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The domes and columns of its palaces, mausoleums, and mosques rise up out of the dried-up Deccan desert to remind one that the town was once starred in Indian medieval history. Here is the Great Mosque, second largest in the whole country, impressive in its enchanting grandeur, but pathetic in its loneliness of deserted halls and corridors. Here, too, is the curved head of Shah Adil's mausoleum, carrying the second largest dome in all the world. This weird building possesses a whispering gallery which echoes back one's voice seven times. The effect of those repeated and dying echoes is truly ghostly, for one's words are sent back as though uttered by invisible phantoms. Even the "Traveller's Bungalow" in which we sleep is a gem of Moslem architecture. Once it was a little mosque built under the shadow of the Great Dome. How sepulchral it seems when we sit down in the evening to our curry and rice! I wander among the deserted palaces and then sit down to watch the domes and minarets glisten in the early morning sunshine, and to meditate on the lost grandeur of these dusty memorials of a bygone Eastern empire.


-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 2: India > # 36






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