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Posts Tagged ‘Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)’

Purana Qila, The 6th City of Delhi

Purana Qila

The 6th City of Delhi

Delhi has remained the pivot of north India over a thousand years. The stretch of land bounded by the Aravalli Hills and the Yamuna River enjoyed a strategic advantage linking the north – western mountains to the to the fertile flood plains of the Ganges.

Purana Qila Sher Mandal 2

Sher Mandal (Left) Dominates the Purana Qila complex, Delhi

The earliest literary references identify the city with the mythical Indraprastha, the grand capital of the Pandavas, the heroes of the ancient epic Mahabharata. Interestingly in 1911 when the Purana Qila (literally meaning the Old Fort) was being cleared of squatters, officials stumbled upon a village called Indrapat within the fort complex, was it the legendary capital of the Pandavas?

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Barber’s Tomb ~ Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi

September 19, 2012 4 comments

Barber’s Tomb (Nai – Ka – Gumbad)

Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi

Kings and queens have their magnificent tombs so does their brothers, sisters and cousins. Tombs of favorite ministers and even dogs are also not uncommon. But a tomb of Emperor’s favorite barber is something rarely heard of. Humayun the second of great Mughal ruler honored his favorite barber with a beautiful tomb, located next to his very own magnificent mausoleum.

Barber's Tomb (Nai - ka - Gumbad), Humayun's Tomb Complex, Delhi

Barber’s Tomb (Nai – ka – Gumbad), Humayun’s Tomb Complex, Delhi

Located towards the south – east of the Humayun’s Tomb stands a slender, elegant domed structure commonly known as the Nai – Ka – Gumbad, literally meaning the Barber’s tomb. Although several historical structures surrounds the famous Humayun’s Tomb. The Barber’s Tomb happens to be the only structure standing inside the large square (char – bagh), which houses the magnificent Humayun’s Tomb at the very centre.

Its proximity to the main tomb and the fact that it is the only other structure within the main tomb complex suggests its importance, however there are no inscriptions suggesting as to who is interred therein, the name Barbers tomb is the local name of the structure, hence still in use.

A board put up by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) reads “Folklore lore refers to the building as Barber’s Tomb. The red sand stone faced, tilted canopies, minarets and sandstone screens give the tomb its striking character. The tomb has within it the ornamental cenotaphs of one male and one female. The water channels around the tomb were added between 1905 and 1909.”

No one knows who are buried inside this picturesque tomb of red and grey sand stone. Popular myth is that the tomb is dedicated to Mughal emperor Humayun’s royal barber & was commissioned by emperor Akbar.

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