Rana Safvi رعنا राना Profile picture
founder #shair| Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb| author~translator| latest book - In Search of the Divine: Living Histories of Sufism in India
Jun 8, 2023 4 tweets 3 min read
Sher dor Madrasa, Samarqand~
Students going to universities or colleges today might wonder at the presence of two tigers chasing deers on the entrance of an educational institution.
But when Yalangtush Bakhodur, the military governor of the city, built this madrasa in Samarqand's… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Image If Ulugh Beg's madrasa had emphasised star's & geometric designs showcasing his interest in astronomy, Yalangtush Bakhodur re-emphasised seeking knowledge.

Not just seeking knowledge but seeking it as aggressively as a tiger hunts its prey.
This gives the madrasa its name Sher… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Image
Jun 6, 2023 4 tweets 3 min read
Shah Jahan gave orders for building a fort in Delhi in 1639AD and entered the “Qila e Mubarak”, as it was named on June 15, 1648. While the fort was being erected, he also had the city “Shahjahanabad” built around it. He encouraged his wives, sons, daughters and nobles to build… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Image Once Shah Jahan began living in the Qila and the settlers in Shahjahanabad grew in number, he felt the need for a congregational mosque bigger than existing ones.
The location chosen thus was a hillock called Pahari Bhojala, at a distance of 1,000 yards (0.91km) from the Qila.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Image
Jun 5, 2023 4 tweets 4 min read
Who hasn't heard of Hyderabad's Char Minar? It was built in the 16th century and defines the city.
But recently I saw another Char Minar ( pronounced Chor Minar in the local language) in Bukhara, Uzbekistan.
This is not to be confused with Delhi's Chor Minar where chor meant… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… Image Is there a connection?
Quite possible because the builder of this char minar was a rich merchant living & trading in Bukhara, who it is possible saw it in India on one of his business trips and got inspired.
“Chor-Minor“ (“Four minarets“) was built in
1807 by a rich Turkmen… twitter.com/i/web/status/1… ImageImage
Apr 23, 2023 12 tweets 4 min read

Clay tablets used in Mesopotamia in 3BC. The calamus, triangle shaped instrument was used to make characters in moist clay.
Pic -Clay tablets with cuneiform script
1/ ImageImage At Nineveh, 22,000 tablets found, dating from the 7c BC- the archive &library of the kings of Assyria
In Ancient Egypt, papyrus was used for writing & first evidence from about 2400 BC
A calamus, the stem of a reed sharpened to a point, or bird feathers were used for writing
2/ ImageImageImage
May 26, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
Takht e Marmar ( the marble throne) room was built on orders of Fath Ali Shah Qajar (1797-1834) Golestan palace, Teheran, Iran
It's breath taking -adorned with painting, calligraphy, stucco, carving, enamel,mirror & tile work, glass windows
1/ Image Actual Takht itself in the middle of the room comprises of 65 yellow Yazd sculpted & carved marble pieces, designed by Mirza Baba Nagash Bashi ( head painter of Qajar Art).
Mohammed Ebrahim the head stone Mason along with several experts supervised it's construction.
2/ Image
May 25, 2022 11 tweets 4 min read
#2 in our series on temples of Delhi built in Mughal Era
This is the Shivalaya of Dhummi Lal Khanna, built in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Akbar II in Katra Neel in Old Delhi / Shahjahanabad
Text and idea @SamDalrymple123 #MughalMandirs have been studied significantly less than any other type of mandir in the subcontinent - suprising given that the dynasty's other monuments have been studied more than any other aspect of Indian Art history, giving impression that Mughal Mandirs just didn't exist
May 24, 2022 7 tweets 3 min read
Sam Dalrymple @SamDalrymple123 and I decided to explore and collaborate on documenting the mandirs made in the Mughal Era in Delhi itself.
The series written by Sam :
In the last few days we've been hearing a lot about the temples that were destroyed under Mughal rule
1/ Image Its right to highlight this, but what's missing from this picture is the many temples BUILT by the Mughals. People are often suprised to learn that over 100 #MughalMandirs survive in Old Delhi. Over the next few days we will be sharing a handful of these with you.

2/ Image
May 11, 2022 15 tweets 6 min read
Let's walk through the Taj Mahal today.
I will take you on a pictorial tour.
A huge Darwaza surrounded by a wall guards the teardrop inside
1/ As you come closer it's awesome majesty hits you
May 9, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
This archival picture is from the book Multiple Narratives of Taj Mahal
It shows an entrance now sited used by Shah Jahan to enter the Rauza (Taj) from the river side. Rooms wert built for use of the royals. Shah Jahan never came from the magnificent gateway.
He came by boat ImageImage Ebba Koch's book The Complete Taj Mahal has a photo of the tahkhana as these were called.
Shah Jahan is said to have visited the lower cenotaph chamber on the urs.
2/ Image
Dec 26, 2021 9 tweets 6 min read
A thread on the dangers being faced by a 15th century dargah in Delhi's Sheikh Sarai area.
A message from a local that this non ticketed monument is being used as a park for playing cricket, cards and general adda baazi took me there last week.
1/ In 2016 I had visited this dargah for my book The Forgotten Cities of Delhi and written:
"This dargah is by far the prettiest I have seen. It’s like a vermillion-mark of spirituality on the surrounding area. Though very small, it is exquisite and very well preserved."
Photo 2016
Dec 25, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
And to add the diversity of the depiction of Madonna and child from medieval India.
Album of Persian and Indian calligraphy and paintings, Mary and Jesus, Walters Manuscript Painting, ca. 1600-1610. May depict the presentation of the infant Jesus in the temple at Jerusalem, forty days after his birth. From the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Sep 29, 2021 15 tweets 6 min read
A thread on Humayun ''s tomb

