Entries by admin

If you get lemons, make lemonade

Even when viewing the Taj from afar, apart from the white marble beauty, there are two features that are distinct. One is the calligraphy band on the face of the doorway. The other are the colourful patterns of inlaid stone (known as Pietra Dura) on the spandrels of the arch. The pietra dura creates beautiful […]

My Tomb is way cooler than yours

Tombs were status symbols in medieval India. Houses could be demolished, but a tomb, given its sacred nature, was a permanent structure. So rulers and noblemen strove to leave a lasting legacy by building grand tombs for themselves and their dear ones. But how did they differentiate? How did they showcase their tomb as cooler than the […]

The Taj Mahal Story – in Rhyme

The Love Story Prince Khurram (aka Shah Jahan), Mughal crown price, was our Hero, The heroine was Arjumand, grand-daughter of the Empire’s CFO You may imagine, between them, a cute, love-at-first-sight story But this is India, ladies and g’men, we do arranged marriages only! Married in 1612, Arjumand and Khurram’s love knew bounds none As […]

Medieval Meritocracy

The Qutub Minar was built during the Delhi Sultanate period. A stone plaque in the Qutub complex says that the first 90-odd years of this era is known as the Slave Dynasty, since the most prominent rulers then were former slaves. Wait a minute. You mean slaves – like bonded labour – were being given a chance to rule an empire? […]

Did Shah Jahan Read ‘Good to Great’?

If you cringe at statements describing the Taj Mahal as  “the ultimate expression of love” or “man’s greatest ode to a woman”, here’s some solid logic to back that up! For those who believe in parallel universes, how about a thought experiment. Imagine multiple universes –each with a different kind of Taj Mahal: A universe with a Shah […]

Delhi’s Secret – Location, Location, Location

For most of Indian history before Mohammed Ghori’s invasion in 1192 AD, Delhi didn’t really figure as a significant city on India’s map. (Some may point out to the theory of Delhi having the site of  Mahabharata’s Indraprastha – but that is uncertain, and even that was never the capital of a vast empire like that of […]

William Dalrymple

Acclaimed Author and Historian, William Dalrymple tweeted about CaptivaTour on 27th October. Read the Last Mughal on CaptivaTour’s guide for Red Fort and Qutab Minar https://t.co/v6iHsMfcq1 — William Dalrymple (@DalrympleWill) October 27, 2015 CaptivaTour acknowledges his book “The Last Mughal” as a key source of material and insight for the Red Fort guide