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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

20.593684, 78.96288

Sun. 11. [11 January 1903] At last my diary has caught me up. It was
most enchantingly peaceful waking in the quiet DB Mrs O. [Olivier] did
not breakfast with us. We started out at 10 and drove through the town
- delightfully Indian, bird rests, grain markets etc to the Dargah, an
interesting place where one of the many Chistis is buried. The great
gateway Dilkurka has two sort of storied towers, one on either side,
said to be Hindu. In the first court are the two immense cauldrons for
the Deg[?] feast and a litle pavilion for lights. In the next a lovely long
low white marble mosque built by Shah Jehan. Running all along the
back between the Dargah and the hill is the deep tank, the Jalra up
and down the long steps of which the people are continually passing
for water. The saint's tomb is opposite the mosque, a white marble
building with a silver door. A daughter of Shah Jehan's and a
daughter of the saint's are also buried there. We were not allowed to
go within the white marble rail which runs round them We saw a
funeral party, the white wrapped corpse borne by the mourners.
There are many other little mosques and tombs. Near the door is a
mosque built by Akbar but much ruined. Round the great door there
is still some remains of coloured tile pattern. We went on through the
town gate to the exquisite Arkai din ka Jhonpra built by Altamsh or
Kutub ud din and they say the architect is the same as he who built the
Kutub mosque. It is a most exquisite place, a lovely carved doorway
leads into a court with a great banyan growing in it, at the end of which
is a screen of 7 arches like that of the Kutub and most beautifully
decorated with carving and inscriptions. The texts are carved on top
of a band of lovely scroll work itself in relief. The mosque is the usual
Jain-Hindu-Muhammadan. A mass of wonderful pillars supporting a
flat roof and low domes all carved inside. We drove through the town
to the lake, passing one red temple which is Jain Isce, and so to the
Mayo college which was unfortunately empty. The building is
grotesque but beautifully situated in the plain between the hills and all
round it an enormous park in which the various states have their
houses. We went into the Kotab house, delightful with bedrooms in
pavilions on the terrace. So home and wrote to Mr Ritchie. Lunched
with Mrs O. and wrote letters till tea. At 5 we drove down to the station
and took our seats and dined and were off at 6.50 in a carriage to
ourselves. My throat rather a nuisance. Changed at Chitor
[Chittaurgarh] at 2 AM.

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