Humayun Tomb: Timing, History, Ticket and Metro Station Delhi

Humayun's Tomb

One of the most magnificent tombs is built in Delhi, India’s Capital. Humayun tomb Delhi is famous for Humayun who was the Mughal Emperor. It is the first and most beautiful garden tomb in India built as per the Mughal architecture.

It is one of the preserved monuments and most significant monuments located in East Delhi. This monument attracts tourists from all over the world. So this tomb is a famous tourist attraction of the Capital of India’s Delhi. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Delhi. It was the first architectural built during Akbar’s reign. Begum Haji is the one who built the Humayun Tomb.

There are 38 World Heritage sites in India. It is said to be World’ Heritage as in shows the culture and tradition of natural Heritage of the World. Humayun Tomb built by using many innovations with a set at the center of luxurious gardens with water fountains was the event after the monument to the Taj Mahal, built a century later.

It was built in 1570 and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Monument in 1993 for its cultural importance.

It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and that is a Humayun Tomb Fact and since then it has experienced extensive rebuilding work, which is complete Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun Tomb Delhi, several smaller monuments give the pathway to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years. The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun. The site was chosen on the banks of Yamuna River.

Some information about Humayun Tomb is discussed here. So that once you will visit Humayun Tomb, you are well informed about Humayun Tomb History, and will get some knowledge about Humayun Tomb facts.

Humayun Tomb History

Humayun Tomb History

The tomb’s design was decided by Humayun’s first wife and Empress Bega Begum also known as Haji Begum who was the Chief consort in 1569-70 and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, Persian architects were chosen by Haji Begum are the ones who built Humayun Tomb.

After the death of Humayun on 27 January 1556, Humayun’s body was buried in his palace in the old fort in Delhi. Thereafter it was taken to Sirhind in Punjab by Khanjar Beg and in 1558, it was seen by Humayun’s son, the then Mughal Emperor, Akbar subsequently visited the tomb in 1571, when it was about to be completed.

Construction began in 1565 and was completed in 1572, it cost 1.5 million rupees which was paid entirely by the Empress.

Bega Begum had been so grieved over Humayun’s death that she dedicated her whole life to a sole purpose that was the construction of a memorial to him than would be the most magnificent monument in the Empire which was at a site near the Yamuna River in Delhi.

According to a 16th-century detailed document written during the reign of Akbar, Bega Begum supervised the construction of the tomb after returning from Mecca and undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage.

According to Abd-al-Qadir, one of the contemporary historians to mention the construction of the tomb. It was designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas who was selected by the Empress and brought from Herat, North Afghanistan.

He had previously designed several buildings in Herat, Bukhara (now Uzbekistan), and others elsewhere in India. Ghiyas died before the structure was completed and it was completed by his son.

Some English merchants, William Finch, who visited the tomb in 1611, says that there is a rich interior furnishing of the central chamber in comparison to the sparse look. The fortunes of the once famous Charbagh, Four-gardens made of four squares separated by four promenades, radiating from a central reflection pool.

It spread over 13 hectares surrounding the monument, changed repeatedly over the years after its construction. The capital got shifted to Agra in 1556 and the decline of the Mughals increased the decay of the monument and its features, as there was expensive keep up for gardens. By the early 18th century, one garden was replaced by a vegetable garden for the people who had settled within the walled area.

Humayun Tomb New Delhi

In August 1947, the Old Fort together with Humayun Tomb built by Begam Hazir became major refugee camps for Muslims who were migrating to the newly founded Pakistan and was later managed by the government of India.

These camps stayed open for about five years and caused considerable damage not only to the extensive gardens but also to the water channels and the principal structures. Eventually, to avoid vandalism, the cenotaphs within the mausoleum were encased in brick.

In the coming years, the Archaeological Survey of India took on responsibility for the preservation of heritage monuments in India, and gradually the building and its gardens were restored. Humayun Tomb history had a major impact on Mughal’s reign

An important phase in the restoration of the complex began around 1993 when the monument was declared a World Heritage Site. This invited some new interest to its restoration, detailed research, and excavation process began under the time of the Aga Khan Trust and the ASI. This culminated in 2003 when much of the complex and gardens were restored, with the historic fountains running once again after several centuries of disuse.

