Left the hotel at 5.30am to be the third people in line for tickets and were one of the first 200 people within the grounds. Nothing I could write about the Taj Mahal would do it justice… It is stunning! I know I’m very lucky that I got to see it for the second time. I think Jayne couldn’t believe she was actually there!
Went back to the hotel for breakfast, enjoying the view of the Taj from our rooftop terrace, still blown away by the sight of it! Decided that since it was still so early, we’d go visit another UNESCO World Heritage site. Fatehpur Sikri is a fortified ancient city about 40km from Agra. Decided to get the local bus for the hour-long journey. As we got onto the bus, I commented to Jayne how cool and breezy it was compared to others we’d been on. We then noticed that the front grill had been removed basically exposing the front part of the bus to the open road! To be on the safe side, we headed to the back of the bus and stood by the door that was closed using a piece of thin string… The lesser of two evils!!
Built by Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585, Fatehpur Sikri has a massive mosque and three palaces (one for each of his favourite wives). We visited the mosque first, the entrance of which is through a 54m high gate at the top of a flight of stone steps. Inside the mosque is a white-marble tomb decorated with mother-of-pearl. We then headed over to the palaces and pavilions. We wandered around the ruins, all of which are in various stages of renovation – some finished completly whilst others decidedly less so! We both like the octagonal hammam (bath) the best, mainly cause we were the only people there, it was full of bats and it made us feel like we were Indiana Jones!!
When we had walked around for about 3 hours and our legs felt like lead, we decided to head back to the bus station to go back to Agra. Managed to pick up the tastiest samosas en route in the bazaar.
Back in Agra, we laughed at a TukTuk driver who wanted to charge us 200 rupees to take us to the south gate (it’s a 70 rupees journey!). Managed to find a driver who would take us for the correct price, a quick walk to find an ATM, dinner then bed… We’re both shattered!!