Emperor Humayun's Garden Tomb


Dynastic Graves

Glenn Lowry mentions the dynastic graves on and in Humayun's Tomb and offers some historical insight in his article, "Humayun's Tomb: Form, Function, and Meaning in Early Mughal Architecture."

The tomb itself-a massive red-sandstone and white-marble structure built around a rubble core-rests on a large plinth, made up of fifty-six cells containing more than one hundred gravestones, in the center of an enclosed garden.1

The many cells of the monument's plinth and the large corner rooms, however, indicate that the building was designed to accommodate not one but several graves, thus establishing it as a dynastic center. Its proximity to Din-panah, the first major Mughal complex built in India and an obvious symbol of the dynasty, reinforce this idea, and in fact various Mughal princes and princesses were interred there from the last quarter of the sixteenth century until the middle of the nineteenth.2

There are 68 grave niches on the plinth. "Each of the arched recesses of the ground-level arcade lead to chambers intended as mini mausoleums, where over 41 Mughal family members lie buried, which has led historians to name the tomb 'The Dormitory of the Mughals.'"3

There are also dynastic graves on the Grave Platform, and there is one cenotaph on the Wall Mosque's prayer platform.

1.Glenn Lowry, "Humayun's Tomb: Form, Function, and Meaning in Early Mughal Architecture," Muqarnas 4, (1987): 133.

2. ibid, 137.

3. Ratish Nanda, "The Area of Humayun's Tomb," in Heritage of the Mughal World, ed. Philip Jodidio (Munich: Prestel, 2015), 169.


Other Graves
There are over one hundred people buried inside the plinth, and there are quite a few cenotaphs scattered on and around the plinth.
Grave Platform
Cenotaphs on The Grave Platform
The Wall Mosque's Qibla wall.
A Cenotaph on the Wall Mosque's Prayer Platform

Additional Information

A formal bibliography is posted on the outline page.
Tomb Plan