Colossal wreck, boundless and bare

Qutub Minar is a brick tower that was built around 1200 AD by the first Muslim ruler of Delhi to commemorate a military victory. Probably because it is so easily accessible, it is the most visited historical site in India.
This iron pillar which commemorates a military victory by a Hindu king around 300 AD was uprooted from its original location and installed here in the Qutb complex. There was originally a Garuda (a mythological bird that the Hindu god Vishnu rides) on top of the iron pillar, but the Muslim kings presumably destroyed that idol.
Uprooted, headless and a convenient roosting spot for pigeons, the iron pillar serves as an ironic counterpoint to the stone victory tower built by Muslim kings. Reminded me of Shelley's Ozymandias.

In Peru, we saw lots of churches that were built on top of Inca foundations. So much so that there are few pure Inca buildings left (this is what makes Machu Picchu so unique: it was hidden in the jungle and the Spaniards never found it). The Muslim invaders of India couldn't destroy and build over all the Hindu temples of course -- there were too many of them -- but they seem have to given it their best shot. This hallway around the Qutub complex consists of pillars ransacked from Hindu and Jain temples.
Interestingly, the Afghani Muslim invaders of the 1200s seem to have been zealous enough to ransack Hindu temples, but not fundamentalist enough (or barbaric enough) to destroy the art in them. Thus, they seem to have had no problem having this dancing girl gracing their mosque. Sadly, today's Afghani Taliban are not merely a throwback to the 1200s; they are worse.
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