Monday, August 03, 2009

BATS!!! & the Window Mosque

The other day Adam and I were looking at Google Maps trying to find a specific place when we saw something kind of strange on the map. You can see it in the bottom right of this picture - it looks like a strange checkerboard...
At first I thought it was a mistake on Google maps (an area where they couldn't take a picture of or something) but then we found out it was a place called Khirki Masjid (Window Mosque). It's really close to the hospital, so we thought we'd check it out after an appointment the other day.
You have to park on the main road area and walk through the Khirki Village to get to it. Tucked deep into this village is the mosque. Walking up to the gate we saw buffalo, dogs, cats, birds and heard a Peacock (although it was REALLY close by, we couldn't find it)...
This mosque is really unique and is really old. It was built between 1351-1354. It was built during the Tughlaq Dynasty by Khan-i-Jahan Maqbul Tilangani, who was the Prime Minister at the time. He built 7 mosques that were really unique - this mosque included. He is very interesting. People say that the reason he was so interested in building mosques was because he was a Hindu that became a Muslim and wanted to prove himself true to Islam. This mosque is unique because most mosques have an open courtyard without a roof and this one has a crazy checkered roof!
This mosque is deserted! It's considered a historical place, so people aren't allowed to worship there anymore and the only people that would go here are school groups (rarely) and tourists (even more rare). When we walked it we notice that some of the areas were really dark. It was pretty crazy looking inside. On the far left we heard a lot of commotion. We weren't sure of what we were hearing. At first we thought it was rats (and you know how much we like rats)...
Now, I've lightened the picture above and cropped it a bit to show what we saw...
BATS!!! TONS of BATS!! it was crazy! The whole area was full of bats!! There were thousands of them! it was so cool! Aashini (our daughter that loves snakes) loved the bats! She was so excited and kept pointing and saying: "bat!! bat!!" And... in case you're wondering, yes, we do know that bats can have rabies - we didn't get too close (for too long anyway) :)
It's a really neat old mosque with a really neat history. If you're into architecture it's actually a very important place. It has been considered a precursor to Mughal architecture - pretty cool!
The architectural society of our country has been working to restore a lot of these old monuments. The problem is, many of the people doing the restoration have gotten lazy. In case you're interested, the mortar used for the restoration is supposed to be 33% lime, 66% sand but instead, it has become 50% lime mixed with 50% brick dust and resulting in PINK-looking architecture :)
They have a lot of work to do in one of the back corners where the roof has caved in.
You can see the roof in this close-up from Google Maps (it's the top right corner). Google Maps is cool!
Anyway, it was a really neat place to check out. We had fun exploring :)
Aashini had fun too :)



More adventures to come!

7 COmMeNTs FrOm PeOpLe wHo ROCK!:

Roberts said...

That looks SO cool! The view from the top is neat. What a great idea to find things on google maps and go explore. I wonder if that would work in America...

Carie said...

Ok Andrea, this is officially my absolute FAVORITE post!!! I love architecture, and I love old buildings and I love Aashini, so you got all of those in this post, only thing missing is a picture of you and Adam!! Really this was awesome and I am so glad you guys went exploring!!!

Elizabeth said...

You guys have the BEST adventures! Aashini has the best pictures of "places I've been"... and she's not even 2 yet! This was such a great post! The pictures are absolutely amazing... like something from a magazine. So was it as empty as it looks or is it just that big? It seemed like you guys were the only ones there. And did you have to pay to get in or was it so deserted that you just walked on in? Sorry for all the questions. :) Oh yeah... and we love google maps too! It's been a fun way to find new things around our city too!

Brandon and April said...

so cool! i love little explorations like this and I'm sure your city is full of them!! awesome!!
aashini is soooo cute in that last picture!

SouthAsiaRocks said...

It was definitely empty. Nobody really goes to visit there. It was really big too (as well as empty). We didn't have to pay anything to get in (nobody goes there, so there's no point in paying somone to take money :)) It's deep in the middle of a village, so it's hard to get to too. :)

gloria said...

Wow, that was so interesting!!!!I can't believe they are still standing since they were built in the 13 hundreds. Thats just amazing architech.
Aashini is so adorable in that picture with her cute little shoes and pretty dress.

KSA said...

okay so the bats kind of freaked me out a little. I think I would be saying the same thing your daughter said "BAT...BAT", but my voice would have been edged with fear. I did think the mosque looked pretty cool. I have been to a lot of mosques in my day, but I have never seen anything quite like that. Thanks for showing off the pics.