A Quiet Design at the Khas Mahal

AGRA, India — Look closely at a few of the archways at the Khas Mahal, the world seems to quiet down to near-silence.

There are many rooms within the walled city that is the Agra Fort, and many of them display dizzying examples of fine artisanship — inlay, relief, vaulted ceilings, indoor pools.

The list goes on, but it was one doorway that wowed in its visual sparseness:

White-on-white sculptural shapes in vague star shapes adorn the walls above the arch, while the opening undulates in waves of white marble — or is it plaster over red sandstone? — culminating at the apex in the shape of an onion-domed minaret.

It’s subtle and exquisite.

After looking at the fine Mughal architectural detail for a few minutes, it began to look futuristic — this structure built around 1080 CE actually appeared to be of another time and place at which we as humanity have yet to arrive.

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