Friday, January 16, 2009



Humayun, son of Badur and father of Akbar, died in odd circumstances in the beginning of 1556. He was descending the staircase of Sher Mandal in Purana Qila (see last post) his arms full of books, when the muezzin announced the call to prayer. It was his habit, wherever he heard the summons, to bow his knee. Kneeling, he caught his foot in his robe, tumbled down several steps and hit his temple on a rugged stone edge. He died some days later. Commissioned, it is believed, by Humayun's Persian widow, Hamida Banu Begam, and designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, the tomb is the first to mark the grave of a Mughal emperor; Humayun's father Babur, who founded the dynasty, had requested to be buried in a garden. Humayun's Tomb, whose plan is based on the description of Islamic paradise gardens, is now one of the best preserved Mughal monuments in Delhi and it was included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1993, as it was the first garden-tomb (charbagh) on the Indian subcontinent. This is something to be disputed, as Sikandar Lodi's tomb seems to have been the first garden-tomb to be built in India...

"ALI ISA KHAN NIAZI'S TOMB - The Humayun complex has several tombs within its limits"

Edited: Thanks to Celine, I found that this one is the "GURDWARA DAMDAMA SAHIB" of the Sikh religion!

"TOMBS - Believed to be containing the remains of wives of Humayun or of later Mughal emperors or princes"



"ENTRANCE PORTAL - With the typicall Indian chhatris"

"HUMAYUN'S TOMB - Side view! The tomb sits at the centre of a plinth, about 7m high. The top of its central dome reaches almost 43m from ground. The dome is double-layered: the outer layer supports the white marble exterior, while the inner one defines the interior volume. The rest of the tomb is clad in red sandstone, with white marble ornamentation"

"HUMAYUN'S TOMB - It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal"

"INTERIOR CHAMBER - Each of the main chambers has eight smaller chambers radiating from it"


"SARCOPHAGUS - The sarcophagus of Humayun is found in the central domed chamber, the head pointing south, and facing east according to Islamic practice"



Anonymous said...

Hi everybody! It seems some of you are getting tired of the Delhi’s old tombs and buildings; at least those who come here but leave without a message... ;) Well, I can assure you that after Humayun’s tomb, there is only one more tomb coming... in Delhi... ;))
Anyhow, enjoy and, once again, thanks for your support!

alice said...

Grrr! Je manque de temps pour profiter vraiment de tous les trésors que tu nous montres...Je reviendrai et peu à peu, j'arriverai bien à voir au moins une partie!

Anonymous said...

Excellent pictures. I really envy your handling of the subjects.Incidentally my Hindi post on Purana Qila is up. Just have a look to satisfy that reproduction of your pictures are legally maintainable (you being in law!) Kindly provide me your email ID and name which I shall include.

My Unfinished Life said...

i went visiting the tomb on 1st Jan this year!!!
its been preserved beautfully and is a photgrapher's delight!!!

Unknown said...

I enjoyed all the tombs pictures very much Gil, and this is another exquisite set. I imagine walking around there, it will be fantastic. Have a good weekend Gil :D

Ron said...

I am enjoying all the tombs as well and I say keep them coming. The first picture says it all. This blog rocks!

alicesg said...

Another nice set of photos about those tombs. Always a pleasure just looking at your photos, learn so much about other countries. Am busy preparing for the chinese new year round the corner and may the year of the ox be a better year for all. :)

Light and Voices said...

My favorite shot was the silhouette because of the shapes behind her. Your photos of tombs are interesting.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

I'm always curious to see where your trips take me. The architecture is interesting as usual. Where is our next adventure?


eye in the sky said...

india's rich past never ceases to amaze. beautiful photos, as usual.

Dick said...

It's beautiful, I like the architecture.

Dsole said...

Mr Gil, I can't get tired of Delhi! Incredible buildings!!
I love the silouette pic ;) original.
Anyway, I'm going to Lisbon next February! I think I'll stay there 2 or 3 nights.. I'll ask you for nice places! :)

Tinsie said...

Amazing buildings - interesting story about Humayun. I love the very last photo!

Venksh said...

Gir i should say this that u r superb photographer no doubt.
almost its a complete story of Humayun in short.