Humayun Tomb Architecture

Humayun Tomb Architecture

Humayun Tomb architecture is altogether different from other monuments. When we enter Humayun Tomb, Delhi it is through a long basic track. On the other way, there are gateways that give a brief look at the tomb. The tomb is octagonal in shape and placed over a platform with colonnades, under which there are numerous graves of lesser-known people and can be ascribed to various nobles and workers of Humayun’s period.

A great central chamber has four offsets, double-storeyed in height and with an arcade on their facades. Their openings closed with perforated screens. Three sensitive arches dominate each side and the central one is the highest. The monument of the emperor Humayun is in the central room and his queen Bega Begum. The tomb is crowned by 42.5 m high colossal double dome.

The main funerary box is situated in the central hall, oriented – in accordance with Muslim practice on the north-south axis. Traditionally, the body is placed with the head to the north, the face turned sideways towards Mecca. The dome is what is called a full-dome, a complete semi-circle that is a special feature of Humayun Tomb Architecture.

The structure is made up of red stones but borders are made up of white and black marbles. It is based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens, it is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many other Mughal tombs. It is known as Charbagh and it is based on grids.

The central arch on each side opens on to an ascending staircase. To the east of the southern stair, a horizontal passage leads to the actual tomb below the monument. The left out arches open into cells, most of which contain after and subsidiary tombs.

The floor of the terrace is made with red sandstone and contains a number of unidentified graves. The octagonal tomb’s chamber rises through two stories and is surrounded by smaller chambers at the diagonal points. These chambers also house a number of other tombstones, making Humayun’s members almost a family one.

The central hall containing the cenotaph is roofed by a double dome carried on squinches, with plastered interlace in the spandrels. It is in three layers, of which the center is a gallery and the uppermost is a clerestory. Most of the openings are filled with sandstone grilles. In between each wing of the diagonal sides of the central tomb lie the great arched lobbies that dominate the exterior elevation.

Humayun's Tomb structure

Humayun’s Tomb was the first monument who used a double dome. Persian builders, gave a building an imposing exterior height but kept the ceiling of the central hall in proportion with the interior heights. The dome is also remarkable in that it is the first major full dome to be seen in India. Earlier domes were not full in the sense that their shape never traced a full semi-circle.

The outer dome of Humayun’s Tomb is covered with marble. It is supported by chhatris above the wings and portals. These, historians believe, served as a madrasa or college in the days when the tomb was a living monument. The chhatris serve the added purpose of masking the drum from view.

A double dome is composed of two shells, with a gap between the two layers. The walled enclosure is entered through two gates that is the main gate to the south, which is now closed, and a less imposing west gate. The south gate is-a towering 15.5 meters high.

It stands on a podium approached by a flight of five steps. The ground floor comprises a central hall, octagonal and domed, with rectangular wings. There are square and oblong rooms on the first floor of the gateway. The gate is flanked externally by screen-walls with arched recesses.

Adjoining the south gate is a compound on the west, 146 meters by 32 meters, built against the exterior face of the main enclosure-wall. It contains a verandah with 25 arched entrances and was possibly meant to accommodate the many attendants of the royal tomb. There is another dilapidated building flanking the eastern side of the gate externally.

The west gate, by which visitors now enter the tomb-enclosure, also stands on a podium with five steps and is two stories high. It consists of a 7 meter-square central hall, with square side-rooms on the ground floor, and oblong rooms on the first.

It is approached from the front and back through portals 10.7 meters high. The gate is flanked externally with arched recesses and measures 15 meters from the floor level to the parapet. It is surmounted at the outer angles by small chhatris 1.5 meters square.

It contains a tank which is like about one meter across, and the room appears to have been a hammam or bath. It is plastered but undecorated. Behind this pavilion, on the north side of the enclosure-wall is a rubble-built circular well, which supplied water both to the bath and the channels of the char bagh. Humayun tomb images are worth watching, architecture is very beautiful.

Humayun Tomb Restoration

Humayun's Tomb Complex Restoration
Image source: archnet.org

Before the reconstruction work was undertaken, destruction and illegal encroachments were out of control at the site of the tomb, presenting a serious danger to the preservation of this invaluable treasure.

At the main entrance of Humayun’s Tomb, dirty stalls had been put up under a very corrupt system of municipal assistance known as the bazar, and all sorts of heavy vehicles were allowed to be parked illegally in these open spaces.

On the Nila Gumbad side, there was a huge tower of India’s vote bank politics, thousands of slum people were kept by an influential section of the political leadership to serve as bonded voters during elections. The environment of the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya had also been ruthlessly degraded and dirty.

