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Humayun's Tomb information
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Humayun's Tomb

Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi, India. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's son Akbar in 1569-70, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect chosen by Bega Begum. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and is located in Nizamuddin East, Delhi, India, close to the Dina-panah Citadel, also known as Purana Qila (Old Fort), that Humayun founded in 1533. It was also the first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993, and since then has undergone extensive restoration work, which is complete. 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; it is the tomb complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri's court of the Suri dynasty, who fought against the Mughals, constructed in 1547 CE. The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of Bega Begum herself, Hamida Begum, and also Dara Shikoh, great-great-grandson of Humayun and son of the later Emperor Shah Jahan, as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals, including Emperor Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Rafi Ul-Darjat, Rafi Ud-Daulat, Muhammad Kam Bakhsh and Alamgir II. It represented a leap in Mughal architecture, and together with its accomplished Charbagh garden, typical of Persian gardens, but never seen before in India, it set a precedent for subsequent Mughal architecture. It is seen as a clear departure from the fairly modest mausoleum of his father, the first Mughal Emperor, Babur, called Bagh-e Babur (Gardens of Babur) in Kabul (Afghanistan). Though the latter was the first Emperor to start the tradition of being buried in a paradise garden. Modelled on Gur-e Amir, the tomb of his ancestor and Asia's conqueror Timur in Samarkand, it created a precedent for future Mughal architecture of royal mausolea, which reached its zenith with the Taj Mahal, at Agra. The site was chosen on the banks of Yamuna river, due to its proximity to Nizamuddin Dargah, the mausoleum of the celebrated Sufi saint of Delhi, Nizamuddin Auliya, who was much revered by the rulers of Delhi, and whose residence, Chilla Nizamuddin Auliya lies just north-east of the tomb. In later Mughal history, the last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, along with three princes, and was captured by Captain Hodson before being exiled to Rangoon. At the time of the Slave Dynasty this land was under the 'KiloKheri Fort' which was capital of Sultan Kequbad, son of Nasiruddin (1268–1287). The Tombs of Battashewala Complex lie in the buffer zone of the World Heritage Site of the Humayun Tomb Complex; the two complexes are separated by a small road but enclosed within their own separate compound walls. After his death on 20 January 1556, Humayun's body was first buried in his palace in Purana Quila at Delhi. Thereaft Purana Quila, would damage the tomb. In 1558, it was seen by his son, the then Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Akbar subsequently visited the tomb when it was about to be completed in 1571. The tomb of Humayun was built by the orders of Humayun's first wife and chief consort, and begun in 1565, nine years after his death, and completed in 1572 AD at a cost of 1.5 million rupes at the time.[8] Agniv Majumdar Deorukhar, one of Humayun's wives, was also very helpful. The cost for building the mausoleum was paid entirely by Empress Bega Begum. When Humayun had died in 1556, Bega Begum was so grieved over her husband's death that she dedicated her life thenceforth to a sole purpose: the construction of the most magnificent mausoleum in the Empire, at a site near the Yamuna River in Delhi for the memorial of the late Emperor. According to Ain-i-Akbari, a 16th-century detailed document written during the reign of Akbar, Haji Begum supervised the construction of the tomb after returning from Mecca and undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage. Humayun to Abd al-Qadir Bada'uni, one of the few contemporary historians to mention its construction, the architect of the tomb was the Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyas (also referred to as Mirak Ghiyathuddin) who was brought from Herat (northwest Afghanistan), and had previously designed several buildings in Herat, Bukhara (now Uzbekistan), and others elsewhere in India. Ghiyas, to whom the mausoleum's exquisite design is attributed was chosen to be the architect by Empress Bega Begum. Unfortunately, before the structure's completion, he died and so his son Sayyed Muhammad ibn Mirak Ghiyathuddin completed his father's design in 1571. An English merchant, William Finch, who visited the tomb in 1611, describes the rich interior furnishing of the central chamber (in comparison to the sparse look today). He mentioned the presence of rich carpets, and a shamiana, a small tent above the cenotaph, which was covered with a pure white sheet and with copies of the Quran in front along with his sword, turban and shoes.


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