Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Fatehpur Sikri

Continuing from where I left off in the previous post (A visit to the Taj Mahal). It was already around 3:30 when we left the Agra city and head towards Fatehpur Sikri. It takes around 1.5hrs to reach Fatehpur Sikri from Taj. The road from Taj Mahal to Fatehpur Sikri is bad half the route. There are mainly 2 attractions here - Akbar’s palace and the Jama Masjid which has one of the largest gate.

A word of advice for Fatehpur Sikri - if you have no clue about what this place is about then hire a tour guide. Or alternatively watch the movie Jodha Akbar as it would a revision of the movie and of the mughal dynasty. Your vehicle will not be allowed near the palace so you can pay for the bus ride from the parking or walk which would be roughly one km. Assuming you reach here after visiting Taj Mahal, it is advisable to visit the palace first as it closes by 6pm.

The palace complex has a small palaces for each member of the royal family or court. The tour starts with the stable where the horses were kept. The courtyard is huge and you will notice that it is maintained in a good shape even today. There are multiple entry to the palace complex. The big door for the king and the smaller entrances for the aam aadmi of the kingdom.

The first palace is of Birbal (yeah, he had his own palace). Followed by that are the 3 palaces for the 3 queens of Akbar. Jodha bai was Akbar's favorite wife so she had the biggest palace. It was designed as per Hindu architecture. His other 2 wives were Muslim and Christian so they had their palace designed as per their religion.

Akbar had the biggest palace and it had attributes of both Hindu and Mughal culture.Next to his palace were the courthouse and the accounts room. There was also a pond in front of the palace where Tansen used to sing for the king. You can also see the huge stone bed that Akbar slept on and also the place where he bathed and pooped (I will skip posting pics of all these places)

With that we were done with the palace and moved towards the Jama Masjid. So here is one thing that you need to be really careful about. The guide and the people outside the dargah insist that you need to buy the flower and the chaadar to enter and it will bring good luck. If you are not so religious then it is better to tell the guide that you do not want to enter the dargah. The minimum they ask is 500 and can go upto 10k. If you have not taken the guide then I guess you can just walk in and out. But these things aside, the place is really beautiful.

Also the place during sunset is a delight to watch. If you are a photography enthusiast then you definitely need to wait until sunset.
We wrapped up by 7pm and head back to Delhi. It was midnight when we reached our hotel. That was end of day 2 of our north India trip. 

You might also be interested to read:  Delhi, Taj Mahal

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