Humayun’s Tomb and Surroundings: The Mughal Heritage of Shahjahanabad

“Through the rise and fall of empires, the Indian civilization has endured and led the world to new heights of achievement. Thus, the world owed a profound debt to India and its people.”
– Barack Obama, then President of U.S., wrote in the visitor’s book at the Humayun’s Tomb


Humayun’s Tomb and its encompassing landmarks structure an immense complex, with 30 acres of land of gardens encompassing the central chabutara (stage) on which the Tomb stands—around the natural park of the Tomb are a few free nooks, regularly focusing on a tomb, similar to the Isa Khan Tomb or the garden of Bu Halima. The region had seen many changes throughout the long term that darkened the first person, especially parks.

Humayun’s Tomb was announced as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, and broad preservation work has been completed. This started with the rebuilding of the garden, made conceivable by an award from the Agha Khan Foundation. The general exploration went before the works, which brought about the reconstruction of pathways, fixing of water channels, and in any event, establishing bushes and different plants that were in demand in the hour of the Mughals. The outcome is a very much kept up with garden burial chamber, water going through the channels, hibiscus and oleander in sprout, and perfectly manicured yards for what it’s worth. Work on the tomb building has followed, with one more award from a similar source.

Other than Humayun’s Tomb, there are various designs inside the complex. These include a few tombs, yet mosques, doors, walls, and surprisingly a neglected market. They date hundreds of years and address a broad scope of materials, styles, and enriching procedures. The perplexing benefits a visit of somewhere around two or three hours, regardless of whether you while away some time resting under an obscure tree and watching the birds which successive the garden. The many nicely positioned seats permit you to take your time absorbing the vibe.

Background of Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s Tomb was constructed under Humayun’s senior sovereign, Hamida Banu Begum, a few years after the passing of the head in 1556. Planned by the architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, the Tomb is, for the most part, viewed as the antecedent to the Taj Mahal. Likewise, it is the main significant illustration of India’s Persian roast bagh (garden tomb). The Tomb sits at the crossing point of four water diverts rivering in the cardinal ways through a square garden expected to address heaven. On the eastern side, the park wall was initially washed by the river Yamuna which has since shifted its direction. Two wells, one external to the northern border and the other external to the western wall, supply water to the gardens.

The Tomb was constructed somewhere in 1564 and 1573, utilizing enormous amounts of marble and sandstone. In the hundreds of years that followed, Humayun’s Tomb likewise turned into a tomb for many of his relatives, to such an extent it is alluded to as the ‘Residence of the Mughals.’ There are, taking all things together, over 100 graves in the burial here. During the Revolt of 1857, the British caught the last Mughal head, Bahadur Shah II, at Humayun’s Tomb.


The Tomb of Humayun is entered today through the 16m high western entryway. The southern entrance is the more fantastic entry; however, it is currently shut to general society. A comprehensive way with a water channel flowing down its middle from past the hall prompts the Tomb. Humayun’s Tomb remains on a fantastic stage, 47m high and spread across 12,000 sq m. With its white marble vault (bested by a metal finial), the Tomb is improved in decorating work and cutting that utilizes red and buff sandstone alongside white and dark marble, chiefly in mathematical plans, frequently following the lines of design highlights like curves and acres.

On the stage, the tomb chamber must be entered from the southern side, adjusted toward the south of the entryway of the walled-in area, which was initially intended to be the fundamental entry. One enters the central room through an entry chamber with a roof perfectly brightened with finely chiselled and painted mortar. The cenotaph is sparingly cut in white marble and sits in the section on a story improved in a straightforward example of stars in highly contrasting marble. The actual chamber was initially vigorously plated and plated; today, there’s moderately little ornamentation to be seen. Different articles initially in the burial chamber, for example, lights, the sacred Quran, the sovereign’s turban, blade, and shoes, are also absent – plundered in past hundreds of years during seasons of insurgency and confusion. The four sides of the chamber are penetrated via cut stone jalis (screens). Side loads spread out around the central section and house the cenotaphs of the other people who share this space.

