Nila Gumbad at Humayun Tomb Complex opened for general public

New Delhi [India]: The entry for Nila Gumbad at Humayun Tomb Complex in the national capital was opened on Saturday for the general public.

Union Minister Prahlad Singh Patel opened the gate and also leads a morning walk at Humayun Tomb Complex as part of the Fit India Movement.

In 2017, Nila Gumbad was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Monument as part of the extended Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage Site.

The Nila Gumbad is one of the earliest Mughal era structure and was built in the 1530s. This was built on an island in the Yamuna, and later, just abutting to it, when Humayun’s Tomb was built in the year 1569-70, Nila Gumbad and other adjoining structures were incorporated in the complex, read a statement from the Ministry of Culture.

The entry to the Nila Gumbad has been made accessible to the public from inside the Humayun’s Tomb complex. It derives its name from the turquoise blue tiles that cover its dome.

“The glory of Nila Gumbad started declining in the 19th century when the northern portion of the Nila Gumbad garden was taken over by the railway lines and Nizamuddin Railway station was built, abutting the monument. In the 1980s, a road was built bifurcating Nila Gumbad from Humayun’s Tomb and later, the structure was occupied by a squatter settlement of over 200 jhuggis,” a statement reads.

“To bring back the structure to its lost sheen firstly, the inhabitants of the squatter settlement were relocated in 2004-05 and later in 2014, as per the agreements with the Railways the road bifurcating the monument from the Humayun’s Tomb was shifted, so as to allow the access to Nila Gumbad from Humayun’s Tomb,” it added.

In a massive exercise in over the last five years, the landscape setting was restored and an alternate road was built. Also, with the missing of 15000 brick like tiles, the grandeur of the dome was completely lost. To bring back the sheen of the monument, kilns were established at the Humayun’s Tomb complex, youth from Hazrat Nizamuddin basti were employed, and the lost craft tradition was revived, the ministry stated.

The geometric and artistic creations of the ceiling which had been hidden beneath several layers of whitewash and cement through the years were revealed and the missing sandstone lattice screens were also restored.

A part of land recovered from the Railways was redeveloped in a manner so as to recreate the part of the original garden surrounding the mausoleum, the statement read.

The conservation work at the mausoleum was done by Aga Khan Trust in partnership with Archaeological Survey of India.