The Humayun Tomb is located in Delhi, the capital city of India. The tomb is located in the eastern part of the city. A luxurious monument that reflects the grandeur of the Mughals and is a fine example of their architectural style. This tomb is a UNESCO World heritage site and it definitely is a great addition to your Delhi itinerary. So include a tour to the Humayun’s tomb and learn about its history.
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I lived in Delhi for 3 years and this post is a part of Delhi Heritage Walk series. Living and studying about history, encouraged me to travel more. Read other posts on the series
Humayun Tomb History Tour in Delhi Heritage Walks
Who was Humayun?
Humayun was the second Mughal emperor to rule over the northern part of the Indian subcontinent including parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. His original name was Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad. Humayun succeeded to the Mughal throne at the age of 22 years, after the death of this father Babur, who was the first ruler.
Humayun’s initial reign was troublesome – he lost a vast portion of Mughal territory to his enemies and also had internal conflicts among his brothers for throne supremacy. However towards the end of his reign, he was able to build up a huge kingdom and leave it in the hands of the greatest Mughal emperor and his successor – Akbar the Great.
Humayun’s Tomb History
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The Mughals ruled in the Indian sub-continent from 1526 (First Battle of Panipat) to 1857 (Revolt of 1857). The Humayun’s tomb was commissioned by Humayun’s son Akbar in 1569-70, at the request and initiative of Bahu Begum (Humayun’s senior most widow). The tomb was completed after 9 years of Humayun’s death. Akbar was one of the greatest Mughal rulers. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India.
Humayun’s Tomb Architecture Features
Humayun’s Tomb was the first structure to use red sandstone at such a grand scale. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993 and since then has undergone extensive restoration work. Its believed that the Mughal emperor Shahjehan, built the Taj Mahal in white, keeping the Humayun’s Tomb in mind. The structure was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect.
Besides the main tomb, several smaller structures and gardens adore the pathway leading up to the main tomb.
The Humayun’s Tomb was inspired by Persian architecture; and is first of its kind in India. The exterior dome is white marble and the rest of the building is made up of red sandstone, with white and black marble and yellow sandstone detailing. The height of Humayun’s Tomb is 47 meters, and its breadth is 91 meters.
The Humayun’s Tomb was the first ever garden style tomb to be constructed in India. The Tomb stands in the centre of Charbagh style of gardens complete with pools linked by channels. The main entrance of the tomb is from the south side, although there is another entrance from the west side as well.
Humayun’s body was initially buried in Purana Quila (also known as Dina-panah citadel, which was built by Humayun himself) at Delhi. Thereafter once this tomb was built the body was placed here. The burial chamber of the Emperor lies in an underground area (basement), exactly beneath the upper cenotaph, accessible through a separate passage outside the main structure, which remains mostly closed to visiting public. This burial technique along with pietra dura, a marble and even stone inlay ornamentation in numerous geometrical and arabesque patterns, seen all around the facade is an important legacy of the Indo-Islamic architecture.
Humayun’s Tomb Delhi Tour – My experience.
I organized this trip along with 2 of my History department members. We arrived in a tour bus in the morning.
It was a cold February morning. Delhi winters can be very harsh sometimes, with temperatures dropping below 8 degrees. We walked around the gardens and the fountains leading up to the main tomb. We had a tour guide with us.
After spending 30-35 minutes in and around the site, we entered the main tomb. The monument is beautiful inside with marble lattice or jaali.
Marble lattice or jaali is one of my favorite characteristics of the Mughal architecture. Image is below.
Why you should visit the Humayun tomb?
The Humayun’s Tomb served as an early example for other Mughal tombs which were built over time, such as the Akbar’s tomb in Sikander, the tomb of Ghiyas-ud-Din Tugluq at Tugluqabad, the tomb of Sikander Lodi in the Lodi Gardens and the Taj Mahal.
Apart from Humayun, the tomb is also the final resting place of his wife Hamida Bahu Begum, Shah Jahan’s son Dara Shikoh and other prominent Mughals from the royal family.
Humayun’s tomb is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent.
The Humayun’s tomb is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (1993). The tomb historical monument should be on you “must-see” list if you visit New Delhi. In 2010, the US President Barack Obama visited this site, as part of his India Tour.
As mentioned above, massive restoration work was undertaken for this monument, which has been since completed. However due to a heavy storm which struck the city on 30 May 2014, the finial of the tomb was knocked off.
Humayun’s Tomb Visiting Hours & other details
- The Humayun’s Tomb is open everyday from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm IST
- Great place for picnics, photo-shoots
- No charges for photography, Rs.25 for video
- UNESCO Site, great place to admire the Indo-Persian architecture
- Entrance fee for SAARC Nation citizens is Rs. 30, Rs.500 (foreigners)
- Guided tours available
- Visitors usually spent 45 minutes to an hour at this heritage site
- Not an accessible tourism site
How to reach the Humayun Tomb?
Humayun tomb is located in the eastern part of Delhi. There are other monuments and structures located near the site and hence why a day tour is an excellent option to explore multiple heritage sites in Delhi.
By Car – Roads are very well connected to the Humayun’s tomb. Take a cab (Uber, Ola or autos), or DTC buses to reach the site.
By Metro or train – You can easily access the Humayun tomb by Delhi Metro. The nearest metro station is Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Metro Station and it is located on the yellow line. AC/non AC buses can be availed from Rajiv Chowk/ISBT/Nizamuddin to reach Humayun’s Tomb Complex.
Humayun Tomb Tours
Here are some great options for touring the Humayun’s Tomb. You can either opt for a private tour of Humayun’s Tomb or a full day sightseeing tour of all the UNESCO heritage sites in Delhi. Some of our recommendations are included below and you can book them right-away
- Full day tour of Delhi’s monuments with transfer
- Full Day Delhi Sightseeing Tour
- Half Day Delhi Tour with visit to the Humayun’s Tomb
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Last Updated: December 09 2018
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