The more we travel and see the largess of the world, the more the saying “It’s good to be the king” really shows you how wonderful life was for the chosen few. Emperor Humayun was no different. The tomb dedicated to him in Delhi is further proof of that death doesn’t stop the grand life! We got to check out the emperor’s final resting place on our recent trip to India. I would say this is one of what to do in New Delhi for sure.
History of Humayun’s Tomb:
Humayun tomb is considered one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India, as well as being one of the first. Construction began in 1565 A.D, nine years after his death. Who built Human tomb? That would be his widow, Bega Begam that commissioned the construction. We wanted to visit after seeing pictures of the site. The Humayun tomb architecture looked fantastic :-).
Humayun was the second emperor of the Mughal empire and he succeeded his father. He ruled for almost ten years before being overthrown by an Afghan leader. He fled to Persia, and with the help of the Shah was able to regain Delhi. Unfortunately for Humayun, he fell down the stairs in a library and met his untimely death just a short while later :-( . His wife Bega, who was Persian born, supervised the construction of the tomb with the help of Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, a Persian Architect. The double dome was something that had never been done in India and was one of the Persian influences introduced.
The gardens are humongous! Humayun tomb is the first garden tomb in India and very Persian in influence. There are a lot of water ways and square gardens , we didn’t get to check it all out as my brother tired easily. What we did see was grandiose to say the least. There are other lesser known rulers and monarchs buried there as well, including the widow Bega Begam herself. It’s interesting to note that she actually paid for the whole thing herself, at a cost of 1.5 million rupees..a lot of money in those days. She was apparently devastated when he died. She had gone to Mecca for the Hajj pilgrimage and devoted her life thereafter to building the most magnificent mausoleum in the world in his honor.
The whole complex consists of 36 gigantic squares over like 30 hectares!! which are further divided into even more squares. A lot of walking :-) . The good thing they did at some point was to just break the walls of the squares somewhat so people could walk from one section to the next, otherwise it would have been way too much, especially on a hot day such as we had.
Facts about Humayun’s Tomb:
Human tomb was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1993. Over the years, the grounds had fallen to disrepair. A lot of the water channels were destroyed and when the British ruled India, there was tobacco being grown on the grounds, not to mention the various squatters that had settled on the land, including Muslim refugees migrating to Pakistan. After the designation, it was taken under the wings of the Aga Khan trust who took over the reconstruction and restoration which was finally completed in 2003.
We had a great day checking out Humayun’s Tomb. Another one of tourist places near Humayun’s Tomb is the equally awesome Safdarjung Tomb, which we have to save for next time. For more images of Human, check out this awesome website blog post.
Humanyun’s Tomb Entry fee:
The admission price was about $3 per person converted. A must see in New Delhi, I would definitely recommend it. For local residents, the price was like 10 cents, so needless to say, a lot of locals were there but it doesn’t feel too bad since the grounds are open and you go at your own pace. Hopefully, you’v enjoyed getting some information on Humayun’s Tomb.
How to get to Humayun’s Tomb in New Delhi:
Humayun tomb is located in the Nizamuddin neighborhood on Lodhi road. The nearest metro stop to Humayun’s tomb is Jor Bagh on the Yellow line or JLN Stadium on the Purple line.
Opening times of Humayun’s Tomb is 6AM – 5.30PM daily. Note that there is an extra fee if you intend to film.
Related Reading: Our differing opinions of New Delhi, India
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Do you agree with me that it is good to be the king? Would you like to be buried in such an amazing paradise for posterity? Or are you a wallflower who prefers a little hole in the ground somewhere anonymous?