Monday, 28 January 2013

Safdarjang's Tomb, New Delhi

Late Mughal anyone? Safdarjang's tomb was built more than 100 years after the Taj Mahal, but it hasn't improved on that great forebearer. It's not as grand or placed in such an impressive location, an indication of the waning days of the Mughal empire. Hey, downsizing happens to everyone eventually.

As usual, an entrance gatehouse, making sure the tomb teases you and then rewards once you emerge.

And so it does.

The tomb is slammed for too much ornamentation, as if the French snuck over and made a big frothy cake. But inside, while the dome carving is endless, it's also beautiful. Art Nouveau, here we come.

One design touch they got completely right was the placement of the entrance doors. They're symmetrical, not unusual for tomb design, one to a side, centered. But there aren't screens or other impediments to walk around before entering the mausoleum center, meaning light passes directly through. Uhm, divine light!

A couple more details. An end minaret, full of inlaid marble. A tourist with inlaid teeth.

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