These pages are about my travels in India in search of architecture and history.
My first such trip was back in 2002. On a rickety State Government bus from Bangalore to the town of Bijapur in north Karnataka. I spent the day cycling through Bijapur’s dusty lanes, turning corners to chance upon many majestic Adil Shahi monuments.
On the bus back to Bangalore, on an impulse, I got off at the town of Hospet and cycled 10 miles from Hospet to see the ruins of the Vijayanagara empire at Hampi. Sitting on a boulder on the banks of the Tungabhadra at sunset, I was mesmerised by the expanse of the Hampi ruins in front of me.
Since then, I have traveled to more than two hundred towns and villages across India, photographing and studying ancient and medieval architecture. The beauty and diversity of architectural styles across India, and the similarities that unite them, has fascinated me. In very few other places in the world is it still possible to experience the thrill of architectural discovery: ancient monuments and ruins that are picturesque and ornate and yet desolate and rarely visited.
Over the last 10 years, my studies and travels have been in just one part of India: Bengal. More than 3000 brick temples, mosques, and tombs were built in Bengal between the 16th and 19th centuries, in a variety of experimental, fusion architectural styles. These monuments were surveyed and studied extensively in the 1970s but since then have been ignored, and many now urgently need preservation. To me, they are fascinating structures and they deserve much more research attention, conservation effort, and protection. And many more visitors.
Through these pages I hope to share some of the excitement of traveling in search of architecture and history in India and in Bengal. I write also to highlight the need to protect, preserve, and restore India’s ancient and medieval architecture.
Thanks for stopping by.