Humayun's Tomb (built 1605-1613)
Humayun inherited the Mughal dynasty when his father Babur died in 1530. His reign got off to a good start, but his addiction to luxury at the palaces at Agra left the door open for ambitious men to plot behind his back. Ten years into his reign, Humayun was overthrown by the opportunist Sher Shah, who took advantage of Afghan tribesmen to force Humayun into exile in Iran, which was then ruled by the Safavid dynasty.
Sher Shah died in 1545 and his sucessor was never able to assert the authority over the Afghani tribes that Sher Shah had enjoyed. As the remnants of the Shah's regime unraveled, Humayun mounted a restoration army and marched into Delhi in 1555. The aged Humayun had little time to celebrate, however, for barely six months later he died from a fall in his library at Sher Mandai.
Humayun's tomb is believed to have been designed by his widow. Its plan, based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens, is known to have inspired the Taj Mahal and many later Mughal tombs. This type of garden is known as a charbagh and is based on a grid (see below).
In 1857, the tomb was used as shelter by Bahadur Shah Zafar and his three princes during the first war of Independence.
The approximate location of the tomb is 28.593293' N, 77.250682' E (WGS 84 map datum).
All images copyright 2001 April Clark and Kaye Yeo Ahn
Tadgell, Christopher The History of Architecture in India.
Phaidon Press, 1990. Singapore