So gil when is Taj comin, in ur next post or still u hav much more before Taj.


Anonymous said...

Gil, The pictures are excellent. I didn't know Humayun's tomb can look so beautiful.

S-V-H said...

I like the last photo the best and the silhouette of your wife is great! I don't think we are tired to look at so much beauty, Gil. It's always very entertaining to travel with you on your blog and to enjoy foreign cultures. :)

I will be no more online for a while, tomorrow I will disconnect from the Internet.

See ya later! :)


Sue's Daily Photography

Lakshmi said...

Mughal history is a fascinating subject..we studied in school and the stories are still in our minds..Your pic are fantastic as always..I hope to go to delhi again some time and relive old memories

Louise said...

These tombs do not stop amazing me. The architecture,the expense, the time to build must have been enormous. Beautiful results. So lucky we are to see them through you.

Jo's-D-Eyes said...

hmmmm Gil,
Do you think so that people get tired of thombs? haha well why not? I just like to think about life and better stuffs (I'm joking here) neh, I like always your travels and photos's, thombs and all stories you are writing about , but you know Gil.... sometimnes life outside blogging is more interesting....or keeping me busy anyhow... So remember this when I do NOT vist you sometimes its Not you ist ME:)

Best wishes from JoAnn

Joy said...

Well, that is some tomb!

Ming the Merciless said...

The first photo is spectacular. The rest are amazing too.

India is definitely a place I want to visit one day.

kuanyin333 said...

Beautiful fotos! Sorry it's taken me so long to get back here--ya know, visitors at this time of year! :-)

Azer Mantessa said...

you know, i like the "SILHOUETTE"
picture ... i like the hair!


Olivier said...

encore une belle ballade, et en plus moi qui adore l'architecture des mosquées je suis servis. Belle idée pour la silhouette.

Cergie said...

"Humayun, son of Badur and father of Akbar"...

Cela fait très pharaonique comme mise en situation du glorieux défunt, de le replacer dans sa généalogie.
Ainsi que ce fabuleux tombeau. J'aime bien la silhouette ébourrifée pour plus de légèreté, et la dernière image : la vue du sarcophage depuis l'extérieur qui pourrait symboliser la mort dont tout le monde parle, qui fait si peur et du monde de laquelle personne n'est jamais revenu.

hpy said...

Can't say that the tombs are small!

Chuckeroon said...

Lot's of good informative stuff here Trotter! It's nice to know what others were building in 1545. Stunning craftsmanship. But also a bonus......tucked away in the pile I discovered a leather clad Mrs Trotter looking stunningly crafted as usual. It's always worht trawling through the pile to find the bonus.

Glad you are liking the grot of "Suburban sundown....calculated to lift you up after it puts you down" TM ;-).

Irina said...

Indian architecture is amazing! Did you have a feeling of touching the history by every step? At least, you photos give that impression.

And please accept my sincere gratitude for your visiting and commenting my blog.

PeterParis said...

This is just too beautiful, one photo after the other!!! My preferences go however to the ceiling and to the silhouette of your favourite travelling partner!

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Another of Delhi's famed works of art and arhitecture! Brilliant pictures, as always!



Cutie said...

The humayun's tomb is nice. Unique design. Malaysia also has such beautiful mosque looks like this.

JO said...

WOW! What fabulous pictures... I love the windows - they are truely breath taking...

Neva said...

Excellent photos! Shannon -my daughter- just got back from India..she loved it..(and by got back...I mean she is in Thailand now.....)

Indrani said...

Nice pictures, Gil! Looks like the structure is well preserved. A must visit place in my list.

lyliane six said...

Superbes ces tombeaux, il n'y a pas que le Taj Mahal! L'avez vous visité?
Certains domes me font penser à des clochers allemands et russes.

Jurgen Huibers said...

Wow, so many tombs! You have some great photos here as always. Enjoy the rest of your stay.

Anonymous said...

these tombs have such a fine architecture! Another really great post! Thanks for sharing these beautiful monuments.
Have a good week ahead!

~vagabond~ said...

The first photo is my favorite...the architecture is just amazing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the birthday wishes Gil. Thanks to you I got to travel to Delhi for my birthday. (grin).