After the restoration work, the conditions in and out of this complex has a super change. All the stalls and other intrusions were removed and the monuments and green spaces restored. Elegant gardens now surround the monuments, adding to their dignity and grace. When illuminated at night, the monument’s look is actually magnificent.

In 2009, as a part of the ongoing restoration work, the ASI and AKTC, after months of manual work using hand-tools, removed from the roof a thick layer of cement concrete that had been exerting the pressure of about 1,102 tons on the structure.

The cement concrete was originally put in the 1920s to prevent water seepage and it led to a blockage in water passages. Subsequently, each time there was leakage, a fresh layer of cement was added, leading to an accumulated thickness of about 40 cm; this has now been replaced with a traditional lime-based roof layer.

Places to see in Humayun Tomb:

Humayun Tomb Charbagh Garden

Humayun's Tomb Garden

The quadrilateral Charbagh concept is interpreted as the four gardens of Paradise. Charbagh is made in a Persian-style garden layout. This means the main building is at the center of a quadrilateral garden divided by walkways or water flows.

The first garden concept tomb is the Humayun Tomb. It is also the first structure to use red sandstone at such quantity and scale. The tomb was declared a UN. This Mughal architecture, the Humayun tomb in Charbagh style is made up of Humayun’s widow.

In the center of this Charbagh, the cemetery itself rises from a wide and the platform is about 6.5 meters high, which in turn stands upon a podium just over a meter high. The only latest feature is the burial built of quartzite, the remainder being entire of red or yellowish sandstone with marble panels or outlines and a marble-covered dome.

Each side of the high terrace is broken by 17 arches whereas the corners of the structure are chambered. At each corner, a slanting arch cuts the angle.

Tomb of Isa Khan

Tomb of Isa Khan

Isa Khan Tomb in Delhi is a cemetery dedicated to Isa Khan Niyazi who was the minister of Sher Shah Suri, the founder of the Sur dynasty in India. It is located inside Humayun’s tomb complex in the Nizamuddin, Delhi. The tomb is built in the Sur style.

Every year it is visited by many thousands of visitors and continues to be a very famous destination. The Isa Khan tomb has been built from red sandstone and marked with an engraving proclaiming it to be the tomb of Isa Khan and the date of his death.

At one corner of the mausoleum, you will find a small mosque made in a similar building style. The tomb is in the octagon shape with varnished tiles and lattice windows and it is surrounded by beautiful sunken gardens.

The entrance through a large arched gateway is grand and telling the importance of the interred (buried) person. All around the mosque is a verandah decorated with multi-colored tiles, and each of the corners rests upon a pillar all of which rise to form the dome-shaped central canopy.

The walls are adorned with intricate lattice masonry which is an enchanting sight. Frescoes decorate the ceiling, and there is also beautiful calligraphy which speaks of Isa Khan, his life and times. This tomb not only predates Humayun’s Tomb by almost two decades but is also the zenith of an architectural style which was used by royal tombs in Delhi at the time of Lodi and Sayyid dynasties.

Afsarwala Tomb

Afsarwala Tomb

In a corner of a large walled garden, just before the main entrance to Humayun’s Tomb entrance in Delhi, is the Afsarwala Tomb and Mosque complex. Afsarwala Mosque is on a raised platform about 91 meters to the southwest of the west gate of the Humayun Tomb, Delhi.

The date of construction of this mosque is doubtful as many people tried to know but ends up with some confusion about date although archaeological evidence places it between 1560 and 1567. The building is of local quartzite and red sandstone.

It consists of a single, rather dilapidated, prayer-chamber divided into 3 bays, the central bay roofed by a dome carried on squinches. A circular panel is inside the central dome. The central bay opens through a 4 centered arch and is larger and higher than the flanking bays, which are also entered through 4 centered arches.

The design conforms essentially to the ‘Triple Iwan‘ of Persia. The outer angles of the bulk wok are furnished with pinnacles and the shouldered dome rises from a circular drum.

Arab Serai

Arab Serai

Arab Serai is a 16th-century caravanserai within the Humayun’s tomb complex in Delhi, India. It is said to have been built by Mughal emperor Humayun’s widow Haji Begum. In recent times, it has been conserved by Aga Khan Trust for Culture.

This building contains arched cells against its enclosure walls. Presently, the cells are in ruins. The northern gate is the only structure of the building which is intact. The gate measures 12.2 meters (40 ft) in height and is made of quartzite with red sandstone and is inlaid by marble.

