Saturday, January 22, 2011

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

Late in the afternoon we arrived at Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi. Built in the mid 16th century by the second Mughal Emperor Humayun, the tomb is a superb example of early Mughal architecture. It is now considered a World Heritage Site. Many of its architectural elements were later used in the Taj Mahal. The golden light of the setting sun warmed up the red stone of the gate and tomb even further. Surrounding the tomb are spacious gardens and a pool with fountain, which reflected the structure just as in Agra. Symmetry is a major component of the structure layout at Humayun’s tomb, just as it is at the Taj Mahal. Inside the tomb, the marble lace-like jali windows cast long decorative shadows on the wall and floor. The light illuminated the white marble central sarcophagus just enough to see portions of it, and yet to retain a bit of serenity. High above, the radial design on the domed roof lent a feeling of spaciousness.

Off to the other side of the complex was the octagonal tomb of Isa Kahn and the Nila Gumbad, monument with a blue dome. Portions of the Nila Gumbad still contained colorful mosaics; how beautiful it must have once been.

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