Nikon said...

Hello Gil, thanks for the visit!
I am still amazed at the architecture there - the ornateness and craftsmanship is remarkable!

Lori said...

Humayun must have been important and powerful to rate a tomb like that. Impressive! The architecture is stunning, but my favorite is the silhouette photo. That one is fabulous! You need to put it in a frame.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Interesting history and more interesting shots. I love them all. Love, also, your silhouette photo. Very cool!

Thanks, always, for sharing your wonderful photos with us. Very enjoyable.


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Gil
I am finding the tombs of India very interesting! The story and photos of Humayun’s tomb were fascinating! You have made me wish I could travel to India one day!

Marguerite-marie said...

tout est bon chez toi il n'y a rien à jeter. J'ai beaucoup aimé tes jardins Lodi avec ta hfemme apportant sa touche de couleurs dans l'ocre. puis le port et le reste. je prendrai plus de temps pour voyager en Inde avec vous deux.

Anonymous said...

Hi Folks! So here we are again around the Mughal tombs in Delhi! Fortunately we had an Inauguration to make a break on the series… ;)
Thanks for your continuous support, the main reason for this blog to keep existing!!

On t’attends toujours ici; quand même tu as un peu plus de temps que moi-même… ;))

PN Subramanian,
Thanks! It was an amazing experience to see my post in Hindi, though I couldn’t understand a line… Hope it made a huge success with your readers, though I couldn’t understand a word of any of the thirty six comments… ;))

Shooting Star,
You have been definitely enjoying your time lately; Lodi, Humayun… Much better than me: home, office, home… ;))

I’m sure you (would) will have a great time strolling around these wonderful monuments! Some of them are absolutely awesome!

Well, let’s make a qualification: you’re enjoying Others’ Tombs… ;))

Alice SG,
The year of the Ox is my year; and it’s only the fifth time I’m going to commemorate! The problem is that it comes only once every twelve civil years… ;))

Must confess that such silhouette has been around for some 39 years and is much more beautiful than the shapes behind… ;))

It’s going to take some time in India, though the stay was short. The problem is that digital cameras take lots of pictures in a very short time… ;))

You’re absolutely right: the Mughal period was a time of great splendour!!

Glad to see you around! The architecture of the Humayun tomb is awesome!!

Great that you don’t get tired of Delhi; it’s not an easy task though… ;))
Get in touch; left an email address at your blog!

It seems that the «Matryoshka» style of some monuments in India is making an huge success on these posts… ;))

As for the photographer, I wouldn’t share your opinion; too flattering… ;))
With regard to the Taj, it will take some time: must keep the interest and the expectation on the other posts quite high… ;))

There must be something wrong: you’re the Delhite, not me and it’s supposed to mbe me to find the beauty of your monuments? ;)) OK, like we say: «Home Saints don’t make miracles… ;))”

You’re always too kind and we are going to miss your absence, even if everyone understands it’s tough to keep a daily intervention on the blogosphere... Hopefully it will be a short one! Look forward to seeing you back; meanwhile take a good rest and some awesome pictures, as usual!!

You’re right about the Mughal. But History always teaches interesting lessons; sometimes things start well (Babur), reach a top of balance and tolerance (Akbar, Shah Jahn), start declining to intolerance and abuse (Aurangzeb) to finish in odd circumstances… Sometimes it’s the reverse! ;)

I don’t think they care a dime either with time or money spent to build those «ad majoram Gloria Imperatoris» monuments… ;))

Glad that you joke with tombs: a nice way to keep them away… ;))
And I’m so happy to know that you found out that there was life outside blogging; I was becoming concerned that you didn’t notice… ;))
All the best!!

You got it. After this, there is only the other one: The Tomb! But that will come only later, to keep the expectation high… ;))

It’s amazing that the first one (matryoshka style) is getting so much attention on this post in detriment of the tomb itself! I think the tomb is a superb building! ;))
After Rome, it’s time to start packing!