Mosque and Tomb of Isa Khan

Close to Humayun’s Tomb is a walled octagonal fenced-in area with a destroyed entryway. Inside are the mosque and Tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, an aristocrat from the court of Humayun’s adversary, Sher Shah Sur. The Tomb and the mosque, constructed during Isa Khan’s lifetime, were developed in 1547-8, nearly 20 years before Humayun’s Tomb. This is a genuinely strange style of a mosque, with a vast central arch flanked by a chhatri (a little pillared structure) on one or the other side – a component one of a kind to this mosque. Developed mainly of dark Delhi quartzite and red sandstone, its façade is exquisite, with some finely chiselled mortar work and coated green, yellow, and dazzling blue tiles.

This is an octagonal tomb with a profound chhaja (overhang) projecting outward under an arch encompassed by chhatris. The eight corners of the Tomb are buttressed by acres of quartzite that slant firmly up starting from the earliest stage of the rooftop, making it considerably forcing. Like the mosque, the Tomb also is brightened with chiselled mortar and tilework. The feature of the central chamber is the lavishly painted roof in dark red and blue.

Mosque and Tomb of Afsarwala

The mosque and Tomb of Afsarwala additionally exist in a walled-in area of their own. ‘Afsar’ in a real sense signifies ‘official.’ Hence, even though the character of the man covered here isn’t known, it is likely that he was an official of some remaining in early Mughal times (the Tomb and mosque were constructed at some point before 1566, the date on one of the graves). The mosque and Tomb remain close to one another on a stage. It looks like an unpredictable octagon, like a square with the four corners hacked off. The more extensive sides of the octagon are enlivened with profound recessed curves, each punctured by an entryway. The smaller sides have more petite, shallower concave angles, yet no doors. The outside of the Tomb is sparingly enriched with decorates of highly contrasting marble on a foundation of red sandstone.

Barber’s Tomb

Whoever the stylist might have been – and whatever the genuine justification for this stupendous Tomb – this square, domed construction merits a visit. Underlying or around 1590, it remains on a stage slantingly opposite Humayun’s Tomb, close to the South Gate of the complex. The Tomb has an enormous recessed curve on every four sides. However, the main entrance is through the turn on the southern side. Outwardly, the central part of the embellishment is around the vault. Chhatris, brightened with hints of green and blue-coated tiles, remain on each of the four corners of the structure, encompassing the vault alongside zeniths of red sandstone. Beneath, the façade of the Tomb is improved with cut emblems, curves, and delightfully cut jalis. The inside houses two cenotaphs, one of a male and the other of a female (a male’s cenotaph is shown by an edge like a wedge on it, known as a kalam; a female’s cenotaph, then again, has a level strip on top, called a takhti).

Arab Sarai

Contiguous, the Tomb and Mosque of Afsarwala is a region known as Arab Sarai. While she was constructed by Hamida Banu Begum while building Humayun’s Tomb, one hypothesis is that it was performed for, and named after, around 300 Arabs whom Hamida Banu Begum took back to India from Mecca. The northern entryway is at the right point to the door of Bu Halima. A monumental 14m in stature, it is made of dim Delhi quartzite and red sandstone, decorated with a trim of white marble. The jharokhas or oriel windows hold hints of blue-coated tile. Minimal remaining parts in the fenced area past an old baoli or step-well and the remaining parts of an ancient marketplace – destroyed cells made of rubble artistry. The east door of the Sarai, which was constructed during the rule of Jahangir by Mihr Banu, is beautified in blue, yellow, and green coated tiles. The façade and side bayous of the door additionally have hints of painted mortar work.

Garden and Tomb of Bu Halima

Nothing is known about Bu Halima, after whom the garden is named and covered on the destroyed grave stage inside. Yet, it is without a doubt an early Mughal tomb, and the doorway to the conservatory is a basic however wonderful one.

