During a recent visit to Delhi, I had an opportunity to visit several historic buildings that were erected during the times of Muslim emperors who ruled India right from Qutub-uddin Aibak to Mughal kings.
My first excursion in city was towards Masjid e Jahanuma popularly known as Jama Masjid Delhi built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The mosque has a captivating aesthetic force that stands as a marvel of beauty in the midst of congested and bustling Purani Delhi. The mega structure leaves one bewildered as to how such a magnificent exhibition of artifact was manifested by the medieval men with little technological and scientific ease at hand. Unparalled beautiful red and white stone work, meshed together, stands as a testimony to the excellence in building and architectural work that existed during the medieval times in sub-continent.
Yards away from the Jama Masjid, sits the beautiful Lal Qila. This magnificent building was also built by Shah Jahan who regarded it as Firdous ba Roh-e-Zamin or Paradise on earth. It has such a beauty that leaves one but with admiration and applause for Islamic architecture that ornaments Delhi like a bride to the present day. The beautifully carved domes of the building, aesthetically carved stone and marble work with flower and bird images ingrained within white marbles speak volumes about the aesthetic sense of the then rulers.
Delhi is a city that does not restrict one’s mobility despite its expanse over a large territory. Whereas the Metro train of Delhi was an attraction and reflected the modern means of land communication in the historic city, the cycle rickshaws and auto-rickshaws served as relic of the past, giving a beautiful merger to the present and past simultaneously.
We took a cab to visit the historic Qutub Minar which was built by the first Muslim ruler, Qutub uddin Aibak, in India. This beautiful Minar was completed by later Muslim rulers. Surprisingly, first glance at the Minar just sent a wave of soothing impulses to my mind and I kept on looking on the beautiful calligraphy of Quranic verses on the beautiful Minar. It reminded me of the Keats words, “A thing of beauty is joy forever.” Qutub Minar, perhaps stands as a monument of peace and beauty in Delhi still and for the times to come.
Our next destination in Delhi was the beautiful and historic tomb of Humayun which equally leaves one’s senses dazzled with innate serenity that emanates from the beautiful structure.
This beautiful building was leaves one with utmost admiration for the beauty of the buildings built especially by the Mughul emperors and leaves one bewildered about the wealth and prosperity of their empire in the medieval times. Few more glimpses of the building and its surroundings will definitely lead you to such queries as well.
Delhi is a beautiful city not for the very reasons that it has historic monuments and architectural masterpieces but it is a city brewing with tolerance, diversity and general peace. I found women walking so freely and fearlessly in the city with no clouds of harassment hovering over their heads. The city houses India’s or perhaps the sub-continent’s best medical facilities and this was the reason we were in the city. On a concluding note, there are many things, we as a nation, can learn from our immediate neighbour as neighbours cannot be changed but attitudes!