More Baby Taj Star-Themed Designs

AGRA, India — Even the seemingly simple designs at the Baby Taj — also known as the Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah — were a thing of beauty to behold.

Star motifs dominated the inlay work. (Photos by Bruno J. Navarro)

One wall panel had a deceptively straightforward pattern of five-pointed stars, 10-pointed stars and three-pointed half-stars, all done with semiprecious stones inlaid into marble wall surfaces.

Another pattern, in gray, slate blue, ochre and speckled earth tones, was easy to overlook as a simplified floral-and-star pattern. But look more closely, and there appears to be a mathematical component to it all. From the six-petal pale yellow floral shape to the bluish circle in its center, along with alternating color intervals, to its 12-pointed “halo,” orbited by a dozen clusters of diamond trios.

Does that even make sense without a photo?

I’m not sure, but the longer I stared at it, the more it occurred to me that there might even be a message contained within the patterns — all related, yet all unique. Maybe it was a mathematical message, or a signature of some sort.

Regardless, it was quite a puzzle that would seem to require time to decipher.


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