sábado, 6 de enero de 2018

The Eternal City | The Indian Express

The Eternal City | The Indian Express

The Eternal City

A valuable addition to the enriching resources available on Shahjahanabad, this time in translation of a nearly two centuries old Persian account.

Written by Sohail Hashmi | New Delhi | Published: January 6, 2018 12:10 am
The cover of Sair-ul-Manazil.

The 2017 publication of the English translation of Sair-ul-Manazil is part of a journey that began almost 200 years ago when Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, the then British agent of the East India Company, and William Fraser asked Mirza Sangeen Beg to make a list of the important structures then existing in Shahjahanabad and in the ruins of the earlier cities.
The agent was, perhaps, only interested in this list from the point of view of revenue and ownership records, but Mirza Sangeen Beg went far beyond his brief. He described the buildings and copied the Persian and Arabic inscriptions carved on stone tablets in these structures. He thus preserved for the future the history of the construction of most of the heritage structures of Delhi, for it is in the inscriptions that names of patrons, builders, names of calligraphers, engravers, supervisors, architects and others were preserved, as were the years of construction. Originally written in Persian, it was first published in 1821 but the text remained by and large unrecognised for the next 160 years, until Dr Sharif Husain Qasimi translated Sair-ul Manazil into Urdu in 1981.

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