Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

walwyn Wed, 03/30/2011 - 19:03
Share this

Humayan's Tomb Mughal Architecture


Humayun was the second of the Mughal Emperors and ruled for 10 years, from 1530 -1540, before being ousted by the Afghan leader Sher Khan. He then spent a number of years in the Sind dessert, where his son Akbar the Great was born, and then moved to Iran, before returning to seize Qandahar and Kabul from his brothers.


In 1554 he managed to regain the Mughal throne due to divisions between members of Sher Khan's family. He died in January 1556 having tripped on his robe and hitting his head on some stone steps.


Roof entrance mughal chamber tomb humayan


This tomb to Humayan was commissioned in about 1570,  by either his wife Haji Begam or his son Akbar the Great, and built at a cost of 1.5 million rupees. It is thought to be the first garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and the first example of the monumental architecture, that would become associated with the Mughal Empire, that reached its high point with the building of the Taj Mahal. The monument was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.


Main chamber of Humayun's Tomb


Humayun's Tomb Delhi, Mughal Emperor, India Humayun's Tomb Delhi, Mughal Emperor, India

The lower storey has a vaulted roof interior and each octagonal chamber interconnects with others by way of galleries and corridors. Jali screens allow air to circulate through the building.


In all the structure contains 124 chambers. On the upper storey the large octagonal chamber contains the cenotaph of the emperor Humayun, and his queen Bega Begum.


The architects were the Persians Sayyid Muhammad and his father, Mirak Sayyid Ghiyath (Mirak Mirza Ghiyas) from Timurid.


Humayun's Tomb Delhi, Mughal Emperor, India


The chamber is surmounted by a 52.5 meter high double dome, the outer one being clad in white marble. This is the first time that this Persian design concept was used in India. The entire structure is built from dressed stone clad in red sandstone with white and black in laid marble borders. In addition to the main dome a number of chhatris are placed symetrically around the roof.


Humayun's Tomb Delhi, Mughal Emperor, India


Similar octagonal chambers radiate off from the central one. As it was later used for the burial of various members of the  family and contains some 150 graves including that of Hamida Begum, Akbar's mother; Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan's son and Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal Emperor. The sarcophogi do not bear any names but the gender of each is marked by a simple a box of writing instruments for a male, and a writing slate to indicate a female.