Monday, August 17, 2009

When it rained at the old fort...

Besides a bag full of clothes, a bottle of water, a pair of heels, sunglasses, a credit card and other junk, it seems i also accidentally packed a few clouds with me!! Throughout the 3 days that I spent in agra, The sun stayed nicely tucked in a blanket of clouds. the breeze and rain brought down the mercury and the long-awaited monsoon finally found its way back to the sun-scorched agra. It was almost as if the weather was made-to-order! My otherwise impulsive trip turned out to be the best-planned trip, ever! The Agra fort, one of the biggest gems of the Mughal architecture, made in red limestone and white marble, looked even more grand after a rain-wash! The jewel-encrusted marble palaces, inside the fort, looked brighter against the grey sky.

Walking down the pristine white floors and looking up at intricately painted high-domes, I could imagine the grandeur this palace must have possessed in its prime. The story of the Maharajas and the Maharanis of the Mughal dynasty who lived in these very-walls, a few centuries ago, seemed to come alive in the dim lights that came in through the carved windows! The silver-mirrored bath areas, the palanquin shaped rooms, the symmetrical columns and arches, the Persian art with Hindustani influence.... the coming together of a Muslim king and a Hindu Queen .. the story was truly coming alive right in front of my eyes. The dancers danced in their bright hued attires at the courtyard, as the king relaxed on his peacock throne and the queen surrounded by her maids, taking a royal bath with perfumed water.. oh, my mind was playing tricks!

Then the guide took us to the room where emperor Shahjehan was kept on a house-arrest by his own son Aurangzeb. The huge window of the room over-looked the distant Taj-Mahal, the tomb of Shahjehan's beloved wife, Queen Mumtaz. The Emperor spent 36 yrs, caged in that room, with the view of Taj-mahal and the memories of Mumtaz. He was finally re-united with her at the same Taj Mahal, buried right next to his beloved.

I looked around the fort, one last time, walking out of the HUGE door, looking at a pigeon nicely perched on the ancient-hanging light, almost as if it stood testimony to the immortal love, the grandeur, the power and the beauty that the Mughals enjoyed in the massive walls of this Fort.

And then we walked out of the fort, with aching feet, feeling a little tired, a little proud and a tad bit jealous of the Mughals.

Much Love :)

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