Photo: Anupamg

Lotus Niche

Birbal's House, Fatehpur Sikri (live map)

These elaborately carved niches are decorated with lotus buds, rondels, and traditional Islamic arabesques. In the bottom section of the photo, what at first glance appears to be a random net of very small petal shapes will resolve, on close examination, into a tiling of lotus petals – a fascinating synthesis of Islamic geometry and Indian motif.