Home > India > Qutub Minar – they knew how to build

Qutub Minar – they knew how to build

As a way to check out our driver for the next few weeks, we took a trip around the outskirts of Delhi. Sukhdeep turned out to be a very nice gentle man and the car was a big, comfortable and new 7 seater – Thank you again Vinish!

 

 

 

simply stunning

First stop on the tour – Qutb Minar. Paying our tickets, we went in and were dumbfound. This place is like nothing we have ever been to – no exaggeration. The scale, the age, the beauty and delicacy all come together to create something truly special. You stand rooted to the spot  trying to take it in, shaking your head with disbelief – it’s everywhere the carvings especially are so perfect and yet the scale is so enormous.

more requests for posing - grrrrr

Parts of it were 12th century, some parts as old as 4th century, yet the stonework fits like an Aztec temple, the carvings like perfect miniatures from a museum, the arches and domes floating effortlessly, the 1600 year old cast iron column better than the ironwork in 18th century Europe. It was one treat after another.

After Qutb Minar, the next stop, the lotus temple (incorrectly referenced in trip advisor as the Jain Temple), bearing a bit of a resemblance to the Sydney Opera House, this Bahai Temple is a place of silent worship. Try telling the kids that – it was a bit like the Blackadder sketch “…a vow of silence – interesting – tell me about it”. We were not allowed photo’s inside, which was a shame because as opposed to the Opera House, the expression of the structure inside the temple is heavenly.

Lotus Temple

structural engineers, please take note.

We were also enthralled by the hundreds of eagles circling around Delhi.. There are obviously enough rats, parakeets and pigeons to keep them well fed because the the skies were full of large eagles wherever we went. One even had a nest on top of the ruins at Qutub Minar

Then onto the newer temple complex of Ahkshardham, only opened about 8 years ago. It is hard to know how to take this place – it elicits a mixture of feelings. It is new, so we did go around the whole time appreciating it for what it was rather than cooing over the age. Certainly the carving in the tradition of Indian culture was breathtaking and it came in spades – everywhere you looked, there was not a flat piece of wall, but we also found something a bit uncomfortable about the place, something we could not quite put our fingers on. Whether we were tainted by our experience of the unpleasant officials during the security checks, or the ban on photography, or the slightly over zealous security guards with whistles, or the slightly strange religious undertones we are not sure. Jo and I were the same, amazing sculptural techniques, but give us Qutb Minar any day.

candidate for bird world caption competition

 

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