The designation of World Heritage Site status to Humayun’s Tomb in 1993 came with the ICOMOS2 recommendation that “the gardens should be restored...” The garden restoration at Humayun’s Tomb, the first ever privately undertaken conservation effort at any of India’s national monuments, culminated in restoring flowing water in the Mughal tanks and waterfalls.
During 1997-2004, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) funded and collaborated with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in implementing the garden restoration of Humayun’s Tomb World Heritage site. The project based on systematic archival research and archaeological excavations included, amongst other conservation works: the repair and restoration of water channels, pathway edging, removal of excess earth, planting of plants favoured by the Mughals, introduction of an rainwater harvesting system, conservation of numerous minor structures, discovery and de-siltation of historic wells, and provision of new signage system and a site information unit.
Visitor numbers to the Humayun’s Tomb have seen a ten-fold increase since the project commenced as a major public space in the heart of the capital city has been restored to its Mughal grandeur and serenity.Read more about the Humayun’s Tomb Garden Restoration
"Humayun’s Tomb garden restoration ‘is of course, the first privately funded restoration of a World Heritage Site in our country. The project has indubitably been an unqualified success, with the gardens, pathways, fountains and water channels of the chahar bagh having been brought close to their original perfection. Looking at the magnificent work that has been undertaken here, we cannot but be grateful to the Trust for its support and help. This effort has been an instructive example for us in finding new and creative solutions to the age-old problem of allocating scarce resources in a developing country to the preservation of our heritage. I hope that more public-private partnerships can be evolved to maintain, conserve and restore the monuments of our ancestors, which often lie in neglected condition in our cities’