Archive for sikandra

The Wholeness Of The Self

Posted in Dreams of An Enthralling India In Colour with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2013 by designldg

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“Remembering our past, carrying it around with us always, may be the necessary requirement for maintaining, as they say, the wholeness of the self.
To ensure that the self doesn’t shrink, to see that it holds on to its volume, memories have to be watered like potted flowers, and the watering calls for regular contact with the witnesses of the past, that is to say, with friends.
They are our mirror; our memory; we ask nothing of them but that they polish the mirror from time to time so we can look at ourselves in it.”
(From “Identity” by Milan Kundera)

This man was standing at the gate of the mausoleum of the third Mughal emperor, Akbar the Great, located in Sikandra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
He was not young but he was not old either and his face carried emotional wounds with a moving melancholy…

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That Overwhelming Existence

Posted in Timeless Black & White with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by designldg

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“Who if I cried out, would hear me among the angel’s hierarchies?
and even if one of them pressed me suddenly against his heart:
I would be consumed in that overwhelming existence.
For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are still just able to endure.
and we are so awed because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
Every angel is terrifying.”
(From “Duino Elegies” by Rainer Maria Rilke – Austro-German lyric poet, 1875-1926)

This was shot from the main room leading to the Tomb of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1555–1605) which is in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Whenever my brother Manish and I drive from Delhi to Benaras we often stop there or at the Taj Mahal for a break.
The fun is to try to take pictures of those places with a new angle.
That day the heat was almost unbearable, I went inside the mausoleum hoping to find some freshness, Manish sat at the door surounded by jali screens and I took this picture…

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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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“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).
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“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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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.

“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.