Humayun's Tomb

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Humayun's Tomb

Freshly restored in 2013 after six years of painstaking conservation work, this moument is a sight to behold. Built in the middle of the 16th century by the widow of the Mughal emperor Humayun, this tomb launched a new architectural era of Persian influence, culminating in the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri. The Mughals brought to India their love of gardens and fountains and left a legacy of harmonious structures, including this mausoleum, that fuse symmetry with decorative splendor.

Resting on an immense two-story platform, the tomb structure of red sandstone and white marble is surrounded by gardens intersected by water channels in the Mughals' beloved charbagh design: gardens divided into four (char) perfectly square parts. The marble dome covering the actual tomb is another first: a dome within a dome (the interior dome is set inside the soaring dome seen from outside), a style later used in the Taj Mahal. As you enter or leave the tomb area, stand a moment before the beveled gateway to enjoy the view of the monument framed in the arch.

Besides Humayun, several other important Mughals are buried here, along with Isa Khan Niyazi, a noble in the court of Sher Shah—who lies in the fetching octagonal shrine that precedes the tomb itself. The site's serenity belies the fact that many of the dead buried inside were murdered princes, victims of foul play. To see where Humayun actually died, combine this visit with a trip to the Purana Qila.


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