Posted by: itsme | December 21, 2009

Halol

Wonderful brackets on the outside

Wonderful brackets on the outside

Halol is on the way to Vadodara and I make a brief stop here upon leaving Champaner. Right by the main road is the tomb of Sikandar Shah, who was apparently the last ruler of Champaner. Mounds of upturned earth and little trenches surround the monument. Slabs of stone are laid aside in the corners of this fenced off land on which the monument stands. This is probably under the care of the ASI. It never surprises me to see their protracted maintenance works at many monuments across the country. Medieval builders probably built them faster than these guys are able to maintain today with modern technology.

A woman is sweeping the open spaces of the monument. I say open because the domes of the mausoleum are missing. There are four entrance porticos leading into the monument but only three are intact. Fluted domes crown these porticos. It appears there are actually two octogonal spaces with triangular corners topped with neat squinches above. What is really interesting are the boundaries of the twin octogonal spaces and the porticos. Pillars, capitals and pointed arches mirror each other in pairs at these intersections. I have seen nothing like it anywhere else. There is some superb work on the pillars, inside and out. Beautiful motifs decorate the circular base of missing domes. Little window frames, voluted brackets and floral roundels decorate the monument. Age has not eroded the details nor their sharpness in stone.

Afternoon sun falls at a sharp angle from above. A mix of brightened walls and sharp shadows add form. Reliefs stand out as they cast their little shadows. Arches meet and diverge in an intersecting mix of sheltered shades and exposed sunlit walls. The underside of portico dome rise in concentric circles with a classic arrangement of squinches beneath them. The tomb of the king and ruler lies almost unnoticed, overshadowed by the magnificence of this monument.

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