The Secret of Wind Palace

Originally posted on Bespoke Traveler:
Its cinnamon colored sandstone rises like a lacework curtained veil into the cobalt sky above. From the ground all I see are miniature niches covered with hundreds of tiny windows. Behind its intricate architecture, this lavish latticework hides a mysterious world. I’m in Jaipur, India, the “pink city of Rajasthan,” staring up at the incomparable Hawa Mahal. A strict translation… Continue reading The Secret of Wind Palace

A Marble Fairy Tale

Originally posted on Bespoke Traveler:
In the morning sun it gleams with a snowy effervescence that exudes serene power. By the afternoon light, the marble glows, sending out golden rays as if it were a second sun. Centuries of royal authority radiate from the column minarets and chamfered, octagonal body. At dusk, as the shadows lengthen, and the courtyard begins to cool, the marble blushes… Continue reading A Marble Fairy Tale

In the Aftermath of Love at Agra

Originally posted on Bespoke Traveler:
The octagonal tower is embellished with trellised windows. In the chiaroscuro of Agra’s midday light, each arched screen scintillates with the sophistication of pointelle lace. Peering through one of the eyelets, I can see the distant minarets of Taj Mahal floating in a heated haze along the banks of the Yamuna River. It is the same scenery Muhammad Khurram, better… Continue reading In the Aftermath of Love at Agra

Taking Chances With a Ghost Town

Originally posted on Bespoke Traveler:
Fatehpur Sikri was a revelation. The ghost town unfurled its cinnamon sandstone storied pavilions like a pop-up book. Dado paneled quarters materialized atop stepped terraces. Gujarat carved brackets and Persian calligraphy entwined themselves into sculpted chambers that imitated the sumptuous look of carved wood. Here, no monumental marble palace domineers the landscape and no inlaid jewels adorn facades. Instead, geometric… Continue reading Taking Chances With a Ghost Town

The Tale of the Iron Pillar

Originally posted on Bespoke Traveler:
The Qutub complex in Mehrauli is a melange of archeological dilapidation. Sunburnt minarets of Kufic calligraphy tower next to embellished Jain cloistered columns. The tallest of these turrets soars above arched gateways, brick hallways, and rubble masonry. Strolling from one empty decay to the next I marvel at how empires come and go, their marks forever mysterious to future generations.… Continue reading The Tale of the Iron Pillar

A Reality (g)Rift

Originally posted on LibrarianShipwreck:
Reality is a mess. To make this claim is to do little more than confirm the subtext of most newspaper headlines whether they speak of ongoing injustices, student debt, economic instability, violence, environmental degradation, or some other woebegone tale of the present age. An oft repeated refrain in this context features a sort of dismayed befuddlement that this is still the… Continue reading A Reality (g)Rift