Delhi, India (September 2013, August 2016, and August 2018)


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I went trekking in northwestern India during the summers of 2013, 2016, and 2018. After each of these treks, I spent a couple of days in Delhi. August and September are not the best times to visit Delhi, as it is then quite hot and humid. However, transportation between the Indian Himalaya and Delhi is not fully reliable during the monsoon season. These extra days provide a flexible buffer before flying back home. In this page I include some photos I took in Delhi during these short visits.


[Click on the following links to see photos of other parts of India:

1. Sailing from Phuket to the Andaman Islands (2008).

2. Trekking across Ladakh and Zanskar (2013).

3. Trek from Brandy Nala (Ladakh) to Kibber (Spiti) (2016).

4. Trekking across Kang La and Umasi La (Lahaul to Zanskar to Paddar) (2018).

5. Jaipur and Pushkar (2018).]


Lodhi Gardens, New Delhi (2013 & 2016):

Tomb of Muhammad Shah Sayyid, the last of the Sayyid dynasty rulers, built in 1444.

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Bara Gumbad (″big dome″) on the left and the three-dome mosque attached to it on the right, believed to have been constructed around 1490.

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Same two buildings seen from the entrance portal of Sheesh Gumbad.


Facade of the three-dome mosque of Bara Gumbad.

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Inside the mosque.

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Backside of the mosque of Bara Gumbad.


Facing Bara Gumbad is Sheesh Gumbad, a tomb of the Lodhi dynasty believed to have been constructed between 1489 and 1517.

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Tomb of Sikander Lodhi, built in 1517-1518 by his son.

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Qutur Minar Complex, New Delhi (2013):

The main building in the complex is the 73-meter Qutur Minar (minaret), whose diameter decreases from 14.3m at the base to 2.7m at the top. Built during the late 12th and early 13th centuries by Qutb-ud-din Aibak (a former slave), the first sultan of the Mamluk dynasty, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world.

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Arch, iron pillar (black, only visible in the first photo below, 7.2-high, 1600-year old), and stone pillared halls in the complex.

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Ala′i Minar. After a victorious campaign, Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji dreamed to build a minaret similar to Qutub Minar, but twice as high. However, at his death in 1316, the minaret had only reached 27m in height and none of his successors dared pursuing this over-ambitious project.

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Humayun‛s Tomb, New Delhi (2013 & 2018):

The building containing the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun was constructed in the mid-16th century. It is said to have inspired the Taj Mahal, which it predates by 60 years. Commissioned by the emperor′s first wife, Persian-born Bega (Haji) Begum, it was designed by two Persian architects picked by her, Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son Sayyid Muhammad. The building also contains the tombs of empress Bega Begum and several other subsequent Mughal emperors. Its gorgeous facade combines white marble and red sandstone.


I visited this site twice, in 2013 (with a guide) and again in 2018 (alone). As it is open from dawn to dusk, in 2018 I went early in the morning before crowds of people flock into it and I spent more time than in 2013 admiring the building′s perfect geometry and proportion. Personally, I consider Humayun‛s Tomb more beautiful and inspiring that the Taj Mahal, which I had visited in 2001.


(2013) Building containing the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun.

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(2018) Other views of the building stressing its sublime geometry.
















Tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, New Delhi (2013 & 2018):

This tomb is located near Humayun‛s tomb. It was constructed in 1547, more than 20 years before Humayun‛s tomb. Isa Khan Niyazi was an Afghan noble in the court of Sher Shah Suri, a Pashto who founded the Sur Empire in northern India. The tomb is a beautiful example of Lodhi-era architecture.


Photos taken in 2013.

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Photos taken in 2018. Tilework, mainly on the cupolas, was restored in 2014, between my two visits.













Tombs inside the building, including the one of Isa Khan Niyazi.



Three-bay mosque located in the same enclosure as the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, with a striking red sandstone central bay.



Hazrat Nizam-ud-din Dargah, New Delhi (2018):

This dargah (mausoleum) is dedicated to Sufi saint Muhammad Nizam-ud-din Auliya (1238-1325) who preached a doctrine of tolerance. The mausoleum is hidden in a small maze of narrow streets. After crossing the unassuming entrance gate, it is reached through a chaotic series of angular alleys and corridors. It is open at all time, so that people may spend the night there to pray, find some respite, and/or sleep. Some medical care (probably free) is also provided to people in need within the compound.


I went to this place around 7am. Although there was not a large number of people, the mystical atmosphere around the mausoleum was overwhelming. Some people were chanting, some reading, others sleeping. Although the place may at first be a bit intimidating for a solo visitor like me, people were friendly or neutral and peaceful. Of all the places I have visited in Delhi, this is the most memorable one.


The streets around the dargah are filled with eateries and stalls with vendors selling roses, incense, perfumes, and clothes.






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Past the entrance gate, a corridor leads toward the mausoleum of Nizam-ud-din around a crumbling basin that was empty at the time of my visit.



One last shop next to the dargah.



Around the dargah.





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Red Fort, Old Delhi (2013):

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Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi (2016):

This gurudwara (place of worship for Sikhs) was established in 1783 to commemorate the martyrdom the ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. It is situated at the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded on the orders of the Mughal emperor in 1675 for refusing to convert to Islam. The present structure was built in 1930.


Left: Darbar Sahib (prayer hall). Right: Palki (canopy) housing the Guru Granth Sahib (Holy Scripture of Sikhism, regarded by Sikhs as the final, sovereign and eternal living Guru).




Musicians and singers, near the Palki.



In the community kitchen of the gurudwara, volunteers help prepare free meals for thousands of people needing them. Left: large cauldron filled with lentil soup on powerful burners. Center left: preparing chapati dough. Center right and right: cooking chapatis.





Chaumukha Mandir (Hindu temple), Chawri Bazar, Old Delhi (2016):

Three of the deity statues inside the temple, from left to right: Shiva, Ganesh, and pantheon of deities.





Other views of deity statues in the temple.


In the street outside the temple. Left: deity representation (?) using flowers. Right: green peppers, lemons and flowers mounted on short threads, supposed to keep away the evil eye and jealousy. Most merchants of Chawri Bazar buy one such thread after their morning prayers in a temple and attach it to the front doors of their shops.




Spice bazaar, Old Delhi (2016):

Street in the bazaar (left) and bags of yellow turmeric (right).




Views from a rooftop: delicacies drying on another roof (left) and Jama Masjid seen at a distance (right).




Street scenes, Old Delhi (2013 & 2016):



















Cluster of buildings around a courtyard, Old Delhi (2016):







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