Humayun's Tomb, considered the masterpiece of the Indo-Islamic culture, was built in the year 1565 by Haji Begum, the eldest widow of the Mogul emperor Humayun. This was built on the bank of the then river Yamuna. It is built on a large stone platform, typical of all the monuments of that era. The stone pedestal was surrounded on three sides by lush-green lawns. On the back of the structure was river Yamuna. Though the river has shifted its course in these years, one can still find the traces of marks left by the gurgling water.
The mausoleum was commissioned to one Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, who started
the work in the year 1556. It is said that the total expenditure on the
project was more than 1 million rupees at that time. This structure has
been designed keeping in view the Iranian 'Charbhag'. This particular
style was brought in India by Emperor Babur who greatly detested the
existing indigenous style. Therefore the building has gardens and high
walls on 3 sides which are further divided in to 36 equal areas with the
help of fountains and canal.
The footpath which leads to the main structure is abruptly very long.
This was a pioneer in design. You will have to cross not less than
gardens and as many as two intimidating gateways before you reach your
destination. This style was later applied in the building of Taj Mahal.
In fact, there are many things in the Taj, which have been copied from
this tomb, such as 'Charbagh' style and Crescent on the top of the dome.
The surrounding garden is spread in not less than 350 square meters.
This architecturally pioneer tomb is mainly built of red sandstone and
red and white marble. It has a series of cells with arched openings.
The center of the hall, which is octagonal in shape typical of Mogul
architecture, stands the Cenotaph of Humayun. It is surrounded by
smaller octagonal halls on alternate corners. It also has arched lobbies
on the sides. But it is a closed structure secluded through Jaalis.
There is an arch on every side. The central arch is the highest among
them. All the floors of the Humayun's tomb have uniform design. The top
floor has a 42 meters high double dome with marble and cenotaphs around
it. This architectural design used, known as 'Hasht Bahisht' (Eight
circles of Paradise), is first in the sub-continent.