Across India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 323 pages of information about Across India.

From this little gem of a church the company were driven to the Chandi Chowk, which is a boulevard, planted with trees and lined with elegant buildings.  The stores of the principal merchants of Delhi were here, and most of them were on the plan of an Oriental bazaar.  The little square shops challenged the attention of the party, and most of them alighted to examine the rich goods displayed.

In the course of the ride they passed the Black Mosque, the only building in the city dating farther back than the reign of Shah Jehan.  They found the bungalow surrounded and partly filled, on their return, by venders of relics, curiosities, and other wares, anxious to find customers for their goods.  But they were not very fortunate in the enterprise, and finally they were all driven away by an officer.

In the afternoon they drove out on the plains of Delhi, among the ruins of palaces, tombs, and temples.  They stopped at another black mosque, near which was a handsome pavilion, which had been the library of the emperors.

“One of these emperors was Houmayoun, who recovered the throne after a long banishment.  He lost his life in consequence of a fall from the top of a ladder he had mounted to obtain a book,” said Sir Modava.  “He was the real founder of the Great Mogul dynasty.  His mausoleum, to which we will go next, is one of the noblest monuments on this plain;” and the carriages proceeded to it.

It is a mass of white marble and red sandstone.  It has a fine dome, around which cluster several smaller structures, such as we should call cupolas in America or England.  Under the great dome in the building is a plain tombstone, beneath which are the remains of the first of the Mogul emperors.  The mausoleum is placed on an esplanade, like the great mosque in the city.  The sides present a vast display of pointed arches, and its shape on the ground is quite irregular.  The party were driven to the tower of Koutub, a Mussulman conqueror, who commemorated his victory by building this triumphal column, which is two hundred and twenty-seven feet high.  It consists of five stories, becoming smaller as they ascend.  The remains of his mosque were visited, the columns of which look like enlarged jewellery, elaborately worked into fantastic forms.  By its side is an iron column with contradictory stories about its origin.  The tourists visited other mosques and tombs, which reminded them of the tombs of the Mamelukes.

For two days longer they looked about Delhi; and Lord Tremlyn pointed out to them the scenes of the massacre, which he had described on board of the Guardian-Mother.  On the train by which they had come they proceeded to Agra.



Several hotels were available on the arrival of the travellers at Agra, and they were domiciled at Lawrie’s.  The journey was made in an afternoon, and was through a densely populated territory, so that the trip was very enjoyable.  After dinner the party assembled in a parlor provided for their use; and Lord Tremlyn gave a talk, for he objected to the formality of a lecture.  He seated himself in an easy-chair, and took from his pocket a little book, to which he occasionally referred.

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Across India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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