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Humayun’s Tomb-Introduction


Humayun’s Tomb Introduction

The arrival of Muslim rule in India marked a new phase of customs and practices and a new architectural style. The defeat of the Rajput ruler, Prithviraja Chauhana in the battle of Tarai by Muhammad bin Sam of Ghur in 1192 A.D. saw the beginning of rule of Sultans in Delhi. After the victory, Muhammad left the reign under the control of his slave, Qutbu’d-Din Aibak who was the first ruler of the Slave dynasty in Delhi. Qutbu’d-Din established as the ruler of Delhi after the death of Muhammad in 1206 A.D.

The establishment of the Slave dynasty saw the emergence of a continuous rule of nearly seven centuries by the Muslim rulers under various dynasties. The various dynasties which ruled in India with Delhi as capital are as follows:

1.Slave or Mamluk dynasty, including Balban and his successors1206 – 1290 A.D.
2.Khalji dynasty 1290 – 1321 A.D.
3.Tughluq dynasty 1321 – 1414 A.D.
4.Sayyid dynasty 1414 – 1444 A.D.
5.Lodi dynasty1452 – 1526 A.D.
6.Mughal dynasty (the imperial character of the Mughals ended with the rule of Aurangazeb in 1707 A.D.)

(a) Babur (1526-1530 A.D.)

(b) Humayun (1530-40; 1555-56 A.D.)

(c) Akbar (1556-1605 A.D.)

(d) Jahangir (1605-1627 A.D.)

(e) Shah Jahan (1627-1658 A.D.)

(f) Aurangazeb (1658-1707 A.D.)

(g) Later Mughals (1707-1857 A.D.)

1526 – 1857 A.D.
7.Sur dynasty 1540 – 1555 A.D.


The last of the Lodi rulers, Ibrahim Lodi (1517-26 A.D.) during the end of his rule became suspicious and started ill treating his nobles and even provincial governors. Due to this a sense of resentment prevailed among the various noblemen of his time. The governor of Lahore, Daulat Khan who was troubled by the Delhi Sultan, invited Babur to attack Ibrahim Lodi. Babur met Ibrahim Lodi in the famous first battle of Panipat in 1526 A.D. Ibrahim Lodi was defeated and killed in the battle and Babur became the rule of Delhi and a large tract of north India which was under the control of Lodis.

After capturing Delhi, Babur sent his son to take control of Agra. Babur established gardens at Agra and Panipat, the one at Agra known as Aram Bagh, now corrupted as Ram Bagh. He established a new pattern of terrace gardensin India, the idea originated in the mountainous and slope terrain of Kabul area. During his short reign he defeated many of the regional kingdoms of north India and gained control of a vast territory which formed as a solid platform for his successors. Babur was also a great builder and he mentions in his Memoirs about his various endeavours. Some of the buildings either built directly by him or under his patronage are Kabuli-Bagh mosque at Panipat, the Jami’-Masjid at Sambhal, a mosque at Ayodhya.

Humayun succeeded Babur in 1530 A.D. but soon to face resistance from the hands of Sher Shah, descendant of Ibrahim Khan, an Afghan from Sur. Humayun was defeated and driven out of Delhi in 1540. Humayun took shelter in Iran and witnessed a series of hardships for nearly 15 years in exile during which period his son Akbar also was born. Humayun returned ultimately with a borrowed Persian army in 1555 A.D. and defeated Sikandar Shah Sur, the son and successor of Sher Shah Sur.

However, he died soon in 1556 A.D. falling from his library stairs. The reign of Humayun was short and he did not concentrate in consolidating the territory he inherited from his father. During this short reign he also made some ventures in building activity. In 1533 A.D. he laid the foundations of Dinpanah, a new city on the right bank of the river Yamuna. This fort was completed within a short period of ten months, the building material largely came from the spoiled material from the Siri Fort. The traces of Dinpanah are not traceable now as it was largely modified and destroyed by Sher Shah. Humanyun also completed the partly built Purana Qila by Sher Shah. He was also instrumental for construction of buildings like Jamali-Kamali masjid in Mehrauli, Delhi, mosque in Kachhpura, Agra, etc. Humayun used the Sher Mandal in Purana Qila as his library, from where he slipped and fell down and ultimately died in 1556 A.D.

The construction of the mausoleum of Humayun was commenced by his senior widow, known as Haji Begum in 1565 A.D., nine years after Humayun’s death.

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