Agra was a little too touristy for me so I request to escape to some place quieter, 26 miles away to be exact. Not knowing much besides the name of the city, we find our way on the correct local bus to Fatehpur. Even though it is towards the end of our travels, the experience of a local bus is still a surprise.
As the bus arrives in the city of Fatehpur, is seems busy with just locals and no tourist in sight. As we walk around in the tiny streets, it feels so real here. There is a man selling spices in his wooden pushcart, a barber grooming a young man in a shop without walls, a baker in the process of cooking a local delight, a boy ironing in the middle of the road, and everyone just stops to look at us, and then smiles.
Minutes later, we have two kids following us followed by five and then they keep coming. It is nice at first, but after following us for fifteen minutes, I start to question what is going on. A young man tells us the children want to know if we have pencils on us. I felt so bad as we didn’t have any goodies on us.
On the top of the hill is the palace city. It consists of two major parts, the sacred and royal complex. The architecture and history here is very interesting and worth the read, but there is still more to be discovered about this abandoned city. We first visit the sacred complex and from the moment we step in, we need to remember to look left, right, up, and down at all times so we don’t miss out any details of the remarkable interior. We visit the numerous tombs and mosque.
We continue to the royal complex where there is even more to see including the palace, a five-story pavilion, and various halls. There is a romantic aspect to the overall architecture and the redstone engravings and pillars are truly inspirational.
We thought we finished seeing everything and as we are leaving the royal complex, something catches my eye next door so we go to check it out. The guards at the royal complex are surprised I want to see this section but they give me the ok to enter. Maybe it is the feeling of discovery or abandonment, but I am in awe of this hidden gem. It is mostly ruins here but the remaining arches and roundness of the interior feels very modern. We are by ourselves until we find a local boy just hanging out. We follow him to the rooftop and the curves resulting from the round sections of the structure is a neat detail. Why do we have flat roofs again?
If you are coming to Agra, the Taj Mahal maybe famous and something you are going to definitely see, but if you like architecture or want to be the only tourist, Fatehpur Sikri is well worth the visit.
|What We Paid:||INR||USD||Euro|
|– Local bus from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri [1 hour one-way, bus comes every 30 minutes, no AC, can get crowded so not a good idea to catch the last return bus]||17/one-way pp||0.38||0.26|
|– Entrance of the Sacred Complex||0||0||0|
|– Entrance of the Royal Complex [keep your Taj Mahal ticket since it will give you a discount of 10Rs]||250/pp||5.60||3.90|