Starting Thursday, World Heritage Day, 16th century tomb-gardens of Isa Khan Niyazi and Bu Halima —an integral part of World Heritage Site of Humayun’s Tomb —will be thrown open for visitors after undergoing conservation and restoration.
“Chandresh Kumari Katoch, the union minister for culture, will formally reopen the enclosed garden-tombs on Thursday,” said Daljeet Singh, ASI’s Delhi chief.
Situated right at the entrance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected Humayun’s Tomb, the two sites were closed down since 2010 for conservation work and landscape restoration by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
The restoration has removed 20th century additions such as a concrete circular road, in contrast to the historic character of the entrance zone of the World Heritage Site. “Instead, a sandstone pathway now welcomes the visitors into the complex,” said an AKTC official.
Isa Khan was a noble in the court of Afghan Sher Shah Suri and his tomb pre-dates Humayun’s Tomb by over two decades. The craftsmen have painstakingly restored the monuments using their traditional building craft skills. The enclosed gardens at both the complexes have also been restored to their Mughal layout with plantation of orchards in a manner akin to that of the Mughals.
AKTC has carried out the work with funding from the World Monuments Fund. The conservation works are part of the larger Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative.