Until not too long ago, Humayun’s tomb was far from the flashes and selfies of travelers and onlookers who came to India. Perhaps overshadowed by the fame of the Taj Majal, no attention was paid to this Delhi burial complex which is undoubtedly its rightful predecessor.
And we affirm it with the forcefulness of knowing that it is the first garden-tomb, commissioned by Bega Begum, empress and wife of Humayun, second emperor of the Moghul Empire. Its construction began in 1565, ten years after the death of the emperor, and was completed in 1572.
It is also one of the first examples of Mughal architectural art to be remembered, so before fleeing the chaotic capital of India, consider visiting the tomb. It’s a place to escape for a few minutes (or hours) from stress because it’s surrounded by gardens and is perfect for a walk and stretching your legs. Maybe we’ll convince you with our photos.
The main building is Humayun’s own tomb, which is built with red sandstone and decorative details in black and white marble. The structure is octagonal and the ceilings are decorated with paintings. The central hall is 8 storeys high and consists of four other rooms, which are also octagonal. The facades are symmetrical and so is the building, resulting in an impressive architectural work.
Welcome to…… Humayun’s tomb
In addition to the spectacular building, the true originality was provided by its Charbagh garden, which means four gardens, formed by a careful quadrangular composition that extended over 13 hectares around the mausoleum.
Walk through the gardens
However, both the garden and the tomb suffered abandonment and oblivion for centuries after the decline of the Mughal empire and the colonial invasion of the English. However, during the 20th century, and especially since 1993, when it was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the restoration and care of the complex has meant that today we can visit it and find part of the solemnity and immensity with which it was built.
Today it looks spectacular
An example of this restoration work is the Historic Cities Support Programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), which worked in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). This work lasted a total of 4 years, ending in 2003.
Another view of Humayun’s tomb
You can visit and photograph its interior.
InsideAnother image of the interiorAccessing the graveThe grave at close quartersOne of the arches at the entrance
As we said, this complex not only houses Humayun’s tomb. Walking through the garden we will find the Nai-ka-Gumbad, known as the Barber’s Tomb, to the southeast of the main one, whose building, also octagonal, has a square-shaped interior, belonging to the royal barber. It dates back to 1590, as can be read on an inscription inside. It is not known however whose name is buried in the raised tomb inside where, in fact, there are two tombs.
Another example among the various buildings of the complex is the tomb and mosque of Isa Khan, who we do know was an Afghan nobleman from the court of Sher Shah Suri, who fought against the Moghuls.
Tomb of Isa KhanAround the Tomb of Isa KhanIsa Khan’s tomb compound buildingIsa Khan’s tomb compound buildingArab Ki Sarai Gateway
How to get to Humayun’s grave?
From Delhi you can reach Humayun’s Tomb in different ways.
The 405 bus line takes 24 minutes and costs just 1 Euro. An alternative is the subway, JLN Stadium station (purple line). By train, to Hazrat Nizamuddin Delhi station. You can also go by taxi, the fastest option and will cost you 2-4 Euro.
The entrance fee is 250 Rupees (about 3,50 euros)Timetable: every day “from sunrise to sunset”.