A sight for sore eyes: Humayun’s Tomb

Visiting a heritage site always gives me a high. I’ve had people roll their eyes at me about my particular enthusiasm for ruins and tombs, palaces and serais, but there is a magic in the texture and aura of brick and stone that has stood there so long and seen so much change. The Humayun’s Tomb complex, so lovingly restored by the Aga Khan Foundation, is a real treat to visit. Perhaps ‘the’ showcase heritage treasure for Delhi at this time, as the city struggles year after year to get onto UNESCO’s Heritage City list (this year I hear it’s losing out to Amdavad). It’s a pity, but I do find that a number of Delhi’s important heritage sites are not well maintained, with no information to help visitors contextualize what they are experiencing and with very little connection to the city at large.

On the Saturday morning we rambled through the Humayun’s Tomb complex, we saw long lines of chattering school children, photography enthusiasts, tourists and families, all excited and many in awe. I learn something new each visit at the small exhibition set up at the entrance to the Tomb. This time, it helped me explain a bit of the history, architecture and cultural context of the monument to our visitors from the Netherlands.

Humayun’s tomb never fails to impress; its scale and proportions, its craftsmanship so perfect. But beyond its historical value and perhaps because of it, what Udai and me (we’ve both visited several times before) most enjoyed this time around were the beautifully landscaped spaces that surround the smaller monuments in the complex. Spaces that allow you to sit and contemplate life, spaces that involve a little climbing up and down and offer a sense of adventure. As I pen this post, it does occur to me that this is a metaphor for how in life side dishes are often far more pleasurable than the mains and what we consider the ‘extra’ often adds the best flavours!

Some snapshots from my iphone6.

thumb_IMG_7128_1024

The beautiful restored archway is a visual treat indeed

thumb_IMG_7129_1024thumb_IMG_7130_1024

thumb_IMG_7139_1024

Isa Khan’s Tomb, particularly the walkable boundary wall, is a particular favourite. This is the ideal place to sit and watch, people and parakeets….

thumb_IMG_7170_1024

When your pre-teen does not want to be in the picture with you, you find other ways…

thumb_IMG_7154_1024

And then, miraculously, he consents to a twofie!!

thumb_IMG_7171_1024

Some 160 members of Humayun’s family are buried in this structure. This row of tombs on the external plinth, without any covering or enclosure, caught my eye….

thumb_IMG_7187_1024thumb_IMG_7183_1024

thumb_IMG_7199_1024

Looking outside from inside the jali….there are many ways to put things in focus…

thumb_IMG_7200_1024

Advertisements

About ramblinginthecity

I am an architect and urban planner, a writer and an aspiring artist. I love expressing myself and feel strongly that cities should have spaces for everyone--rich, poor, young, old, healthy and sick, happy or depressed--we all need to work towards making our cities liveable and lovable communities.

Posted on February 14, 2016, in Travel & Experiences and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: