These restored gardens are the first chahar-bagh, or four-part paradise garden to surround a Mughal tomb on the sub-continent. Built nearly a century before the Taj Mahal, the Tomb and its gardens were an expression of the love and respect borne towards the Emperor Humayun by his son, Akbar and widow, Haji Begum. The chahar-bagh was more than a pleasure garden. In the discipline and order of its landscaped geometry, its octagonal or rectangular pools, its selection of favourite plants and trees, it was an attempt to create transcendent perfection – a glimpse of paradise on earth.
The hues and scents of these gardens, the varied sources of the design elements and of the chosen construction materials, make this monument an important reminder of the power and elegance of diversity, while the sentiments that moved its patrons, united them in a shared virtue.
–Excerpt: His Highness the Aga Khan at the ceremony to inaugurate the restored Humayun’s Tomb gardens. New Delhi, India. 15 April 2003
Words of Wisdom: Beautiful green spaces, designed to honour the past – while also serving the future