The limestone water channels at Humayun's Garden Tomb are fourteen inches wide, and their depth ranges from four inches in the southwestern corner of the garden to 12 inches between the hammam and the northern fountain.1 The water level in the water channels varies according to the location of the water channel in the garden and what season of the year it happens to be. The water depth is usually only a few inches. Some of the water channels rarely contain moving water.
Humayun's Garden Tomb is divided and defined by its water channels. The garden is first defined as a charbagh garden, by its main west-east and north-south water channels that appear to intersect underneath the tomb.2 These are the water channels that join the tomb with the fountains.
The main water channels divide the garden tomb into four separate charbagh gardens. Each quadrant has its own central point of interest at a central implied or existing water channel intersection. The Grave Platform is on the northwestern quadrant's implied water channel intersection. The Barber's Tomb dominates the southeastern quadrant's central intersection. The octagonal Tree Platform at the northeastern central water channel intersection and is paired diagonally with an octagonal pool at the southwestern central water channel intersection. All of these locations are connected by water channels in a garden scale water channel circuit that alternates between the central points of interest and the square fountain pools in the same way that the octagonal pools are alternated with the rectangular pools in a water channel circuit around Humayun's Tomb's plinth. This water channel and pool circuit combination is repeated on a smaller scale around the tree platform.
1. Elizabet B. Moynihan, Paradise as a Garden (New York: George Braziller, 1979), 112.
2. Catherine B. Asher, Architecture of Mughal India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 45.
Wescoat, J.L. Jr. "The Colors of Water: Hydrology and Human Experience at the Taj Mahal." New Geographies 3, (2010): 174-83.