A Wealth of Inlay at the Baby Taj Entrance

AGRA, India — I missed it the first time around. The entrance to the Baby Taj set the tone for the wealth of visual artistry within, but what I hadn’t noticed on the way in, I was able to marvel at as I walked out.

Even though I looked at star motifs and vine themes carved into the marble walls of the Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, I had overlooked the wealth contained on the surfaces at its outer entrance.

Nature scenes, geometric patterns, more star shapes and floral-and-vine motifs inlaid into the marble were among the most intricate anywhere at the tomb. Yet what stood out the most was the thicket of carved foliage under the arch’s curve. It was located at the farthest point from grubby tourist hands, thankfully, but it came into focus slowly, being marble colored, and intricately — like a mortal’s view of Creation itself growing above all our heads.

Words don’t do it justice, though I tried. Even my photos are a poor representation of what 17th century artisans created. One day, I must return.




(Photos by Bruno J. Navarro)

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