Who was Barber?
There are large grounds surrounding the tomb and also a number of smaller mausoleums and structures which are very impressive in their own right. The first tomb we saw actually predates Humayun’s by 20 years and belongs to an Afghan noble called Isa Khan Niyazi (who actually fought against the Moghals). I though it was very beautiful in a slightly rugged way and the afternoon light captured it nicely. Within the tomb there was a very narrow, VERY steep, flight of stairs that you could climb to reach the upper level and see down into the chamber and out towards the surrounding area. I decided to brave the uneven footing and was rewarded with a lovely view, although on the way down I did have to climb backwards and slowly so as not to fall. Following this we saw an old mosque structure (which I also climbed up) and a number of other building and arches which I don’t remember the names of. As with Raj Ghat, this area was once again a complete world away from the noise and the hectic life of the city, and it was so good to be away from traffic.
As we walked through the archway to Humayun’s tomb I caught my first glimpse of the beautiful structure. It really is a work of art, and the red sandstone with black and white marble is very impressive. I stood still to take it in from a distance and then we gradually approached walking alongside the dramatic water channels and passing fountains on the way. Standing close by is another smaller monument so we decided to take a look. The sign before it read Barber’s Tomb and I remembered reading about it in my guide book so I recounted the tale of how it was Humayun’s barber’s tomb and he had a special position as he held a knife to the emperor’s throat everyday. It turns out though that this story may just be a myth (although told as fact in my guidebook) and no-one actually knows for sure who the tomb belongs to. After my story my friend told me another about how Humayun’s farther was called Barbur and perhaps somewhere along the way there had been mistranslation and tomb belonged to his parents. Who would you rather have buried near you?....your father?....or your hairdresser?