of Mughal architecture, which would reach its pinnacle with the Taj Mahal.
The design was created by a Persian architect – probably chosen because the Mughal empire blended much of the Persian Islamic culture and design into its own (The Persian Empire is what we now would call the Middle East). The gardens or Charbagh (Char meaning 4 and bagh meaning garden) is split into a quadrilateral design, mimicking the 4 gardens of paradise as mentioned in the Quran. Each of the 4 sections are separated by running water, with the tomb in the middle.
The tradition of creating paradise gardens in India was started by Humayun’s father, Emperor Babur but it became a popular style after the tomb was finished.
The tomb and it’s gardens soon fell into disrepair, as the capital of India had already moved to Agra, there was less time and money for upkeep. Within just a few hundred years, the gardens had been planted with vegetables by locals who had moved into the grounds.
Worse yet, after the British had taken control of Delhi in 1860 (3 years after the capture of the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur during the Indian Rebellion of 1957), the garden was re-hauled and the features replaced by rounded flower beds, to suit the British tastes.
By the early 1900’s, someone (Lord Curzon) had come to their senses and had the whole place restored to its former glory (which would then be damaged again when Muslims, moving to Pakistan during Partition, used the complex as a camp). Restorations are underway again and have been for some time.
Throughout the complex, you will also see other tombs, and mosques. Our favourite was the tomb and mosque of Isa Khan (and his whole family), an Afghani noble of the dynasty which came before the Moghuls. This tomb and mosque predates Hamayun’s tomb by around 20 years and is very similar in architecture to the tombs and mosques that can be found in the Lodhi Gardens. Until the early 1900’s, a whole village was set up within the enclosure around this tomb and mosque.
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Have you been to Humayun’s Tomb before? Which was your favourite bit? Let us know in the comments and tag us in your pictures on Instagram so we can see!