Agra via Bharatpur and Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri Travel Blog› entry 7 of 18 › view all entries
Today we were on the road again, more specifically highway number 11 from Jaipur to
Some 15 minutes from Bharatpur lay Fatehpur Sikri, Emperor Akbar's short lived capital of the Mughal Empire in the late 16th century. He built the city here because a Sufi saint had successfully foretold the birth of his son. Unfortunately the place suffered water shortages, so it was deserted after 14 years and switched for
After beating the hordes of fake guides and knick-knack sellers we took the shuttle bus to the gate of Fatehpur Sikri. It proved to be a nice collection of red-brown buildings, courtyards and gardens. Highlights were the five storey Panch Mahal where the court ladies had lived, the big 'board' on the Panchi Courtyard where Akbar had played the game with the same name with slave girls as pieces, the bridged Anup Taloa pool and the carved stone central column of the Diwan-I-Khas.
The interesting aspects of the big nearby Jama Masjid mosque were the huge 54 meter high entrance (Buland Darwaza or 'Victory Gate') and the white marble Tomb of Salim Christi, the Sufi that had foretold the birth of Akbar's son. We didn't find the people hanging out in the mosque very pleasant, so we didn't linger long and made our way back to the parking lot by tuk tuk, joining Kimi at half past two for the last thirty-something kms to Agra.
Across the street of our hotel lay a luxurious shopping mall, which we decided to check out. The movie that we had planned to see in Jaipur was running in the cinema in the mall as well, so we decided to have a relaxed evening with a Bollywood movie, buying tickets for the show of 'Rab ni bana di Jodi'. It wasn't as crowded as at the later 10 o' clock show, but we did have extremely comfy VIP chairs that you could completely flatten for a relaxed watch (or nap).
Back in the hotel, after checking e-mail and uploading the blog, it was high time to celebrate Christmas Eve. We had decorated the room's fan with special Christmas toilet paper I'd brought from home and I gave Bart his present: a TravBuddy Christmas hat and T-shirt with our 'India 2008 tour schedule’ on the back.
Something less entertaining was the fact that by now I had developed serious diarrhoea. Seemingly eating veggie food isn't enough ... Fortunately it felt controllable, so fingers crossed that it will disappear soon.