Sundarwala Mahal

One of the structures inside is the Sundarwala Mahal, an early Mughal burial chamber. It is moderately basic construction, constructed of harsh rubble artistry, as an elongated octagon: a square shape, really, with the corners hacked off. The structure appears as a progression of shady interconnected verandahs that encompass a central chamber with a vaulted tehkhana (an underground room) under it. There is little ornamentation – specialities in the walls and a few hints of chiselled mortar. Toward one side (the southern side), two steep and fairly weather-beaten flights of stairs pave the way to the rooftop.

Sundarwala Burj

It has angled passageways on every four walls; the ornamentation on the outside comprises finely chiselled emblems on one or the other side of the curve that faces the Sundar Garden fundamental entryway. There are hints of red paint on the façade.

Bara Batashewala Mahal

The Bara Batashewala Mahal was built in 1603-4 as the Tomb of Mirza Muzaffar Husain, the child of Gulrukh Begum, a girl of Humayun’s sibling Mirza Kamran (Humayun’s grandnephew) who was hitched to Akbar’s oldest girl, Sultan Khanam. Mirza Muzaffar Husain’s distinction and power are apparent in the abundance of his burial chamber. The Bara Batashewala Mahal is four-sided and remains on a high stage. Each side of the Tomb has five curves that permit you to enter a progression of chambers that contain hints of overall enhancement of blue, red, and white painted mortar.

Chhota Batashewala Mahal

This also is a tomb tracing back to the early Mughal period. It is more modest than the Bara Batashewala Mahal, and it isn’t realized who is covered here – truth be told, there isn’t even any hint of a grave inside. Not many remain now of what was likely once a genuinely resplendent octagonal design encompassed by an arcade with angled entryways on every one of the eight sides of the structure. The central office of the Tomb has four entrances, three of which are separated by stone jalis; the fourth goes about as the entry to the Tomb. Inside, you can, in any case, see hints of beautification as chiselled and painted mortar.

Nila Gumbad

The Nila Gumbad (in a real sense, ‘blue arch’) is the Tomb of one Fahim Khan, a chaperon of Akbar’s general, Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khanan, who assembled the Tomb in 1624-5. The Tomb is an irregular octagon, rather like an enormous square with its corners knocked off. Angled entryways penetrate the more extensive sides of the octagon. The smaller sides have recessed curves that have strange paintwork in red and white, suggestive of blocks. The upper portion of the façade that faces the gurdwara has a delightfully resplendent mathematical plan of coated tiles in white, green, yellow, and shades of blue. Joined with the more blunt blue of the squat vault above (its unique tiles), the impact is dazzling.


South of the Nizamuddin Railway Station is one of only a handful of exceptional constructions in Delhi constructed during the hour of Jahangir, in roughly 1611-12. This is the extension known as Barahpula (‘twelve scaffolds’). It’s in a real sense named – the scaffold comprises eleven curves laying on twelve docks – is a solid yet satisfying design. The main ornamentation is a progression of adjusted minarets that remain on every harbour, on the two sides of the extension.

Tomb of Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khanan

Abdur Rahim Khan-I-Khanan was the child of Akbar’s official Bairam Khan. After Bairam Khan was killed, Akbar brought his widow into his collection of mistresses and took an individual interest in the childhood of her young child. As a result, Abdur Rahim grew up to become one of Akbar’s most in-demand officers, just as an eminent writer (‘Rahim’) in Hindi, Turkish and Persian. His Hindi couplets are as yet renowned in India. The square burial chamber, inherent 1626-7, remains on a 4m high chabutara or stage with various cells – perhaps for guests and bystanders to rest in – up and down the sides. These cells have curved entryways adorned with cut emblems on each side of the curve.

Steps pave the way to the highest point of the chabutara from the side confronting the principal street. The primary office of the Tomb, in which Rahim’s fairly plain cenotaph stands, is beautified with luxurious examples in etched mortar. The walls have faint hints of mathematical models, and the roof has a beautiful round plan with eight flower themes organized around it. Similar articles are rehashed on the walls of the curved entryways that lead out of the Tomb on every one of its four sides.

