Inspiration for the Taj Mahal : The Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi

I visited this UNESCO site area early afternoon in late April 2011 during our Golden Triangle trip and was surprised at how quiet the place was, when only few visitors had entered the site and the contrast between the city and the peaceful garden and the monument was truly stunning. Bustling and busy Dehli can prove to be quite a challenge for the first time visitor so entering the gates of Humayun’s Tomb felt like quite a nice relief from persistent rickshaw-drivers, touts, beggars, snake charmers and other annoying elements you are confronted with.

Visiting Humayun’s tomb is a wonderful experience.  Described as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal, this tomb offers a great introduction to the early Mughal rulers of India, in addition to showcasing magnificent architecture and design. Humayun’s Tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun.  It was commissioned by Humayun’s wife, Hamida, in 1562 AD, and designed by a Persian architect.  It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and is located in Old Delhi on the banks of the Yamuna River.  It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale.  Besides the main tomb enclosure of Humayun, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years.

The main gateway of Humayun’s tomb consists of a large square enclosure and Humayun’s tomb can be seen at the center. The tomb stands on a stone platform with beautiful stone channels on each side of the platform. These channels were filled with water to keep the garden green and natural all the time. The main idea was to have water canals which kept the flowers, plants and the grass in good shape.

Humayum’s tomb is worth visiting. Although parts of the tomb have fallen into a bad state, the tomb has undergone extensive restoration work, which is still underway. A bird’s eye view from the roof would show you many ruined tombs and ancient structures belonging to various nobles. With several adjacent palaces and tombs, make sure you take at least some 2-3 hours to fully enjoy this wonderful place.

Additional tips :

  • Entrance fee : INR 250 for foreigners
  • I would recommend going early in the morning before it gets too busy. There were buses of school children when we want to leave the complex so the ambience maybe not at it’s best.
  • Try avoid visiting during summer as the bright sun can make you easily dehydrated. The whole complex don’t have much shades or big trees except for the buildings itself.

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