Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One Hour in Paradise

That's me at Humayun's Tomb in New Delhi.  The locals pronounce it hah-my-ans and they just say "Delhi".  It was constructed in 1570 by the Mughal emperor and is a grand example of Persian influence, the Persian extension into India, Islamic style and values, and the Mughal Empire period in India.

It is also a wonderful example of the design of the walled garden, or "paradise".  That's the meaning of that word.

 At the points of the compass there are gates.  Each one is different and they represent different purposes and people.  This gate was for the women of the family and honors them.

 There are also ceremonial temples and shrines in other portions.  Water runs along the paths to fountains and reflecting pools in clean mathematical symmetry.

 This gate is for the pumping station and is at the wall that was once bordered by the river.  Another gate acted like a cabana or bath house for ritual cleansing as well as the welcoming gate for guests entering from the river.

 It's a pleasant and meditative place, ideal for strolling and talking, and visitors have plenty of freedom to look around.  We saw eagles, peacocks and other birds.

Be sure to notice the other gates and enclosures as well as the museum which has a model diorama and explains the layout and significance of the garden.

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