Fatehpur Sikri

How to get there: Go to Agra bus station, and you will find a bus going to Fatehpur Sikri (Rs.30). It takes 1.5 hour though. For faster way, you can take a shared sumo taxi. 
Way back: Shared Tata Sumo taxi Rs.30, auto-rickshaw to hotel Rs.80

Everyone coming to Agra would not miss going to Fatehpur Sikri, for it being a relatively historical monument as Taj Mahal and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although it’s located a bit far away from Agra, people do come to here to see such huge structure built in the era without modern machinery. The bus going to Faterpur is regular town bus. So when we  were going, the bus was full of locals, leaving us with another Danish guy to be the only foreigners on board. We chatted with the Danish guy, he was traveling alone and just entered India from Nepal.

 

The bus journey feels longer, because it stops frequently and not as express as we hoped. Also, we had to wait before it really departed, with some of teenagers came on board to promote his product – some fancy pencils that we used to use during primary school, and he was promoting it with full of enthusiasm as if they’re hot product nowadays (I regret for not recording video of him!)

After arriving Fatehpur, we had to walk about 1 km to its entrance, which is this huge gate and you have to climb high stairs to it. There was a road heading to maybe another part of the old city, or a village, but I was curious to go. But we decided to get up to the main area first. The structure is huge, possibly a castle during its time. Once we’re up there, we could see the town from above.

We were surprised that it doesnt have an entrance fee. Although, you have to take off your shoes and there are people who are willing to take care of your shoes for some fees, but we instead put our shoes in our backpack.  We entered into a spacious courtyard which is rather similar we have seen in Jama Masjid in Delhi. The floor was hot and we had to wear socks to lessen the heat. In each side there are some structures, some are gates, and some are mausoleums, and another building which I guess is a mosque.

Being in Fatehpur Sikri complex was like being in Jama Masjid, only I felt clueless what we’re supposed to do here. We walked around and took pictures as usual, only now we have this feeling that this place doesnt look as special as we hoped for.

Maybe because of non-existence of entrance fees, you can see many locals and kids wandering inside. And many kids are following us either selling stuff, begging, or trying to be tour guide, and they are SUPER annoying! We have been at that situation many times before and after we said a firm NO, they would leave. But definitely not in here, in Fatehpur Sikri those damned kids seem to be very stubborn. They kept following us until we really came to the point we got fed up of being here! The only thing we could do is to ignore them and walk the other side.. but it’s not helping much. And before we knew it, our mood of enjoying Fatehpur Sikri has since been spoiled. Sigh.

 

Yes, annoyed face, you can tell. In fact, super annoyed. People selling vegetables, here at the monument?

  

Okay, there’s this mausoleum with quite a number of tombs which I dont know whose, but we can see some people come to here to pray something. By now we understand that in India, these tombs of people who are believed to be someone important in their time, are now sacred places and being visited by people (who believe it) for prayers or something. They’re Muslims too but things like this is not practiced by Muslims in Malaysia, so this is rather new and strange to us.

 

This white marble building was also a mausoleum, and the place was a bit exclusive to the rest of tombs, so we guess this belongs to some Royal family in the past. Or, the King who built Faterpur Sikri complex. Maybe.

This huge gate remind us to the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. There have been many similarities in the architecture, possibly built during the same era of Mughal Shah Jahan.

  

There was a small mosque inside Fatehpur Sikri wall. But it doesn’t look like a functioning mosque at all. There’s a pond which we guess the place people (used to) take wudu/ablution, but it has the dirtiest water we have seen in our life. In fact, the courtyard floor isn’t as clean too. It was sad that historical places like this, including Jama Masjid that resemble Muslim architecture, and places tourists all over the world are coming to see, isn’t well taken care by the responsible people. It’s incomparable with the Golden Temple we visited in Amritsar, which was spotlessly clean.

Despite so much expectation we had on Fatehpur Sikri that we managed to come all the way to here, we didnt really enjoy it at all. For the distance and hassle, it’s not really worth coming here to get annoyed by countless kids in here. But I know that they say your visit to Agra wouldnt complete if you dont visit Fatehpur Sikri. I believe we have seen only a portion of the whole complex and there could be another parts of it, but we decided to call it a day and get back to Agra.

When we got outside, there was a kid trying to exchange money with me when he knew that we’re Malaysians, he’s got RM1 and asked me to pay him in Rupees, for I know he couldnt do anything with Ringgit notes here in India. I wonder who gave him the note, but we were too tired and annoyed to entertain him, and decided to ignore him. I’ve had enough of annoying kids already inside there, thank you.

We were in there less than 2 hours, shorter than we thought we would spend. We walked to the place where the bus had dropped us earlier, there was no sight of bus passing by after 20 minutes of waiting. Suddenly there was a sight of this huge camel carrying a full cart, walking down the road. We walked to a Sumo-jeep taxi which was going to Agra, so we quickly had our seat there. It was not the most comfortable taxi, but at least it was fast and cheap. I wonder why we didnt find taxi to come to Fatehpur Sikri in the first place. The taxi took about 45 minutes including some stops to take a drop passengers. Being the only tourists, the taxi driver helped us to get an auto-rickshaw when we arrived in Agra to send us to our hotel. Ironically, we had to pay the auto-rickshaw for less than 5 minutes trip more expensive than the 45 minutes jeep taxi fares =,=

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