A Less Known Love Story Of Emperor Humayun and Empress Hamida Banu Begum

Humayun was the second great Moghul Emperor and was throned the Emperor at the young age of 22 during 1530.

His father, Babur, had left him wealth, glory and an empire which stretched a thousand miles south from the Khyber pass, however, he was very unstable due to frequent indulgence in indigo during youth when he should have taken hold of Administration and because of that he had to face many hurdles in the beginning. In fact, he lost his empire as soon as he gained it and had to struggle a lot to come back to position.

By the time he realized, it was already very late. There was even a time when he faced very strong opposition from Afgans and Rajputs and he had to leave India and escape into Iran. It was during those struggling times when he was making himself powerful again that he met his beloved wife Hamida Banu Begum and it was Love at first sight. She was a Persian and there was a huge age difference of almost 20 years between them. She was only 14 years old when she got married to the emperor.

She was very well educated and had good knowledge of medicine and sometimes could see the future through her dreams.

Humayun was a star gazer and often spent his evening gazing at the stars. It is said that it was one of those days when he had finally regained all his lost powers and was returning from the terrace of the library with loads of books in his hand that he slipped from the stairs and died instantly. It was one of the most testing times for Moghuls. Humayun had gained the throne to loose it immediately .

Akbar was still very young and still in early teens when he was crowned the third emperor of India.
However, Hamida Banu Begam decided to give a grand Burial to his Beloved Husband and decided to build the famous Humayuns Tomb . She invited the famous Persian Architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyas from Persia to deisgn the beautiful tomb. It was also the First Moghul Structure in India which also symbolized the fact the they have arrived and they are here to stay.

400 years later in 1993, Humayun's Tomb was declared a World Heritage Site. However, it had lost all its charm and beauty until recently Sir Dorabjee Tata Trust , Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Aga Khan Trust,the Archaeological Survey of India, World Monuments Fund, Ford Foundation and other organisations in a unique public-private partnership decided to take the responsibility of its restoration.

It involved a lot of hard work of many people. They dived into the rich past, learnt the art of construction that was used, hired workers and artisans , trained the workers . The complex structured required a lot of research and analysis to bring back its pristine glory.

3D laser, AutoCad Pictures and modern technology was used to reconstruct the complex structure, get the exact colours that were used. A team of artisans and conservation architect from Uzbekistan worked with local team and workers trained them to get exact tresults. Heavy cleaning activity was done as the place was covered with bird droppings, bats flying around and rats wandering around. Tonnes of cement has been used for the repair work

While the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust was the principal supporter of the repair and conservation work on the mausoleum, Sir Ratan Tata Trust helped to improve the local school and provided training to the unemployed youth of Nizamuddin in complementary skills as tourist guides. The restoration project provided employment to skilled artisans and craftsmen, and provided them with an opportunity to refresh their skills and learn new ones in the production and use of lime mortar, recreating traditional dyes, tile-making and stone cutting.

I was really amazed by this architectural marvel of India and tried to capture it in my pictures.

Everybody knows that Taj Mahal is a symbol of love as it was built by 5th Mogul Emperor Shahjahan for his wife Mumtaz, but very few will be knowing that Humayun's Tomb is also a symbol of love as it was built by 2nd Mogul Emperor Humayun's beloved wife Hamida Banu Begum. This is a symbol of a woman's (Bega Begum) love for his man (2nd Mogul Emperor "Humayun") as Taj Mahal is vice versa.

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