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Mughal Love (Condé Nast Traveller)

The Taj Mahal may symbolise eternal love, but a walk through the others forts and palaces of Agra reveals stories more layered

I’m walking within the ramparts of the expansive Agra Fort—the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty, along with my tour guide Nitin Singh, and listening to him talk about Emperor Akbar and Jodha Bai. Nitin is a history graduate and a licensed guide who has escorted some of the country’s most distinguished guests including Macaron, Trump and Bolsonaro over the past twenty years.

I’ve spent the previous two days trying to saturate my senses with the beauty of the Taj Mahal, which looks only more splendid with each viewing. That Shah Jahan loved Mumtaz Mahal and after her death, spent his remaining years sustained only by the sight of the makbara he’d built in her memory, is common knowledge. But to sit in its presence and comprehend the workings of Shah Jahan’s heart that led him to create the timeless marbled wonder is an experience hard to convey in words.

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