Location: The cenotaph (monument) namely Humayun Tomb representing the riches of India’s heritage is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi beside Purana- Qila (Dina-panah citadel). It is a mausoleum (garden-tomb) built for settling the bodies of demised iconic historic figures in rest with peace and calm.

Adjacent historical monuments: Purana-Qila, Nizamuddin Dargah, Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya (the residence of sufi saint Nizamuddin)

Adjoining River: Yamuna

Founded by: Bega Begum (Haji Begum)

Architect: Mirak Mirza Ghiyas (a Persian architect)

Revamped by: UNESCO as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993

Construction span: 1565-1572

Historical significance:

  • The site of this monument was selected by Bega Begum after nine years of Humayu’s death while giving priority to the closeness to Nizamuddin Dargah (the mausoleum of Nnizamuddin Auliya) in 1565 that was furnished in 1572. Overall expenditure incurred on its construction is assumed to be 1.3 million rupees at that time. This was the only way for Bega Begum to express grief of losing her husband ‘Humayun’ after her arrival from Mecca (Hajj pilgrimage).

  • During the reign of Slave Dynasty, this site came under the Kilokheri Fort (the capital of Sultan Kequbad who was the son of Nasiruddin).

  • This place was chosen to bury the Humayun in his palace. But later, the fear of getting the tomb demolished by Hindu King Hemu, who conquered Purana Qila by defeating Mughal forces in Agra & Delhi in October 1556, compelled its shifting to Sirhind in Punjab by Kahnjar Beg.

  • This world heritage site became the ‘place of refuge’ for the Muslims during India-Pakistan Partition in 1947 for five years.

 

Structure:

  • Architectural style: Blend of Mughal, Turkic architecture and Persian style famous in 12th century was adopted by the architect.

  • Pillars, beams and lintels: These are built in arcuate style of architecture having lots of beams and arches in the structure.

  • Corbel brackets, Balconies, chhatris (kiosks): These parts of the legendary monument were adopted from Rajasthani architecture.

  • Gateways: The two double storeyed gateways on west and south part of it are 16 m high encompassing rooms and small courtyards on the upper floors.

  • Graves:  It forms a tomb complex dedicated to Isa Khan Niyazi (an afghan noble), Shah Jahan, Dara Shikoh (great great grandson of Humayun & son of Shah Jahan), Hamida Begum, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi-ul Darjat, Rafi Ul Daulat , Bu Halima’s Tomb  & Alamgir II. The height of tomb is 47 m & width is 300 feet. The dome of it is double decked resembling high neck drum that measures 42.5 m and is 6 m high.

  • Materials used for constructing tombs & mosques: Red sandstone, rubble and white marble were used to give this monument a splendid face while sculpting lattice screens, door frames, eaves (chhajja) & main dome.

  • Height of the terrace: Square terrace is 8 metre in height built in the dimension of 12,000 m2 .

  • Plinth: It is made of rubble core having 56 cells where 100 gravestones are housed.

  • Char Bagh: The design of this garden is modeled on Persian style symbolizing clear departure from the then prevalent mausoleum (graveyard) covering 13 hectares surrounding the monument.

Nai Ka Gumbad (Babar’s tomb): It is located towards the south-east corner within char bagh where the grave of Babar was constructed.