Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun was one of the few Mughal rulers in India who did not build their own tomb before their death. Nine years after he was killed, Humayun’s grieving widow Bega Begum, better known as Haji Begum, spent one and a half million rupees to get his tomb erected.

This expression of love set a trend and inspired many other grand Mughal burial chambers. Interestingly, Humayun’s Tomb is said to have been the inspiration behind what is known the world over as ‘Monument of Love’, the Taj Mahal in Agra, a white marble mausoleum built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate his beloved wife Nur Jahan.

In many ways this magnificent red and white building is as spectacular as Taj Mahal which has been recognised as one of the seven wonders of the world.

Located in Nizamuddin east in Delhi, this square, red sandstone and white marble, double storeyed structure stands on an eight metre high platform, surrounded by lush green square gardens bounded by high walls on three sides, the fourth side being bound by what was once the bank of river Yamuna, which has since been diverted.

The square garden around the Tomb is divided into four parts by wide causeways and water channels and each square is divided again into smaller squares by pathways as in a classical Mughal garden, called ‘charbagh’, pattern.

The fountains in the garden worked with simple yet highly developed engineering skills seen commonly in the Mughal structures of that period. The buildings and the water channels have undergone extensive restoration work over centuries.


Emperor Humayun’s Tomb chamber lies in the centre of the complex and is reached by a passage on the south, while the actual resting place, that is the grave proper, is actually directly beneath in an underground chamber.

The sarcophagus is oriented in accordance with the Muslim practice, on the north-south axis. Traditionally, the body is placed with the head to the North and the face turned sideways towards Mecca, a city in Saudi Arabia, regarded as the holiest site by the believers of Islam.

Besides the Emperor Humayun several members of the Mughal royal family, like his widows Haji Begum & Hamida Begum and his great-grandson Dara Shikoh, lie buried in the mausoleum. Also, many tombstones can be seen on the terrace.

Unexpectedly, the graves are not labelled and only bear simple carved symbols indicating the sex of the grave occupant. A box of writing instruments indicates a male while a writing slate indicates a female.

During the uprising of 1857, Humayun’s tomb was the scene of the demise of the Mughal dynasty. Bahadur Shah Zafar II, the last Mughal emperor, took refuge here alongwith his three sons, before he was captured by the British and sent in exile to Rangoon.

Humayun’s Tomb was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1993 and is one of the best preserved Mughal monuments in India.


Barber’s Tomb or Nai Ka Gumbad

Visible from the terrace of Humayun’s Tomb towards the southeast, within the ‘charbagh’, is an impressive tomb called ‘Nai Ka Gumbad’, dedicated to the then royal barber said to be the emperor’s favourite.

Its notable that barbers played a prominent role in the lives of Delhi rulers. Another barber, under Mohammad Bin Tughlaq’s reign, was given his own fort, ‘Nai ka kot’ or Barber’s Fort, near Adilabad.


Arab Ki Sarai

To the south of the main pathway leading to Emperor Humayun’s Tomb is an impressive gateway leading to a walled enclosure called Arab ki Sarai.

Aranb ki sarai was built by Humayun’s widow Haji Begum for the three hundred Arab merchants brought by her from her pilgrimage to Mecca, after Humayun’s death.

Within the eastern enclosure of Arab ki sarai is Afsarwala Tomb and Masjid, built by a nobleman in Akbar’s court.


Tomb of Isa Khan

The Tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan nobleman in the court of Sher Shah Suri, predates the Humayun’s Tomb itself by 20 years. This octagonal garden-tomb bears striking similarities to the tombs in Lodhi garden and contains few basic architectural ingredients which were developed to great excellence in Humayun’s Tomb.


Nila Gumbad

Visible from the terrace of Humayun’s Tomb standing right outside the Tomb complex, is a blue domed building, a late Mughal tomb, known as Nila Gumbad after the colour of its dome. Nila Gumbad is known for its unique architecture, octagonal on the outside and square within.


Entry Ticket Fee for Humayun’s Tomb

INR 10 for citizens of India and SAARC and BIMSTEC countries.

INR 250 for citizens of other countries.

Free for children upto 15 years of age.

INR 25 for video filming


Nearest Metro Station: JLN Stadium 



Compare and Book Hotels

Popular Hill Destinations

Popular Sacred Destinations

Popular Beach Destinations