taking a walk in india: photos | stories | essays

25 July 2018

Humayun’s Tomb, summer and open spaces

Humayun’s Tomb is the first of the grand dynastic mausoleums that were to become synonyms of Mughal architecture, with the style reaching its zenith 80 years later in the form of the Taj Mahal.

The grounds at the mausoleum are airy and spacious. It is known as the first “garden-tomb” in the Indian subcontinent.

It was built in the 1560s, with the patronage of Humayun’s son, the Emperor Akbar. Persian and Indian craftsmen worked together to build the garden-tomb at what is now known as Nizamuddin in Delhi.

The tomb stands in an extremely significant archaeological setting, centred at the shrine of the 14th century Sufi saint, Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya. Since it is considered auspicious to be buried near a saint’s grave, seven centuries of tomb-building has led to the area becoming the densest ensemble of medieval Islamic buildings in India.

The dome of Humayun’s Tomb is visible from the terrace of the hostel building at Delhi Public School, Mathura Road, which is only a kilometre away. Seeing the dome shine under floodlights at night occupies a small place in the hostel memories of DPS boarding students from the 80s and 90s.

Even today, if you walked to the rear of the tomb and looked to the left, you may see the water tanks of the hostel building as tiny dots at a distance. The same cannot be said if the trees have become taller and blocked the view. Or if things have changed.

Visit timing: 6 am to 6 pm
Entry fee: Rs 30 (Indians), Rs 500 (foreigners)
Photography: Free
Video: Rs 25, tripod not allowed, monopod can be used

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Journalist. Taking a walk in India. | Email to journeybasket[at]gmail | Special thanks to M.S. Gopal | All rights reserved. No commercial use.

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