Sunday, October 26, 2008

Qutub Minar & the Qutub Complex, New Delhi

Thanks for coming to see my blog. This posting is dedicated to a stunning set of ancient and medieval ruins called the Qutub complex with the famous Qutub Minar (minaret, tower) as its centrepiece. In the first photo you can see a group of colourful Indians about to enter the complex.

The Qutub Minar is the tallest brick and sandstone Minaret in the world, Construction took nearly 200 years. It was completed in 1386 and is a fine example of Indo-Islamic architecture.

I fell in love with it and could hardly drag myself away. I hope the photos give you a sense of the beauty, history and culture that it evoked for me.

Daniela and I are going to Australia on 1 November for 2 weeks so look out for a new posting after 15 November! I can't wait to take photos in Australia!!

Happy Diwali for Monday 27 October to everyone who celebrates it.


A gateway arch on the perimeter of the
ruin complex

The beautiful and imposing Qutub Minar.
72 meters high and made of red sandstone

The sandstone creates a warm and inviting
feel to the buildings. Reminds me of some of
the temples I saw in Tamil Nadu

The elegance of the Hindu pillars is stunning

Very cute little visitor to the ruins.
I wonder what he thinks of it all.

Alai Minar, the Victory Tower. This minaret
was meant to be twice the height of the completed
Qutub Minar. It was commenced by Alauddin Khalji
but he died before the first storey was completed
and the project was abandoned

Tomb of Iltutmish. He was the third
Muslim Turkic sultan of the Sultanate of Delhi
He died in 1236

The arches that define the boundary of the
courtyard of the Quwwatu'l-Islam. The
pillars have clear Hindu motifs and are
believed to have been taken from the 27
temples of Qila Rai Pithora, the city of the
Rajput King Prithviraj Chauhan.

The famous iron pillar situated in the courtyard
of the mosque is from the 4th century.
It is thought it was brought to Delhi by Anangpal,
the Tomar king
who founded Delhi

Those gorgeous pillars!

Alai Darwaza the southern gateway of the

Iman Zamin's tomb, Alai Darwaza
and Qutub Minar

Iman Zamin's tomb. Iman Zamin was a Turkish
holy man called Mohammad Ali. He came to
during the reign of Sikandar Lodi and
was a revered Iman.

Mirror, mirror in my hand,
who is the fairest in the land?

Qutub Minar from the Mughal gardens

Classic view of the minaret.
Difficult to stop taking photos of it!

Interior of part of the ruins

Ancient street

The Qutub complex

It was a very hot day!

I don't know what this is.
It is in the Mughal gardens

The Hindu pillars in all their elegance

An entrance to the mosque. You can see the
iron pillar in the courtyard on the right

Soooooooo cute!
Bye bye from Qutub Minar.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Delhi, India

Good to see you! Thanks for coming.

I have shown you the Taj Mahal and the Red Forts of Agra and Delhi. Today I am posting an array of photos from the many wonderful places I was fortunate enough to visit in my short stay in Delhi.

Delhi has many faces. All fascinating. And I only scratched the surface. I hope you enjoy this 'window' to a cultural treasure that is part of the magic that makes India.

Here you can see India Gate. It honours the soldiers in the British Indian Amy who died fighting in World War 1 and the Afghan Wars.

Do click on the links under some of the photos for more information.

I have saved one monument to show you for my next posting in two weeks. I think it deserves a whole posting to itself. It is the Qutab Minar. It will conclude this series on Delhi and Agra.

Don't miss it!

Take care and have a good fortnight.


The Secretariat Building. Home to ministries
of the Government

Main entrance to Jama Masjid,
the principal Mosque of Old Delhi.

Jama Masjid, also known as the Friday Mosque.
It was commissioned by the Emperor Shah Jahan.

View of Old Delhi from Jama Masjid

The famous Chandni Chowk Street of Old Delhi
leading to The Red Fort. You can see the wall of
the Fort in the distance.
I love the girl on the rickshaw.

Chandni Chowk Street, going in the opposite
direction. This time I was on a rickshaw.
Hard to keep the camera steady!

Old Delhi market with marigolds
making a splash of colour. In Hinduism
the marigold symbolises auspiciousness.
It is offered by devoteees to Hindu Gods,
often in garlands, because the colour
orange signifies renunciation and is an offering
of surrender.

Marigolds and jeans! Jeans make a good hat....

You can see a video on You Tube of the
Old Delhi market

Lots of shops!

Gorgeous child. I think there might be some
action in the waterworks area soon!

The new Bah'ai Lotus Temple There are about
5 million Bah'ais worldwide.

Gudwara Bangla Sahib, Delhi's Siokh Temple
dedicated to the eighth Sikh Guru,
Sri Har Krishen Sahib.

The 'Langar' or Community Kitchen Hall. Sikhs
are very community conscious and most temples
offer free food to devotees.

"Sarovar", hindu for pond. Here the "holy pond",
where devotees bathe before entering the Temple.

Raj Ghat, the memorial site of Mahatma Ghandi
He was cremated on this spot on 31 January 1948.
I particularly appreciated paying my respects to
the Father of the Indian Nation.

Indians honouring Ghandi

The entrance to Safdarjang's Tomb from
inside the grounds

This is the central chamber. It was constructed
in 1753-54 AD

The tomb is a good speciment of Mughal
and is described as the
"last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture."

Isa Khan's Tomb enclosure in the grounds of
Humayun's tomb. Isa Khan Niyazi was an
Afghan noble in the court of Sher Shah Suri

Gateway to the enclosure of Isa Khan's Tomb

Gateway to Humayun's Tomb

The grieving widow of Emperor Humayun,
Hamida Banu Begum, built this mausoleum,
which is the precursor to the Taj Mahal

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Here we are looking at the gateway from the inside.
The sun is beginning to set.

This is the central chamber. Emperor
Humayun's son was Akbar the Great, widely
considered to be the greatest of all the
Mughal Emperors. Wikipedia lists 20 Mughal Emperors