Archive for the Caught up in a Mughal reverie Category

The Gardens of Eden

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

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“Hail, blessed space happier than the garden of Paradise
Hail lofty buildings higher than the divine throne
A paradise, the garden of which has thousands of Rizwans as servants
A garden of which has thousands of paradise for its land
The pen of the mason of the Divine Deeree has wrotten on its court
These are the gardens of Eden, enter them and Live Forever.”

This is a Persian poem on the third Mughal Emperor’s tomb complex’s entrance gate located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh from where this picture was shot.
This visual metaphor is a reference to paradise.
It was designed and written on the north facade, the side facing the tomb, by Abd al-Haqq Shirazi who was later known as Amanat Khan when he became the designer of inscriptions on several major Mughal monuments including the Taj Mahal.

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Towards Eternity

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Towards Eternity

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“May his [Akbar’s] soul shine like the rays of the sun and the moon in the light of God.”
(Final verse of the Persian inscription on the emperor tomb’s entrance gate)

This is one more picture of the third Mughal Emperor’s tomb in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
This door shows a long narrow corridor which leads to the basement of the burial chamber where an interior domed chamber contains Akbar the Great’s true sarcophagus.
Although this interior was later whitewashed, it is reported that originally it was painted with Christian subjects including angels and the Virgin Mary, however such images were a matter of fashion and not reflection of religious belief.

Into Light

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Into Light

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
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“Allah is the Protector of those who have faith: from the depths of darkness He will lead them forth into light.”
(From the Holy Quran – 2.257)

Tow lamps are the only furnitures inside the mausoleum complex of the third Mughal emperor Akbar the Great (1542 – 1605).
Therefore it was easy to connect this picture with those symbolic words found in the Holy Quran…
It is located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Abode of Paradise

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

Abode of Paradise

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Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day Without suspecting our abode, until we drive away”
(Emily Dickinson – American Poet, 1830-1886)

This is the main room leading to emperor Akbar’s burial place inside the mausoleum located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
In the Akbarnāma (the official chronicle of the reign of Akbar the Great, the third Mughal emperor) this monument is mentioned as Behistan or Behistabad which literally means “Abode of Paradise”.

The Duties of an Emperor

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2011 by designldg

The Duties of an Emperor

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“Emperor Akbar: Though I am a beloved father to a kind son, I can’t ignore the duties of an emperor.
I cannot change the destiny of India for my son’s love. ”
(From the Indian movie “Mughal-e-azam “, 1960)

This Akbar the Great’s cenotaph inside the mausoleum which is located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Per traditions the true tomb lies below this Mughal architectural masterpiece.

Like a Squirrel

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by designldg

“Living is no laughing matter: you must live with great seriousness like a squirrel for example – I mean without looking for something beyond and above living, I mean living must be your whole occupation”.
(Nâzım Hikmet Ran – commonly known as Nâzım Hikmet, Turkish poet, 1902 – 1963)

This was shot last Friday at the tomb of Mohammad Ghaus in Gwalior in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
It was before sunset when people came to offer namaaz (prayer) and Ì was standing in front of the Sufi saint mazaar (tomb) which is a pilgrimage centre for both the Hindus and the Muslims when I saw this funny squirrel.

The Squirrel’s Heart Beat

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by designldg

“If we had a keen vision of all that is ordinary in human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow or the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which is the other side of silence”.
(George Eliot – English Novelist. Pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880)

This was shot last Friday at the tomb of Mohammad Ghaus in Gwalior in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.
I was sitting on the stairs of the entrance of the Mughal style building of the 16th century and I saw this funny squirrel behaving like a character from an animated cartoon and striking many poses as if it was used to cameras.

An Everlasting Dream

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Ethereal Dreams with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 9, 2009 by designldg

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The legend says that Shah Jahan used to watch Mumtaz Mahal’s Tomb from this window at Lal Quila, the Red Fort located in Agra during the last seven years of his life as he was under house arrest by his son Aurangzeb.
I wanted the Yamuna River to reflect red shades in order to wrap the Taj Mahal in an everlasting love dream.

Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
“Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.”

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Safdarjung’s Tomb

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by designldg

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Safdarjung Tomb is one of the most magnificent tombs of India, situated in the capital city of Delhi.
The mausoleum serves as the last resting place of Safdarjung, the governor of Awadh and later the powerful Prime Minister of Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah who was the weak Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748.
It was built under the aegis of Nawab Shuja-ud-Daulah, Safdarjung’s son.
Safdarjang Tomb dates back to the year 1753 and lies at the Lodi Road of New Delhi, near the Safdarjung Airport.

Surrounded by blooming gardens, the entire complex of Safdarjung tomb covers an area of approximately 300 sq km. The garden of the tomb has been designed as per the Charbagh style of the Mughal gardens.
It is also said that tomb of Safdar Jung is built almost on the same pattern as the Humayun’s tomb.
The mausoleum represents that time when the Mughal style of architecture was almost on the road to its downfall.

Safdarjung tomb has been constructed out of red sandstone and buff stone.
Along with Safdarjung, the tomb also houses the remains of his wife.
There are eight rooms surrounding the central chamber of the mausoleum, which is square in its shape.
All the apartments in the Safdarjang Tomb, with the exception of the corner ones, are rectangular in shape.
The corner ones have been built in the shape of an octagon.

Supporting the dome of the mausoleum is a sixteen-sided base. Exceptionally splendid pavilions are situated on the either side of the Safdarjung tomb.
They are known as ‘Moti Mahal’ (Pearl Palace), ‘Jangli Mahal’ (Sylvan Palace) and ‘Badshah Pasand’ (Emperor’s Favorite). The tomb of Safdar Jung has been criticized numerous times for its weakness in proportions, which has led to a lack of balance in its make-up.

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
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A Mughal’s Eternity

Posted in Caught up in a Mughal reverie, Islam with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2009 by designldg

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This is Safdarjung’s tomb, it is in an open room of the marble mausoleum in Delhi.

It was built in 1754 in the style of late Mughal architecture. The garden, in the style evolved by the Mughal Empire that is now known as the Mughal gardens style known as a charbagh, is entered through an ornate gate.
Its facade is decorated with elaborate plaster carvings.

The tomb was built for Safdarjung, the powerful prime minister of Muhammad Shah who was the weak Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748.
The central tomb has a huge dome.
There are four water canals leading to four buildings.
One has an ornately decorated gateway while the other three are pavilions, with living quarters built into the walls. Octagonal towers are in the corners.
The canals are four oblong tanks, one on each side of the tomb.

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.