The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - 'Diary of a Tour in the Naga Hills, 1922-1923' by Henry Balfour

caption: Sightseeing in and around Delhi
medium: diaries
date: 20.12.1922
person: Balfour/ Henry
date: 1922-1923
person: Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford
text: Wed. Dec. 20.
text: It was pitch dark & very cold when I arrived at Delhi at 12.30 a.m. I drove to the Hotel Cecil & got to bed at about 2 a.m., but did not sleep well, so I got up at 7. The hotel is quite good. I got a wire from Sir Malcolm Hailey to say that he was away & would not be in Delhi for some days. During the morning I had a walk to the Kashmir Gate & went on through it past the old Fort & along the main street of Delhi, which is not very interesting. I turned back & sat in the garden of St. James's Church, & watched the Hoopoes, Mynahs, Sunbirds, small palm-squirrels & a large mongoose, etc. After lunch I shared a car for 3 hours with a young American, W. Fleming of Philadelphia & Princeton University, & we drove about old Delhi, to the south of Delhi city. We first went through the Kashmir Gate through the city & out at the Delhi Gate, to the Purana Kila (Indrapat), a large rectangular fort surrounded by high walls. Inside is the Mosque of Sher Shah, who built the fort, which has some good carvings and a good view over the Jumna. Next we went to the Mausoleum of Humayun. Then to the Dargah, or shrine of Nizam-ud-din-Aulia, where there is a deep tank into which people dive. The tomb of the saint is elaborate with pierced marble screens, & ceiling richly inlaid with mother-o-pearl. There is also the tomb of the past Amir Khusru, also with finely executed marble pierced work. We went on to Lal Kot, away to the south, to see the Kutb Minar, a Mohamedan tower 238ft. high & 47ft in diameter at the base, tapering upward, and the Mosque of Kutbul Islam, which occupies part of the site of a Jain temple, the cloister pillars of which are very interestingly carved, though many were damaged by the moslems. In the court stands the famous pillar of soft iron which has been scientifically studied & analysed by Sir R. Hadfield. On the way back we stopped at the Mausoleum of Nawab Safdar Jang, where the marble cenotaph is very finely carved. The actual tomb is in a crypt under the building. We returned via the Observatory erected by the Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, with its huge, built up astonomical instruments, and drove through the partly-erected buildings of the new capital (New Delhi), to be completed in about 10 year's time. We got back to the hotel about 6 p.m. It rained heavily during the night.