A relatively quick 4 hour drive on a mainly smooth highway to Fatehpur Sikri, a colossal fort/palace built by the Emperor Akbar of the Mughals to house the three wives from three different religious backgrounds. After our tour of this impressive sandstone fortified, ancient city, it was clear to see that his favorite wife must have been his Hindu spouse judging by the enormity of her living quarters.
A favourite pastime of the Emperor Akbar was to use a gigantic pachisi board (ludo) on which were placed slave girls as the playing pieces. It is also said that kingdoms were won and lost in this same manner on yet his game board!
On to Agra Fort, a massive structure of walls, moats of crocodiles, 4 gates, a drawer bridge……….the size was spectacular and we were only permitted in one half as the army resides in the other. From here we could see a unique aspect of the Taj from across the River Yamuna.
Sunrise and we were at the gates of the Taj Mahal, the world’s largest mausoleum. Words cannot do real justice to its majesty………it is simply beautiful. What a pity that due to his house imprisonment by his son, the Emperor Shah Jahan was never able to have his own mirror image, black marble mausoleum constructed across the river from that of his wife.
An 11am train trip to Jhannsi-e and then to the homestay outside Orchha.