A Mosque (Okay Two) And A Dargah in Connaught Place

Mosque

There are many large and small structures within the area of “Lutyens’ Delhi” that predate the British imperial capital. This is not surprising since many villages existed in the area where the capital was built, and while most of these villages were razed, some of the religious structures – mosques, dargahs, temples and gurdwaras – were allowed to stand (and many, especially the gurdwaras, have grown in size and importance since then). Mosques were probably the most numerous religious structures, and are easily spotted today as their number and need for specific orientation made them difficult to incorporate into the new urban layout. They jut out onto roads (like the mosque on Janpath) and walkways (like the one on Baba Khadak Singh Marg) and occupy traffic circles (like on Kasturba Gandhi Marg and near Udyog Bhawan). Continue reading

Khatu

Khatu is the location of one of the four mosques I had discussed in my Four Ghurid Mosques post. The mosque is of significant historical importance, but the rest of the town is pretty intriguing as well. For me, Khatu is an example of the hundreds of small towns across India that have enough going in terms of architectural and urban history to warrant interest by conservators (and even tourists). Unfortunately the town lies in the middle of nowhere both literally and figuratively. Continue reading

Four Ghurid Mosques

The four mosques discussed in this post are among the earliest royally-sanctioned mosques in north India, dating from the last decade of the 12th c and first decade of the 13th c (1190-1210 AD). All four were built in the wake of the conquest of north India by the armies of Mohammad Ghouri, and are said to be built at the sites of remains of earlier Hindu temples. Continue reading

Srinagar’s Mosques and Shrines

Most of Srinagar’s most famous shrines and mosques lie within or close to the old city. The architecture of these monuments is unique, mostly constructed of wood and brick/stone masonry, with multi-levelled sloping roofs and tall spires reminiscent of Hindu and Buddhist religious structures from the western and central Himalayas. They have elaborately and beautifully ornate polychromatic interiors finished with wood and papier-mache. Continue reading

Mandu

Mandu is one of those places that I’d been planning to visit for many many years, and till now for one reason or another hadn’t managed to get to. So on my way back from Bangalore in August, I thought I’d make a detour and finally get to see the site. Despite a lack of reasonably-clean budget hotels, I wasn’t disappointed. :) Continue reading

Thursday Afternoon at Bakhtiyar Kaki’s Dargah

I visited Bakhtiyar Kaki’s dargah in Mehrauli on a Thursday, the busiest day at Sufi shrines, and here are a few images of the scenes and crowds, to complement the images and descriptions in the main dargah post.

Dilli Darshan: Mehrauli

Mehrauli is a large urban village that grew around the shrine of the 13th c. Sufi saint Bakhtiyar Kaki, much like Nizamuddin grew around the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya (also 13th c. though a little later than Bakhtiyar Kaki). Kaki’s shrine was just outside the walls of Lal Kot, the fortified city within which the Qutb Minar is situated, and Mehrauli has grown right up to the edge of the now ruined fortifications. Continue reading

Dilli Darshan: Sayyid and Lodhi Delhi

I had thought that this leg of Dilli Darshaning was going to be of interest mostly only because it would take me to localities in south Delhi that I’d never been to before, while the buildings themselves would be nothing to write home about (or in this case write a blog post about). This is because common lore dictates that Delhi under the Sayyids and Lodhis became a “Necropolis”, a city filled with tombs and graves and nothing much else. Continue reading