Monday, December 29, 2008



Forts are buildings specially constructed for the military defence of an area. They usually have a lot of stories to tell, be it of honour, treachery or cowardice. On the top of a hill, near the water or in arid deserts, they witnessed great battles as well as stories of love and intrigue. Some of them played an important role in the development of villages and cities. That is the case of the Red Fort, around which the Mughal Delhi flourished. But the forts in India, unlike many medieval castles in Europe for example, are portholes for the most outstanding ornamental arts you may imagine. The Red Fort is just a start!

"LAHORE GATE - Our first tourist destination in Delhi was «Lal Quila» - the «Red Fort». Constructed along the Yamuna River in 1639 by the fifth Mughal Emperor of India - Shah Jahan - as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad (his new capital), it was originally the residence of the royal family. The main entrance to the Fort is the Lahore Gate, which can be seen here. The Fort gets its name from colour of the 2.5 km long walls, which vary in height from 16m on the river side to 33 m on the town side. The Fort was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List on June 29th, 2007"

"CHATTA CHOWK is the covered bazaar street immediately after the Lahore Gate"

"DRUM HOUSE - On the main axis coming from the Lahore Gate and the Chatta Chowk, on the eastern side of the palace garden, we find the Naqqar Khana or Naubat Khana the site of a drum house or orchestra pit during ceremonies). A distinct sign of Mughal architecture, the «drum house» in the Red Fort is also the main gate for the palace itself"

"THE EMPEROR'S THRONE - In the Diwan-i-Aam - the large pavilion for public imperial audiences - the magnificent ornate throne-balcony for the emperor can be seen"

"THE PRIVATE APARTMENTS - Behind the throne, a row of pavilions with a view to the river Yamuna, are connected by a continuous water channel, known as the «Stream of Paradise», that runs through the centre of each pavilion. The palace is designed as an imitation of paradise as described in the Koran"

"DIWAN-I-KHAS - The hall of private audience, used for ministerial and court gatherings, is probably the finest of the pavilions in the palace, and is ornamented with floral pietra dura patterns on the columns, with precious stones and gilding"

"WALLS AND CEILINGS - A painted wooden ceiling has replaced the original one, of silver inlaid with gold"

"THE PEARL MOSQUE was built in 1659 as a private mosque for Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan's successor"

"THE MUSSAMAN BURJ is a tower built against the fortress walls, from which the emperor would show himself to the people in a daily ceremony"

"ZAFAR MAHAL is a large tank with a red stone pavilion in its middle, built in 1842. It was originally connected by a causeway with the garden"



"STUDENTS - Suddenly, the courtyard became very busy..."


Anonymous said...

Hi Folks! I spent a considerable amount of time this weekend trying to choose some photos of the more than 1300 hundred I kept (forget the deleted) from India. It isn’t a piece of cake, but it was a good opportunity to re-live some of the unforgettable moments we experienced there. Under the circumstances and taking into account the different subjects on which to post, I’m afraid that my 12 month delay won’t survive. We’ll see next February! For the time being start enjoying the Forts… and have a great 2009! Thanks for your comments!

S-V-H said...

Thank you for this beautiful post again and for all the other interesting ones in 2008 too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you and your lovely wife, Gil!

Sue's Daily Photography

alicesg said...

Hahaha, reminded me of my more than 1000 photos I took in The photos of the buildings are amazing. Their designs are so interesting. Have a nice day, trotter.

Voegtli said...

I like forts and fortresses. I was living in one in 1963 for a few month when I was in the army. The fortress of St. Luzisteig in the canton of Grisons was our basic training locality. And then I visit frequently the city of Fribourg with its fortified walls and gates.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

The Red Fort, popularly known as the Lal Quila, is an iconic place in Delhi...

Back in 1857, during the Sepoy (Soldier) Mutiny, it witnessed bloodshed like never before and after!

This is where the Prime Minister addresses the nation on Independence Day, a tradition that has been carried on from the days of the 1st PM, Pt. Nehru!

Wishing you a very happy & prosperous new year!



