According to the description, this painting from Rajasthan depicted a battle scene with 2 nobles on elephants, a warrior on a horse and a lady in Rajasthani costume with an attendant on the other side.
The elephant sculpture was made from the wood from the jack fruit tree.
The wood and metal Pigeon House was a refuge or feeding place for birds. Many faiths, including the Jain, believe that the souls of those who have died inhabit birds and animals. That is why the feeding of birds is also the care of departed souls.
There was a complete miniature village of traditional buildings from across
Above and below, the stone Kulu Hut which had a slate tile roof.
Above and below, the Banni Hut from the Gujarat region was constructed with sun dried bricks and thatched with local weeds. Its circular design protects inhabitants from hot desert winds.
I then walked over to the neighboring
Just beyond the entrance to thew massive complex, a door in the wall provided access to Isa Khan's Tomb, above, the last resting place of a coutier from the era of the usurping Sher Shah.
The octagonal tomb, which predated Humayun's Tomb by only 20 years, had canopies, glazed tiles and lattice screens. On the western side of the enclosure, the 3 bay-wide mosque, above, had grand red sandstone central bays. Until the early twentieth century, an entire village had settled in the enclosure.
Beyond that entrance was another long thoroughfare that led us to the Western Gate, below, which was the entrance to more gardens surrounding Humayun's Tomb.
The 16 m high Western Gate serves as an 'architectural curtain designed to conceal the garden and tomb from view until the last minute when Humayun's mausoleum appears in all its glory'. Rooms on either side of the gate flanked the central passage and the upper floor which had small courtyards. Six sided stars so often used by the Mughuls as an ornamental cosmic symbol adorned the structure.
Finally, a view of Humayun's Tomb built in 1565 after entering the walled Mughal gardens! Right away we noticed the contrast between the red sandstone and the white marble. The inconsolable widow of Emperor Humayun entrusted the design of the monument to a Persian architect. He created a work that was virtually perfect and served as a prototype for all the Indo-Islamic mausoleums that followed, the pinnacle of which was the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Yeah - more steps to climb to access the actual tomb itself!
The tomb stood on an elevated base; a large iwan or vaulted space broke up the solid wall on each of the 4 sides and created a sense of lightness.
Humayun's mausoleum was the first ever use of sandstone in such vast quantities. Reminiscent of the red royal Mughal tents, it was to become Emperor Akbar's favorite building material.
The flattened interior dome was not the same size as the exterior dome which was slightly wider and taller. As a result, a giant empty space was left between the 2 domes. This was the first result of a double-dome in India.
A single door on the southern side of the magnificent mausoleum opened into the interior of the tomb where Humayun lay in solitary splendor in a small and ostentatiously plain marble tomb, above and below.
These tombs belonged to Humayun's sons and were located in a separate chamber of the mausoleum.
After spending time admiring the interior, we walked clockwise around the exterior of the tomb and got a sense of the scale of the mausoleum. We both admired the exquisite tile work on the cupola, below.
The beautiful gardens that surrounded the tomb followed the Persian-style charbagh pattern in which the garden is divided into 4 quarters by water channels: a representation of the Islamic gardens of paradise.
Nizamuddin was a mainly Muslim district named after Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, a mystic Sufi saint of the Chisti order who died in 1325.
It was quite disconcerting to see so many beggars in the narrow alley leading from the temple.
After only spending a short while at the Temple, our driver took us next to
Photos of Lodhi Garden:
It was the first example in Delhi of an octagonal tomb: a central chamber with 8 sides topped by a spherical dome and surrounded by a gallery supporting 8 rooftop pavilions.
The central 15m chamber contained several graves; the central one is believed to be that of Muhammed Shah and the others belonged to his family.
The construction of the first story at Qutb Minar was interrupted by Aibak's death; the remaining stories were completed in matching material and style by his successor in 1230. The tower, which years ago could be ascended by 379 steps, is the highest stone tower in India.
The 73m high slightly conical outline of the minaret comprises 5 successive sections decorated with bands of Kufic script that resembled armbands.
Above and below, Quwwat-ul-Islam or the Power of Islam, the ruins of the oldest mosque in India. Begun in 1193 and extended twice over the course of 100 years, it was built with materials recovered from about 20 Hindu and Jain temples that had been destroyed in the name of the Muslim faith. All that remained of the mosque's prayer hall were the majestic pointed arcades of the entrance, covered in vine branches and Koranic inscriptions.
Just behind the minaret was a cube-shaped building with an arch, the Alai Darwaza above. As we passed through it, we could see the faithful entering the mosque. This gate was added in 1310. The local Hindu artists carved interlacing, swooping Koranic inscriptions that covered every square inch of the monument with a horror vacui (literally 'fear of empty space') that is characteristic of Indian art.
We enjoyed watching the last sunset of our over three month long trip at Qutb Minar. As I write this belatedly a month later, I wonder where the first sunset will be on our next 'Big Trip.'
Walking toward the Alai Minar.
The Alai Minar or the Unfinished Tower was supposed to have been twice the height of Qutb Minar but it had hardly reached its first story when Alauddin Khalij, its creator who was also responsible for doubling the size of the nearby mosque, died.
It was with mixed feelings that we spent our last night in Delhi - thrilled of course that we were heading at least part way home the next day and would soon see family and friends whom we had missed so much after being away for so long, but also more than a hint of sadness too that our exciting adventure that had taken us around the world was almost at an end.
Posted at long last on 1/19/16 from our home in Littleton, Colorado!