Tuesday, 14 October 2014

J004 - Back to New Delhi, 33 years later...using Google's Street View Trekker : Humayun's Tomb, Qutb Minar, Rajpath

New Delhi : Humayun's Tomb, Qutb Minar, Rajpath

October 14, 1981: being in India for four days and already sick...
> read the article (in french)

33 years later, virtual comeback on these three places, using Google's Street View Trekker. Exploring traces of the past with today tools.

_____________________Daily map_____________________

Lucky strike: the three monuments I visited that day in New Delhi belong to the few places in India already filmed by the Google's Street View Trekker.

Direction Nizamuddin West to explore Humayun's Tomb.
The trekker has crossed through the place thoroughly.

The course of the trekker through the Gardens of Humayun's Tomb, Delhi

The Isa Khan tomb complex is located at the right of the entrance.

Entrance from the north door, overlooking the tomb of Isa Khan Niyazi, Delhi

The heavy wooden door is still there, easy to recognize.
The lobed arch, which was crumbling, is now redone. As well as the low wall surrounding the mausoleum. The shrub hedge is gone, and the sparse grass gave way to a beautiful English turf.
Critical problem for the trekker: his point of vue is significantly higher than that of the average human eye. The natural perspective is skewed, and the use of a wide angle lens make it worse.
> visit Isa Khan Niyazi with Google Trekker

North gate, Isa Khan Niyazi tomb, Delhi

The north gate has been seriously restored and palm trees grew well. On the ground, the shadow of the trekker's camera is visible...

Continuation of the visit.

Once the last portal crossed, Humayun's Tomb is fully revealed, covered by a huge white dome.

Humayun's Tomb, Delhi
The trekker's camera leans slightly to the left. The morning sun backlighting the building is already fading colors...

A climb on the terrace.

Domes of Nila Gumbad and Nai-ka-Gumbad, Humayun's tomb, Delhi

Also here, the palm trees that mask the domes appear to have grown well. And, as at the time, the blazing sun does not encourage you to linger...
> visit the terrace with Google Trekker

Once again, rickshaw to reach Qutb Minar.

It's not easy to find a similar point of view: the narrow framing of my photo reveals only few clues. One has to grope with satellite images, and explore the paths and views of the trekker.

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque and Qutb Minar, Delhi

To the left in the photo, one can see visitors on the first balcony.
On December 4, 1981, a blackout unleashed a dreadful panic in the tower causing 45 victims, mainly schoolchildren. Since then, access to the first floor is prohibited.
This tragedy, so close after my own visit, has become inseparable from this place.

On the ground, the trekker's lens is facing the sun...
> visit Qutb Minar with Google Trekker

Way back through Raj Path that connects India Gate to the presidential palace Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Jaipur Column et Rashtrapati Bhavan, Rajpath, Delhi
1981: crossing of beautiful bell-bottoms.
2013: access to the presidential palace is blocked by yellow plastic barriers ...

From Rashtrapati Bhavan: India Gate, Rajpath, Delhi
> visit Raj Path, courtesy of Pious Saraswat

Did you visit and shoot this places ? What was YOUR point of view ?
English readers, please help me to improve this version.
Swim in India

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Back at Red Fort, Delhi: 33 years later...with Google Street View Trekker

Delhi, Red Fort

October 12, 1981: first day of sightseeing, introducing the magnificient Red Fort complex.
> read the article (in french)

Retro-blogging tips: in order to geolocate each photo slide, I have investigated in different ways and used:
- narrations from my diaries ;
- descriptions from my old touristic guides ;
- street and relief maps, satellite views, mainly from Google Maps ;
- similar pictures, already geolocated on Panoramio or Flickr ;
- various websites and blogs describing the same place.

Eventually, shadows on the picture help me to confirm the point of view, and it's orientation on a north-south axis, according to the estimated hour of the shooting.

It's great when I can compare my pictures and their GPS coordinates with those of a famous geographic information system, for example: Google.
Looking at the same direction, but 33 years later.
What kind of picture is proposed ? What has changed ?

In 2014, the Red Fort is one of the few places in India that has already been filmed by the Google Street View Trekker.
(trekker : a human carrying a backpack supporting a 360° camera and catching a bunch of datas. On Google Maps, the trekker point of vue is accessed by clicking the little yellow man icon.)

Check out these before & after pictures: India in 1981, shot on Kodachrome 64 Film. India in 2013, shot by a cyber visitor.

Lahori Gate, Red Fort, Delhi

Throne, Diwan-i Aam, Red Fort, Delhi

Naqqar Khana, Red Fort, Delhi

Diwan-i-Khas & Moti Masjid & Hammans, Khas-Mahal, Red Fort, Delhi

Inside Tasbih-Khana and Rang Mahal, Khas-Mahal, Red Fort, Delhi

> the French version of this article

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

How I met Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman in Bhaktapur

Thursday, April 29, 1982 

I had been traveling in India by myself for already 6 months before entering to Nepal.
On a visit to Bhaktapur, an ancient Newar town located eight miles from Kathmandu, I encountered a huge crowd gathered on Durbar Square.
A movie team from Bollywood was there, with directors, assistants, lightings and a camera dolly on rails.
I easily recognized the famous Amitabh Bachchan, dressed in a black leather jacket and wearing white trousers.
He was performing a dance scene with a beautiful actress clothed in a yellow robe.
Step by step, they played the script of the whole scene while music was playing loudly...
Click here if you want to see on a map the accurate location where it took place.

April 2014

It took me a while to identify the filming that I had attended.
I searched in Amitabh's filmography and last Saturday, I finally found it.
32 years later, thanks to Internet, I could see the clip for the very first time.

It is named "Pyar Mein Dil Pe Maar De Goli", from the film "Mahaan".
The actress is Zeenat Aman, a famous and glamourous Bollywood star.
A good quality clip may be seen on Youtube.
I like the song and the acting, it's quite fun and kitch.

I'm pleased to publish some previously unreleased pictures of this event. Feel free to share and to mention this article...
> Read the full story (in french)


Amitabh Bachchan on Durbar Square, with Nyatapola Pagoda, Bhaktapur, Nepal 
Actors in action : Zeenat Aman and Amitabh Bachchan, Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, Nepal
A litte rest for Zeenat Aman and Amitabh Bachchan, in the shade of the Stone Lions, Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, Nepal
A litte rest for Zeenat Aman and Amitabh Bachchan, in the shade of the Stone Lions, Durbar Square, Bhaktapur, Nepal

Update: April 2015

On April 25, 2015, around noon local time, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal just before noon local time: 4 000 people were killed and more than 7 500 were hurt.
Dozens of temples and historical buildings in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur have collapsed or damaged (> see details here).

Some media have reported the fact that Amitabh Bachchan and Zeenat Aman had been acting on Durbar Square 33 years ago:

But the shooting for the film "Mahaan" happened in Bakhtapur Durbar Square and not in Kathmandu Durbar Square.

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