Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Udaigiri Caves, Udaigiri

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Hazrat Nizamuddin and the Monuments around it.

Hazrat Nizamuddin area in New Delhi is a bustling settlement in  that is at once a biggish slum and a place of religious fervor. It gives a distinct Muslim feel to it what with hordes of men in scull caps and traditional madrasa clothes scurrying the narrow filthy streets. The road to the Dargah is lined with eateries from where the waiters exhort you to buy a meal for the beggars that throng them. There are shops that sell flowers (purple and white petals) , savouries and incense and an assortment of items that you can offer at the Dargah. Most of them also double up as `shoe- keepers' taking charge of your footwear. (For a small fee f you look indian). You will come across a  prominent butcher shop on the way that has huge chunks of buffalo meat hanging from its meat hooks from the roof. 

If you go on a thursday evening there is a fascinating qualli singing to the lyrics of Amir Khusro. The complex itself is small with the shrine of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya in marble in the centre. It was believed to be a sign of good luck to be buried close to the saint therefore lot of prominent men of those time including Amir Khusro, Ataga Khan, Ghalib had their tombs close to the Shaikh's dargah. 

Shaikh Nizamuddin died in 1325 and the original tomb does not exist. The present structure was built in the reign of Akbar who was a great patron of sufi saints. 

A mother with her baby at Nizamuddin complex

Burning incense for the Sufi saint

A man fans devotees at the Dargah

Eateries like these litter the Nizamudding area.

Ataga Khan's Tomb:  Ataga Khan was the husband of Ji Ji Anga, Akbar's wet nurse and held an important position in the court of Akbar. He was killed by Adham Khan in 1562 by Adham Khan son of Maham Anga another wet nurse of Akbar. Ataga Khan's death infuriated Akbar so much that he threw Adham Kham to his death from a high balcony.

Jamaat Khana Masjid

The tomb of Shaikh Nizamuddin Auliya

Tomb of Mirza Ghalib

Chaunsath Khamba: so called because of the 64 pillars that supports the roof. It was built for Mirza Aziz , the son of Ataga Khan.

Sabz Burj: This is in the middle of a busy intersection. The blue tiles are recent example of ASI's `restoration effort'.  The British had used it as a police station for many years. 
Tomb of Amir Khusro

The dead and the living: Jahanara's tomb- the daughter of Shah Jahan. 

Ladies not allowed. These are unfortunate but familiar signs at almost all sufi shrines in India including the one of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in Mehrauli. 

Monday, April 7, 2008

Meherangarh Fort, Jodhpur

The closer and closer i got to Meherangarh Fort the bigger and bigger the fort grew. It is the biggest fort i have ever seen. The wall of this fort built on a ridge overlooking Jodhpur city are over 36 meters high. The fort is built around the landscape of the hill and looks majestic and huge from every angel you see it. It dominates the Jodhpur skyline and when you look down from the many windows of the fort you feel dizzy. Thankfully unlike the Jaisalmer Fort , Meherangarh Fort is well protected and kept after. Besides the magnificient palaces, corridors and halls the tourism deparment has littered the fort with folk singers and artisans who sing and play for the tourists and make handicrafts like plastic bangles in front of them.

Meherangarh from my hotel

meherangarh fort from the city

Meherangarh fort from the city lake

Meherangarh fort

Reflection of Meherangarh in Jodhpur lake

Meherangarh fort

Jodhpur city through canons of Meherangarh

Bird on wire and Meherangarh Fort

Rajasthani man and Meherangarh

Meherangarh and blue Jodhpur city

Meherangarh fort and Jodhpur city

Entrance of Meherangarh Fort

Massive height of Meherangarh Fort

Tourists on the bastions of Meherangarh

A window in Meherangarh Fort

Canon on the roof of the fort

Canon on the fort and Jodhpur city

Jodhpur city and Canon on Meherangarh

View through the canon on Meherangarh

The view from the gate

A bangle maker at the fort

Canon at the fort

Old canon and Jodhpur city

A woman looks down at Jodhpur city from the fort

Approach road to the fort.

Spiral stairways in the fort

One of the rooms in the fort

Rajasthani man in the corridor.

Arched windows and Jodhpur city.

The metal bars on the windows of the fort.

Fort entrance

Rao Jodhaji's Falsa at the fort.

Attendant at the fort.

The folk singers at the fort.

This traditional rajasthani man is a live model who sits with a hukka in the fort.

Fort-View from below

Fort from below

The driver waits for his tourists outside

Tourists wait their turn in the lift.

The canon, the fort and the city.