March / April 2010
or Amdavad (as the women on the train correct our pronunciation) is the largest city in Gugarat.
We caught a very swish overnight train up the coast, splurging on IIAC.
The town on arrival (on a crazy auto-rickshaw from the station) seemed more congested, polluted, and
burning hot than historic. And it isn't a huge tourist destination...
But there is a lot of history once you look. In the middle of a roaring traffic circle stands a mosque,
with exquisite carved screens. This is Sidi Sayyid's mosque, from 1573.
And there are several famous step-wells, I think that this one is Dada Hari-ni Vav, from 1500.
The client might have been a Muslim but the contractors were Hindu, and it shows. (The inscriptions were bilingual.)
The last picture above is in the adjoining mosque, in the same style (and the same yellow sandstone).
Then we moved on to a step well which functions as a temple. With rather different taste in decoration.
On our last evening we went on a guided night walk, lead by a local architecture enthusiast (and daytime engineer).
It began at a beautifully restored havelli (a rich merchant's house), mostly wooden here for earthquakes, we were told.
Matheran is a hill station just outside Bombay, reached by a suburban train and then a toy train up the hill.
It was dusty as anything, but quiet at least -- cars are banned from the town.
And a few (more dusty) minutes walk in any direction brings you to aviewpoint:
There was some exploring in Bombay too...
That's all folks!
Astonished Eyes .net
Photos by Michael Abbott