May 8, 2009

Astur

Nor many people would have heard this name. It's a... I would call a collection of royal tombs. Astur is about 4km from Bidar Fort, away from the town and the hustle-bustle. There must be a dozen massive buildings similar to Gol Gumbaz but smaller. Except for one, all tombs are closed and locked to public. One tomb which is open to public seems to be the biggest one... people visit to pay their respects to this Durgah.

When I stepped inside, the inside is almost dark. In the dim light I could see the intricate art work covering the walls and the dome too. Gold was one of the dominating colors. The bottom parts of the walls were vandalized. The care-taker told us about the Durgah most of which I've forgotten but one thing I remember is about the 3 diamonds embedded in the art. All high up in the ceiling and the inside of the dome. Sitting on the doorway, using a piece of broken mirror, the care-taker shone sunlight to the ceiling and a spot shone in the small patch of light...must be one of the diamonds.

What I liked most about the place is the serenity. It was cool in the Neem trees shade... a contrast to the surrounding sun-baked barren landscape. During the first visit, with Gulli, we met two men who said they were regular visitors. They come here to discuss their problems in peace. The place truly has a calming effect.

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