History can be boring or it can be brought to life as in the case of this fascinating non-fiction book based on the recently restored monument in Delhi – the Humayun’s Tomb.
Brought out by the Archaeological Survey of India in collaboration with the Aga Khan Trust for Culture the book briefly outlines the tumultuous Mughal era with particular emphasis on this striking monument and its exquisitely laid out gardens.
Who built the Humayun’s tomb? Why? What were the other important monuments built during that period of history? What is the significance of the Nizamuddin dargah? Which great poets are associated with it? The answers to all those questions can be found in this extremely well-produced book.
The book also demonstrates how different peoples from different lands during different periods of history came to Delhi to conquer but stayed on to build palaces, forts and places of reverence contributing to a rich new language of architecture.
It is well-written with perhaps a tad more information than a child would want to read. However, the interesting snippets of information included as conversation between two kids saves the young reader from a sense of information overload.
The lively illustrations are a treat. With lots of interesting details and vivid colours, they effectively bring to life the people and lifestyles of one of the most fascinating periods of Indian history.
The first in a series planned to be brought out for children, the book fills an all-important gap in Indian children’s literature and hopefully it will ignite in them a lifelong interest in our rich architectural heritage.
The book is also available in Hindi.