Monday, February 27, 2012

Purana Qila – History revisited – part 2

continued from part 1

After visiting the Mosque and its environs, we moved on to the left of the fort, where-in we saw the outer boundary wall as well as underground structures,




where the ASI is now undertaking extensive restoration work….



of course, no monument is a monument without its encroachers.


This family has made a part of the fort their home, with domestic pets et al…


After this, we continued towards the “Forbidden Gate” or ‘Talaqi Darwaza’



The Fort as mentioned earlier was a riot of colours with blooming spring flowers and butterflies.

IMG_3462    IMG_3444IMG_3457IMG_3451 IMG_3453IMG_3438 IMG_3454IMG_3449 IMG_3456 

The walk was completed after some sumptuous snacks, and a couple of group photographs.




Sunday, February 26, 2012

Purana Qila – history revisited…. part 1

The KLODB (Knowing Loving Delhi Better) Group organised a walk to the Purana Qila which is beside the Delhi Zoo.


The walk was scheduled to start at 10, but after a chai break and catching up with old friends, we started the walk at 10:30. We entered through the Bara Darwaza (Big Gate) facing West. The walls of the Fort rise to a height of 18 metres, and run on for about 1.5 km. The fort has three main entrances, which are three arched gateways. All the gates are double-storeyed sandstone structures flanked by two huge semi-circular bastion towers, and decorated with white and coloured-marble inlays and blue tiles, and replete with detailing, like ornate overhanging balconies, jharokhas, pillared pavilions chhatris on top, reminiscent of Rajasthani architecture as seen in the North and South Gates, and which were amply seen in future Mughal architecture.

IMG_3374 IMG_3375

After learning about ‘keystones’ and domes,  where Jaya explained the concept of the ‘Keystone’ and how it became an integral part of architecture,

 IMG_3376 IMG_3381

we moved on inside the fort proper, where we were assailed by a riot of colours of various flowers.



we moved to the Qila-i Kuhna Mosque, where we marvelled at the intricate carving and calligraphy.


The single-domed Qila-i-Kuna Mosque, built by Sher Shah in 1541 is an excellent example of a pre-Mughal design, and an early example of the extensive use of the pointed arch in the region as seen in its five doorways with the 'true' horseshoe-shaped arches. It was designed as a Jami Mosque, or Friday mosque for the Sultan and his courtiers. The prayer hall inside, the single-aisled mosque, measures 51.20m by 14.90m and has five elegant arched prayer niches or mihrabs set in its western wall.

IMG_3384 IMG_3385

IMG_3386 IMG_3387

Marble in shades of red, white and slate is used for the calligraphic inscriptions on the central iwan, marks a transition from Lodhi to Mughal architecture.


IMG_3398 IMG_3395

A second storey, accessed through staircases from the prayer hall, with a narrow passage running along the rectangular hall, provided space for female courtiers to pray, while the arched doorway on the left wall, framed by ornate jharokas, was reserved for members of the royal family.On a marble slab within mosque an inscription thus read, "As long as there are people on the earth, may this edifice be frequented and people be happy and cheerful in it. Today it is the best preserved building the Purana Qila.

IMG_3389 IMG_3391   

to be continued …… part 2

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

times of joy …..


times of joy are like oasis's spotting the desert of our lives,

or like dew drops on a flower, giving beauty and sustenance to it,

and it is for these times, that one endures and waits,

so that one may feel heaven on earth; again…..

Friday, February 10, 2012


I received this as a forward in the mail. Loved it. Wanted to share it with my blogger friends…

(the photograph below is mine, the story is not…)


Really heart touching.........
By an unknown person......
I was walking around in a Mall shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old..
The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to me  ''Uncle, are you sure I don't have enough money?'' I counted his cash and replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.'' The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. 'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much . I wanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY. I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.' His eyes were so sad while saying this. 'My Sister has gone to be with God.. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister...''

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: 'I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.' Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won't forget me.' 'I love my mommy and I
wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.' Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly.

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?'' 'OK' he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to his without him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!' Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!'' 'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.'

I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind. Then I remembered a local newspaper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away.. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial. She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed forever...

The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.