Harper Ganick
Hyderabad University, India
An Excerpt from her blog post "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" 

Last Saturday some friends and I went and visited the Qutb Shahi Tombs, which I learned about in my Lonely Planet before I even got here. We've been meaning to go and see them for a few weeks now, but we've gotten side tracked or been away from Hyderabad. No one here has even mentioned them to us as a suggestion to "go see" and we didn't know anyone who had been to them so far, so we really had no idea what to expect. In fact, I really just expected an old grave yard with some ancient "mausoleum" type structures. Not for the first time, we were totally unprepared for the reality that is India.

These tombs were all pre-Moghul, ranging from the 15th to 17th century, and all in various states of decay. However, their disrepair made them all that much incredible. Each tomb, like a smaller version of the Taj Mahal but in stone, still has an attendant, and the actual tombs inside are still decorated with shawls, incense, and flowers.
After the first tomb there were another ten, at least, behind a fenced in area. Some were smaller than others, but all were beautiful. The vegetation and life growing through the hundreds of year old stone made them even more beautiful than they might have been when they were first erected.
Not only were our surroundings amazing, but the day was great too; hot, blue skies, and not too humid. Unfortunately I chose to wear jeans that day... We spent all afternoon there, just wandering around and taking pictures.

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