MUGHAL INDIA exhibition at the British Library

For anyone with an interest in India, then the blockbuster “Mughal India” exhibition at the fabulous British Library in London is not to be missed.

As in absolutely not to be missed.

Let me rephrase that first sentence somewhat.  For anyone with an interest in India and/or history…this exhibition is a must-see.

There are beauties and treasures there that are dazzling, and even for Indian residents such as us, there were fabulous things we had never seen before.

The exhibition is – as one would expect from the British Library –  extremely detailed and you leave with a sense of perspective and – though I rather dislike the word –  an overview of a dynasty that had such a huge impact on the Indian subcontinent.

One word of advice : allow yourself time.

There are so many utterly fabulous, brightly coloured, jewel-like miniatures, all deserving of detailed examination.  It is a crime to skip any of them.  There are coins, armour, artefacts, photographs, books – so much to see and absorb, so , as I sadi, you need time.

Personal favourites were the rather OTT crown of the last Moghul emperor, which Queen Victoria bought, of all things; and a breathtaking 5 metre long painting that consists of a 360 degree view over Old Delhi.

Highly recommended.

We just walked in and bought tickets on the spot, despite being warned by friends that we should have booked online for a timed entry.  But doing the latter can only be a good idea.

The exhibition is on until 2 April 2013.

 

mughal

Where to buy jewellery in Old Delhi

Shopping in the crowded tiny lanes in India’s Old Delhi is amazing fun but can be a tad overwhelming.

There are so many people, it is so noisy and crowded, and you are spoiled for choice.

If you are shopping for trinkets or buttons or beads or ribbons or gift bags or any other of the wonderful things you can find in Old Delhi, then the worst that you risk is paying a couple of rupees more in one tiny shop than you would have done in another.

If you are in the market for jewellery or for gem stones, however, then the stakes (and the risks) are more substantial.

And that is why the cognoscenti beat a path to the following address in Old Delhi :

Ask for the Jain Temple, and the shop is in an old haveli in the same tiny little lane where the temple is.

This lane is famous for its row of prettily painted old houses, and is an oasis of quiet.  The temple is also delightful, so the whole trip is well worth your while.
Ashish Nahar and his father are courteous, welcoming, and have a huge range of jewellery and loose stones.

The latter are a particular favourite of mine – bags of topaz and amethyst are offered for you to select the stones you want, and their quality is excellent, their prices good, and their reputation impeccable.

A real find.

Personally recommended.

How much is the camera fee at Delhi’s Jama Majid ?

As of 2 days ago, Rs 300.

By Indian standards, that’s a lot to pay for a camera (especially when you pay it, and then see everyone else whipping out their mobile phones to take photos.  For free).  To put it in context, a local ticket to the nearby Red Fort costs Rs 10, and even a foreign ticket costs Rs 250, so, yes, Rs 300 is pricey.

The ticket looked doctored, but since there is a printed sign up, also quoting Rs 300, there was nothing to do except pay up.

And I did get smashing photos.

By the way, there is no point in saying you will put your camera away and not use it.  If you have a camera, you either pay the fee or deposit it with the mosque authorities before going in.