The Isa Khan Enclosure stand at the western end of the Humayun’s Tomb complex, almost at the centre of the Humayun’s Tomb – Sunder Nursery – Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti Project area. Built almost five centuries ago, Isa Khan Tomb enclosure has high historical significance due to its associational value. Isa Khan Niyazi was a noble of influence at the court of Sher Shah Sur, on the death of whom, he took service with the younger son Islam Shah, and it was largely due to Isa Khan that Islam Shah succeeded in holding the throne of Delhi against his elder brother Adil Khan.
In the local context, Isa Khan Niyazi’s tomb is the culmination of the architectural style that commenced with the building of the earliest known Islamic octagonal tomb of Khani Jahan Khan Tilangani, that stands in the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti and the tombs of Sayyid and Lodi dynasty Royals, Mubarak Shah Sayyid (AD 1433), Muhammad Shah Sayyid (1446) and Sikander Lodi (1517).
Millions of visitors who visit Humayun’s Tomb complex each year enter the complex at the Isa Khan – Bu Halima complex. But most, however, remain unaware of the historical, architectural significance of this zone as some of the key buildings such as the gateway to Isa Khan’s Tomb enclosure and the Bu Halima’s tomb stand in a ruinous condition and large areas of concrete paving distract from the historical character of this zone.
An exhaustive condition assessment, measured drawing, archival research and detailed on-site discussions with experts in 2010 have led to the preparation of a Conservation plan for this significant entrance zone to the World Heritage Site. Conservation works, being undertaken with support from the World Monuments Fund, include restoring the 16th century landscape, which have commenced with the manual removal of thousands of truckloads of earth to restore this earliest known ‘sunken garden’.