Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Friday, 24 March 2017

Aurangabad is a medium-sized city with a lot of industry, including most of the beer brewing in India. (Nashik, India's grape-growing and wine region is not too far away.) For tourists, it’s known for being the place to stay while visiting Ellora and Ajanta Caves.

On our way to Ellora Caves, we made a brief stop at the “Bibi ka Maqbara”, the tomb built by Aurangzeb (founder of Aurangabad) for his first wife. It is a miniature copy of the Taj Mahal (which was built by Aurangzeb’s father to honor A’s mother), but it is made from bricks and stucco with just a bit of marble. There are no semi-precious stone inlays, but the stucco paintings are an adequate replacement.

While smaller and less elegant, the Bibi ka Maqbara bears more than a passing resemblance to the Taj Mahal. It is set in the center of a “Char Bagh”, or Persian 4-part square garden. (For comparison, here, here, and here are my earlier blogs on the real Taj Mahal.)
One of the minarets.
Rather than pietra dura (stone inlay), the monument has many graceful paintings.
The doors had patterned metal sheets over wood.
The tomb of Aurangzeb’s wife. At first it looks like flower petals have been showered over the grave, but a closer look revealed that these are mostly rupee notes and an occasional coin.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel ...

The housekeeping staff left us origami towel peacocks.

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