Fatehpur Sikri, India



On the way to Fatehpur Sikri.


Fatehpur Sikri is somewhere between Jaipur and Agra. At least it seemed that way from our road trip. But it’s actually just in the outskirts of Agra. The day we went fell on the much talked-about Brother Sister Festival. We heard it from every Indian we met. This was the day brothers and sisters gave each other a colourful bracelet to celebrate their love and friendship. It also extended among cousins and friends who were almost like one’s sibling. I thought it was the sweetest thing. It made me miss my brother and two sisters.


Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Cars and buses are not allowed near the fort. We left our bus a few hundred metres away, then boarded a battery operated trolley.


Beautiful message. I wish we had this mindset in the Philippines.


Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal empire for 14 years. It was built by Emperor Akbar in 1571. “An example of a Mughal walled city with defined private and public areas and imposing gateways, its architecture, a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles, reflects Akbar’s secular vision as well as his style of governance.” – Source: DK Eyewitness Travel


The entire fort was made of red sandstone, quarried from the same ridge where the buildings stand. Red sandstone defined Akbar’s style. That day was the hottest of all the days we were in India. I took out my little foldable umbrella and was happy that I had my big fan. Unfortunately I had packed my DSLR in my luggage. So all I had was my compact Ricoh GRD 3. But being the great compact camera that it is, the Ricoh served me well.


I kept taking crazy self-portraits. Every corner of Fatehpur Sikri was stunning. I loved all the columns and carved stones. Oh I’m wearing a yarn-ball necklace I got in Jaipur for around P400 only. Didn’t realize it picked up the red outline of my sunglasses (from Evita Peroni).


I had to put this picture in. I got silly and started using the self-timer of my Ricoh. This was the time, Ingrid and my other travel friends caught me. They were like, “Daphne? What are you doing?” So I burst into laughter.


Ingrid took pity on me and started shooting my photos using her camera. This is definitely a favourite.


And this one too. So lucky to have a friend like the baghag who takes awesome photos.


I was in awe of this “single detached” house called Birbal’s house. It belonged to Akbar’s senior queens. It was intricately carved and suprisingly very much intact. The layout and style remains relevant to this day.


About Birbal’s House.

Intricate carving on the walls of Birbal’s House. Made of red sandstone.


Another useless photo just to show that I was there. Haha.


Guards at one of the corner pavilions.


The back side of Birbal’s house.


And more fantastic intricate carving.


That’s Ingrid taking our photo while we were on the second floor of Akbar’s private sleeping quarters. Ingrid stands on the Pachisi Court where Akbar’s queens used to lounge around in during the cool evenings.


The Panch Mahal. And my glamorous folding umbrella and red fan.


The Panch Mahal. I found this structure to be very sophisticated. It was five storeys high!


Cute Indian teenagers! This is the Pachisi Court and behind them is Diwan-i-Khas, one of the most stunning buildings I saw in India.


Inside the Diwan-i-Khas. Books say it was a debating chamber or royal treasury but the real function of this unique building remains unknown.  Stunning! It has one central column supporting four walkways.


“The central platform attached to the pillar was the seat of the emperor while the diagonal galleries are believed to be the seat of ministers and nobles that were entertained here. However, since the galleries were too narrow to accommodate all ministers of the court at once, some people think that this building was actually the storehouse for the gems and jewels of the royalty and emperor used to come here only to inspect his jewels.” Source: Agraindia


Diwan-i-Khas (I couldn’t stop taking pictures of it).


And another awesome photo by Ingrid.



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