Tag Archives: Fatehpur Sikhri

Fatehpur Sikhri – Part II

After taking a dozen or so pictures of the monuments, including the central platform that was joined by four bridges which was supposed to be used by the poet Tansen to regale the king, we had to pose for an equal number of filmi snaps which our guide insisted on taking. (Nope – Not sharing!)

We were then taken by auto to the Jama Masjid that housed the famous Salim Chishti’s tomb. It was hardly a few minutes by walk but it was awfully sunny and so we were thankful for the auto. The guide accompanied us as we climbed the stairs to one of the entrances to the Jama Masjid and we could just about see the Bulund Darwaza from outside.

The moment we were inside, we realized that it was quite unlike other monuments. It was filthy and stank. I could not believe that a place of worship could be this dirty. We were taken in a roundabout route across a lot of graves to a guy who was selling us a shawl that we should place atop the tomb. The Arien flatly refused to enter the tomb and the man who was selling the shawl slowly lost his temper and was almost rude. It was ob. the guide had a sm sort of understanding with the shawl-seller. When he realized tht the Arien was not going to budge, the seller told me that I should go instead. I was not so sure that I wanted to go inside the Tomb alone. Both the guide and the shawl-seller stopped short of calling us “Rascala” for not helping them in their money-making scheme.

After taking a picture of the Salim Chishti tomb, more to show no disrespect, we wanted to leave. The Salim Chishti tomb was of a brilliant white colour and looked totally out of place inside the masjid and looked very serene and peaceful.

 I was quite tired by this time of our guide, the masjid, Fatehpur Sikri and hungry as well – it was way past our lunch time and we had had breakfast at the Delhi railway station. As soon as we got back into our car, we asked the driver to stop at a hotel for lunch before we reached Agra. He selected a hotel that was quite expensive but did not accept cards. We had no option but to leave because we did not carry enough cash. We walked out in the hot sunny day to find the driver missing. He came running after a few minutes with his lunch parcel. Ob. he had an understanding with the hotel guy.  Grrr.. we finally had to have lunch at some roadside dhaba.

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Fatehpur Sikhri

Finally, today was the day we would get to see the Taj Mahal. We were travelling to Agra by the Shatapdhi Express and would return to Delhi the same day. I was so excited ’bout this one-day trip that I insisted that the Arien take a pic of our co-passengers who were travelling with us tht day! (You can see that one passenger is not so happy ’bout being part of my random snap). Travelling from Delhi to Agra by train is a two hour trip. The moment we got off the train and walked towards the exit, we were almost kidnapped by the taxi drivers.  I wanted to take a regular bus tour but the Arien fell for the blaaah(est) selling line : AC sir, Indica sir, only for two of you sir, come sir.  The taxi driver decided the agenda for us – we were going to Fatehpur Sikhri first. It is around 40 kms to Fatepur and the drive was awful. We were dropped off at the entrance where an auto and a guide had to be paid for (again the Arien was sold on the arguments given by the taxi driver) as yellow board cars are not allowed after a particular location. (Again, who knows if that was true at all).

We walked into a courtyard that seemed like it had walked straight out of the bollywood movie, Jodhaa Akbar. This was the Diwan-Khana-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) where the aam junta (common people) could meet with King Akbar. It was a brilliant sunny day which was perfect for pictures. The arien was quite busy. We also saw the beautiful Diwan-E-Khaas (Hall of Private Audience). I think the guide mentioned that this was where Akbar met with his various wives and important people.  We also saw the Panch Mahal, which was a five storied mansion. The entire place is quite huge and our guide decided which ones were important and gave us a wild tale ’bout the building that had us rolling our eyes.

We were shown the Haathi gate (Elephant gate) which looked more like a watch tower than a gate for the elephant. In fact, he said something about a rouge elephant that was buried there. (It was hot and we were gullible). We were also taken to a building known simply as Aankh-Micholi which was supposed to be used by the king to play hide and seek with his wives and concubines (I was very sure this was his invention but it was true).

We were also shown the sleeping quarters of Akbar. It was another one of those “rolling eyes” moment because the King would have needed an elephant to get on top of his bed. The Arien burst out laughing. It was cooler here and so we took some snaps more to satisfy the guide than anything else. I was glad that we were almost on our way out. We were also shown Jodhaa bai’s palace which was not so great. We were off to see Bulund Darwaza. All that comes in the next post — wait up 🙂