INDIA’S QUTAB MINAR, A UNESCO SITE

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Today, we visit Qutab Minar, a World Heritage site. UNESCO means the site is preserved by all nations because it is so beautiful and special that it is cherished by the whole world.

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As we walk toward the first set of  buildings, Hugo, always injects humor into everything we do. What a delight to have him on the trip. We rarely see a waste container, but India has a program called Keep India Clean. I’ll talk some about that later.

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The first thing we come to is this wall with two domes and a tower. The tower is the main attraction, but I don’t know how special it is yet.

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I got distracted by these beautiful parakeets on one dome. They are most likely the pigeons we do not revere in the U.S.

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Inscribed rocks in the wall reflect reused materials from a former life and then built into this 12th century edifice.

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Our guide leads us to this structure that Theo is photographing.dsc09518-copy

She explains what a perfect place to frame a picture of this 234 foot high tower. dsc09498-copy

This makes a nice photo too, but it does not do justice to the tower.

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A closer look. These columns are circular near the top and made of curved bricks.

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An even closer look gives a better perspective of it’s great beauty. Nearer to the ground, the tower meshes square columns and circular columns of brick, an astonishing feat.  To me, just viewing a building from the 12th Century boggles my mind.

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This is the entrance to the tower, though it is closed to the public. The tower  measures 14.2 meters in circumference at the base and 2.7 meters at the top. The original builder of this tower died before it was finished and a second Ind0-Islamic architect finished it.  It was twice struck by lightening and repaired, the last time in 1503.

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The ornate carvings into the gate and walls leave you in awe.

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Our guide points out a section of wall restored.  I am thrilled and grateful that UNESCO has preserved this site from ruin.

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On the other side of the gate, we run into a group of school children. They are as fascinated by we tourists as we are of them.

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Children are so direct. They instantly bridge distances and you realize how alike all cultures are.

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Every surface of the gates-the arches are carved with exquisite designs.

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This arched gate is a mixture of sandstone and marble.

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Words pale.

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Another window.

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And another window.

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The grounds here are extensive and I mainly concentrated on close ups of the decoration. The square column in the middle is helping hold up what was part of the original structure. dsc09574-copy

This is the entrance to a tomb best explained by a sign. The white contrasting marble reminds me of ivory.

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Marble carving was perfected in ancient times and no one could afford to have such work done in this day and age.

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This site, the tower, the amazing history. If that wasn’t enough, we have this famous iron pillar that does not rust. This great pillar carried an effigy of the great God Vishnu. It was moved here in…well, let the sign tell the story.

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Brought here in the 11th century A.D.?   It makes me dizzy.

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Another close-up of marvelous design that defines this whole complex.

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We say goodbye to Qutab Minar…

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…and pass the well as we leave. It too, was decorated but not as elaborately as the main buildings.

 

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