Humayun’s Tomb is special because its architecture would eventually become the inspiration for the Taj Mahal’s design, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Commissioned in 1569 after Mughal emperor Humayun’s death in 1556, the tomb’s main architect was Mirak Mirza Ghiyas from Persia. The 25-acre plot on which the tomb is built has a four-squared garden that is further divided into 36 identical squares. During the partition of India and Pakistan, Humayun’s Tomb became a refugee camp for about five years, causing much damage to the infrastructure.
Would you believe it if you were told that the Red Fort was once white? It was originally made with lime plaster, but as it began to peel off, the British painted the fort red. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb made the Pearl Mosque near his chamber. A confluence of Persian, European, and Indian architectural style can be seen all throughout the Red Fort campus.
Shah Jahan commissioned the construction of Jama Masjid after Red Fort, once he changed his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). The construction in red sandstone and marble took about six years and its interiors resemble the Jama Masjid in Agra. The courtyard floor is made of sandstone with marble strips indicating prayer positions to the common citizen.
Jama Masjid, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, Delhi, India, +91 11 2336 5358
The Tughlaqabad Fort, commissioned by the founder of the Tughlaq dynasty in Delhi, Ghiyas-ud-din Tughlaq, served two purposes—as a structure to keep the enemies away and as capital of the king. Its double-tier bastions and enormous ramparts are an architectural wonder. The fort had grand mosques, an audience hall, and beautiful palaces inside, all in an Indo-Islamic style.
Safdarjung Tomb is the mausoleum of Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur Khan—popularly known as Safdar Jung—made in sandstone and marble. After his death, his son Nawab Shujaud Daula pleaded with the Mughal emperor to permit him to erect a tomb for his father in Delhi. The tomb was designed by an Abyssinian architect and was made to resemble Humayun’s Tomb.