Four hundred years ago, the widow of the second Mughal emperor of India built her husband a grand mausoleum in what is now Delhi. Recognized as one of the world’s heritage sites by Unesco, Humayun’s Tomb—an architectural precursor of the Taj Mahal—and its surrounding gardens gradually fell into disrepair.

Today its marble dome shines brightly, lush grass grows alongside its walkways, and its pools and fountains are repaired. The painstaking restoration by local master craftsmen helped attract 300,000 people last year, more than 300 times the number of visitors before the makeover.

The building’s physical transformation, as well as myriad improvements to the surrounding community, was made possible by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, a nonprofit organization that focuses on revitalizing communities in the Muslim world through physical and social improvements and other efforts. The group restores landmark buildings and parks in urban areas while also working to meet the needs of local residents, who are surveyed to determine what projects should be undertaken in areas such as education, health, and employment.

Read the full article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy here.

By Nicole Lewis