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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The Hate List – Volume 19


I really enjoyed my trip around India. This special edition of the Hate List does not represent my overall opinion of the country and its people. For a balanced view, it should be read in conjunction with my Highlights of India blog post.

  1. People loudly belching in the street.
  2. People loudly hacking up phlegm and spitting it out in the street.
  3. People chewing paan and spitting it out in the street.
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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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New plans

The bike, and associated kit, has been dropped off with the transport company to be sent back to Delhi. I’m still in cold, humid, rainy Shimla for another night.

So, it looks like I won’t be seeing the Himalayan moonscape of Kullu valley, nor the home of pop culture celebrity and theocratic feudal dictator-in-exile the Dalai Lama, Dharamsala. However, I will be achieving another goal that I thought I’d be missing out on: the Kalka-Shimla Railway. This narrow-gauge mountain railway, often called the “Toy Train”, is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site¬†umbrella of the Mountain Railways of India. I already had in mind a future trip to India based on travelling all of the narrow-gauge mountain lines (which, being a more sedate itinerary, could be postponed until middle or old age), so I’ll count this as a recce.

I’m planning to take the Himalayan Queen Express out of Shimla tomorrow morning, and end up back in Chandigarh by the evening. There, I hope to see the Rock Garden, and day trip to Pinjore, and then head up to Amritsar for a few days, before returning to Delhi.