Oh dear, I can perfectly understand you being busy; I wouldn’t mind to visit Maui again, this time of the year or any other time of the year… ;))

Yeah! It’s probably the hair that has kept the silhouette around for the last 39 years… ;))

C’est vrai que la mosquée est jolie, mais la tombe est superbe et annonce déjà ce qu’un autre empereur Mughal va bâtir quelques années plus tard! La silhouette est un «must» ; encore mieux que la «matryoshka»… ;))

Tu sais la généalogie des empereurs Mughal est importante, car les premiers ont été les plus importants; et, en fait, être le père d’Akbar n’est pas hors de propos… ;)
Cette silhouette (bon, peut-être un peu plus mince… ;)) je la regarde depuis 39 ans; pas mal… ;)). Le sarcophage est beau, mais il faut être dehors pour le contempler… ;))

Small they aren’t, definitely… ;))

Well caught: others were building; and what about us? ;))
As for the leather clad, this one is definitely more charming than Victoria, the Beckham… ;))

It’s my pleasure to drop by at your Moscow Daily Photo!
History seems to be at every corner; the point is that we need to take time and see; not only look at… ;))

The ceiling is amazing; I got a nice collection on this trip and some are coming on the next post. Actually, the favourite travelling partner for the last 39 years made a great silhouette… ;))

Glad that you liked this post; great incentive from a «connoisseur»!

Mosques looking like tombs? Amazing…

Great to read you back!! You’re absolutely right about the windows!!

I had no doubt your daughter would love it! Furthermore travelling with an 88 year-old m/in-law, it had to be gorgeous! Great spirit!! Thailand might be slightly different, though the monuments are also awesome!!

It has been recovered I think with support of the Aga Khan Foundation, I think…

Ah, maintenant que je fais voir Humayun tu me demandes le Taj; mais, il faut attendre et suivre les posts. Sinon, qu’est-ce qu’on va montrer après? ;))

Great to see you back!
As for the stay, it was in February 2008, though I wouldn’t mind to return… ;))

Thanks! They’re great pieces of architecture!

Great success of the «matryoshka style»; but I dare to say that the actual Humayun’s tomb is much more impressive. Maybe not so delicate, I agree…

That was the gift I could make that could reach you in time… ;)

Remarkable is an adequate wording for the experience…

Son of Babur, father of Akbar… ;))
As for the Silhouette it has to be dealt carefully; I wonder what she would think of being framed after 39 years… ;))

Great that you enjoyed!!
The photo maybe mine, but the silhouette isn’t… ;)

Never late to take resolutions; you’d better start packing!

Merci. Tue s bienvenue au groupe et on aura encore quelques visites à faire dans les prochains posts. D’après mes prévisions, le blog ne réussira à sortir de L’Inde avant mars... Et ça seulement si je réussi à mettre les posts sur place sans beaucoup de retard… ;))

Arif said...

More information on Humayun Tomb restoration

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on the intervention of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture on the restoration of Humayun's Tomb!

Maria Verivaki said...

i love the way you have captured the light and colours in this place. another wonderful seires of shots

Anonymous said...

Thanks! The place is absolutely superb, so my job was an easy task... ;)

Ming the Merciless said...

What an interesting history and spectacular architecture.

Love the last photo.

You must be a history buff to research all these information.

Anonymous said...

It's true that I got the best marks for History on the national exams on Junior High School... But also for Geography, Natural Sciences and Physics & Chemistry; but then I ended up in Law... ;))

indicaspecies said...

Oh, here it is, the Humayun's Tomb I referred to in the next post. The monument having the Humayun's Tomb (or cenotaph) is one of the grand ones of the Mughal architecture, and one of the well maintained ones too. One of my favourites as well.:)

Gil, by the way, the second photograph is of Gurdwara Damdama Sahib of the Sikh religion.;)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you: Awesome!
Thanks for the information!! I'm correcting the post!

adelynne said...

the tomb is HUUUUUUGE! wow, they sure had a lotta money to do that last time, eh :p but it's very beautiful, especially from the picture of the entire building. i just know that i don't want or need a tomb like that when i die :p

Anonymous said...

This one announces the other, the most famous... ;)
It's a gorgeous monument and very well kept...

A Lady's Life said...

again the artwork and the floors are wonderful.
And lots of sorrow on the walls.

Trotter said...

The Mughal emperors had surely some great artists available to build these wonders!!