Friday, June 7, 2013

Dormitory of the Mughals - The Humayun's Tomb

By road: It lies Opp. Dargah Nizamuddin on Mathura Road.
By Metro: 
Get down at JLN Stadium metro station.

ENTRY FEE: 10 (Indians), 250 (foreigners)

: Humayun died in 1556, and his widow Hamida Banu Begam, also known as Haji Begam, commenced the construction of his tomb in 1569, fourteen years after his death. It is the first distinct example of proper Mughal style, which was inspired by Persian architecture. It is well known that Humayun picked up the principles of Persian architecture during his exile, and he himself is likely to have planned the tomb, although there is no record to that effect. The tomb was constructed at a cost of 15 lakh rupees (1.5 million). Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian, was the architect employed by Haji Begam for this tomb.

   It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India, close to the Dina-panah citadel also known as Purana Qila (Old Fort).The tomb built of rubble masonry and red sandstone, uses white marble as a cladding material and also for the flooring, lattice screens (jaalis), door frames, eaves (chhajja) and for the main dome.

As we headed towards Humayun's tomb we crossed a pathway with vast gardens on both sides. Under scorching sun it was really tiring to walk till the main tomb enclosure of Humayun.


Besides the main tomb, there are several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West.  

The high rubble built enclosure is entered through two lofty double-storey gateways on the west and south, 16 meters high with rooms on either side of the passage and a small courtyards on the upper floors.

Humayun's cenotaph stands alone in the main chamber; the real grave lies in the basement below

In all there are over 100 graves within the entire complex, including many on the first level terrace, earning it the name "Dormitory of the Mughals", since the graves are not inscribed their identification remains uncertain. (And it is very difficult to explore all of them).
The building was first to use its unique combination of red sandstone and white marble, and includes several elements of Indian architectural, like the small canopies, or chhatris surrounding the central dome, popular in Rajasthani architecture and which were originally covered with blue tiles.

The Humayun's tomb is the first Indian building to use the Persian concept of a double dome.