Aga Khan Trust for Culture. Conservation and Landscape Restoration of the Batashewala Garden Tomb
Complex. Delhi: Aga Khan Trust for Culture, 2015.
Standing to the north of the
Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage Site, the 11 acre “Batashewala Complex” includes two Mughal era tomb-garden
enclosures within which stand three tombs, of national importance, and
protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). They are a significant
part of the 16th century Mughal necropolis adjacent to the Dargah of
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, the 14th century Sufi saint who has been revered for
The tomb of Mirza Muzaffar
Hussain, grand-nephew of Emperor Humayun and son-in-law of Emperor Akbar, is
the principal tomb in the complex. The Chota Batashewala and the domed Mughal
tomb can be considered contemporary because of their location in the complex
and their architectural character.
In addition to their historical
significance, their association with the Mughal royal family and the
architectural significance of the unique plan for all three structures, the
tombs stand within a significant archaeological zone comprising of other 16th and
17th century garden-tombs.
The conservation effort, since
2011, has aimed at recovering the architectural integrity of the monuments.
This has been achieved with the use of traditional materials and building
techniques in order to replace 20th century alterations that were carried out
with modern materials, such as cement. Portions of the structures and the
enclosure walls – demolished in 1989 to create a camping ground – have been
reconstructed. The landscape design of the two enclosed gardens is inspired by
the Mughal char-bagh layout, and planted with trees favoured by the
Mughals – mango, neem, and citrus, amongst others.
Restored linkages with other 16th
century garden-tombs standing in the adjacent Sundar Nursery and the Humayun’s
Tomb Complex will also allow visitors an enhanced understanding of this Mughal