The initiative is a project of the Aga Khan Development Network
Rahim's Tomb

"... the architects of the Taj Mahal derived their inspiration, from two buildings at Delhi which predetermined it in certain aspects of its conformation. These are the mausoleum of Humayun and the Tomb of Abdur Rahim Khan I Khanan ... the later one is proof that the type of architecture they represent had not been forgotten during this interval...

Statement of Significance
The Rahim Project
Rahim - The poet

Abdur Rahim Khan I Khanan, popularly known as 'Rahim’ is one of the nine important ministers of Akbar’s court, known as the navratnas or nine gems, and had close association with scholars of eminence. He has been attributed as an important figure in development of India's composite culture, a culture of shared values. The legends of his munificent patronage to the men of learning, irrespective of sectarian consideration or creed provided cultural reference points afterwards.

The Celebrating Rahim Programme is focussed on documenting Rahim's cultural legacy with the support of InterGlobe Foundation. As part of the cultural revival programme, heritage walks, research and documentation, and theatre plays have been conducted on the life and works of Rahim.

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Rahim's Tomb - The Conservation

Despite the historical, architectural and archaeological significance of the structure, by the 21st century Rahim’s Tomb was in a ruinous condition with a risk of complete collapse. Though an estimated six million people drive past the mausoleum annually, very few are aware that the ruin is the tomb of the legendary Rahim.

The marble and sandstone cladding on the dome, facade, flooring of the terrace and the tomb, the parapets, lattice screens have largely been stripped of the building over the years including significant loss of fabric in the 20th century. Conservation works commenced with the financial support of InterGlobe Foundation in late 2014 following approval of the Conservation Plan by the Director General, ASI as well as approvals of the ASI Core Committee.

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Rahim's Tomb - Restoring the Garden

Rahim’s grand mausoleum would have been a garden tomb as with Humayun’s Tomb and the later Taj Mahal; it is quite probable that the stone of the garden enclosure walls was itself quarried in the 19th century when marble and sandstone were stripped off the tomb structure.

Scientific clearance of earth will be carried out in an effort to reveal any foundations of enclosure walls, remains of garden pathways, water features, amongst other aspects. It is understood that a significant amount of earth will require to be removed from the garden to restore original levels.

Landscape elements will include benches, wheelchair access, appropriate lighting and signage’s to replace unsightly elements found here at present.

Click here to know more about the Landscape Restoration of Rahim’s Tomb...
Our Partnership
  • Archaeological Survey of India
  • Aga Khan Trust for Culture
  • InterGlobe Fundation

In 2014, on the completion of the conservation effort at Humayun’s Tomb, AKTC was requested by the Secretary (Culture), Government of India, to also undertake the conservation of Rahim Khan-i- Khanan’s tomb – a grand structure standing in close proximity to both Humayun’s Tomb and the Dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya.

AKTC approached InterGlobe Foundation for co-funding who then came forth to fund and collaborate with AKTC and ASI to undertake this conservation effort as well as to undertake an exhaustive effort to document and disseminate Rahim’s legacy as a poet.

The collaboration with InterGlobe Foundation allowed the conservation effort to be considered. The project has demonstrated a successful model of public-private partnership for conservation. Unlike in the developed world where there is significant civil society engagement with conservation effort, conservation of national monuments has to date been restricted to the government agencies. The ongoing Rahim Tomb’s conservation and cultural revival project is the first such initiative where monuments of national importance are being conserved by a private philanthropic group.

Conservation works are being carried out in keeping with the conservation plan and are guided by Engineers with over three decades of conservation experience and by experienced conservation architects. A conservation architect and a jr. engineer are present at all times during conservation works and are assisted by field supervisors.

Peer Reviews

Every conservation effort should be supported by independent peer reviews. This need is however much greater for prominent, significant buildings and where major repairs are planned to be undertaken. It is planned to conduct at least 50 independent peer reviews during the course of the conservation effort – seeking opinion of diverse stakeholders – archaeologists, conservation architects, engineers, administrators, historians, authors, amongst others. 30 such reviews have already been held and have helped inform the conservation effort.

Read reviews Core Team meetings
Impacts of The Project
Related Information