20.11.2012 - 20.11.2012
After we saw the Taj Mahal in the morning, we headed out about an hour away to another beautiful wonder in the area: Fatehpur Sikri. Before Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal, his grandfather, Akbar the Great, shifted the capital from Agra to the foothills of Sikri. There, he planned a walled city, which today is what we know as Fatehpur Sikri. According to many historians, it is the best preserved example of Moghul architecture.
Seeing Fatehpur Sikri was on my list, as so many people had mentioned how wonderful it is, including many of my Indian friends from Darden. It certainly was a gorgeous complex. One word of advice: if you go to Fatehpur Sikri, do not let yourself be hustled by the many guys who greet you at your car to take you on a tour. Our driver gave us no indication that this wasn't the way to go, so we went with one guy and were rushed the entire time. He wasn't an official guide, so he couldn't even take us in the complex. He could only show us the exteriors until I was like, "Take us to the main part!" and then he took us but couldn't go inside. In any case, we eventually did get to see the beautiful architecture, but not without frustration from the local guy just trying to make a buck.
Akbar the Great had 3 wives: one Christian, one Muslim, and one Hindu. So he built a church, mosque, and Hindu temple for each of them to pray in. I did think that was pretty cool seeing those 3 structures together in the same complex. It's not every day a man falls in love with women from so many different religions! Not to mention the large complex with pathways over water (pictured above) was absolutely gorgeous!
Here are some of the other things we saw:
The main square with a very famous mosque where the imam blessed Akbar and only after he was blessed was he able to father a child
Inside the mosque
Some of the exteriors of the compound