The Dancing Girl And The Goddess

A primitive dancing girl and a Tantric Goddess trigger reflections on the current status of women in India.

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The Tomb Of Safdarjung

The site is deserted, even at midday. The Re.5/- entrance fee ($2/- or Rs.100/- for non SAARC foreigners!) is almost an apology, even without the elevated status of a royal tomb. This “last flicker in the lamp of Mughal architecture” is the final resting place of the erstwhile Nawab of Avadh, Mirza Muqim Abul Mansur…

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The Ruins Of Mehrauli

Delhi’s architectural vestiges, the remains of its seven original cities, represent its complex and convoluted history. The spectacular rise of empires and the disasters and conflicts that led to their fall, writ large on every crumbling stone.. Mehrauli is the second of the seven cities, built around 1206AD by Qutub ud din Aibak, a former slave and general of Mohammed Ghori, who…

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Reflections – 2013

I was surprised by how many architectural marvels I photographed last year, mirrored in reflection pools…….at least one from each of our 2013 destinations! You have seen the Paris reflections one too many times, so here are the rest, all from India: The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata — Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi — The Taj Mahal,…

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Caught In The Act

You might have guessed by now how fond we are of exploring the streets and alleys of urban destinations on foot. By ourselves, or on guided walks led by locals in the know. There is no better way to connect to a city than to get off the beaten path and watch real people. At…

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“Dog! I Shall Drink Your Blood!” – Hauz Khas Kitsch!

No, I haven’t turned into a canine hunting vampire overnight! The title is the literal translation of a quintessential Bollywood quote from a 1973 Hindi flick, that has become synonymous with its aging, macho, once dashing, still endearing star. ‘Dog’ in this instance refers to the vile villain, who is about to have the %#&* beaten…

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Delving Into Delirium!

Getting to Chandni Chowk, for our tour with Delhi Heritage Walks was hard work that Monday afternoon. First a purported three minute walk to the subway station ended up being ten, I am guessing, because we neglected to specify the name of the station. Once there (Janpat), we found every ticket vending machine out of order,…

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Vanishing Wells!

The unique stepwells of India, called Baoli’s (or Vavs in Gujurat), are ornate, complex structures that are legacies of the subcontinent’s ancient hydraulic engineering systems.  Along the way those vital water harvesting and storing skills were abandoned, and the wells dried up and silted over, and ended up as giant garbage dumps. It is astonishing how…

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The Magnificent Mausoleum Of Humayun

“To the debate of wasps the dialectic of monkeys the chirping of statistics it offers              (tall pink flame               made of stone and air and birds               time in repose on water) the architecture of silence” ~ Translation…

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