Dilli Darshan: Firoz Shah Tughlaq’s Delhi

In the post previous to this one I had said that I’m not doing my Dilli Darshaning chronologically any more because most of the sites I’m visiting from this point on are very layered, in that they contain structures from various historical periods and architectural styles. So of course, the very next post (i.e. this one) has to be about sites with buildings from a very specific time in history and very specific architectural style, and which are much older than Purana Qila and Dilli Sher Shahi from the previous post! What to do? Nonetheless, here goes. :) Continue reading

Dilli Darshan: Purana Qila and Dilli Sher Shahi

At this point I’ve stopped trying to do my Dilli Darshan chronologically, so this post is about Purana Qila (literally Old Fort) and the remaining structures of what is known as Dilli Sher Shahi, which are from the 16th century, so I’ve jumped a couple of centuries. This is not too bad a thing, because most of the sites I’m going to be posting about from now on have structures from different historical periods, and thus have overlapping layers of building styles and types, much like the Nizamuddin site from the previous post. Continue reading

Agra Trip

In the first half of April I went to spend a few days with a friend at Agra, and also visited some sites in Agra that I hadn’t been to before, especially Agra Fort. Agra Fort (as it stands now) is a Mughal fort built during the 16th and 17th centuries. Successive Mughal Emperors built different palaces within the fort. The Jahangiri Mahal, built by Akbar (and not by Jahangir as the name would suggest) is an absolutely awesome structure. The decorations on red sandstone are just amazing. Continue reading

Comparing the Begampur and Jaunpur mosques

As always, click on image to go to its flickr set

Just a small post to note possible similarities between the Begampur mosque’s pishtaq (the protruding central element on the facade) and the oversized pishtaqs of the Jaunpur mosques (such as the Atala masjid used as an example here). Both are Tughlaq era mosques (though Jaunpur is far away from Delhi) built in the mid-14th c. (Begampur) and late-14th c. (Atala). Of course the Atala mosque is much more ornamented and stylistically there are obvious differences, but the side-turret effect is similar, as is the batter effect, and to me the basic underlying design and massing is very similar. Hmm? Continue reading

Jaunpur/Varanasi trip

As always, click on an image to go to its flickr set

I’ve wanted to visit the mosques at Jaunpur ever since I first read about them in the second or third year of architecture school. This is primarily for the oversized central pishtaqs (a protruding central element on the facade) on the main courtyard facades of the mosques. Since it makes sense to take a train to Varanasi to get to Jaunpur, I decided to visit Varanasi for the first time as well. Continue reading

Chirag Dilli – aerial photo

Chirag Dilli is the next site on my list to visit. I might not get there till late-Dec/Jan since I have other things to do as well (like my actual research!), but get there I will (hopefully!) :)

The settlement of Chirag Dilli grew around the abode and then tomb of a 14th c. Sufi saint by the same name, and later a square protective wall was built around the settlement. The wall is mostly gone now, but the present village of Chirag Dilli still conforms to the square shape. Spiro Kostof was right!!! :P

Chirag Dilli.

Khirki Masjid – aerial photo

An interesting aerial shot of one of the sites I was talking about before – Khirki Masjid. This is a 14th c. mosque that is unusual because much of it is covered, as opposed to having a large central open courtyard. Instead, this has 4 small courtyards with wide “passages” between them. From the sky the shape is pretty interesting, you can see it as the checkered square in the lower left quarter of the photo. Continue reading