7 Cities


The tomb above does not, strictly, fall into the Seven Cities of Delhi. It belongs to a certain Sheikh Yusuf Qattal, who died around 1527, if my knowledge is correct.

He was a mendicant, who further followed another saint in Lahore. My little bit of research does tell me that he lived happily during the last years of Ibrahim Lodi, (the last king of the Lodi Dynasty & the last king of the Delhi Sultanate), as well as during the first year of Babur’s (the founder of the Mughal dynasty) reign.

Delhi, depending on which source you read, has been built up of 7, 8, or 9 cities. The first was the fabled city of Indraprastha, built by the Pandava brothers, who were the ‘heroes’ of our old epic, ‘The Mahabharatha”.

The latest city, can be called ‘Lutyens Delhi’, because it was designed by the British architect, Edwin Lutyens, who designed a large part of South Delhi, when we were a British colony. Call it New Delhi, which now, is huge.

Between these two, are seven historical cities. Lal Kot, in Mehrauli, was founded by the Rajputs, about 1,500 years back. When the Delhi Sultanate was founded in 1192 AD, with The Slave Dynasty being the first of the dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate.

Following this, came Siri, Tughlakabad, Jahanpanah and Kotla Feroze Shah – all cities of the Delhi Sultanate

The sixth, was Dinpanah, built by Humayun, the second king of the Mughal Empire, and modified by Sher Shah Suri, the first king of the Sur Dynasty.

The seventh, was Shahjahanabad, built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.

What did I do? I had wanted to shoot this for a long time, but it has been done to death.

I had studied the history of photography for 6 months, and I thought that it would be good to see if I could simulate the old, vintage processes, in Photoshop. Maybe, this is what I will later do, in the analogue world.

So, I studied this for another 6 months!

Then, I photographed the cities, and processed the images using these simulations. In one  case, I had to buy an action. However, I did not use any filter from Topaz, or Nik or anything.

is it ‘the real thing’? No. However, until I can get my own dark room, this is one area that I will explore further!

It has been fun. This, I can say!


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