The octagonal-shaped gate chamber was crowned by a dome at the time of its construction, but since then the dome has collapsed. A balcony window is present over the arch of the main gateway and is supported by six brackets. On each side of the gateway at the same level, more balcony windows crowned by a pyramidal dome are present. The domes are made up of yellow and blue tiles.

Nila Gumbad

nila gumbad

Nila Gumbad is one of the oldest destruction in the city and is an important city landmark and historical structure. The beautiful mosaic of tile work on its dome is a great example of architectural detailing and intricacy of design. The stunning mosaic work still stands as a witness to the great structure it might have been in its full glory when it was constructed.

The dome still retains most of its blue tiles and there is a huge Peepal tree in its compound which adds character to this monument and there are many shrubs around it. The best time to visit is in the morning when the rays of sunshine make it shine to its full glory and highlighting its features at its best.

Barber’s Tomb

Barber's Tomb

Kings and queens have their magnificent tombs so do their brothers, sisters, and cousins, tombs of the favorite minister are also not uncommon. But something rarely heard is Tomb of Humayun Emperor’s favorite barber and the second of great Mughal ruler honored his favorite barber with a beautiful tomb which is located next to his very own magnificent mausoleum.

Located towards the southeast of the Humayun’s Tomb stands a slender, elegant domed structure commonly known as the Nai – Ka – Gumbad, literally meaning the Barber’s tomb. The Barber’s Tomb is the only structure standing inside the char bagh, which houses the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb at the very center.

The barber’s tomb is the only structure to have been constructed after Humayun’s Tomb complex was completed. It was commissioned by Humayun’s son & successor Akbar (ruled AD 1556-1605). The elegant tomb stands on a platform 2.44 meters high & is reached by climbing 7 steps.

Bu Halima’s Tomb and Garden

bu halima's tomb and garden

The exact identity of Bu Halima is a mystery as not many details on her are present. However, Bu Halima occupied an important place in Humayun’s harem and was a part of Babur’s (Humayun’s father) entourage to India and a Mughal noblewoman.

The tomb of Bu Halima’s situated on the western side of the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb Complex is a rectangular enclosure which is usually ignored by tourists and visitors as they pass by to see the famous Humayun’s Tomb.

The architecture of this structure dates back to the early Mughal period. The tomb, rectangular in shape, seems to have been built with brightly colored stones which appear to have faded over time.

How to reach Humayun Tomb of Delhi

Humayun Tomb of Delhi

Humayun Tomb Address Location

Humayun Tomb’s location is close to the Dina-Panah Citadel, also known as Purana Qila i.e Old Fort.

Humayun Tomb Address is Mathura Road Opposite, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi 110013

Humayun Tomb Nearest Metro Station Delhi

Humayun Tomb’s nearest metro station is Hazrat Nizamuddin metro station on the pink line. From here, you can take a taxi or an auto. The JLN Stadium on the violet line is also one of the closest metro stations to Humayun’s Tomb. 

Humayun Tomb Entry Fee

Humayun Tomb entry fees are Rs.30.0 per person for Indians, 500.0 per person for foreign tourists, 25.0 for video filming. 

Humayun Tomb Timings

Humayun Tomb timings are different for day and night. The day timing of Humayun Tomb is 8 am to 5 pm and the night timing of Humayun Tomb is 6 pm to 9 pm.

Note if you are planning to visit in the night, make sure that you buy a ticket after 6 pm.

Conclusion:

The Humayun Tomb of New Delhi is one of the most impressive structure, it is located conveniently at the banks of Yamuna River. Humayun Tomb Architecture is a splendor of the Mughal period, Humayun Tomb built by Begum Haji for Humayun and by Persian architecture.

Now, this tomb is a major attraction among visiting Delhi. One of the main attractions of the Humanyun Tomb is Char Bagh. In spite of its beauty and very beautiful architecture, there are many positive points about this Monument as the timings of Humayun Tomb are very feasible and Humayun Tomb’s nearest metro is Hazrat Nizamuddin in pink line.

So if you planning to visit Delhi then you must visit the Humayun Tomb as here you can enjoy many historical buildings and come to know about the past of India. 

Places to visit near Humayun Tomb

  • Sunder Nursery
  • Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah
  • Millennium Park Delhi
  • National Zoological Park
  • Purana Qila (Old Fort)
  • National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum
  • National Science Centre

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