The good thing about having a guide who has 3 or 4 degrees and is acquiring more is that if you are academically inquisitive, you will get answers.

Still on our first day in India (a busy first day) we stopped at Qutub Minar, a location where we would learn about ancient India’s architectural, engineering and industrial prowess. The minar is the center piece of this site:

Qutb Minar (Urdu: قطب مینار‎), also spelled Qutub or Qutab, is the tallest minar (73 metres) in India originally an ancient Islamic Monument, inscribed with Arabic inscriptions, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[1] Located inDelhi, the Qutb Minar is made of red sandstone and marble. The stairs of the tower has 379 steps,[2] is 72.5 metres (237.8 ft) high, and has a base diameter of 14.3 metres, which narrows to 2.7 metres at the top. Construction was started in 1192 by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and was carried on by his successor, Iltutmish. In 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey. [3][4] It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as the Qutb complex.[5][6]

Config: Canon 5D Mark III with Canon 28-300mm f/3.5 USM. It was a little big foggy, but reasonably clear.

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Intricate and architecturally impressive, it has lasted through many seasons, earthquakes and events.

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Access to the interior of minar has been closed due to an accident (if I remember correctly, a school child falling).

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I always marvel at the dates of these places.

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After the Islamic conquering of Delhi, the first mosque in the region was built here (1192). The conquering ruler was not so fussed about the contents of architecture, going for speed over details – pillaging Hindu temples in the area to build his mosque. Anu walked us around pointing out countless Hindu symbols on the columns and architecture.

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The bell is prominent in the Hindu religion.

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In this case the Hindu god was defaced before being used on this site.

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Regardless of where they got the component parts (he did not know the number of temples that were pillaged to build this site), the walk way around the Minar was quite intricate.

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As were all the arches and sub-buildings.

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Near the minar is a large iron post – which stands as a testament to India’s early advancement and engineering/industrial prowess. Standing for almost 2,000 years it is an industrial marvel:

The iron pillar is one of the world’s foremost metallurgical curiosities. The pillar, 7.21-metre high and weighing more than six tonnes, was originally erected by Chandragupta II Vikramaditya (375–414 AD) in front of a Vishnu Temple complex at Udayagiri around 402 AD, and later shifted by Aangpal in 10th century AD from Udaygiri to its present location. Anangpal built a Vishnu Temple here and wanted this pillar to be a part of that temple.

The estimated weight of the decorative bell of the pillar is 646 kg while the main body weighs 5865 kg thereby making the entire pillar weigh at 6,511 kg. The pillar bears an inscription in Sanskrit in Brahmi script dating 4th century AD, which indicates that the pillar was set up as a Vishnudhvaja, standard of god, on the hill known as Vishnupada in memory of a mighty king named Chandra, believed to Chandragupta II. A deep socket on the top of this ornate capital suggests that probably an image of Garuda was fixed into it, as common in such flagpoles.[26]

What makes it so unique is that the iron is so pure, it has never rusted. Almost 2,000 year old iron with not a single smudge of rust. Amazing.

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The parrots were everywhere. As were the pigeons.

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It is fascinating to walk through the history of a country at a site – so advanced thousands of years ago and fluctuating as time progresses.


In the middle of the country, in a little town with a name I did not know. Just another town along the road and another breathtaking temple, built by locals over hundreds of years. Famous? No. Breathtaking? Yes.


A lot of the gates had lions. I wonder why?



The owner of this scooter was no where to be seen. Because it was about to rain again … hard.


This shot gives you a sense of this rural Balinese village temple. It is huge and multi-sectioned .. and yes, about to rain.


Deity carvings were everywhere.



And many of the carvings were decorated.


The intricacies of this door are remarkable.


It was the entrance on this kori agung gate (roofed) with a candi bentar gate beside it (right).


And the detail across the temple caught the eye at every turn.



They had not gotten out all of the decorations yet, but were starting.



Truly amazing. So much care and beauty .. in a remote location. One of a thousand temples, that will never be famous.


Glad we stopped. And thanks for stopping by.


We stopped at an Art shop while touring in Bali. We bought a piece (a rice field), and I am sure that we overpaid. You always leave wondering how much should I have paid? But  we loved the piece so such is life. The price of art is all relative.

The good thing is that we were first in and their culture is all about making sure that the first people buy as they believe that it influences the day. If you buy, they will have a good day. If you don’t buy, it will be a bad day.

As I bought, he let me take a few photos of the shop. As Galungan was quickly approaching, they we decorating everything.

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A distinctly Balinese form of art (that we did not buy, but was interesting to look at) below. Reminds me of a “where is Waldo?”

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In Bali, temples are everywhere and people who have the wealth, invest in family temples within their homes. At the art shop, they were decorating their temple for the festival.

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Parasols are a common decoration.

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The Balinese go all out.

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A wonderful time of the year.