Day By Day

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Adventures in India, Part 7 -- Humayun's Tomb

Our next stop was at the tomb of Humayun (his full name was Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Jam-i-Sultanat-i-haqiqi wa Majazi, Sayyid al-Salatin, Abu'l Muzaffar Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun Padshah Ghazi, Zillu'llah), the son of Babur, father of Akbar, and the second emperor in the Mughal dynasty. He ruled in the middle decades of the Sixteenth Century and at its greatest extent his realm included Afghanistan, Pakistan, and much of India. As a young man Humayun was forced to seek refuge in Persia, and when he returned to India he brought with him a strong Persian influence, which is reflected in the structures we saw.

Humayun's tomb, commissioned by his widow, is located within a large "paradise garden" that also holds the much smaller tombs of several later Mughal rulers. The garden is meant to be an earthly representation of heaven and is a Persian innovation, the first such structure to be built on the Indian subcontinent. 

Entering the paradise garden we passed through a series of elaborate gates.

That took us to the central tomb.

 Here we see the tomb in its full glory. Look familiar? It served as inspiration for the construction of the more famous Taj Mahal, built by one of Hamayun's descendants.

As elsewhere, we saw a number of low-caste women employed to clean the grounds.Their bright garb stood out in contrast to the dusty hues of their surroundings. 

Looking back toward the entrance from atop the tomb.

There are a number of other structures, many of them tombs within the garden complex. 

Inside the tomb.

Nothing special, just a wooden door, but I liked the hues. 

Some of the associated tombs in other parts of the gardens. 

Everywhere we went in and around Delhi we seemed to run into groups of school children visiting historical sites. These girls are from the "Bluebell School" and as usual they were happy to have their picture taken.

And another part of the complex -- this one outside the historical park and at the center of one of Delhi's numerous traffic circles. 

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