Asia, India, Travel

Traveling Through India – Fatehpur Sikri

While only a stop on the way to Agra, it was well worth it.  Fatehpur Sikri is a small city in Northern India, just west of Agra, founded by a 16th-century Mughal (Muslim) Emperor.

For 1050rs per foreign visitor, we got to see Buland Darwaza (the gate), which is the entrance to the Jama Masjid mosque; Tomb of Salim Chishti, Diwan-i-Khas, Jodha Bai’s Palace, and Panch Mahal.

Jama Masjid

The first thing to note is that in order to see the site, you will be ushered onto a crowded bus to get to Buland Darwaza (the highest gate in the world).  Once you arrive, you walk up a path to an area where you must remove your shoes at the gate for the mosque.  They will charge 25rs per foreign visitor to watch them.  Also, if you choose to enter the Tomb of Salim Chishti, women will be required to have their heads covered, and men will be required to cover their legs.)

I wasn’t too thrilled with this experience, particularly because this site was one of the WORST places for males (of all ages) to relentlessly badger you into getting a “real” tour guide.  DO NOT let them do this!  Our own tour guide seemed to be getting along with a particular kid and since we couldn’t understand their conversation, we assumed that the kid was okay to be with us.  We paid him a few rupees to go away, after he tried to take us to a back corner of the site to check out his family’s wares for sale.

Jodha Bai’s Palace

When you exit Jama Masjid, you follow the path back down and to the left to get to Jodha Bai’s Palace. This site is a complex of six areas with astounding construction of red sandstone.  It features such buildings as the Diwan-I-Khas – the is the bank where all money and jewels were stored;  Panch Mahal – a 5-story open sandstone pavilion; as well as the Akbar’s (King’s) bedroom, whose massive bed was hoisted up one story.  The city was abandoned when the water ran out, and was ransacked shortly thereafter.

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