In the Aftermath of Love at Agra

Bespoke Traveler

agra-burjThe 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 known as Shah Jahan, watched over mournfully for eight years as a prisoner inside his sybaritic palace, Agra Fort. I imagine the deposed emperor perched against the window, gazing at his deceased wife’s monument and contemplating the unintended consequences his consuming love had produced. For twenty-two years Shah Jahan lavished the Mughal imperium’s largesse upon his marble Aphrodite, never giving a thought to his court spending more than its revenue. Felled by illness in 1658, his bejeweled world shattered.

agra-riversideEvery action has an unintentional consequence. Displeased by his…

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