Venksh said...

wow trotter awesome picx... u should have even posted the picx of TAJ Mahal. it would have been much interesting.
Lookin forward for more picx...

hpy said...


Ele ^_^ said...

Wow wonderful place!!
I wish you a happy new year!!
See you soon ^^

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Was great to read about Delhi :) I have been there a couple of times - I love the street food there.

Hope you had a good time in India :)

Shalini Gowrisankar said...

Great blog you've got, I'm blogrolling you :)

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2009!

david santos said...

Great posting, GMG, brilliant!!!

Happy New Year....

Shionge said...

Hey Gil, I did not forget about you and I've always enjoyed 'touring' with you :)

Have always wanted to visit India someday and you have captured all beautifully once again.

Here's wishing you Happy New Year and stay healthy always :D

Joy said...

These are photos of India I have never seen before! Very informative and interesting. I especially like the one with the flower design.

Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo. Happy holidays!

A Pinay In England
Your Love Coach
I, Woman

alok said...

Nice pictures from "The Red Fort". Looks like a crowd was always following you :)

My Unfinished Life said...

hi there GMG....
red fort is a wonderful place....i have been there as a student....and its amusing that you have posted pics of school kids....its one of the standard heritage sites that schools take the students on tour most of residents here in delhi have mostly gone there as students...or accompanying relatives who have come to visit delhi....
nice pics...and very informative post
and happy new year 2009!!!

raccoonlover1963/Lisa Myers said...

Beautiful architecture. Sorry I haven't visited for a while

Lakshmi said...

A wonderful post and I must say, it fills me with a sense of pride..1300 pics - I can well imagine..I go to one destination and come back with 300-400 pics enjoy those memories as we welcome 2009..happy new year to you

PeterParis said...

About contemporary to Versailles, so different, so magnificient!

Wonderful to see all these school children on the last pic! One could just hope that all kids would have the same rights and opportunities!

Once more, thanks for all this and all you have brought us during the past year ... and all the best for the coming one!

Mariposa said...

it's very beautiful!! Have a wonderful start to the New Year!! God bless

Marguerite-marie said...

me voilà arrivée enfin en faut prendre le temps de revenir...sans perdre sa raison!
j'aime tout, mais plus spécialement the floral pietra (Diwan-I-khas) qui est merveilleuse et street movement qui est affolant.mais je suis rassurée quand je vois le sourire si charmant de ta femme. Bonne année à tous les deux.

alice said...

Ah, l'Inde...! Oui, ce doit être un choc, de différentes manières...
Je vous suis tous les deux à travers ces deux derniers posts en me réjouissant à l'avance de découvrir les lieux où tu nous emmèneras l'année prochaine!
Bonne année et à très bientôt. Bises!

Thérèse said...

On se sent petit, tout petit mais c'est bien. C'est une grande leçon l'Inde.
Bonne année à tous les deux.

 gmirage said...

Wow! INdian architecture is really something!

Light and Voices said...

Oh how wonderful it must be to see the walls and ceilings and forts and private areas that you saw. Thanks for sharing some photos with us.
Happy New Year!

indicaspecies said...

Thanks for your good wishes Gil.

1,300 photos! And a set of stunning shots posted here.

The Red Fort is truly a wonderful monument. I've been there at least thrice, last in August this year. Every visit fills me up with a new sense of wonder and awe at its magnificence.

Gil, thank you for your kind visits to my blog. I wish you a very Happy New Year. May 2009 bring all the joy and happiness that you seek.

- celine

Unknown said...

Hello Gil
Firstly, a belated Merry Christmas to you and all at home. I was reading about the cultural shock about India, a country that I must visit one day soon!

Love this post..the red building is so fantastic. I cant wait to see the rest of your post.

Happy New Year Gil and family and may 2009 brings you lots of happiness and joy.


Olivier said...

de retour de la plus belle ville du monde (NYC), je passe pour admirer l'architecture magnifique de ces portes. Je te souhaite une bonne et heureuse année 2009 et encore plein de voyages

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Très beau cadeau d'étrenne !
Je te souhaite ainsi qu'à tous ceux qui te sont chers une très bonne année 2009 en dépit des sombres pronostics.
Bien cordialement


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the beautiful pictures, which are very inspiring....

