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HUMAYUN’S TOMB

CHAPTER-2 UNDERSTANDING HUMAYUN’S TOMB


INTRODUCTION
• Humayun's Tomb is an early example of
Mughal architecture built in Delhi. Built
in the mid 16th century by his wife Haji
Begum.
• Style inspired by Persian architecture.
• Constructed at Akbar’s era.
• Architect: Mirak Mirza Ghiaz
• The Tomb stands on a 120-square-metre
platform and reaches a height of 47
metres. Built of rubble masonry, the
structure is the earliest example of the use
of red sandstone and white marble in
such great quantities.

Architectural Features
Synthesis of Twostyle
Persian Humayun’s Indian
style Tomb Tradition
LOCATION
The site was chosen
on the banks of
Yamuna river, due
to its proximity to
Nizamuddin Dargah.
TIME LINE

1561 1) The ‘original’ time of the building when it was built.


The location of the tomb in that particular site opens the discussion of
constructing political power through monuments. The tomb was located in
that particular site primarily due to two factors- 1) its proximity to the first
Mughal city built by Humayun in Delhi, and more importantly 2) its proximity
to the famous Auliya tomb so that it could draw upon the religious
significance of the buried person and establish an association with Humayun
and indirectly to Akbar, its patron.
1857 2) Colonial preservation efforts of the ASI under the
aegis of the British imperial powers

1993 3) Its modern designation as a World Heritage Site.


Humayun’s Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1993, and
extensive conservation work has been carried out since. This began with
restoration of the garden, restoration of pathways, repairing of water
channels, and even planting shrubs and other plants that were popular in the
time of the Mughals.
MASTER PLAN OF HUMAYUN’S TOMB
Floor plan N Sectional Elevation

• In plan it is an irregular octagon with four long and four short sides.
• It is surmounted by a 42.5 m high double dome clad with marble flanked by
decorative pillared kiosks (chhatris).
• The middle of each side is deeply recessed by large arched vaults with a series of
smaller ones set into the face.
• The interior is a large octagonal chamber with vaulted roof compartments

HUMAYUN’S TOMB
interconnected by galleries or corridors. This octagonal plan is repeated on the
second storey.
HUMAYUN’S TOMB LAYOUT
• The central octagonal chamber
has the cenotaph of Humayun,
which is encompassed by
octagonal chambers at the
diagonals Octagonal
• It also has arched lobbies on Chamber
the sides and their openings
are closed with perforated
screens.
• Central octagonal hall has eight Main Chamber
alcoves, one on either
side,divided into a double-
storeyed elevation.
• The third storey above them has
jail openings.
• Above them is the stalactite
which takes the double-
dome.
• Three emphatic arches
dominate on each side, of
which the central one is the
highest
Nine Fold Plan

Become the Mughal Characteristics for individual palace, pleasure


house and mausoleum

Plan with Chamfered Square (irregular octagon)

Four Intersecting construction line divided the layout into NineParts

Basic diagram of NineFold


Nine Fold Plan

• Four Intersecting construction


line divided the layout into
NineParts

• The center marked the main


dome & open hall in the
middle of each sides.

• The Corner Chambers are


linked to the main domed
chamber by diagonal passages

• The term Hasht Bihisht (Eight


Paradises) has been
interpreted as a reference to
the eight rooms surrounding
the central chamber.
Plan of Humayun’s Tomb below the
basic Diagram of Nine FoldPlan
West elevation of Humayun’s Tomb

Upper Portion
(Dome)

Mid Portion
(Tomb Structure)

Lower Portion
(Podium)
West elevation of Humayun’s Tomb

Metal finial

Chhatri type
Persian Kiosk
Double Dome
Kiosk with
Turret with Cupolas
Crowning Parapet

Arched
Alcove in the
front Façade
HUMAYUN’S TOMB
• The dome is double-
layered
• The outer layer
supports the white
marble exterior
facing.
• The inner one defines
the cavernous interior
volume.

• The top of its central


dome reaches 140
feet from the
ground.
ROOF PLAN

• The second storey also has a similar


design

• Roof surmounted by a 42.5 meters high


double dome with marble and pillared
kiosks or chhatris placed around it,
which occurs here for the first time in
India.

• This architectural design is known as


hasht bihisht (Eight Paradise) and is
typical of Iranian buildings from the time
of Timur the Lame.

