We arrived at a homestay in Agra welcomed by our friendly host Faisal ( the Taj castle homestay) and rose early (4:30am) the next morning to catch the first glimpses or the Taj Mahal before the crowds draw in. I only wake up early for two things…flights and wimbledon tennis, the Taj Mahal was now another exception and well worth the early start(!)
Although I had seen it when I was younger on a trip with my family it didn’t fail to amaze me again how back in those times 1630s such a beautiful and perfectly symmetrical resting place was conceived and created for Emporer Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is possibly the best statement of Persian and Mughal inspired architecture.
The next few days we spent in busy and vibrant Jaipur. The city of Mughal art, palaces, gems, fabrics and fantastic food.
You can see the Islamic and Hindu influence combined in the Amber fort Palace. The palace of Raja Maan Singh I in the 1600s. It’s a grand an opulent gem and houses beautiful halls such as the mirror palace (sheesh Mahal) and grand courtyards.
There is a fusion of symmetrical Mughal structures with the hindu symbolic lotuses and elephants.
Yet we are just scratching surface now of Rajasthan with its fascinating influence of Persian and Indian influence and continue to explore more of what Jaipur has to offer in the present day…including food, art and craftsmanship.