Happy New Year!

Crochet Fun Hub said...

Wish you've also got some pictures from Xi'an and Bejing, they are very ancient cities too..

Tinsie said...

Wow! Very impressive photos and very different from anything I've ever seen in real life! Thanks for sharing :-)

Nikon said...

Wow, great compositions on your India shots, Gil. The framing, and layering of the outside-looking-in shots. There is something about the air there - is it fog or mist? pollution? I noticed it in the last series of shots, too.

Emery Roth said...

Truly exceptional - one of your best posts. Wonderful pictures and what a place!

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting on Alfred Brendel. As I wrote in the note I left you there, When I was in college I bought Brendel's complete set of Beethoven sonatas in Vox boxes, at $4.99 a set. I still have those and at least 5 other complete sets (and many singles) of those sonatas by others purchased since. Alas, my ears are no longer fit for listening to this wonderful music though much of the music still rattles around in the old brain. If I had three wishes, one might be to hear this music once more as I heard it then.

RuneE said...

It is a problem for modern man to imagine the Grandeur that these monarchs built and lived in. At the same time we should be thankful for the art and culture they left behind.

A Happy New Year to you and yoyr dear ones!

annulla said...

Just popping in to wish you a happy and healthy new year. Hope to see many more of your wonderful stories and photos in 2009. Can't wait to join you on your next voyage!

Blather From Brooklyn

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Hi Gil!

I was away from my blog for a couple weeks as I was visiting my new grandson in Colorado. He's such a precious baby!

I read all your posts that I missed. India looks fascinating, and a country i'd love to see myself one day.

Hope 2009 will bring you more wonderful travels!

Dawning One said...

wishing you all the best for 2009 Gil. may your clicking finger be ever vigilant!Thanks for checking my blog.
The photos of Red Fort are just great. It just highlights for me how many places I have not been to.

Anonymous said...

Great great photos. Lovely architecture and views!

Happy 2009! Have a great year of blessings to you and your loved ones! :)

Ash said...

Oh, absolutely LOVE these series.

Happy New Year, to you and yours, Gil! Have a wonderful 2009 :-)

Z said...

Learned a new term from your post: pietra dura. I knew what it was, but not what it was called, so thank you.

Happy new year to you and your dear wife! May more lovely journeys take place in 2009!

Thank you for 'coming' to Villigen and for your kind comments. See you!

Cutie said...

Beautiful buildings.

Happy New Year 2009. May you be travelling more in 2009.

Beefybob7 said...

Happy 2009 Gil and family.


Anonymous said...

It has proven to be a difficult task to choose the pictures to post, as I had to disregard some hundreds of photos. Anyhow, I hope to have left some interesting pictures for you to enjoy!

It was a pleasure to read you here all these months. Thanks!

Alice SG,
More than 1000 pictures in Korea? What an achievement... ;)

Living in a fortress must have been quite exciting... ;)
The Grisons are an amazing place and Fribourg is a beautiful town!

I understand that the Indian PM addresses the nation on January 26 at the Red Fort and that a parade takes place at the Rajpath on that day; unfortunately I arrived a bit later, on February 2nd, 2008...

Take it easy; you’ll have the Taj Mahal, but it takes some time... ;)

You haven’t seen anything... ;))

Great to see you back here! Now, are you coming to Lisbon? ;))

Thanks for your first comment here! I didn’t try the street food, but had some great meals in Delhi... ;))

Obrigado. Bom Ano!

Glad you didn’t forget... ;) You’re not that far, so start packing... ;)

I take it as a compliment, the original pictures I posted... India is so huge and with so many aspects to show that it would be difficult to cover them all...

I wonder whether the correct way wouldn’t be to follow the crowd... ;))

Shooting Star,
After having seen some spots in Delhi, I’m sure every student in Delhi must have visited some of the spots I also explored... No wonder you were there... ;)

Thanks for coming here even in difficult times...