HUMAYUN’S TOMB
• The stone windows are placed in such a way
on all the floors that they allow light to stream
into the central hall throughout the day.
CHARBAGH GARDEN
• Charbagh or Chahar Bagh is a
Persian style garden layout. In
Persian, "Chār" means 'four' and
"bāgh" means 'garden'.
• The quadrilateral garden is divided
by walkways or flowing water into
four smaller parts.
• In Quran Paradise is described as a
garden of eternity (Jannat-al-
Khuld) with four rivers of water,
milk, wine and honey. Charbagh
concept is an earthly
representation of garden of
paradise.
• The Char Bagh concept is seen in
Humayun's Tomb in a monumental
scale. Displayed its high form in the Basic layout of CharbaghGarden

Taj Mahal
WESTERN GATE

• This west gateway is 16 m high.

• Rooms on each side flank the


central passage

• The upper floor has small


courtyard.each side is crowned by
a square chatri composed of
jalied balustrade, slender piller,
chajja and a white marble cupola
resting on a square inlaid drum.

• Six sided stars used by the


mughals as an ornamental cosmic
symbol adorn the structure.
HUMAYUN’S TOMB
SOUTHERN GATE

• It is a double story building

• Local grey quartzite with red


sandstone is used lavishly on
all edges.

• White marble is used on


all prominent outline.

• A screen of arches attach to


the gateway on either side at
an inclined angle adds the
grand effect of this imposing
gateway.

HUMAYUN’S TOMB
PRINCIPLES OF DESIGN
Pattern Geometrical patterns at the interior of the central
dome. The various jaali patterns because of which the
interiors are well lit. they act as latice screens from which
the sunshine enters the interiors.

Contrast Humayun's Tomb was built from red sandstone and


white marble and thus exudes a stark
contrast against the blue sky.
Emphasis The dome of the Humayun's tomb acts -
marker in the structure. The emphasis is because of the
white colour and also the bulbous shape of the dome.
Balance The structure in all perspectives is a
balanced structure having a balanced plan,
elevations and a balanced view.
Rhythm / Movement The use of continuous
arches which direct the movement of the eye in a
straight line.

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN
Line The use of horizontal and vertical
lines in the elevation.
Shape The shape of the dome is bulbous.
The arches are pointed.
Color Because of the use of red
sandstone and white marble the color of
the entire structure is red and white
Texture The combination of
rough texture of the sandstone and the
soft texture of the white marble..
ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES
• The most striking visual feature of the tomb is its size and its garden
setting. In terms of both these features, the tomb established an
unprecedented example in Indian Islamic architecture.
INSPIRATION
Charbagh or Chahar Bagh (Persian:
chahār bāgh, "Four Bāghs") is
a Persian-style garden layout. The
quadrilateral garden is divided by
walkways or flowing water into four
Four central axial water courses define Char
Bagh Garden's quadrilateral layout smaller parts. In Persian, "Chār" means
at Humayun's Tomb 'four' and "bāgh" means 'garden'.

• One of the eye-catching features of the


tomb is its raised plinth that is the
cause of its visibility on the city skyline
today. But historically its importance lay
in the 56 cells housed within that raised
plinth and that were used as the burial
place of almost 100 royal descendants
and relatives. Red box showing the plinth
• The built form of the building (especially the dome), though apparently derived
from existing Sultanate and Timurid examples, is distinct from either. It attempts
to fuse together the formal aspects of both these types. By doing so he
established a link as the successor to the glorious Timurid’s of Iran as well as
the Islamic empire in India.

Sultanate example Timurid examples

Dome of Humayun’s tomb


AESTHETICS
- These elements contribute to the visual treat at
Humayun's tomb.
• A very well chosen rich red gravel used for the
paths.

• A delightful fountain, water flowing in the stone-edged


channels and planting rising from below the walkway
to above the walkway, as it should.

• A chadar (water sheet) cascading into a


pool.

• Humayun's Tomb Garden has a symmetrical plan.


Because the word chahar bagh means 'four garden',
etymologically, it is tempting to think of this as a classical
example. But it now seems unlikely that the old Persian,
Timurid and Afgan gardens which inspired this pattern
were themselves symmetrical.
COMPARISON

• It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the


construction of the Taj Mahal.