Humayun’s Tomb: The Tomb That Inspired Taj Mahal

After our quick visit at India Gate, my co-volunteers and I quickly flagged an auto rickshaw to take us to the next part of our itinerary that day, Humayun’s Tomb. While on our way, I decided to check (and hopefully remember) nearby landmarks or streets that will help me find the place the next time I’ll visit it. Imagine my surprise when I started seeing the same landmarks that I always watched out for every time I went home. I thought, “What the hell! This is going to my apartment!” And yes, it was going to the same direction. In fact, Humayun’s Tomb was just a 15-minute walk from where I lived. If I had known (or have paid close attention to my co-worker while he was explaining) I would have gone there already.


Humayun’s Tomb was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. It is known to claim several firsts – first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent, first structure to use red sandstone at such a scale, first tomb that housed the graves of other members of the family (meaning, not just the emperor’s), and first to inspire the more popular tourist must-see in Agra. Yes, my dearest readers, this was the tomb that paved the way for Taj Mahal’s construction. Many say that Taj Mahal is more majestic but I’ll be a judge to that since my co-volunteer, Conie, and I will be visiting Agra and Jaipur this weekend.

Humayun's Tomb

The main entrance. Obviously, we were not the only tourists that day.

The entrance fee for tourists is Rs 250.00 but since we were registered aliens, all we needed to do was flash our RC/RP (Registration Certificate/Residential Permit) and we were charged Rs 10.00 each. Archeological Survey of India is responsible for the restoration and maintenance of fifteen world heritage sites in different states of India and the same arrangement is practiced in every site – tourists pay Rs 250.00 and local/registered aliens pay Rs 10.00 respectively.


Humayun’s Tomb is in #2 and so far, out of the 15 World Heritage Sites of India, I have only been to 3. You have to go to other states to complete the 15.

The tomb is a perfect example of India’s rich history. The original architecture plus its extensive restorations depicted the influence of many nations and previous dynasties – largely Persian, Turkic, and Mughal.  If you’re a sucker for old structures with battered walls that whisper a thousand stories like me, then Humayun’s Tomb should be included in your itinerary. The back end of the tomb even offers that rarely offered seclusion in India, where you can enjoy a quiet time away from the noisy cluster of tourists in the northern section leading to the main entrance.

Humayun's Tomb Architecture

We visited the humble museum after roaming the grounds. It was best to learn about the tomb’s history after seeing the structure; this way, you can relate to what you are reading.

Overall experience was a blast. It compensated for our bland India Gate experience. I will definitely visit Humayun’s Tomb again.

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