Qutb Minar in Dehli, India

Mughal architecture is astounding. Color tones, textures, optical illusions…..are some of the many distinctive details. The 13th center “tower of triumph” as it’s called is still the tallest free-standing minaret in the world, according to an India travel guide book. The sandstone facades and arches (without any mortar) were built in the typical Indian dry masonry technique. The Arabic inscriptions and ornate details , carved inscriptions and geometrics in the patterns convey such diligence and artisan discipline but also have a subtle blending in to the rich, earthy tone of the buildings.

Qutb Minar (also spelled Qutub), was built by the first Muslim sultan of Delhi as a triumphant celebration of victory over the Hindu kings. It’s often referred to as the” tower of triumph” or “tower of victory.”  The cupola, which was originally on the very top, was destroyed by a 19th century earthquake. A nearby mosque on the grounds is believed to be the oldest in India, built with parts of demolished Jain and Hindu temples. There is also a 4th century iron pillar on the courtyard which impressively has never shown any signs of corrosion.As we walked the grounds and viewed the splendor of this architecture, we enjoyed seeing the people in their colorful Indian clothing. Our guide told us many facts and stories about this site which was on the first days of our itinerary. I can’t say that I remember them all because we were still quite tired from traveling long hours to reach Dehli, India. Although I wasn’t as alert to absorb the history and information of this site, I have fond memories of the sunny day and the intense earth tones of the sandstone amidst the landscape.All of the temples, forts, and monuments we toured in Delhi were powerful and fascinating. I can definitely understand how the “Golden Triangle” got its name. Getting to the sites among the busy and noisy streets, highways, etc. required energy and patience; especially on restless sleep. Devote time to each destination on the Golden Triangle, if you go.photos by Gina Kingsley

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