Isa Khan Tomb in Delhi is a mausoleum which is dedicated to Isa Khan Niyazi who was a minister of Sher Shah Suri(founder of Sur dynasty in India). The Isa Khan Tomb is located inside Emperor Humayun’s tomb complex in the Nizamuddin, Delhi. The tomb is built in the Sur style.
Every year it is visited by many thousands of visitors and continues to be a very famous destination.
History of Isa Khan
Isa Khan was born in 1453 and belongs to a Pashtun tribe i.e. Niazi. He was a minister of the famous Sher Shah Suri. After Sher Shah’s death, he continued to serve under his son from 1547 to 48 and died at the age of 95 years and was laid in this magnificent octagonal tomb.
Isa Khan built the tomb during his own lifetime, in about 1548 AD. The Tomb predates Humayun’s Tomb adjacent to it by nearly two decades.
Sher Shah Suri overthrew Humayun in 1540 and took over Delhi but after the death of Sher Shah Suri, his son couldn’t control the kingdom for long and lost it back to Humayun in 1555.
The tomb with its sunken gardens (a garden that lies below the general level of its surroundings/below ground level.) can be considered to be the earliest example of similar architecture. The same style of Sunken gardens was then used in the architecture of the Taj Mahal’s gardens.
It has to be noted that this was the first time that a mausoleum by a Muslim nobleman was constructed in such a grand manner. With arches and murals, it laid the path for similar but larger creations later on.
The Architecture of Isa Khan Tomb
The Isa Khan tomb has been built from red sandstone and marked with an engraving proclaiming it to be the tomb of Isa Khan and the date of his death. At one corner of the mausoleum, you will find a small mosque made in similar building style.
The tomb is in the octagon shape with varnished tiles and lattice windows and it is surrounded by beautiful sunken gardens.
The entrance through a large arched gateway is grand and telling the importance of the interred(buried) person.
All around the mosque is a verandah decorated with multi-colored tiles, and each of the corners rests upon a pillar all of which rise to form the dome-shaped central canopy.
The walls are adorned with intricate lattice masonry which is an enchanting sight. Frescoes decorate the ceiling, and there is also beautiful calligraphy which speaks of Isa Khan, his life and times. This tomb not only predates Humayun’s Tomb by almost two decades but is also the zenith of an architectural style which was used by royal tombs in Delhi at the time of Lodi and Sayyid dynasties.
Other Important Info about Isa Khan Tomb
- In 2007 AKTC, i.e. the Aga Khan Trust for Culture started an urban renewal project along with the Archaeological Survey of India. It was a four-year partnership project with the World Monuments Fund and was also a chance to plan a model conservation project for the entrance of The World Heritage Site.
- In 2011 physical work started which follows up extensive documentation and all studies leading up to the commencement of work. The main component of Isa Khan, Tomb reconstruction project, is the replacement of missing ceramic tiles from the roof.
- This restoration work on Isa Khan Tomb led to the discovery of the country’s oldest sunken garden. Also with this discovery. India now has a new chapter added to its rich history of Mughal gardens.
Location and how to reach Isa Khan Tomb
Isa Khan’s tomb is located in Humayun Tomb Complex. There are 2 metro stations which are under 5km from Isa Khan Tomb, One is Jangpura Metro Station which is around 3 km and another one is Jor bagh which is around 4 km.
Timings and Entry Fee
- Timings for Isa Khan Tomb is from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
- Entry Fee for Indians is INR 30(may be updated), for foreigners it’s INR 500.