Bibi ka Maqbara (بیبی كا مقبرہ) was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in late 17th century for his wife Dilras Banu Begum.
It bears a striking resemblance to Taj Mahal in Agra, a mausoleum for Aurangzeb’s mother Mumtaz built by his father Shah Jahan. Due to its strong resemblance to the Taj Mahal, it is also called the Dakkhani Taj (Taj of the Deccan).
The Ajanta Caves (अजिंठा लेणी) are about 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments which date from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 or 650 CE. The caves include paintings and sculptures which are masterpieces of Buddhist religious art, with figures of the Buddha and depictions of the Jataka tales.The caves were built in two phases starting around the 2nd century BCE, with the second group of caves built around 400–650 CE according to older accounts. In 1983, the caves became the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of India.
Images in order
1. Ajanta Caves Complex with all the entrances visible.
Not the Taj Mahal | this is Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Maharashtra India. It was built/commissioned between 1650 and 1660 by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangazeb for his fourth wife, Rabia-ud-Daurani/Dilroz Bani Begum. It is clearly based on the design of the Taj, but lacks it’s grand splendor. The main mausoleum is much less wide, and is built with cheaper materials than the Taj’s marble - it has been less able to stand the test of time as compared to the Taj. Nevertheless, it is still beautiful - and lacks enormous tourist crowds!
Curiosity. Playfulness. Wonder. The children of India that I met in my 20 day trip through the country were some of the most spectacular and amazing people I had the honor of meeting in my lifetime. Seeing everything around them and still being curious enough to come up to me and smile broke through any sort of barrier I had to differentiate myself from their culture. From tugging my beard and calling me Ali Baba, to playing with siblings after giving them water and Polaroids of themselves, these children taught me that I want to work for a future where they can all have the same opportunities I have had and can pursue them if they want to. Each child holds the promise for a better and brighter India in the future, and I can only pray with all my heart that they get the chance to do so until I can go back again not as a tourist, but as someone who can make a difference.
Shot: Doors. On my recent trip to the two ‘Bad cities, i discovered my fascination with entranceways. Bright, vibrant, unique and mysterious. So i decided to put together a series of photographs capturing just that. Here's the first set, all shot in and around Aurangabad, a city i highly recommend people to visit.
Row 1: Third AC berth of Devagiri Express from Mumbai to Aurangabad. The most uncomfortable train journey to date; At Ajanta Caves, the epitome of Buddhist craftsmanship that were hidden for 800 years and accidentally discovered by an Englishman out hunting for tigers; A household protecting itself from the harsh afternoon sun on the way back from Ajanta.
Row 2: View of Ajanta; Entrance to the premises of the Tomb of Aurangzeb; A doorway leading to the inner chambers of Bibi Ka Maqbara, also known as Mini Taj Mahal.
Row 3: All three shot at Lonar, the bustling little town that’s completely unaware of the importance of the lake formed by a crashlanding meteor. Lonar Lake is 175 metres below ground level, and the climb down is tricky. There are many ruins of temples constructed as thanks to the Gods that were said to have made the miracle possible. While the water and its surrounding land is rich in minerals, the water itself has a pH level of 10.5, making it impossible for any life form except green algae to survive in it.