View from a Minaret | Jama Masjid, Old Delhi, India
It's a tight squeeze at the top of the minaret—like a tiny lighthouse. The space was clearly designed for one person though two or three can be comfortable. There are screens to prevent falling off but, ironically, no railing to prevent falling backward down the stairway through the large hole in the floor. I wonder how many times that has happened.
The minaret's spiral staircase is just as sketchy. It's extremely narrow with uneven steps and no handrails. The pie slice-shaped steps leave absolutely no place to stand on the inside of the spiral making encounters with others headed in the opposite direction not unlike a game of Twister.
The tight spaces make taking a backpack or bag to the top a no-go. It's not just cumbersome; it's unsafe. So any bags stay at the entrance to the minaret. And, of course, there is a guy standing there watching the bags who will expect to be paid when you come back down.
©2017 Timothy Linn
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