Posts Tagged With: palace

Fatehpur Sikri: The Short, Short Version

A popular tourist attraction within India’s Golden Triangle is Fatehpur Sikri, which is located along the route from Jaipur to Agra. Built in the 16th century, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire for about 15 years, before it was abandoned due to insufficient water supply.
 We had a very full itinerary, so we weren’t sure if we were going to take the detour to tour the palace grounds. But at the last minute, we decided we would stop just to take a quick peek. Once we arrived, we were followed by a very persistent tour guide who insisted we should hire him to show us around. We were adamant that we didn’t have time for the tour, as we were just breezing through. Worn down by his persistence, we agreed to pay him a fraction of the regular tour fee, in exchange for the short, short version of the tour.

 The information I retained from the short, short version is that Emperor Akbar had 3 wives. A Muslim wife, a Christian wife, and a Hindu wife, all walk into a bar, but only the Hindu wife succeeded in bearing a male heir. As a result, the Muslim wife’s quarters were about as big as a modern-day walk-in closet. The Christian wife’s quarters were a bit more respectable, but paled in comparison to the Hindu wife’s palace. The Hindu wife’s digs were actually larger than those of the Emperor himself! Men and their ridiculous need for a son…am I right?

We didn’t even have time to complete the short, short version of the tour. Ella was tired (read: fussy) and we were trying to get to Agra before sunset. So we said goodbye to our tour guide feeling content with what we had time to see.

 Tip for tourists: Of all the places we visited in India, Fatehpur Sikri had the most thieves and scammers by far! We observed very elaborate schemes to swindle tourists out of their money and Rob even had to step in to assist a woman that was being harassed. If you are not a savvy traveler, or lack situational awareness, I would advise skipping this tourist spot. If you are unsure if you fit into either of those categories…that probably means you do.

Categories: Destinations, India | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Amber Fort & Palace

AmberFort
There are many forts all over India that tourists can visit. We had the opportunity to visit several of them, but we passed over most of them in order to do other things. If you are like us and you don’t have time to see every fort, make sure you at least visit the Amber Fort in Jaipur. It is Jaipur’s main tourist attraction, rightfully so. The fort and inner palace are made of red sandstone and marble. The Amber Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.

ambergatesThe main entrance to the fort is through the Sun Gate (pictured above: top right) which leads to Jaleb Chowk, the first main courtyard. This courtyard is where armies would hold their victory parades upon return from battle. The stairway of Jaleb Chowk (pictured above: top left) leads to the main palace grounds. The Ganesh Gate is the entry to the private palaces of the Maharajas (pictured above: bottom left). Ganesh is the Hindu God who removes all obstacles in life (pictured above: bottom right). Above Ganesh Gate are latticed windows where women of the royal family could watch functions below without being seen.
MirrorPalace
 The Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) is covered with mirror mosaics that light up the entire palace with a single candle. And the carved marble panel is known as the Magic Flower because there are seven different designs within the flower that are revealed when parts of the flower are hidden by your hand. Depending on where you place your hand, the following are revealed; fish tail, lotus, hooded cobra, elephant trunk, lion’s tail, cob of corn, and scorpion.

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 The Palace of Man Singh is the oldest part of the palace fort. The Baradhari Pavillion lies in the center of the palace courtyard and it was a meeting place for the maharanis. The maharanis were not allowed to meet privately with each other, only publicly in this pavilion to prevent jealousy and drama among the harem.

amberfortmonkey
 Oh…and there were monkeys. Let’s not forget about the monkeys!

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Categories: Destinations, India | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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