A Mughal Wonder in Delhi…
I have a new favorite building! When our India tour leader declared that we were headed for the “Little Taj Mahal” in Delhi, it was clear we were in for something astounding. However, not one of us was prepared for the caramel-colored confection that soon burst into sight.
Behold, stunning Humayun’s Tomb!
Humayun’s Tomb Was Built LONG Ago
Humayun’s Tomb was completed in 1572 C.E. and was commissioned by Bega Begum, the first wife of Mughal Emperor Humayun to bury Humayun after his passing in 1556. It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, thus lending inspiration to the famed Taj Mahal.
Persian and Islamic Architectural Beauty
As you likely can tell, Humayun’s Tomb is built with Islamic style by a Persian architect. It is constructed from glowing red sandstone and white marble that change color with the shifting sun. At its highest point, the building is 300 feet tall. Amazing.
Surprising History of the “Little Taj Mahal”
Though Humayun’s Tomb looks serene and stately now, it actually functioned as a refugee camp for five years after the 1947 Partition of India for Muslims fleeing to the newly-created country of Pakistan.
Given that Humayun’s Tomb is nearly 500 years old and housed countless migrating people, hats off to the preservation and restoration crews of India for bringing back the building’s former glory.
Inside this Tourist Attraction of India
My little brother and I wasted no time in sprinting off to take novelty photos. Idea number one consisted of my dear sibling running to the middle of the main walkway while I bounded up the steps and then posed (looking all tiny from afar) making a muscle under the main arch.
Idea number two was to have my 6’7″ little bro pretend to enter the wee doors (sadly locked) at the base of the edifice. Funny!
Lace Pattern Windows of Humayun’s Tomb
We entered the building itself and gasped in awe. Sun streamed in through windows, which were pattered like lace. High above, the intricate rainbow ceiling smiled down. Feast upon these photos!
Architectural Echoes to Other Buildings
The photo below reminds me of some of the intricate ceilings in the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi: a feat of Islamic architecture in the United Arab Emirates.
Symmetry and Patterns in the “Little Taj Mahal”
Gazing at this front view of Humayan’s Tomb, it’s striking how symmetrical and patterned it is! It is quite the delight to contrast and compare it to the famed Hagia Sophia in Turkey, a structure over triple the age of the “Little Taj Mahal.’
What Do YOU Think of this Famous Indian Building?
Can you see why Humayun’s Tomb is one of my new favorite buildings, right up there with historic forts of Puerto Rico and Greek and Roman ruins of Ephesus? It’s an unmissable sight when visiting India.
So what about you? Do you enjoy this type of architecture? What are your favorite buildings around the world? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!