Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Delhi: Lodhi Gardens

After the pleasant temperatures of Baroda, the humid, almost monsoon heat of Delhi is oppressive. I went out this morning to the celebrated Lodhi Gardens to wander around a bit. We lived right next to the gardens when I was a kid, and it was a favorite spot to explore on my bike ... I used to know every little inch, every path and trail, every pond and crumbling ruin. One hangout would be the tomb of Sikander Lodi, situated in a high walled enclosure (it was locked today). I'd clamber up the railingless steps, up to the rampart and peer out, valiantly repelling evil armies. At dusk, I would imagine the ghosts of the Lodhi rulers (the last dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate, for about a hundred years from the middle of the 15th century, just before the arrival of the Mughals) emerging from these tombs, and this would spur me on back home ...

There's four main tombs in the garden, (well, one, Bara Gumbad [big dome] below, is really a big mosque with no sign of graves) ... these are the two in the middle.

Bara Gumbad

Interior of mosque next to Bara Gumbad

Detail of arabesque calligraphy

Sheesh Mahal

Delhi is a fascinating city, really several different cities that have existed in this area from antiquity. A significant bit of its history was under Muslim rulers, and the architectural impact of a millenium or so of Islamic rule is everywhere. So much to explore!! Posted by Picasa
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