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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The heppest, the most ultra-modern building of Delhi....built in the 14th century

In my twenty years in Delhi, I am yet to see a building in Delhi whose walls slope backwards, as they go up.

Except for one building: the tomb of Ghiasuddin Tughluq in Tughugabad. The walls of the tomb are set in such a fashion that each block recedes in, from the viewer, and the walls slope away from you. And to see the scale of the monument, I have positioned a human being, so that you can compare. Imagine the technical difficulties of putting in a vertical arch in a sloping wall. Each block has to be cut in an individual way, depending on its position in the tomb. Ofcourse, woe to the craftsman who got it wrong : he would have got his hands chopped off, or beheaded.
In the evenings, Ghiasuddin used to stroll down from Tughluqabad to see the progress of his tomb. Imagine the fore-sightedness of a monarch whose hobby was to construct his own tomb. His son, the terrible Muhammed Bin Tughlak lies beside him inside the tomb. I have been there many times in the last decade, but for some reason, always found the place deserted, despite it being a truly awesome and well-maintained building.
Only now, I find, at CGO complex on Lodi road, a building coming up, with sloping-away walls: walls of glass, but sloping away nevertheless...Ghiasuddin would have been happy to see it...or would he? The jealous nature of monarchs is legendary....

1 comment:

  1. "In my twenty years in Delhi, I am yet to see a building in Delhi whose walls slope backwards, as they go up."
    I wonder why you said so. Many other buildings of Tughlaq period in delhi are like that > e.g. in Lodi garden you have bada gumbad and one more of this period with sloping walls ...till mughals came they had no idea of supporting a round tomb on square pillor base...and hence the slope and that characteristic stone in the middle to join the two sides . In fact Humanyun's tomb is one of the first with this changed technique.