Tomb Of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya

The Sufi spiritualist Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya (1236-1325) was brought into the world in Badayun, came to Delhi at 25 years old, and became a supporter of Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar. By 1325, when he died, Nizamuddin was a much-revered holy person of the Chishti silsila (request). His Tomb was constructed by the Tughlaq ruler, Firoz Shah, in 1325. Around the cenotaph of the holy person is a square nook, punctured via cut marble jalis, with the columns overlaid and painted. A wide verandah of white marble is outside this nook, upheld by fluted acres, the curves and columns luxuriously overlaid and painted in kaleidoscopic botanical examples. Over the curves around the Dargah is a projecting chhaja topped by a ‘pinjra railing’ – an encasing confine-like railing, delegated with a progression of bantam vaults and sparkling pinnacles at the four corners.

Jamaat Khana

The Jamaat Khana (‘assembly house’) is the name given to the impressive red mosque that weaving machines the Dargah of Nizamuddin, shaping the western edge of the complex. During Alauddin Khalji (1296-1316), this is the most seasoned design in the complex. The Jamaat Khana mosque has a low vault and a resplendent curved façade with expansive Quranic engravings running along the curves. The central office of the Jamaat Khana was constructed by Khizr Khan, the child of the sovereign Alauddin Khalji. It is accepted that he fabricated the main chamber to house the Tomb of Nizamuddin; however, the holy person communicated a craving not to be covered inside it.

Tomb of Jahanara

Constructed in 1681, while Jahanara was still alive, it remains in a four-sided fenced-in area of white marble jalis with an enhancing piece of cut marble generally running the top. Enlivening zeniths project over the walled-in area at the four corners. Inside the walled-in area are four graves. Jahanara’s Tomb is sparingly cut and with a shallow container on top containing earth.

Tomb of Mirza Jahangir

Mirza Jahangir was the oldest child of the Mughal ruler Akbar II, who, after a bombed endeavour to kill the British Resident Seton, was banished to Allahabad in 1808. However, his mother pledged that if he were permitted to return to Delhi, she would journey to the Dargah (shrine) of Sheik Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki (in Mehrauli). This wish was conceded, and the sovereign’s guarantee was properly satisfied – and in the long run, turned into a yearly occasion that proceeds even today and is known as Phoolwalon ki Sair.

Tomb of Mohammad Shah

Close to the Tomb of Jahanara stands the Tomb of a later Mughal sovereign, Mohammad Shah (1702-48), who is known as an admirer of human expression – an adoration that gave him the epithet ‘Rangeela’ (in a real sense, ‘vivid’). The Persian intruder Nadir Shah stripped Delhi during his rule and grabbed the renowned Peacock Throne among different fortunes. However, compared to Jahanara’s burial chamber, Mohammad Shah’s Tomb is substantially more luxurious than material, size, and shape. The plinth of the nook is intensely cut, just like the recessed curve of the entryway. The actual entrance is strange in that it has leaves of white marble, cut in an example of daffodils. Mohammad Shah’s tomb fenced-in area contains seven graves, of which the biggest is the rulers.

Tomb of Amir Khusro

‘The Parrot of India,’ Abul Hasan, also called Amir Khusro Dehlavi (1253-1325), was a prestigious artist, writer, and lyricist of Hindi and Persian. The central devotee and a gave companion of Nizamuddin Auliya; he is said to have pined away and died of distress a half year after the demise of the holy person. He was covered in nearness to Nizamuddin, and his Tomb is today, after Nizamuddin’s Dargah, the most visited of the burial chambers in this complex. The external sandstone fenced-in area has been painted green and white. The internal section, which dates from 1605-6, is white marble screens with a vaulted rooftop.

Dalan of Mirdha Ikram

Only south of the Tomb of Amir Khusro is the dalan (arcade) of Mirdha Ikram, who was a non-appointed official (a mirdha) in the court of the later Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II (1759-1805). The dalan is a satisfying rectangular construction, made of red sandstone with a story and dado of white marble. Inside there are four graves, all of Mirdha Ikram’s family.

