Thursday, March 18, 2010

BLOWN Away By India & Black Taj Mahal Legend‏

Day 4 (28 December 2004). BLOWN like a breeze..... whooooosshhhh.....

Today is a very easy and simple day for us as we only cover 1 site which is Agra Fort, thus I can tell you in detail (more like cut & paste from websites, ehheheheee....) of this beautiful fortress.

Argh...... I don't know where to start....firstly; it's SUPER DUPER HUGER (Yeah! Sooooo darn huge that I felt a need to put the letter "R" in my "HUGE"), imagine my gawk when I first saw the glimpse of it... (Yup! My gawk was as HUGE"R"... hahahhahahha). How the tour guide thingy work is different (or maybe same as some country which I have yet to visit *hint* *hint*), here's the thing; when we booked our ride (as mentioned earlier in Day 3); we've also booked the tour guide of which I earlier thought; he or she will be following us the whole road trip or at least by city basis. Aaahhhh.... BUT instead, the tour guide will hop on our car at the entrance of the site ie Agra Fort or Taj Mahal or Fatehpur Sikri etc etc etc.... What Grace & I will do is probably give a little token (or tips as popularly known) to the service rendered at the end of the site tour. This process will start again on the next site we visited, so on and so forth... you'll get it right. Oh yah! There's a funny story on Grace on this.... *chuckle*

Yup! It’s the THE UNESCO World Heritage site… what else is not new for me right….? Everything here was thought of perfection. Diwani-i-Khas
or “hall of private audience“ was used to receive kings, dignitaries and ambassadors. A three-sided pavilion, it has marble throne terrace, and a pair of thrones. It’s all marble-ish (I know there's no such word but am sure you know what I meant lor hor, ehhehehee).

Then there was the Jahangiri Mahal which was the principal palace for women belonging to the royal household, basically wives of the moghuls.

Carving….. FANTASTIC! I mean... to carve on a marble… and we are not taking about one slab okay! But more like the whole building is made of marble. I did some googling and found out the emperor absolutely love architecture (That explains it!). You must go to see and be impressed…

How significant we may ask since it is not as popular as the sister building - Taj Mahal?What I have read of recent (didn't noticed it then, must be busy snapping away lar) is that the "who is who" of the Mughal Emperors and more than half a dozen these Emperors such as Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb - lived in Agra Fort.
The next question will be whether is it a tomb as well (despite of the word "fort")?
Nope! Not a mausoleum. It is back in those days a strong hold, the administrative headquarters, the royal palace, the court, and even a bazaar.… all in one. Basically it is a close view of how the Mughals lived, their beautiful private gardens and mosques were.

The Black Taj Mahal
I heard of this since I was ... forever basically. I do wonder the truth behind it. The story told to me (everyone LOVES MYTH and LEGEND, perhaps the mystery is more juicy then the fact) is that, this monument supposedly to be built on Yamuna River bank opposite of the pearly white Taj Mahal using black marble. It is to look identical to the famous Taj Mahal and meant for him to be close to his beloved wife. And when I was there, at the opposite Yamuna River bank you can actually see the ground has been flatten for this cause (not sure how true is this).

However, there must be a "however" in this story else it won’t be spicy & juicy enough right!??!? Well... HOWEVER, during that period, they were undergoing a war and to utilize country's wealth & resources will be too much of an impact thus Aurangzeb (Shah Jehan's son) has send his father to imprisonment in Agra Fort. Hemm... you can't actually say it's an imprisonment as Shah Jehan stayed in one of the marbled tower (the only one that was marbled) Muasamman Burj overlooking the Taj Mahal, and being taken care by his favorite daughter Jahanara Begum till his death. His imprisonment lasted for 8 years and he passes away peacefully and was buried next to his beloved wife in Taj Mahal - The Epitome of LOVE.

Ofcoz, there are many version of his myth but I thought this was the romantic most. Aren’t you just blown away....?

Now, the even more "juicier" story ie Grace's story. What happen now was this - after I've been handling the trip daily expenses; I thought Grace should be doing it for that day lar... (I wanted to take a day off). And she said ok lor... And guess how much she tipped the guide for both of us??? FOR ONE SITE ONLY! USD10 per/pax. The guide was jumping with joy ofcos... I shrieked in the highest pitch that even I don't know I have.... I told her, we'll be broke in 2-3 days if she kept doing this.

And guess what she said? That was why lar she "delegated" the "job" to me as I so used to doing the (or should I say converting) exchange rate for our quarterly budget. Macam tuh also can ah??? Not wanting to be broke while traveling, I gladly took my "job" back. She just laughed.... Now thinking about it, I think she tricked me to taking back my job so that she can relax.

DARN! I kena conned! Tipah tertipu!

Hyperlink Credits : Hampi, Maps of India, Wikipedia


MKL said...

Hey Lily, last pic you look so cantik ;) The pics are from 2004 and so good already? You had some great camera then, ah? Nice.

And when you say huge-r, you're so right. Many buildings I see around here are so much better in real than seen on photos. So yeah, sharing is nice, but the real experience is something totally else :)

Your wrote great posts and I like how you add maps and useful info, keep on :)

MKL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trishie said...

The carvings are super amazing and beautiful!

biqque said...

thats hugeR!!! seriously hugeR!!!

ok, if ever i go to India, i refer to u k?

Lily Riani said...


cantik huh!?!??! soooo proud you use a malay word!! wuu huuu!!!

yes... seeing is believing and experiencing it even better.

and THANK YOU for you comment.


i agree.... the carving...! sigh... imagine the manhours put into it.


boleh boleh but this is old trip.. didnt do much or any research pun. i pinjam kan buku lagi bagus... very very the complete. as in DK travel book

Wenny Yap said...

Hey Lily, I'm continuously at awe with all your pics. Some looked so professional, especially pic #1, #5, #7 and #8. Unfortunately #6 was not sharp. I want to emulate your creative style la.

Lily Riani said...


thank you thank you thank you.this was my initial stage of liking photography, pure luck, no composition.

Liudmila said...

So interesting! I like the image how the white and blac buildings had to be.
What I wanted to ask you, Lily, the picture with white columns (5-th)the flowers are in carved marble or are picted? It's very important for me. I wanted to know, where comes the art of such marble pictures (in Salerno it's very popular art) .

Lily Riani said...


thank you for your compliment. am not sure where is the origination of this art form but I definitely remembered seeing it before this. my understanding is that the dome of taj mahal is done similar and also with semi precious stone.

lecfhua said...

this is ur first bronze shot & the angle and framing for the last 2 shots!

Lily Riani said...


thanks for the compliments. trying to take better pics before buying a DSLR...

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