I am sure you have all heard of the Taj Mahal. If you haven’t then I wonder if you might have been raised in a cave with no access to the internet, but I am pretty sure caves now also come fully fitted with fiber optic internet connections these days. Anyway, I strongly believe that if it wasn’t for Humayun’s Tomb we might not have had the Taj Mahal.
Following his death, he had been buried in a few other place until an initiated of his widow Hamida Banu Begum, who commenced construction of a mausoleum for her deceased husband. This was some nine years after is death in 1565. The architecture of Humayun’s tomb is strongly influenced by Persian architecture. Architects of the building were among the same Persian artisans Humayun had previously admired and returned with after seeking in the Persian Empire.
Humayun’s Tomb was constructed in the center of a Persian-style garden with quadrilateral form. A garden divided in four main parts by walkways, said to resemble that of the paradise gardens described in the Quran. The Persian influence can be seen in the arched alcoves, corridors and double domes with Indian traditions inspiring the kiosks, which give it a pyramidal outline from a distance.
If you are visiting India, or even before you see the Taj Mahal, I would highly recommend you see this first before you see Taj Mahal. Although the Taj Mahal is said to be the very epitome dedication of love, you have to see what gave birth to the very idea of the Taj Mahal. This! If it wasn’t from Humayun bringing with him Persian artists, sculptors, architects and other skilled men and women we wouldnt have had Persian influenced architecture in most parts of India. If it wasn’t for Hamid Banu Begum I don’t think we would have had Humayun’s Tomb and therefore would not have influenced the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Humayun’s Tomb was built in 1570 and is of cultural significance as it’s the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired many other major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal too. It’s one of the best preserved Mughal monuments and one of my favourites too, not only because of its beauty and amazing symmetry, almost from where ever you are on the grounds but I enjoyed my visit there because it was so much peaceful than the Taj Mahal. Lest we forget that these are burial grounds. There is a certain calmness and tranquility to this place which I would hope aids in assisting the restful peace for those laid to rest here, which is a lot to be said for the Taj Mahal. I will be sharing pictures of my visit to the Taj Mahal in my next post.
I cannot recommend this place enough. If you can, see this place before seeing the Taj Mahal. I anything else you will appreciate the level of detail that went into the Taj Mahal.
Location: Center of Delhi.
Getting there: There are local buses that come close to Humayuns Tomb, but I took the tax as I had a few stops to make while solo exploring and didn’t want to start navigating my way around the city with the day’s exploration I had planned. If taking a taxi make sure you see help from your hotel to make sure you are taking safe and reliable/register transportation. Also bear in mind that the traffic in Delhi is crazy which may mess with plans of covering a lot of sights in one day due to none-moving traffic and chaos.
Entrance Fee: 10 Rupees for locals/Indians and 250 Rupees for foreigners.
Tip: If visiting in the hot months bring with you some water and an umbrella as the Indian sun can be unforgiving at time. Otherwise also visit in the morning when its cooler too, or later in the afternoon. Just be mindful of early closing times.