We headed out early towards Agra in an especially comfortable and spacious car for the three of us, arranged by a travel agent. Interesting that all the stops were now at much more upscale (and expensive) restaurants that were also filled with overpriced souvenirs to buy. I kind of missed our more low-keyed grassroots experiences.
We stopped at Fatehpur Sikri, built by Emperor Akbar, capital of Moghul empire during its hay day in the 16th century. This spot was chosen as the Emperor made a pilgrimage to a saint in hopes of a blessing for fertility so he would have a male heir – when his hopes were fulfilled, he moved the capitol and built this splendid City (such were the riches of Emperors), soon to become a ghost town as there were difficulties with the water supply. Akbar was a fascinating character: Muslim but extremely devoted to inter-faith (indeed, he developed a new religion called “Deen Ilahi” to try to synthesize all faiths. His palace included fabulous structures for Hindi and Christian as well as Muslim. Read more