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Delhi Monuments


Humayun's Tom Delhi India


Humayun's Tomb

 

  • Humayun's tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It’s the mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi. In 1569-70, first wife of Humayun, Bega Begum commissioned the tomb. It is near the Purana Qila (Old Fort), built by Humayun in 1533.
  • The complex contains the tomb of Humayun, the graves of Bega Begum, Hamida Begum, and Dara Shikoh, grandson of Humayun and son of Shah Jahan, and also many other Mughals, including Alamgir II , Rafi Ud-Daulat , Rafi Ul-Darjat, Farrukhsiyar and Emperor Jahandar Shah. It was a feather in cap of the Mughal architecture which reached its peak with the Taj Mahal, at Agra.
  • The last Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar took refuge here, and was captured by Captain Hodson before being exiled to Rangoon.

History

 

  • Humayun died on 20 January, 1556 but the construction of his tomb started nine years after his death, in 1565 and completed in 1572. There is the once famous Charbagh (Four-square) gardens, surrounding the monument and spreading over an area of 13 hectares.


Char Bagh garden

  • The tomb was placed in middle of a Char Bagh Garden. The highly geometrical and enclosed Paradise garden is divided into 4 squares, reflecting the 4 rivers which flow in jannat, the Islamic concept of paradise. Each of the four square is further divided into smaller squares creating 36 squares in all.
  • The entire tomb as well as the garden is enclosed inside rubble walls on 3 sides, the 4th side was meant to be the river Yamuna, which has since changed course. It has 2 double-storey entrances, the West gate is used now. The South gate, which was used in Mughal era is now closed.

Other monuments

  • There are many monuments on the pathway from the main entrance in the West. Prominent among them is the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi.

The Mausoleum today

  • Presently, threats to this monument arise from illegal constructions, vandalism, a potential terrorist attack and plastic waste dumped within the prohibited area around Humayun's Tomb.
  • President Barack Obama visited this site during his visit to India in November 2010.



Jama Masjid

  • Jama (congregational) Masjid (mosque) was originally named Masjid Jahan Numa ( World-reflecting). Jama Masjid is opposite to the Red Fort. It was built by Shah Jahan who laid its foundation stone on 6th of October 1650.

Construction

  • The courtyard of the mosque is accessible from the South, North and East by steps built of red sandstone. The eastern side of the mosque has 35 steps. The southern side of the mosque has 33 steps. The northern side of the mosque has 39 steps.
  • Six thousand labourers helped renowned artisans of the world, calligraphers, engineers, sculptors, chiselers and experts in the field of construction to build the wonderful Jama Masjid in six years in 1656.
  • During construction, Shah Jahan was complained about slow progress. Shah Jahan sought explanation from Saadullah Khan, who explained that before the installation of every stone Holy Quran is recited. This explanation pleased Shah Jahan and he allowed proceeding at the same pace.
  • The level of the podium of the mosque was kept above the level of the royal throne in the Red Fort. The mosque faces west. It is 27 metres wide and 80 metres long. Its roof is covered with 3 domes with alternating stripes of white and black. There is a hall under the domes having 7 arched entrances facing the west. The Mosque’s walls are covered with marble up to waist height. Its topmost parts are covered with gold. The prayer hall is 27.5 metres long and 61 metres wide. Two minarets are 41 metres high and contain 130 steps striped with red sandstone and white marble. Additionally there are 4 small minarets on the rear side of the mosque.
  • The flooring of the mosque looks like a Muslim prayer mat because it is ornamented like this. A black border 3 feet long and one and a half feet wide is marked for the worshippers. There are 899 such spaces marked in the floor. The Mosque can accommodate about 25,000 devotees at a time.
  • The Mosque contains a red beard hair of Holy Prophet Muhammad, his slippers and footprints as well as an antique copy of the Muslim’s holiest book, Quran written on deer skin.

Coronation of the Mughal Emperors

  • Right from the start, the Shahi (Royal) Imam (Prayer leader) of the Jama Masjid had the privilege to perform the coronation rite of the Mughal Emperors. The coronation of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was performed by the first Shahi Imam, Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari. This tradition lasted till the last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar when the eighth, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid at that time performed his coronation ceremony on 30th September, 1837.