Emperor Humayun died on 27 January 1556 by falling of the roof of Sher Mandal in the Purana Qila his fort in the 6th city of Dinpanah founded by him earlier.
He was interred there & later acc to some scholars shifted to temp grave in Sirhind

1/ His tomb was started in 1565 AD.
It took sixteen years to complete this and cost 15 lakh rupees at the time.
Gulbsdan Begum mentions Bega Begum ( eldest wife) as the builder of his tomb. It's possible some of the expense was borne by Akbar.
Sep 28, 2021 4 tweets 3 min read
Today is the chehellum of Imam Husain known as #arbaeen.
It is the day when millions walk to Karbala to pay homage.
I was part of it a decade ago.
#Arbaeen_e_Hussaini Over 1400 years ago, After being released from imprisonment by Yezid, the Imam's sister Bibi Zainab, lone surviving son Imam Zainul Abidin & family visited the spot & mourned their beloved Imam & lived ones
Sep 9, 2021 9 tweets 4 min read
Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya, who lived from 1238 to 1325, is an extremely popular Sufi saint of the Chishti Order. He had two disciples, both well-known poets of their time: Amir Khusrau and Amir Hasan Sijzi.
This post is about Hasan Sijzi's mazar in khupdabad
1/ When Sultan Mohd bin Tughluq ordered in 1327 that his capital be shifted from Delhi to Deogir (Daulatabad),he instructed the elites, nobles, officers, common men, and even the saints to shift with him
The Sufi saints, 1,400 of them, decided to settle in an area near Daulatabad
Sep 8, 2021 4 tweets 2 min read
Everytime I go to Shahjahanabad or Old Delhi I try to check on the state of the Chaah Rahat.

Water was supplied to its ablution pool by a well situated at a short distance from the mosque. Water was pumped from the well via a Persian wheel. This is the inscription
And the plaque reads:

براۓ آب رسانی حوض جامع مسجد دھلی

Baraaye aab rasani hauz Masjid Jame, Dehli

For the supply of water to the wuzu hauz of Jama Masjid, Dehli
Aug 21, 2020 115 tweets 67 min read
Since most people are unaware of the significance of #Muharram or the sacrifice of Hussain please bear with me as I recite the history of #Karbala every day

#twittermajlis Karb ( anguish) and Bala ( calamity) were the name given to the land of Nainawa where Imam Hussain and the male members of his family ( excluding an ill son) were martyred along with his companions. The ladies were imprisoned & taken to Syria
#Muharrum #Karbala #twittermajlis
Aug 11, 2020 32 tweets 7 min read
The Mughals called themselves Timurids.
The term Mughal was applied to them in the 16th c by the Europeans & it stuck.
But today I learnt thanks to a paper by Prof Najaf Haider that even the name Mowgli, the young hero of Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, is derived from it. . @Aakar__Patel asked me about Mughal chronicles, which I just saw, so here's a description thread of the Mughal chronicles by rulers, princesses and court historians
Jun 21, 2020 6 tweets 4 min read
Bahr al hayat is the earliest text which illustrated #Yoga asanas.
Because gurus traditionally taught yoga orally and directly to their disciples, Hindu treatises only tersely describe asanas.

1/ The earliest extant manuscript with illustrated asanas, the Ocean of Life (Bahr al-hayat), dates from the turn of the 17th c
Oct 30, 2019 12 tweets 4 min read
#BegumAkhtar was born on 7th October, 1914 in Faizabad town of Uttar Pradesh. Her name was Akhtaribai Faizabadi though she was much popular as Begum Akhtar. She showed interest in music at a very young age and was sent to train under the great sarangi player, Ustad Imdad Khan. Later, she learnt classical music from great exponents of this field like Mohammad Khan, Abdul Waheed Khan and Ustad Jhande Khan Saheb.

May 27, 2019 6 tweets 3 min read
Sahir Ludhianvi on Nehru jis death

Jism ki maut koi maut nahin hoti
Jism mit jaane se insaan nahi mar jaate

Dharkanein rukne se arman nahin mar jaate
Saans tham jaane se ailaan nahin mar jaate

Hont jam jaane se farman nahin mar jaate
Jism ki maut koi maut nahin hoti wo jo har deen se munkir tha, har ik dharm se duur
Phir bhi har deen, har dharm ka gham khwaar raha

Saari qaumon ke gunahon ka kara bojh liye
Umr bhar surat e Isa jo sar e daar raha

#Sahir on #JawaharlalNehru 's death
Sep 27, 2018 8 tweets 3 min read
The beautiful Jama Masjid in Burhanpur.
Along with spiritual rewards and benefits, there are many socio-political benefits of congregational prayer and these are performed in mosques Wall mosque in Humayun's tomb
The presence of multiple mosques in the city of Medina suggests that performing the prayers in congregation was an important part of the daily routines of the Muslims of Medina.