I’m still on the Istanbul high. The last day we had threw us the best surprises, stuff we had managed to miss even while it was right under our noses, and our feet, literally!
A few hours before we left, we were wandering around and realized we had entirely missed seeing the Sultan’s tombs behind the Aya Sofya. Listlessly, since I was wearing shoes and we had to remove footwear outside each mausoleum, I wandered in, not expecting a lot. Well, I was in for a pleasant shock. Of all the monuments and museums and palaces we had seen until now, these had the most exquisite tile and decorative work . In structure, they are not unlike the Lodi tombs in Delhi (octagon on square, octagon on octagon, topped with a dome), which have some tiny remnants of bright tile work still on them. I couldn’t help wondering whether the Lodi Garden mausoleums had at some point been this richly decorated from the inside! And how unfortunate that so many Indian heritage structures are so altered due to the destruction cause by subsequent invasions, wars and neglect over time.