Travel Diary India – Part 13 – Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri

Almost 40km west of Agra is Fatehpur Sikri; a walled city that was built in the 16th century during the rule of Mughal emperor Akbar and served as the capitol for a short time.

Indian local bus

Rolling scrap heap also known as the local bus

This historic site can be reached easily and cheaply by catching one of the many local buses which run quite frequently from Agra. These buses are however far from comfortable. From the look of these buses, it’s amazing they’re running at all. The metal panels that make up the body of the bus are rusting, twisted, dented or just missing completely. The inside comes as no surprise and is as much of a mess as the outside. The driver starts the engine and the bus shakes violently causing all the loose parts of the bus to clang

Indian local bus inside

The inside isn’t any better

together in a deafening chorus. As the bus pulls away, the sound of the engine intensifies, and then the floor begins to shake as the speed is increased to a death defying 30km/hour. Every moving part of this bus is screaming in pain, and I am very close to joining in. As well as the ear shattering noise, the ride quality is equally as bad. I don’t think there is any kind suspension. Every bump and pothole in the road sends each person flying in the air with a broken pelvis as though concrete wheels had been welded directly onto the chassis.

Arriving in Fatehpur Sikri

From where the bus stops at Fatehpur Sikri, there is a short walk up to the main monument. Surrounding the monument are some very busy street full of market traders. It’s quite a steep trek up to the monument and for a while I got a little lost within the tangled streets of the market place. Eventually I reached the grand entrance to Fatehpur Sikri and began to scale the stairs to the main gate. This is where the annoyances began.

Seriously, I don’t want to buy anything

Fatehpur Sikri gatewayFatehpur Sikri has a high concentration of touts peddling all sorts of rubbish from pens to handmade chess sets, and their persistence seemingly knows no limits. As I attempted to enter the monument, I am surrounded by a crowd of touts shoving dvd’s, jewellery and postcards in my face. Most of the touts are young children. I eventually pushed my way through the wall of touts but a small group didn’t leave me alone for a second and followed me everywhere I went constantly pitching their wares. It was infuriating, they were making me so mad, but even this didn’t deter them. There are even more touts inside the monument. Some of them had laid blankets out on the floor and set up their own market place. There is simply no escape. I couldn’t enjoy or learn much about this historic site and left after about 15 minutes simply to get away from the touts.

 

Bus truck

..and I thought our bus was uncomfortable

One thought on “Travel Diary India – Part 13 – Fatehpur Sikri

  1. Wow, India can be really challenging at times can’t it! The hassle can become almost unbearable sometimes you need to take a break from the madness but it’s so worth it for all the amazing things to see, do and learn! India is a place like no other!
    Anna recently posted…Cooling Off in the Cameron HighlandsMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge