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Raghav Verma

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Humayun’s Tomb

The most perfectly proportioned and captivating of Delhi’s mausoleums, Humayan’s tomb seems to float above the gardens that surround it. Built in the mid-16th century by Haji Begum, the Persian-born senior wife of the Mughal emperor Humayun, the tomb brings together Persian and Mughal elements, creating a template that strongly influenced the Taj Mahal.

Following six years of restoration, completed in 2013, the tomb, other monuments and gardens are looking bright and beautiful. The arched facade is inlaid with bands of white marble and red sandstone, and the building follows strict rules of Islamic geometry, with an emphasis on the number eight. The surrounding gardens are alive with green parakeets and contain the tombs of the emperor’s favourite barber and Haji Begum. This was where the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, took refuge before being captured and exiled by the British in 1857.

To the right as you enter the complex, Isa Khan’s tomb is a fine example of Lodi-era architecture, constructed in the 16th century. Further south is the monumental Khan-i-Khanan’s tomb , plundered in Mughal times to build Safdarjang’s tomb.

A new visitor centre is due to be added to the site.
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