DAILY PHOTO: An Emperor’s Jail

Taken on October 12, 2013 at Agra Fort.

Taken on October 12, 2013 at Agra Fort.

The top of this tower is where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb–the latter being the 6th Mughal Emperor. The 5th Emperor’s “cell” offered a great view of the Taj Mahal, the monument that Jahan built to his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

This just goes to show that just because one kills off one’s brothers who are ahead of one in line for succession, and imprison one’s own dad,  doesn’t mean one has to be completely heartless.

This is what Jahan would have seen-- except from about one story up and a couple hundred feet to the left.

This is what Jahan would have seen– except from about one story up and a couple hundred feet to the left.

 

DAILY PHOTO: How Many People Fit in an Auto-Rickshaw?

Taken October 12, 2013 in Agra, India

Taken October 12, 2013 in Agra, India

It’s a question that has been debated since the dawn of the Tuk-tuk. Like the question of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie-Roll Tootsie-Pop, attempts to definitively answer the question have resulted only in controversy. The question?

HOW MANY PEOPLE FIT IN AN AUTORICKSHAW?

In the highfalutin cities, people think that nobody is supposed to ride upfront with the driver, but elsewhere they’ve figured out that you can put at least one man on either side of the driver (as long as the weight of each man is fairly evenly matched–there’s only one tiny front wheel after all.) How many one can fit in the back is influenced by the average yoga skill level of the riders and whether one has any Twister (TM) grand-champions on board. 

There are myths of tuk-tuks containing entire villages tooling down the back-roads. Theoretical physicists tell us that you can pack them in until their density forms a self-sustaining black-hole, and then everybody out to the event horizon is drawn in… ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.

The answer is: “a lot.”

 

DAILY PHOTO: Tower at Fort Agra

Taken October 12, 2013 in Agra.

Taken October 12, 2013 in Agra.

I just returned from a week-long trip to Agra and Delhi. (Hence my lack of posts of late.) The Taj Mahal dominates Agra’s tourist scene–and for good reason–but Agra Fort is an impressive site in its own right. Agra Fort is considerably more impressive than Delhi’s Red Fort, which I toured on the same trip. The fort offers some unique shots of the Taj Mahal from across the Jamuna River, but also has both marble and red sandstone buildings that have been impressively and meticulously maintained and restored.