Sunday, May 15, 2005

Fatehpur Sikri memories...

We set out for Agra and Fatehpur Sikri early one April morning on the Shatabdi Express from Nizamuddin. I was finally going to see the Taj Mahal! At 15, back then I was craning my neck to catch a glimpse of the Taj.
We started out at the Agra fort, which is a carbon copy of the Red Fort (after all, it was built by Shah Jahan). Everything seemed pretty much similar to whatever we'd seen at the Red Fort a few days earlier, except on a grander scale. The Diwan-i-Khas was simply mindblowing. It was really amazing to look across from the fort across the Yamuna and see the Taj Mahal. It was also pretty poignant to glance at the Taj from the room(s) where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by Aurangzeb, and imagining how much pain he went through looking out from the windows at his fruits of his labor and love.
I literally had to be held back at the red entrance to the Taj. And when I finally saw it once I was inside the entrance, it was a beautiful sight - the white marble, majestic as ever. I thought it seemed smaller than what I expected, but once we got up there, I realized how huge it actually was. All said and done, the Taj is an impressive structure, and I do believe that Shah Jahan (and Akbar) were two of the greatest architects among the Mughals.
Once we were done with the Taj, we set out for Fatehpur Sikri. It was revision time for 8th standard History, and finally see the capital Akbar built. I would probably put Akbar ahead of Shah Jahan for his architectural marvels (Fatehpur Sikri, Humayun's tomb), but then most people go by Shah Jahan's masterpiece and consider him to be the ultimate architect. Fatehpur Sikri had so much history associated with it - Salim Chisti, the birth of Jahangir, Tansen and the Anup Talaab, the Panch Mahal, the whole concept of a Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas. The Buland Darwaza is one of the most imposing structures I have seen - the Statue of Liberty or anything else doesnt come halfway close!
To round things off, we went to Sikandra and paid our respects to Akbar the Great. It was an awesome way to end the day. He was the best emperor among the Mughals by light years. Sikandra at sunset was a beautiful sight. Compared to Humayun's tomb, the folks at Sikandra were pretty relaxed and actually seemed happy with life!
All in all it was an awesome day! I was so deadbeat, that I slept like a log on the train back to Delhi. I will always remember the trip for all the fun we had and the sights we saw.

What's buzzin....
Nothing in eclectic mix of Led Zep, Pink Floyd and some Hindi stuff..

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