Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Golconda - The Qutab Shahi Tombs

www.goldenford.co.uk or http://www.ireneblack.co.uk/

'She stood mesmerised ... the blackened limestone domes of these colossal, square edifices testified to the passing of centuries, and despite the harmony of the architecture, they purveyed a sense of emptiness and desolation, which mirrored their purpose in a way that shocked.'

'She wandered along sandy paths under bougainvillaea-covered pergolas ...'

'...admiring the cold perfection of Islamic arches and elaborate stone balustrades.'

'...stopping for a moment to watch a couple of workmen high up on a domed roof, as confident as crows, no safety devices to hold them in place.'

'Inside they were empty except for a black basalt sarcophagus...'

Photos and Text © Irene Black

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Hyderabad - The fortress of Golconda

‘The massive ruins of the Golconda citadel festered like an elaborate but crumbling sandcastle.’

‘[From] the entrance...'

…they made their way across the grassy base to the steps up to the citadel, past the first ruins…’

‘…and along the Grand Portico.’

‘…old granite walls, splendid and still powerful in their decaying glory.’

‘…hundreds of steps that led to the top of the hill.’

‘As if the hill upon which they stood had thrown them up in some cataclysmic collision of wills.’

‘Dominating the tableau like jet on a pebble beach stood the Qutab Shahi Tombs, each the domed mausoleum of some ancient Islamic noble.’

‘As they climbed, they explored the citadel…’

‘…the twelve-arched Durbar Hall.’

‘… a party of noisy school children had arrived, clad in crisp green and white uniforms, the little girls with their hair in identical bunches.’

‘…started off slowly down the hill, taking a different route via the harem palaces.’

‘ Little was left to testify to their former magnificence except the huge fa├žade that now provided perching places for small green parakeets.’

Photos and Text © Irene Black