December 7, 2014

1354 INDIA (National Capital Territory of Delhi) - Humayun's Tomb (UNESCO WHS)

This tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent, and inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal, a century later.. Located in Nizamuddin East, close to the Dina-panah citadel, it was commissioned by Humayun's first wife Bega Begum in 1569-1570, and designed by the Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas. Besides the main tomb, several smaller monuments dot the pathway leading up to it, from the main entrance in the West, including one that even pre-dates the main tomb itself, by twenty years; it is the tomb complex of Isa Khan Niyazi, an Afghan noble in Sher Shah Suri's court of the Suri dynasty, who fought against the Mughals, constructed in 1547.

The complex encompasses the main tomb of the Emperor Humayun, which houses the graves of Bega Begum herself, Hamida Begum, and also Dara Shikoh, great-great-grandson of Humayun, as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals (some 150 graves), been described as the necropolis of the Mughal dynasty. Inspired by Persian architecture, the tomb reaches a height of 47m and is 91m wide, and was the first Indian building to use the Persian double dome on a high neck drum, topped by 6m high brass finial ending in a crescent, common in Timurid tombs. As a contrast to the pure white exterior dome, rest of the building is made up of red sandstone, with white and black marble and yellow sandstone detailing, to relieve the monotony.

The tomb itself is in the centre of a large garden, laid out in char baah (four-fold) style, with pools joined by channels. The main entrance is on the south side, and there is another entrance on the west side. A pavilion and a bath are located in the centre of the eastern and northern walls respectively. The mausoleum itself is on a high, wide, terraced platform with small arched cells along the sides. Within the enceinte to the south-east of Humayun's Tomb there is a fine square tomb of 1590-91, known as the Barber's Tomb. The tomb has been respected throughout its history and so has retained its original form and purpose intact. Subsequent interventions have been aimed at preserving this character.

About the stamp

The stamps is part of the series Indian Air Force Platinum Jubilee 1932-2007, issued on October 8, 2007, and comprising of 4 stamps with the same face value (5 INR):
HAL Dhruv - a multi-role helicopter developed and manufactured by India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited - it's on other postcard
Westland Wapiti - a British military aeroplane built in the 1920s  - it's on other postcard
Boeing E-3 Sentry - the aircraft developed under the USAF's Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) program - it's on other postcard
IL-78 - a four-engined aerial refueling tanker based on the Il-76 - it's on the postcard

Humayun's Tomb - Wikipedia
Humayun's Tomb - UNESCO official website

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #199, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is Anything you wish. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

Sender: Kamran
Sent from ??? (??? / India), on 07.10.2014


  1. I like the combination of large and small stamps together and contrast in colouring. The one on the postcard certainly shows off its size.

  2. The Boeing and the IL (Ilushin?) are brilliant stamps.

  3. It looks like the sky is full of different kinds of planes when the stamps are grouped together.

  4. Beautiful architecture and great stamp. Thank youfor joining in this week.