This 48’ high gateway served as the southern entrance of the Arab Serai - built to accommodate the 300 Persian craftsmen whom Hamida Banu Begum, had brought with her on her return from pilgrimage to Mecca. These craftsmen were involved in the building of Humayun’s Garden-Tomb. The integrity of the whole complex is now disturbed as the major portion of the Arab Serai is today the Industrial Training Institute and is inaccessible to visitors. Over the last century the portions of this lofty gateway had collapsed including the domed entrance chamber thus severely compromising the structural stability of the remaining structure like front façade, portions on the upper levels etc. The collapsed portions of the gateway suggest that half of the entrance chamber was not able to bear the load of the dome which should be uniformly transferred to the piers. Conservation works includes conservation of the main wooden doorway, conservation of the stone façade, reconstruction of the partially collapsed entrance chamber, conservation of the chambers at ground floor, reconstruction of the upper chambers and providing adequate flooring.
In keeping with the conservation policy of the Historic Cities Programme’s Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Project, master craftsmen, using traditional materials, tools and building techniques are undertaking conservation works to significantly enhance the historic character of the World Heritage Site.
The missing arches on the south are being reconstructed with reference to the existing two arches on the same façade. Existing profile of the arches were traced and transferred for the new construction to maintain the authenticity of the original architectural character.