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Humayun's Tomb

[ Edit ] Overview

Humayun’s Tomb is a stunning example of early Mughal style and architecture - a perfect synthesis of Persian and Indian styles with a bulbous dome, geometric patterns, high arches, spire, lattice stone windows, geometric proportions, and set in the middle of a geometrically arranged garden. The crowning achievement of this style of architecture is the Taj Mahal in Agra.

In Islam, the concept of “paradise” or “jannat” is a place set in the middle of the garden with water flowing it.  While not the first garden style tomb built in India - that credit belongs to Sikander Lodhi’s Tomb (also in New Delhi at Lodhi Gardens), it set the standard by which other tombs in India were subsequently designed and built..

Like the Taj Mahal, Humayun’s Tomb was built by a loving spouse.  In this case, it was Humayun’s wife - Haji Begum.  The construction of the tomb commenced in 1569 and took ~ fourteen years.

Humayun’s Tomb, on the banks of the Yamuna River in Delhi, is listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

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Visitor Quick Facts

[ Edit ] Famous For

Humayun's Tomb is famous for:

  • Being the precursor to the Taj Mahal in Agra.
  • Being the first distinct example of Mughal style of architecture - incorporating Persian and Indian designs.
  • Being a symbol of a Wife's devotion for her husband.  Unlike in the case of the Taj Mahal, where Emperor Shah Jahan built the tomb for his wife, Humayun's Tomb was built a wife for her dearly departed husband.
  • Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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[ Edit ] Location

Humayun's Tomb is located in the Nizamuddin area of Delhi near the intersection of of Mathura Road and Lodhi Road in close proximity to India Gate, National Zoological Garden, Lodhi Garden, and Safdurjung's Tomb.

The closest Metro Station to Humayun's Tomb is JLN Stadium.

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[ Edit ] Best Time To Visit

Humayun's Tomb is a monument that is best appreciated from the outside (the external architecture and splendour of the the building and its gardens).   As such, early mornings or evenings are the best time to visit Humayun's Tomb.  It is best to avoid the mid-day heat when visiting this monument.

For tourists, the best time to visit Delhi / Humayun's Tomb are from February to April and again from September to November.  when the weather ranges between 20°C to 30°C.  From April to October, temperatures over 40°C is common.  Monsoon hits the city in July and August. In winter, temperatures can drop to near 0°C and the city is often blanketed with thick fog leading to frequent flight delay / cancellations.

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[ Edit ] Days of Operation

Timings of Humayun's Tomb:

Humayun's Tomb is open daily from sunrise to sunset.  

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[ Edit ] Hours of Operation

Humayun's Tomb is open from sunrise to sunset.

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[ Edit ] Entry Charges & Fees

The entrance fees for Humanyun's Tomb are:

  • Indians: Rs. 10
  • Foreigners: Rs. 250
  • Camera:   No charges
  • Video Camera:  Rs. 25 / camera

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Historical Quick Facts

[ Edit ] Type

Monument / Heritage

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[ Edit ] Architecture


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[ Edit ] Construction Period

Construction period of Humayun's Tomb:  Commenced in 1569 - 14 years after Humayun's death.

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[ Edit ] Built By

Humayun's Tomb was commissioned by Haji Begum, wife of Emperor Humayun and built by Persian Architech Mirak Mirza Ghiyas.

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[ Edit ] History

History of Emporer Humayun and Humayun's Tomb:

Humayun was the eldest son of Emperor Babur and succeeded his father in 1530 at the age of 22.  Humayun however lost his territory within India to Sher Shah Suri (a Pashtun Sultan).  With the aid of Persia, he however recovered his Kingdom fifteen years later. Humayun returned from Persia having acquired a deep interest in Persian art, architecture, language and literature. As a result, his court included a large number of Persians.  This led to the development of all things Mughal (i.e. the synthesis of Persian and Indian styles).  In a very short time upon his successful return, Humayun expanded his empire to 1 million sq kms and left a meaningful legacy for the son who suceeded him, Emperor Akbar.

Humayun had an untimely death caused by an accident - he tumbled down stairs in his library. Nine years after his death  his Persian wife, Bega Begum, also known as Haji Begum, built his tomb with the help of Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath.  The construction of the tomb took between 8 – 10 years.

