Close to the medieval Muslim centre of Nizamuddin, stands Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi’s first Mughal mausoleum. It was constructed between 1565 to 1572 to house the remains of the second Mughal emperor, Humayun. It was built under the watchful eye of Haji Begum, his senior widow, who camped here for the duration and is now buried alongside her husband. The grounds were later used to inter several prominent Mughals, and served as a refuge for the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, before his capture by the British in 1857.
Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, the tomb is nicknamed ‘Dormitory of Mughals’ as it also houses up to 150 family members. The emperor Humayun was laid to rest here nine years after his death, caused by a terrible accident in which he fell from the stairs. In 1947 the garden-tomb was used to house refugees during the Partition of India.
The tomb’s sombre, Persian-style elegance marks this as one of Delhi’s finest historic sites. Constructed of red sandstone, inlaid with black and white marble, and set on a commanding podium looking towards the Yamuna River, it stands in the centre of the formal charbagh, or quartered garden. The octagonal structure is crowned with a double dome that soars to a height of 38m.
Humayun’s Tomb © Jiri Moonen / Unsplash
Getting To Humayun’s Tomb
Getting to the grounds of Humayun’s Tomb is fairly easy. You can go either by road or on the Delhi Metro. The closest railway station is Nizammudin for trains, but buses also go to Rajiv Chowk, ISBT and Nizammudin, all within walking distance. For the metro, you can get the yellow line and stop at either Jorbagh or Race Course Station.