1300 pictures (of course 1300 hundred was a «great exaggeration»... ;)) were the ones I didn’t delete… ;)

Same rights and opportunities… probably a utopia, but what would live be without utopias?

Great you loved it!

Revenir sans perdre la raison c’est vraiment l’objectif le plus difficile à achever… ;)
C’est vrai que nous avons réussi à être bien à l’aise même au milieu de la confusion extrême… ;))

Un choc, c’est sûr… Mais vraiment beau…

Je me demande où est-ce qu’on ne sent pas petit dans ce monde, mais l’Inde est vraiment grande… ;)

Mughal architecture is going to occupy the next posts ; hope you like them !

India is quite an experience, that’s what I can tell you… But you’ll see yourself in the next posts… ;)

I’m so glad you loved the post. In fact you played a role on my trip to India, with the tips you gave me on the place to visit on such a short time and a tight schedule… Thanks again!

You’re not that far… so, start packing… ;)

Je te croyais à Time Square et tu es déjà de retour en France… ;(
Ce n’est pas comparable, mais l’Inde est aussi une expérience !!

Les pronostics sont sombres, mais le monde reste toujours beau… ;)) Merci!

Amazing your blog; it looks like spam… ;))

Beijing, you have it here; Xian will come one day… ;)

Glad to bring you the new…

There is always some kind of pollution I think, that made the pictures a bit misty…

I also have those Vox Turnabout vinyl records with Beethoven’s piano Concertos, bought in 1970 at 99 Portuguese Escudos each (roughly $4.00 at that time)… It’s a pity that Brendel decided to retire, but it seems to be the ordinary course of live. And it seems to be also the same with our senses…

Seeing everything that was left, it’s hard to understand the lives people lived in those times!

So glad to see you back here after such a long time! Hope you also have a great year, despite the bad prophecies we have in the air… ;))

It must have been quite an experience your new grandson in Colorado! Glad that you loved the posts, and hope the next ones will also be of interest to you!

Dawning one,
The motto of this blog is «It’s not such a small world”. For some reason… Actually, if you think it over, there are always thousands of places where we have not been to!

Mughal emperors made it great!

So glad you liked it. Hope to have an accurate view of what was there to be seen… ;)

So glad to read you back here! Pietra dura (or in plural, Pietre dure) is an art-historical term for the technique of using small cut and fitted, polished coloured stones to create what amounts to a painting in stone. It started in Rome in the 1500s, matured in Florence and reached India with the Mughal emperors in the early 1600s!

Not only the buildings... ;))

Great to see you in great shape!

Indrani said...

I had been to Delhi almost two decades back. Feel like visiting once more.

A Very Happy New Year to you and yours!
Take care.

Anonymous said...

India is actually huge; you realize that when seeing that living in the country doesn't mean you visit the capital so often...

Anonymous said...

Great pictures as usual! Yes, many of the forts in India (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, etc.) are replete with art forms and intricate carvings that are a treat to see.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! A fabulous treat, indeed...

Ron said...

Awesome, awesome! The world through your lens is very enjoyable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I'm flattered...

Pietro Brosio said...

Gil, what wonderful pictures!
I enjoyed all the views. Fantastic the Pearl Mosque, the Pavillon, the decorated walls and ceilings and all the others images!

Anonymous said...

I must confess that I was quite impressed; and this was just the beginning... ;)

NormanTheDoxie said...

Those students look pretty well behaved....must be the uniforms.

Anonymous said...

They're always in cute uniforms; they usually behave well; and there are lots, lots of them... ;))

Louise said...

Indian architecture always appeals to me, especially the shapes. Then there is the intricacy of design. Love to see this stuff any time!

Anonymous said...

The intricacy of design (and carvings) is outstanding!!

A Lady's Life said...

Yes very lovely and would need a lot of time to study who these shahs all were.
I am sure the history is fascinating.
Do they have washrooms in temples where they have prayers?
They must.
Is it like what they have in westerm countries with a kitchen?
People come wash and pray and eat.

Trotter said...

In the Red Fort and in Qutb Minar I remember seeing washrooms; in the temples I assume there are also... ;)