Delhi Through My Lens

Delhi - Beneath the veneer of the hustle-bustle, the politicos and the beaurocracy, and our 'in-famous' rash behavior lies a city built and used as a capital by different empires, each leaving an enduring mark. This photoblog is my humble effort to unearth the beauty that we often cant see or simply choose to ignore while allowing me to explore my hobby for photography in greater detail.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Safdarjung Tomb

At the end of one of the posh-est roads of Delhi lies the final resting place of one of the strongest General's of the late Mughal era, Safdarjung. I happened to visit it early on the morning of 14th, alone, and was simply awestruck by it. As one enters the main archway and stares at the magnificent structure, the cacophonous sound of Delhi seem to leave you. Built by Safdarjung' son, it is a monument of love, albeit of a different kind. However, early in the morning on a day dedicated globally to those in love, it stood desolate and empty.

The central chamber of the tomb, 3 stories high, is intimidating to say the least. Not a sound is to be heard even though one stands just a few metres away from Delhi's ever jammed roads.

There was a lot of renovation work going on, which, although a good initiative, seemed to lack in execution. Haphazard signs and repair work seemed to take as much away from the beauty of the place as they sought to restore.

It was a place which seemed to know its time had come, yet it stood resolute, braving all and sundry and still commanding a unique position in Delhi's map.

As enamored as I was with the place, I refrained from taking the usual photographs and tried to click some unusual subjects.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Suraj Kund Mela

Instead of the early morning sojourn to some monument, we decided to soak in the sights and sounds of SurajKund Crafts Mela this week. It is not easy to describe the atmosphere as one finds it there. People dressed in costumes, candy floss makers, chat stalls, tight-rope walkers, kaliedescopes, stalls from all across the country and even abroad, it is a colorful, cheerful affair. Oh and the crowd.. 50000 people reportedly went to the mela on Saturday, so i'm guessing it would've been more on Sunday.

Enough said.. I'm not good with words, nor with people photography. All images have been shot by Abhinav :)


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Purana Quila

After another week's hiatus, actually it was a fanta-fabulous GOA trip, the pictures of which are unfortunately out of purview of this blog, visited Purana Quila, the inner citadel of the city of Din-a-panah, this sunday. Built by Humayun and then Sher-Shah Suri on the alleged remains of Indraprastha, this also houses the Delhi zoo. As such, a major part of it cannot by explored.

The pics are essentially straight-out-of-camera with a little adjusment to levels and cropping. A couple of photos have been clicked by my cousin, Abhinav Bhagat, and i havent "copyrighted" them, as such.

The lal darwaza, or bada darwaza ( i forget which ) is the main entrance to this magnificient structure.

Sher Mandal, an octagonal structure used by Sher shah as his library and a masjid in the background.

Sher Mandal, through a bush ( Abhinav ). This is where Humayun fell to his untimely death as tried to sight Venus. Thus fortifying the age old theory that women are dangerous. She did not even require her human form to bring about India's Emperor's demise.

The qila-i-kuhna mosque. we were tooo lazy to go nearer.

The Humayun darwaza, one of the entrances to the fort, from an angle. Loved the play o light in this.

The dome of the humayun gate ( Abhinav ). brilliant timing to get the bird's silhouette bang in the middle.

Humayun Darwaza from yet another angle. Climbed illegally to the top through some haphazard barricading. All blames should go to Yash, who found it.

The mughals sure knew how to maintain their lawns. And Delhi police sure knows to place their barricades at the most inappropriate places. made for an interesting photograph, so i'm not complaining.

The "lake" outside the fort.

The following are two panaromas which are best viewed in large size in flickr ( click on the photo )
Untitled_Panorama large


Sunday, January 17, 2010

Qutub on a foggy day

A few pictures of Qutub Minar and complex. The fog has been so dense in Delhi that only 2 stories of the minar were barely visible even at 10 in the morning. As such, not highly pleased with the picture quality but the place was simple out of this world.. the chilly weather and the fog also helped give the feeling of being transported to some distant world.

the famous Iron Pillar.. 1600 years and still no rust.

can you make out the Qutub Minar at the back??

Monday, January 4, 2010

No Pics but a chance to be Goofy again

The fog has suddenly picked up so much in Delhi that one hand had trouble finding the other. Driving to office at 10:30 on Saturday, it felt like the sun was yet to rise. Hence, this Sunday I decided to not venture out aimlessly in the the morning and rather wait till the afternoon/late evening for my excursion. I'd decided to go to Siri Fort, which is adjoining the Siri Fort complex (you can see where the name came from, can't you) which I was anyways gonna visit for badminton.

