Monday, October 24, 2005

Akbar Sikandra

Sikandra means grave or mausoleum. We visited Akbar's tomb (if you want to call something of this size and magnificence that) and, while it (purposely/out of Akbar's own intentions) was not quite as grandiouse and ornate as some other mausoleum's we visited, it commanded a size and acrage which left Ted and I in quite a state of marvel nontheless. (Above) That tiny, tiny speck that you (may or may not) see in front of the middle door . . . is me . . . standing in front of the sikandra.

SwastikOne thing Ted and I were consumately facinated by was the prevelance and acceptance of the swastika throughout all of India. While it is really of no surprise that our western-indoctrinated minds were very little aware of this ancient symbol's original, peaceful and divine heritage, it really did take us aback all the same 1) how often we saw it (it was literally EVERYWHERE - on buildings, artifacts, and clothing of all types), and 2) the true extent of the message of tolerance and beauty the symbol actually, originally stood (and still stands) for.
NEVER have I been more stared at in all of my life than in the time I spent in this country. And, let me tell you, I cannot begin to explain how much of an understatement this actually is. I felt like I was Elvis come back from the dead in a country full of Elvis worshipers. As you can see here in this very, very indicative photo above, however, it was ALL (and I do mean all) done by males. Not one female. All dudes. I'll just leave it at that though . . . and opt not to vere toward making any - ehem - politically incorrect commentaries, observations, or statements about this.
(Above) This is me standing in front of the east foyer of the sikandra.

HanumanThis cute little monkey (above) was seated by one of the trees outside of the sikandra, so Ted and I decided to see if she wanted something to eat.
(Above) Who's the real monkey here? I'm personally not quite sure which one of these two is the more civilized looking . . . um . . . individual. You be the judge. Heck it looks like the monkey's actually having a CONVERSATION with somebody just off camera. Come to think of it . . . I think she was . . .
Ted (above) looking a little confused about the situation.

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