Humayun’s Tomb, which became a prototype for the Taj Mahal, is one of the most imposing and intriguing monuments of Delhi. The emperor for whom it was built is perhaps the only monarch in history to have died a tragic death by having fallen off the stairs of a library. The monument seems to be a place for both the learned and the unfortunate. Three generations from Humayun, another bibliophile, Dara Shikoh, was killed by his younger brother, Aurangzeb – his head allegedly severed – and buried in the Humayun’s Tomb complex. After the failure of the revolt of 1857, it was the turn of the poet-king, Bahadur Shah Zafar to meet his nemesis at the same place. Join us as we discuss these riveting narratives and more in a walk around Humayun’s Tomb.

 

This guided tour is free.


Walk Leader
Dr Amit Ranjan
Amit Ranjan has a PhD and an MPhil, both from JNU. Amit has published on this subject in academic journals, as also in various newspapers.
Dr Ranjan has had a penchant for cemeteries, and symmetries and asymmetries of history. His researches on Lang, Alice Richman and several other figures have been routed through his curiosity for reading epitaphs. He did a fifteen episode series with SBS radio of Australia in 2014-15, about colonial links between India and Australia. Before becoming an academician, Ranjan was a journalist with India Today, MetroNow and Outlook groups; and during that stint, he wrote a lot about Delhi’s history and monuments. For MetroNow’s anniversary special, he contributed fifteen stories about “hidden Delhi” in a single issue. With Today newspaper also, he wrote about several ‘walks’ of Delhi. He has been conducting informal walks with his small, but the enthusiastic group “History Hunters.”

As a creative writer, Amit’s debut collection of poems Find Me Leonard Cohen, I’m Almost Thirty has just been published, and has received very goods reviews. His poems, short stories, essays and articles have been published in various journals like La Zaporogue, Anti Serious, Cold Noon, Muse India, The Equator Line, The Hindu, Daily O, Free Press Journal etc. Recently, his chapter in a book on demonetization charting a cultural history of the phenomena has received very good reviews. Amit also has written four plays, two of which were performed in Delhi, Calcutta and Tunisia; with him also acting in both. Three of his books are forthcoming this year –a non-fiction work on Dara Shikoh, another on John Lang, and an English translation of Mridula Garg’s Sahitya Akademi winning novel MIljul Mann.

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