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[ Edit ] Myths or Facts

Myths and facts of Humayun's Tomb:

  • It is well known that Humayun picked up an interest in the principles of Persian architecture and design during his period of exile. Many beleive that he himself is likely to have designed and planned the tomb.  However, there is no documented proof in support of this myth. a although there is no record to that effect.
  • It was constructed at a cost of 15 lakh rupees (~ US$30,000).

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[ Edit ] Architecture And Structural Description

Humayun's Tomb Architecture:

Humayun’s Tomb was designed in a garden style. This type of garden is known as the Char Baag and is based on the concept of Islamic paradise gardens.

The tomb stands in a square garden which is divided into 4 parts. There are 2 bisecting waterways and paved walkways terminating at the southern wall and western wall.

This highly symmetrical building was built with red sandstone along with the use of white and black marble in the borders. The square base measures 6.5m in height and 100m in width. The actual shrine takes up only one quarter of this square. The dome made of white marble is 45m above the ground and has four smaller domes at each of its corners.The building is surrounded by a symmetrical square garden with water canals, pathways, and trees. The fountains here are simple but with highly developed engineering skills commonly seen in India during that period.

The main coffin is position on the north south axis in accordance with Muslim practice.

The Humayun's Tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian concept of a double dome. The architecture of the Taj Mahal is said to be inspired from the Humayun’s Tomb.

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[ Edit ] Things To See

In addition to the main attraction - Humayun's Tomb - the other things to see at the park include:

Arab Ki Sarai
Arab ki Sarai is on the south of the main pathway leading to Humayun's tomb. There is a picturesque gateway leading to a walled enclosure. It was built by Humayun's widow for the 300 Arab merchants she brought from her pilgrimage to Mecca.

Afsarwala Tomb and Masjid, built by a nobleman in emperor Akbar's court, are within this complex.

Further west on the main pathway is the gateway to the Garden of Bu Halima. There isn’t much is known about Bu Halima. The garden itself is quite barren now.

Tomb of Isa Khan
Moving towards the southwest end of Bu Halima's garden there is the octagonal tomb belonging to Isa Khan and a mosque. Isa Khan was a nobleman in the court of Sher Shah. The tomb and mosque was built between 1547-48. The structure of this tomb follows the pattern of Lodhi tombs.

Nai Ka Gumbad (Barber’s Tomb)
Dating back to 1590, Nai Ka Gumbad or Barbers Tomb in the south east end is a square tomb with a double dome. It is said to be built for the emperors favourite barber. Mughal emperors gave a lot of importance to their barbers. Emperor Tughlaqs barber was given his own fort called Nai ka Kot.However no definitive documentation exists to verify this story.

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[ Edit ] Nearby Attractions

Humayun's Tomb location in New Delhi provides access to significant other attractions including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The attractions include:

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[ Edit ] Other Information

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Last 7 Contributers

Early mornings or evenings are the best time to see Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's Tomb is a monument that is best appreciated from the outside. There is really not much that is as impressive inside the tomb itself - as is the external architecture and splendour of the the building and its gardens. As such, it is best to avoid the mid-day heat. My husband and I made this mistake...and we regretted having to hurry through the visit as we were sweating our tails off.

  • By: Ajita
  • On: 13 Jun 2009
  • Rating
    Currently 45; / TOTALSTARS 12345

If you live in Delhi and haven't yet seen the Humayun's Tombe..SHAME ON YOU!!!

It's easy to be living in Delhi and not get to see and appreciate the Humayun's Tomb. If you haven't already done so..GO!!!!!. This place is beautiful. Winters months, on a clear day, is a great time to see this beautiful. My wife, daughter and I had a lovely picnic there in January. There were plenty of wide open lawns for my daughter to run around while my wife took in the beautiful monument.

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More... Related Photos

Beautiful inlaid tile work at the main chamber of the Tomb of Isa Khan.  The Persian influence is clearly apparent.   Within 20 years of the construction of this tomb, the unique Mughal style of tombs evolved - with the Humayun's Tomb.
The Tomb of Isa Khan - in the same complex as Humayun's Tomb.
The Tomb of Isa Khan - in the same complex as Humayun's Tomb.
At Humayun's Tomb - What a shame to see graffiti inside such a beautiful monument.  When will be learn to appreciate our heritage?

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