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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mughal Architecture

The Mughal’s who were the direct decedents of Genghis Khan, ruled over a vast land (approximately 1.2 sq. miles/3.2 million kilometers). This included modern day Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Mughal dynasty came into existence in 1526 after Emperor Babur’s victory at Panipat (India).

During 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, Mughal architecture evolved through the amalgamation of Indian, Islamic, Persian and Turkish architecture. The highlight of Mughal architecture is its symmetry and decorative work. Apart from extensive use of white and red marble, beautiful inlay work of semi precious stones is a highlight of Mughal architecture.

Though the construction in Mughal style started from Babur’s time but the Mughal architecture reached its zenith during Shah Jahan’s reign. Shah Jahan alone is responsible for the construction of Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque), Agra fort )in it's current form), Lahore fort and Jama Masjid Delhi.

Here is a little taste of architecture, pictures do not do justice but as they say they are worth a thousand words.

Agra Fort:

The first mention of the fort is at around 11th century, however when emperor Akbar realized the importance of the fort and Agra. He enhanced and fortified the fort with red sandstone and established his state capital there naming "Fatehpur". However it was emperor Shah Jahan who modified the Agra fort to it's current state.
Main entrance of Agra fort
Buland darvaza (Tall gate)
Ceiling detail of Buland darvaza

Third gate of the fort

Akbar's palace
Highly decorative columns

Detail on one of the towers
Jehangiri mehal(palace)

Khas Mehal 

Interior detail of Khas Mehal

inlay work on marble (Khas mehal)
Interior buildings of Fort

View of Taj Mahal from Musamman (burj)tower Agra Fort
The outer wall
Agra fort at night
Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque)

Moti Masjid was built by Shah Jahan for his and the royal family's use. It is a structure of white marble the favorite construction material of Shah Jahan. Since the marble mosque shines like a pearl (Moti) that is why it is called Pearl Mosque.

Moti masjid (pearl mosque)

Interior of Moti masjid

A view of the river from Moti masjid
to be continued...

credits: google, wikipedia, indian tourism, retinacharmer.com etc

Friday, March 15, 2013

To Catch a Thief

Based on the 1952 novel by David Dodge, and screenplay by John Michael Hayes, and obviously directed by Alfred Hitchcock, To Catch a Thief was last movie of Grace Kelly with Hitchcock. Movie was filmed in 1955 and next year Grace Kelly became Princes Grace of Monaco.

This was Hitchcock’s first movie in Vista Vision (wide screen process), and is the only Hitchcock movie that was not only released by Paramount, but also controlled and owned by it up to this day.

Apart from Cary Grant and Grace Kelly, John Williams (H.H. Hughson), Charles Vanel (Bertani), Brigitte Auber (Danielle Foussard), Jean Martinelli (Foussard), and Georgette Anys (Germaine) were among the main cast. Jessie Royce Landis played Jessie Stevens, potential mother in law of John Robie (Cary Grant). Jessie Landis later played Cary Grant’s mother in North by Northwest.

Released on August 5, 1955 movie made $4.5 million on the box Office and $8.75 million on rentals etc. Budget was 2.5 million. It won an Academy Award for Robert Burks (Best Cinematography), was nominated for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design.

Hitchcock, Kelley and Grant on the set

The Ball

CG and Danielle 

Hitchcock in the bus scene 

Credits: google etc for pictures