Thursday, February 21, 2008

In both Delhis it was the ruins that fascinated me. However hard the planners tried to create new colonies of gleaming concrete, crumbling tomb towers, old mosques or ancient Islamic colleges would intrude, appearing suddenly on roundabouts or in municipal gardens, curving the road network and obscuring the fairways of the golf course. New Delhi was not new at all. Its broad avenues encompassed a groaning necropolis, a graveyard of dynasties. Some said there were seven dead cities of Delhi, and that the current one was the eighth; others counted fifteen or twentyone. All agreed that the crumbling ruins of these towns were without number.

William Dalrymple
in The Last Mughal

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