However, persistent drizzle throughout the day put paid to that plan also. Hence the entire day I was cooped up inside the house and vented my frustration while playing CS, Counter Strike to the un-initiated. CS.. ah, it felt like a refuge from a world gone by. How many days had we wasted, if I may use such a derogatory word as 'wasted' for CS, involved in warfare between the T and the CT's, endless nights spent in planning and perfecting strategies, and classes bunked to indulge in that one last game.

It'd been two years since I'd played the game, and spent the first few hours of 2010 reliving some past memories and glories. A few of Yash's frens had stayed overnight on 31st playing CS till we saw first light of 2010 and we again spent the whole of sunday afternoon in the same pursuit.

It was like 'manna', awakening some dormant being which was asleep for more than 2 years. I'll be the first to admit it wasnt the same without Naga's machine gun, Chacha's blind helter-skelter running, Appy's MP5 and slow comp, Rahul's precision with the CV-47, Mansur's prodigious talent with the sniper and Todi's all round game. As for me, well.. Goofy got another chance to run amok yesterday.
From that I'm hopeful this year would go as well as my college years were.

Friday, December 25, 2009

"To the dead of the Indian armies... "

"To the dead of the Indian armies who fell honoured in France and Flanders Mesopotamia and Persia East Africa Gallipoli and elsewhere in the near and the far-east and in sacred memory also of those whose names are recorded and who fell in India or the north-west frontier and during the Third Afgan War"

It's 6.30 am and I wearily open my eyes. I've just had 4 hours of sleep yet I somehow rise myself out of bed and head out - 'before the dawn' by Judas Priest aptly keeping me company.

I'm standing at the center of Delhi, as it was imagined and designed by Edwin Lutyens and has been maintained till date. Around me are the places where the laws and policies of our land are decided and the highest echelons of powers reside. The Presidential Palace, the Parliament and the Supreme Court are awe-inspiring and intimidating at the same time. And at the epicenter or it all stands Lutyens's supreme creation and India's greatest war memorial - India Gate, built to commemorate the fallen Indian soldiers in First World War.

India Gate has always held a dear spot in every Delhi-ite's heart and I am no different. Late night chuskis and ice-creams, children's park and family picnics on the lawns flanking the monument from all sides are some images this monument immediately conjures up in my mind. There was a time when one could drive right by the monument but such are the times we live in that vehicular traffic is restricted and there is a constant presence of security forces at India Gate now.

It'd been a long time since I had seen the Amar Jawan Jyoti, the tomb of the Immortal Soldier, up close. The feelings the shrine evokes are difficult to describe in mere words. The moment was made even more special by the marching drill being carried out by a unit of the Indian Air Force (I presume this from the color of their uniform) and the resulting tune of "Saare Jahan se Achcha" reverberating through the air.

I was heartened to see a few early morning joggers enjoying the beauty this place offers and the small cricket matches already in progress again reiterated the cricket-crazy attitude of our nation.

India Gate has always been the primary image most people associate Delhi with and it is an imposing monument. The only grudge, if any, that I hold with it is the fact that it essentially was and is a memorial honoring the soldiers who fought for British India and we still don't have a monument to honor the valiant soldiers who fought for free India in the Indo-China wars of '62 and '65 and the Indo-Pak war of '71.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Humayun's Tomb

After much procrastination and deliberation, I finally gathered the courage to head out in this chill to start my journey to understand Delhi better.
First stop - Humayun's Tomb, the first memories of which are through a school visit loong loong ago.

Having reached the place at 7, well before it opened to public, I had to resort to a cup of roadside chai to maintain the blood flow in my body.

Once we purchased our tickets (Rs 10 for Indian Nationals and Rs 250 for foreigners), We started exploring the grounds before getting down to serious business. Built for the 2nd Mughal Emperor Humayun, this complex of buildings surrounded by vast gardens is said to have set the precedent for the Mughal architecture in India. The tomb, called the Taj Mahal, also houses the graves of Humayun's wife and other Mughal royalty.

The immaculately maintained gardens were home to some very playful squirrels and a variety of birds, including a peacock.

This complex also housed an octagonal tomb of a courtesan of the court of Sher Shah Suri, which, intriguingly, predated Humayun's tomb by about 30 years.

My first trip took some time coming, but am I glad it did. The smell of early morning grass, the peace and quiet and the serenity of the area and the chilly breeze invigorates the mind and body like nothing else.


About Me

A fat, balding guy, trying hard to get in shape, re-grow some of the hair, and get into an MBA college.. Well, that's ME!!!