Stories from the Road: Qibla Wall, Qutab Minar Complex, Delhi, India

Stories from the Road is a collection of stories about my own photographic adventures in South Asia. Sometimes the stories are exciting and sometimes mundane and at times emotional. I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.


In October of 2013, I traveled to Delhi for the Delhi Photo Festival. This was the first time I traveled alone and I was really nervous. I was excited at the airport in the States, but when I got off the plane in Delhi I was a little worried. I got my luggage and got in line to exchange some money. I must have looked nervous, because the Non-Resident Indian girl behind me asked me if it was my first time to India. I told her no, but it was my first time to Delhi. She told me not to worry that everything would be fine. It was.

I was very excited because I was going to spend my 32nd birthday in India. What does a girl who has a degree in art history do for her birthday? She gets up that morning and heads to the Qutab Minar complex. I got there right after it opened which was nice. There were not many people there, so I was free to walk around observe and take photographs at a nice pace. I also did not have to worry about people walking through my photos. So nice.

In the photograph above, you see my favorite part of the complex. It is the Qibla wall. The wall indicates the direction of Mecca. The Qibla wall inside of a Mosque is always decorated with text from the Koran (I believe). I can not read it but the script is beautifully done. In addition to the script the wall is also decorated with floral designs and abstract patterns. The stone creates an actual texture while the shift in color of the stone creates a visual texture in the photograph. Ultimately, I feel like this photograph is about pattern and texture.

I made many photographs at the Qutab Minar complex but this one is my favorite. It is nice to make some nice photographs on your birthday, if you are a photographer. Haha! Have no fear, I was not a nerd all day. In the evening I went out for drinks.


By |2018-09-08T19:55:45-05:00June 28th, 2016|India|3 Comments

About the Author:

Betsy Williamson is an assistant professor of art in the state of New Mexico. Before coming to New Mexico for this job she was an adjunct professor throughout Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, teaching photography and art appreciation. Between September 2015 and May 2017, she took a break from teaching to pursue art, research and life in India. Now she is back to teaching and part-timing it in India.


  1. mukul chand June 28, 2016 at 5:18 am - Reply

    nice pic, incredible what each person picks. see my post and see what i had spotted at Qutb Minar.

    • Betsy June 29, 2016 at 2:07 am - Reply

      Hey Mukul! Thanks!
      What is the name of your post with pics from the Qutab Minar?

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