Tomb of Atgah Khan

The ruler Akbar climbed the high position when he was thirteen, and probably the most influential individuals at his court were his mentors and wet medical caretakers and their families. Attach Khan, whose Tomb lies neighbouring the Dargah complex, was the spouse of Jiji Angah, one of Akbar’s nine wet medical attendants. The outside is dressed principally in white marble and red sandstone, with broad, decorates of everything from dark marble to blue tile, checking out botanical themes and Quranic engravings. Stays of chiselled and painted mortar can be seen inside the chamber, containing the graves of Atgah Khan, Jiji Angah, and a third, unidentified individual.

Tomb of Mirza Ghalib

Just past the Ghalib Academy, a fenced walled-in area houses the Tomb of Delhi’s writer laureate, Mirza Asadullah Khan ‘Ghalib’ (1796-1869). By and extensively recognized as perhaps the best writer of Persian and Urdu ever, Ghalib lived most of his life in Delhi. He was covered here when he passed on in 1869, and his Tomb was set apart by a marble section with an engraving on it. Afterwards, in the twentieth century, a white marble structure, planned by the draftsman Nawab Zain Yar Jang of Hyderabad, was constructed over the Tomb.

Chaunsath Khamba

Mirza Aziz Kokaltash, the child of Atgah Khan, constructed for himself a strange burial chamber, a square pillared corridor that looks more like a structure than a catacomb. Developed in 1623-4, it is known as Chaunsath Khamba (’64 columns’). The white marble tomb spreads across 25 inlets roofed by arches and upheld by square columns. Every one of the four walls of Chaunsath Khamba is penetrated by an entryway; also, there are insets of cutting and jali screens beautifying the walls. Inside, the roof is vaulted, and there is fine cutting on the graves of Kokaltash and his significant other.

Kali Masjid

Like most Junaan Shah’s mosques, the Kalan (‘enormous’) Masjid is a robust construction that looks like a fortification. It has a tremendous projecting passage that is flanked by tightening minarets that resemble strongholds, and the inside, with its four patios, is immense. Unfortunately, a significant number of the arches that once covered the yards are presently gone, and the mosque’s cutting edge painting and whitewashing diminish its unique personality.

Sabz Burj

The traffic island at the crossing point of Mathura Road and Lodhi Road is one of Delhi’s most unmistakable ones – on it stands a striking blue-domed ‘Baghdadi’ tomb known as Sabz Burj, in a real sense, ‘green vault.’ Sabz Burj is an unpredictable octagon and sits on a high chabutara or stage, driving up a couple of steps. The four more extensive sides of the Tomb have recessed bayous and are punctured by entryways; the smaller sides contain follows – at times, considerable and very much saved – of incredible paintwork in red, highly contrasting. In addition, there is a couple of carefully etched mortar emblems on one or the other side of one of the curved entryways. Inside, the Tomb is enlivened with squinches and specialities and more etched, painted mortar.

Barah Khamba

On the north finish of Nizamuddin, the town spreads a little verdant park known as Mirza Ghalib Park. Inside this stands Bara Khamba (‘twelve columns’), the Tomb of an unidentified individual. This robust domed design of rubble brickwork and stone traces back to the Lodhi time frame, for example, the late fifteenth mid-sixteenth hundreds of years. It remains on a chabutara, with a projecting chhaja on all sides, underneath the structure’s vaults. The Tomb comprises a central square chamber encompassing a verandah with angled openings – three to a side – in general.

Baoli of Hazrat Nizamuddin

Once otherwise called Chashma Dilkusha (‘heart-inspiring spring’), the baoli is encircled by walls on three sides, with steps constructed down to the water level on the north side. The baoli was developed under the management of Nizamuddin himself, and its water in this way is acceptable to be hallowed and to have therapeutic abilities. However, there is an intriguing story behind the development of the well. The structure of the baoli (in 1321-2) had turned into the significant bone of conflict among Nizamuddin and the then leader of Delhi, Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq. The sovereign was around then structured his stronghold at Tughlaqabad, and he immediately disallowed all workers in Delhi from working during the daytime at any site other than Tughlaqabad.