As India’s capital, it is only natural that Delhi is home to many fascinating architectural wonders. It has an amazing selection of Lodi-era tombs; those found in the city’s verdant Lodi Gardens are among the city’s most spectacular. The 16th-century Humayun’s Tomb is considered the first major example of Mughal architecture. The highly ornamental architecture and adornment of Old Delhi’s Lal Qila (Red Fort) borrows from Indian, Persian, and Western European schools of design to create a style that was unique to the era of architecture obsessed Shahjahan (who also commissioned the Taj Mahal).
Delhi also has its fair share of more recent architecture. One notable example is the Baha’i House of Worship, known colloquially as the Lotus Temple, built to emulate the sacred flower from which it takes its nickname; it features 27 marble-coated “leaves.” The more recent temple at the Swaminarayan Akshardham Complex is made of intricately carved pink sandstone and is supported by 10-meter-high pillars.
Much of the architecture of Jaipur incorporates Rajput, Islamic, and British elements. The pink-sandstone Hawa Mahal is among the city’s iconic structures and features nearly 1,000 tiny latticed windows in an arrangement often likened to a beehive. The windows are positioned in such a way that breezes can pass through, cooling the building’s interior. Jaipur’s water palace, or Jal Mahal, is yet another of the city’s stunners, blending Rajput and Mughal architecture with a few Bengal-style elements. It sits right in the middle of Man Sagar Lake and can only be accessed by boat. The 19th-century Albert Hall was modeled after the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and is among the world’s finest examples of Indo-Saracenic architecture, a style that blends Indian and Mughal styles with the neo-Gothic architecture that was all the rage in Victorian England.
Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Taj Mahal, Delhi & Jaipur.