Commissioned in 1562 by Humayun's eldest wife, Hamida Banu Begum, and designed by a Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, Humayun's Tomb Delhi, was the first garden-tomb of India. Based on the grandness and scale of Gur-e-Amir, the tomb of Humayun's ancestor Timur, this tomb set a grand precedent for Mughal mausoleums and architecture that followed later.
Declared a UNESCO Heritage Site in 1993, Humayun's Tomb Delhi, is more than just another historical marker of India at large. In its arches, gateways, mihrab, courtyards and garden, the decline of Mughal Dynasty and rise of the British Empire can be still traced. Initially, at the time of its establishment, the central chamber where the tomb lies was furnished richly with Persian carpets, a shamiana with the cenotaph covered with a white sheet and a copy of Quran, Humayun's sword and shoes kept in front of it. The complex is surrounded by a garden divided by walkways and flowing water.
Delhi grew around this magnificent tomb. Fourteen years after his death, Humayun’s widow, Hamida Banu Begum, started the construction of the red sandstone tomb in 1569 CE. The impressive blue-domed tomb made with Persian tiles was designed by a Persian, Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. In the same compound, the mosque of Isa Khan, a noble of Humayun’s enemy Sher Shah, is quite distinctive in structure. The "Arab Serai" was built to accommodate the 200 Arabs brought by Hamida Banu from Mecca. The sombre mood is enhanced as this tomb sheltered Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1857.
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