We’re in Delhi. We’re taking the advice of friends and changing our schedule because of the weather. We have a day to spend here in Delhi and so we’re visiting the Unesco World Heritage Site of Emperor Humayun’s Tomb. It’s a short walk from Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station.
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We’re only in Delhi for a short time though, just a few hours after which we’ll catch the Golden Temple Mail train to Amritsar in the Punjab. We landed at the airport, then hopped across Delhi on a local bus (for 25 INR. It dropped us at the back entrance to the Hazrat Nizamuddin train station. This is where the overnight Golden Mail departs from 1845 tonight.
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Left Luggage at Hazrat Nizamuddin
We are successful in acquiring four small padlocks to secure our backpacks. Indian Trains left luggage won’t let you leave bags unless they’re locked.
We have to fill in another form, which includes our passport details and the PNR (Passenger Name Record) of our train ticket before we can leave our bags.
I have several questions for all train geeks out there. What happens to all these forms that get filled in with relation to Indian trains? Does anyone ever do anything with them? Are they kept forever in a mouldering mass in some Indian backward? Or can I expect to find them wrapped about the next chat that I buy?
Humayuns Tomb Complex
We’re taking our lead from UNESCO today and visiting Humayun’s Tomb. It’s within walking distance of Hazrat Nizamuddin. We’re led by the GPS in the phone and it only takes 20 minutes to walk there.
It’s the usual mix of pavement, road, vendor juggling to get there. Then there’s several games of cricket to dodge in the small park that we skirt through. Finally we find the smallest of ticket offices that is obvious only for the line of people waiting there.
Tickets and Prices
It’s 250 INR for foreign visitors and 10 INR for domestic tourists. Someone has gone to town on a fancy ticketing system, because we’re given a computer printed ticket with a QR code on it.
Within the eye line of the dude who sold us a ticket is another dude with a fancy scanning machine. He scans the QR code, presumably to check up on the work of the dude that he can see selling tickets.
Isa Khan’s Tomb
Before we get to the main tomb, we visit Isa Khan’s tomb, which predates Humayuns by 20 years. This tomb is for an Afghan noble of Sher Shah Suri’s court. It later became the tomb for Isa Khan’s entire family.
Mughal Emperor Humayun
Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. It was built by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum between 1569 and 1570. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas, a Persian architect. It was the first garden-tomb in India. The tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993.
Other Graves in the Complex
The larger complex also includes the graves of Bega Begum and Hamida Begum. There are also graves for Dara Shikoh, great-great-grandson of Humayun and lots of subsequent Mughals
A Change in Mughal Architecture
It’s building was a complete change in Mughal architecture. The tomb of Humayun’s father was much more modest, although his was the first “tomb in a paradise garden” . It did create a precedent which reached its pinnacle with the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The tomb is quite simpy stunning. A glorious combination of white marble and red sandstone. This is Islamic geometry at it’s best.
And the late afternoon sun makes for a glorious color on the facade, which seems to be suspended above the garden.
After the tomb, we head back to the train station and wait for our train to Amritsar. It’s been a marvelous visit. I’m so glad we’ve had this good time here, Delhi, did put me off a bit, and you can read about that here.
UNESCO Sites to Visit in India
If you like visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites, then you’ll love our guides to India’s best World Heritage sites
- Champaner Pavagadh, in Gujarat
- The Taj Mahal in Agra
- The Ajanta Caves
- Ellora Caves
- Khajuraho’s Temples
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
- The Hill Forts of Rajasthan
- The Darjeeling Hill Railway
- Qutub Minar in Delhi
- The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya
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