Patterns of India (Part 5: Miscellaneous)

While travelling in India, I became fascinated with the variety of patterns in its architecture. Historically, they’re mostly a legacy of the Sultanates and the Mughal Empire, and Islam’s tradition of non-figurative art. But interesting patterns can also be found in Jain, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh and modern architecture, and also in natural forms.

These galleries collects all the photographs of patterns I took during my visit. I’m releasing these into the public domain. They are far from comprehensive, and others can be found in various places such as Wikimedia Commons.

Part 1: Delhi
Part 2: Agra and Fatehpur Sikri
Part 3: Rajasthan
Part 4: Chandigarh
Part 5: Miscellaneous


Harmandir Sahib

A gold painted relief pattern on the Golden Temple of Amritsar

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Amritsar: dirt and idolatry

All religion is essentially idolatry.

Apart from those few religions which started as conscious scams – Mormonism, Scientology – most begin when some well-meaning person has a sincere spiritual or moral insight, and tries to pass it on to others. But 99% of the human race are not in the market for sincere spiritual or moral insight. They just want something to bow down to.

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Dhuri, Punjab

The Rough Guide to India contains a mere 17 pages on the two states of Punjab and Haryana, compared to 77 on Tamil Nadu and a whopping 109 on Rajasthan. In that short section, it covers only two places, Chandigarh (which technically isn’t in either state) and Amritsar, dismissively stating that “there is little of tourist interest in the two states” other than the Rock Garden and the Golden Temple.

I thought it seemed a bit of a shame to rule out the whole region just because of a lack of tourist spectacles, especially when it has such a strong cultural identity. I was keen to experience the Punjab for myself, and was already considering going off piste and looking for a couchsurfing contact in the middle of nowhere, when a better option was presented: my couchsurfing friend in Chandigarh suggested that I go and stay with his parents at his family home in Dhuri, a small town (a mere 50,000) in rural Punjab some 130km from the state capital.

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