India is fortunate in its building craft traditions, which have been passed down through many generations and over a number of centuries. Craftsmen here still take great pride in replicating the work of their forefathers, using tools and building techniques seen depicted in Mughal miniatures.
The project employs hundreds of master craftsmen who use the tools, building techniques and materials similar to those used by the original builders to match the quality of original work. Craftsmen clocked over 100,000 man-days of work to complete the conservation work here.
The Humayun’s Tomb – Nizamuddin Basti zone is the densest ensemble of medieval Islamic buildings anywhere in India and several of these buildings are products of high craft traditions in stone craftsmanship, masonry, ornamental plasterwork, use of glazed tilework, amongst others.
The Nizamuddin Urban renewal Initiative has since its inception in 2007 worked towards adopting a craft based approach towards conservation, employing hundreds of craftsmen using traditional tools, materials and building techniques to revive the intention of the original builders.
In an effort to return to a craft based approach to conservation, at Humayun’s Tomb, stone carvers, masons, carpenters, tile makers, plasterers, have used traditional materials, tools and building techniques to restore Mughal splendour. Master craftsmen have worked alongside conservation architects, engineers, historians, designers, structural engineers, building surveyors, project managers, and landscape architects thus merging Indian repair traditions with international scientific rigour.