NEW DELHI: Almost five years after its conservation, Neela Gumbad, the blue-tiled tomb in the 16th century mausoleum complex of Mughal emperor Humayun, is likely to be unveiled officially on Saturday.
According to officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Union Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel will inaugurate the ancient domed building on August 31 with two other projects — a new museum displaying retrieved and confiscated antiquities at Purana Quila and new-fangled illumination at Qutub Minar complex.
“First, the minister will go to Purana Quila to inaugurate the new museum, where antiquities are at display for the first time. These rare artifacts were recovered at different points of time. Then, he will reach Neela Gumbad. Minor repair work was carried out at the structure recently, however, it is already open for visitors coming Humayun’s tomb,” said an official. After gruelling efforts that lasted about nine years, conservation of Neela Gumbad, was completed in 2014 by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC).
“A wide road cut separated Neela Gumbad from Humayun’s tomb complex. It was surrounded by a jhuggi cluster which was later removed. After concentrated efforts, the land was acquired and Neela Gumbad’s integration happened. Its conservation and land restoration has been completed as per an MoU with the ASI,” said Ratish Nanda, CEO of AKTC.
From Neela Gumbad, the minister will proceed to unveil illumination at 12th century, Qutub Minar complex, which is done by National Building Construction Corporation (NBCC).
The 358 energy-efficient LED lamps will highlight opulent architectural features of five Sultanate-era structures on the campus, Qutub Minar, Alai Darwaza, Alai Minar, Quwwatul Islam mosque and a gateway.