Saturday, December 17, 2011

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

Humayun's tomb- the front view

The view from the side shows the chamfered edges making the design appear octagonal
The first Mughal building in India to feature Charbagh garden, fountains and the water channels.

Two weeks back I drove to the Taj Mahal from Delhi – a grueling six hour drive fighting through the traffic of Faridabad and the congested city of Agra. And today, I drove 5 kilometres from my place to the Humayun’s Tomb. And to my wildest surprise, the experience was equally wonderful!!

The side view showing the two level structure

The monument through a jaali window

Read outside the tomb " The jaalis in the Humayun's tomb are the triumph of architect in controlling the rays of the sun while drawing in the breeze". Added to that, the jaalis create a beautiful affect when light passes through the different patterns.

I am sure that it’s hard to believe – so it was for me as well! But, I was awe-struck by the work done by the archeological survey of India at the Humayun’s Tomb. The tomb has been brilliantly restored and lush gardens around the structure add to the very delightful experience! The architecture of the Humayun’s Tomb was very “Mughal” and very similar to the Taj Mahal – it has the same shape arches, similar use of jaali work; and very similar use of the open spaces and terraces. To me and my wife, the stark difference between the two world heritage sites was the use of a lot of red stone at the Delhi monument. The tomb is perfectly carved out of red stone and marble, and according to a sign board at the site, this was the first Mughal construction with such work.

The ruins of Arab Sarai

The entrance to the tomb of Isa Khan- being restored currently.

Afsarwala tomb (Officer's tomb) and the Afsarwala Mosque

The beautiful monument and the gardens - create a wonderful experience to spend a Sunday afternoon in Delhi winters

Exterior with the use of Red Sandstone and marble inlay work.

The most wonderful part for us was that there were very few people at the tomb – well, as compared with the Taj Mahal. After all, it’s India and it has a billion people! But, I guess not many people in Delhi are aware of this precious gem in Nizamuddin :) The gardens around the monument were very peaceful and were perfect for a nice long stroll. And then there were several tiny tombs and monuments all around the park, which were exciting to explore and just wander around!

Humayun's tomb in the main chamber

The entrance gateway