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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
GB/2/8/2/1/19
Creator
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Language
English
Location
India ยป Lahore
Coordinates

31.5203696, 74.3587473

Mon 19. [19 January 1903] Got to Lahore at 7 and went straight to
Nedon's Hotel where we found the Russells. Mistake about our
rooms, so Gilbert doubled up with H [Hugo] and I had G's room. The
result was that it was 10 before we cd wash and dress. Very cold,
warm clothes all day. Down to the Museum, facing the gun Zemzana,
and called up Basant Ram who showed us the Buddhist sculptures.
Most wonderful - quite Greek in feeling and some of them of
remarkable execution; one figure of the ascetic Buddha in particular
and 2 of B. as a prince and some lovely groups full of natural
movement and grace. Wonderfully different from the rigid and yet
violent action of Hindu work. Drove on to the Wazir Khan Mosque, all
decorated with tiles and through the town to the Golden Mosque. This
is a different world - stalwart people of the north warmly dressed and
with enormous turbans, bazaars like those I know, where you can get
good things to eat, such as milky rice and macaroons (we bought
some of the latter being famished) a speech full of Persian and
buildings set with tiles. Even the carts are different - there are
enormous bullock waggons for chopped straw. In the narrow streets
some of the houses have beautiful doors and bow windows of carved
wood. So back and lunched with Willie Peel and Lord Killalin
[Killanin], rather amusing. Then we went to the Fort where there is a
palace of Shah Jehan's building, but rather disappointing having
been so terribly pulled about. The famous Naulakha pavilion has
had most of the coloured stones picked out of its pietra dura. A rather
nice Shish Mahal open room and a good view from the top - the fort
walls and the Jumma Musjid and Ranjit Singh's tomb. We also saw
an armoury full of Sikh arms. Our guide was a private of the Suffolk
who had been with K [Kitchener] on the famous occasion when he was
nearly captured. He said K was not in the train but resting at a station
a mile or two up the line. As soon as they heard the {soldiers} Boers
had attacked the train they sent out galoppers [sic] 2 miles away and
summoned up troops, but it was a near thing and Lord K. thought it
was up with him. So to the Jumma Musjid, a fine mosque of
Aurungzeb's but much neglected - they say because it was built with
the revenues of a murdered brother. The tops of the minarets fell in
an earthquake. Near it in a garden is a charming little marble pavilion
built by Ranjit Singh and set round with orange trees on which the fruit
was hanging. R. Singh's tomb is a pompous and over decorated
building, I didn't go on. Near it is the tomb of a Guru. In the morning
we went to se the tomb of Anar Kalli, the lady whom Akbar suffocated
because Shah Jehan fell in love with her. It seems to be a library or
offices. The sarcophagus is much like Akbar's own. The 99 names
of God with wild roses twined about them and below a charming verse
in Persian: Ah could I behold once more the face of my Beloved, I wd
give thanks unto my God until the Day of Resurrection [also in original
Persian]. I had a fire in my room and was glad of it. Early to bed.

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