This complex on the edge of Lutyens Delhi is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, built in 1570. This was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and inspired many subsequent tombs including the Taj Mahal. The Persian gardens and Mughal architecture is serene and calming stop which is an immense contrast from the hustle of the Delhi neighborhood surrounding it.
The tomb itself is in the center the four-folded gardens – in the charbaah style – complete with channels linking large pools, which depending what time of year you visit might be full. The mausoleum is composed of a series of red sandstone and marble octagons. In fact, much of the tomb and gardens are divisible by four or eight, an auspicious set of numbers.
Humayun’s Tomb and gardens are the beginning of a long series of dynastic tombs, introducing the monument in a garden motif to the subcontinent. Having travelled widely throughout the Islamic world during his reign, Humayun brought back ideas which were applied by the tomb’s architect under direct direction of Humayun’s widow, Biga Begum (Hajji Begum).
If you are in Delhi, this monument is better preserved then the Red Fort and is less crowded – especially if you come in the morning before the heat of the day. You can stroll the gardens and not see anyone, which is a rarity anywhere, but especially in India.