Humayun’s Tomb, restored by AKTC is UNESCO’s World Heritage Site

“A central premise of our work is that cultural enrichment and historic restoration can also be effective springboards for economic and social progress.

We have been encouraged by the impact of this project on the lives of some 20,000 inhabitants of the Nizamuddin Basti area.”

– His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan at the inauguration ceremony of the restored Humayun’s Tomb and Garden, Delhi, India, September 18, 2013

Inauguration Humayun's Tomb
(From L to R): Chairman Ratan Tata of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust, Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and His Highness the Aga Khan inaugurate the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb – Photo: AKDN / Gary Otte

An Indo-Muslim dynasty (r.1526 – 1858), the Mughals ruled over most of South Asia and parts of what is now Afghanistan. The Mughal Emperors accorded great importance to architecture as a symbol of kingship. When Akbar succeeded to the throne in 1556, his first major architectural project was the construction of his father’s (Humayun) tomb in Delhi. Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor and the son of Babur, who founded the Mughal dynasty.

Humayun's TombThe tomb of Humayun, one of the twenty-seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India, was the first of the monumental mausoleums to be built in the country. Begun in 1562, the work on the tomb was completed in 1571. Placing the mausoleum in the centre of a large chahar bagh (Fourfold Garden) was an innovation in design of tombs and gardens, and was unique in the Indian Subcontinent. Humayun’s tomb, influenced by Persian architecture, with its domed chambers of monumental magnificence, came to characterize the splendour of the dynasty and was a model for later Mughal tombs such as the Taj Mahal. Built of rubble masonry, the structure is the earliest example of the use of red sandstone and white marble in such great quantities.

Humayun’s tomb was restored by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC), in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India. Together with the conservation works on Humayun’s Tomb, a number of adjoining monuments have been restored, including: Nila Gumbad, Isa Khan’s garden tomb, Bu Halima’s garden tomb, Arab Serai gateways, Sundarawala Mahal and Burj, Batashewala group of Monuments, Chausath Khambha, and Hazrat Nizamuddin Baoli.

His Highness the Aga Khan presided over the inauguration ceremony of the restored Tomb and Garden on September 18, 2013. In his address, the Aga Khan stressed the importance of restoration work as vectors for economic progress:

A central premise of our work is that cultural enrichment and historic restoration can also be effective springboards for economic and social progress. Rather than being a drain on fragile economies, as some once feared, investment in cultural legacies can be a powerful agent in improving the quality of human life. The impact of such projects can begin by diversifying local economies, expanding employment and teaching new skills. And a continuing stream of visitors, properly guided and welcomed, can provide income streams far into the future, which can be further invested in economic growth. We have been encouraged by the impact of this project on the lives of some 20,000 inhabitants of the Nizamuddin Basti area.” *

References:
* Speech, Aga Khan Development Network
Humayun’s Tomb Complex Restoration, Archnet
Urban Renewal in Delhi India, Aga Khan Trust for Culture

Research by Nimira Dewji


subscribe ismailimailBe the First to Know – Join Ismailimail

Get breaking news related to the Ismaili Imamat, the world wide Ismaili Muslim community and all their creativity, endeavors and successes.

Inspired? Share the story

Want to inspire? Send your stories to us at Ismailimail@gmail.com

Subscribe and join 20,000 + other individuals – Subscribe now!


Earlier & Related from the Ismailimail Archives

Fatimid craftsmen were the earliest to make large-scale decorative lustreware items Fatimid craftsmen were the earliest to make large-scale decorative lustreware items - Compiled by Nimira Dewji The ancient technique of lustre, which may have been travelled from…
Rock crystal has been used to represent the visible and the invisible since ancient times - The term ‘rock crystal’ is derived from the Greek word for ice, krystallos, because the Greeks…
Did you know that Aga Khan Development Network provides electricity to 10 million people in developing countries? - Côte d’Ivoire – Azito Energie Kenya – Kipevu II Power Project Tajikistan and Afghanistan – Pamir…
Did you know that Aga Khan Foundation assists artisans in marginalised communities in Mozambique? - The province of Cabo Delgado has lagged behind the rest of Mozambique and remains the…
Did you know that the Memons, the Chishti Sufis, and Bohras worship in jamatkhanas? - The term ‘jamatkhana’ literally means ‘a house of assembly or gathering’. It has come to…
The paisley motif, a Persian symbol of life and eternity - “…perhaps the real secret to the print’s [paisley] immortality is…how it blends its rich historicism…

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