The Emperor Humayun's Garden Tomb

Wall Mosque

Char Bagh Garden Plan

Humayun's Garden Tomb is essentially a mausoleum that sits in a large garden with a char bagh plan.

A char bagh garden is a garden that is divided by two intersecting channels of water.1 Catherine Asher explains why Humayun's Garden Tomb is considered a char bagh garden and what this means.

Upon entering any gate, the centrally situated tomb and its char bagh setting are visible. Each of the four garden plots is further sub-divided by narrower waterways. Based on the char bagh types established in Iran and more fully developed in Babur's own concept of the ideal garden, such formalized and geometrically planned garden settings became standard for all the imperial Mughal mausoleum and for those of many nobles as well. Char bagh gardens long had been associated with paradisiacal imagery. But at Humayun's tomb, the association is all the more explicit, for the water channels appear to vanish beneath the actual mausoleum yet reappear in their same straight course on the opposite side. This evokes a Qu'ranic verse which describes rivers flowing beneath gardens of paradise.2

As Asher explains how the water channels  appear to flow underneath Humayun's Tomb, the water channels also appear to flow underneath the grave platform and the Barber's Tomb.

1. Catherine B. Asher, The Architecture of Mughal India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), xxv.

2. ibid., 45.


Click on the images to display them in full size.
The Wall Mosque
Humayun's Garden Tomb is comprised of 4 nearly square quadrants.
Building Plan of The Wall Mosque
Babur Overseeing a Char Bagh Garden as Seen in the Baburnama.
The Wall Mosque's Qibla wall.
The main paths and water channels both define the entire garden tomb as a char bagh garden and divide the garden tomb into four separate gardens with their own intersecting water channels.

Additional Information

A formal bibliography is posted on the outline page.
Garden Plan The Hammam Hammam Well Nizamuddin West Gate Grave Platform Baradari NE Well SE Well Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Wall Home SW Well Tomb Plan Tomb Fountain Fountain Fountain Chadars Tanks and Channels Water Water Water Water Chadars Chadars Tanks and Channels Chadars Chadars Tanks and Channels Tanks and Channels Tanks and Channels Tanks and Channels Water Tanks and Channels Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Water Chadars Chadars Wall Mosque Barber's Tomb Nila Gumbad Wall South Gate Fountain South Gate Chadars Tree Platform