A symbol of architectural prowess, a structure that has been standing gracefully still over the ages, humbly surviving the chaos of the new world, forever encompassing a forgotten time of glory, power and triumph. While most might walk past the structure unassumingly, perhaps for a day of fun and frolic in the many gardens within the complex,Humayuns tomb is a gold-mine of knowledge and discovery for the keen observer, for within the many nooks, niches and unknown corners lie a plethora of hidden architectural gems, all constructed to serve a very specific purpose.
Some are ingenious methods to counter tangible threats such as harsh temperatures, attacks, or even darkness, but look closer, and in the details, an entirely new realm of meaning reveals itself.
Patterns, signs and shapes, visual illusions of depth and height, so perfect in proportion, that one almost feels as if it was carved on the weathered stones of history by the divine hand itself. This is the world of sacred geometry.
An ancient amalgamation of science and art, regarded by many of the oldest and greatest civilizations as the blueprint of all creation. A study so meticulous and meditative, that it was believed to please the universal powers and attract the divine realm into the structures they were made on.
Originating from the great Persian empire, sacred geometry was embraced by the Mughal emperors in the early 16th century, especially for the construction of their tombs.
The emperors believed that these structures and patterns brought them closer to transcendence in their after life, by depicting divine order, harmony of elements and exceptional beauty.
If you’re an explorer, many of the finest examples of this ancient art can be discovered within the walls of Humayuns Tomb.
Take for instance the charbagh. From tourist groups to tired jogging enthusiasts, plenty of people frequent the paved walkways that divide the garden into 4 perfect squares, without realizing that they are within a massive sacred geometrical pattern. The 4 squares depict the 4 holy rivers that flow in heaven according to islamic tradition, and the 2 bisecting water channels seem to flow seamlessly beneath the tomb structure, suggesting the Quranic verse of rivers flowing beneath the garden of paradise.
The ceiling of Humayuns tomb as well as Isa Khans tomb (which is in the same complex) are a different level of complexity and symmetry. The circle in the center represents unity and diversity in nature, and the concentric 12 point flowers extending into 24 point shapes represent the eternity of time. As one watches the details closely, these intricate patterns seem to induce a visual trance, a state of higher being, an ethereal notion of space, elegance and evergreen emotion.
These magnificent symbols lead me to wonder whether we actually know MORE than the great emperors and civilizations of those times. Are we progressing and discovering newer and more valuable knowledge? Or are we slowly digressing? Forgetting the teachings of the ancients and the fundamental truths of our universe to computer screens, spam mails and selfies ?
If you are curious for the answers, they will be best found in the very structures that ask these questions, so head on to Humayuns Tomb and unravel the past, and within it, perhaps yourself as well !
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