New Delhi: US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on Sunay had a glimpse of India’s rich cultural and historic heritage as they visited the 450-year-old Mughal marvel Humayun’s Tomb in the National Capital.
Obama, who kicked off his engagements in Delhi with the visit to the 16th century marvel, went around with his wife intently getting the feel of the monument, which is said to have inspired the creation of Taj Mahal.
The 49-year-old Obama and Michelle drove to the monument soon after their arrival from Mumbai at the airport here, where the US’ first couple was personally received by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.
Obama became the first American President to visit Humayun’s Tomb, the resting place of Mughal emperor Humayun, which is an artistic precursor to the 17th century monument of love Taj Mahal.
“Wonderful. Let’s take a look,” Obama said as he entered the main building. ASI superintendent archaeologist, Delhi, K.K. Mohammad, took the first couple around the monument explaining its history.
The beautiful red-stone monument in Nizamuddin in south Delhi, built over 450 years ago, now sports a new look after a major renovation exercise thanks to the efforts of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture and Archaeological Survey of India.
At the entrance of the monument, Obama was received by ASI director general Gautam Sengupta and other officials.
Obama, dressed in white shirt with a tie and black trousers, and Michelle listened intently and were seen enquiring about the various elements of the structure.
The US first couple also met 14 kids, children of workers at the monument, and even shook hands with them. The kids, aged from 4 to 10 years of age, were accompanied by their parents.
The US President was seen striking a chord with the kids as he chatted with them and distributed along with his wife gave them gifts.
The first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent, the mausoleum was commissioned in 1562 by Humayun’s widow Hamida Banu and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect, a decade after the death of the Emperor.
While announcing Obama’s visit, the White House said Obama “felt it was important, given the rich civilisation that India has, to pay tribute to that through” his stop at Humayun’s Tomb.