Agra India…I remember when I was a child, if I were given a special power, I would have chosen to travel in time. I have always been fascinated with the history of man, the rise and fall and what remains. I always have goosebumps when reading stories or seeing remnants in museums. If I am lucky and am there is is even more.
When we decided to go to Agra, I had this excitement of being face to face with a structure of ancient times and the story behind it! We started our journey in northern India traveling from Gujarat to Agra by train, for 24 hours. Yes, a one day train which was not scary, unlike what I had read online. I slept peacefully and awoke excited, ready to step my feet in Agra. I had been warned to be cautious and wise, as people can make you buy things or spend more than you want , so we had to learn to say NO.
From the train station, we were welcomed by a human trolley, who basically carry your luggage on their head, no matter how heavy, it is to the taxi area. It was 15 minutes from the station to our hotel, and our taxi driver was like a part time tour guide, as he really knew what to see in Agra. After we settled in the hotel, we went directly to our first stop, the Fatehpur Sikri, known as the city of victory.
This ancient city is located 40 km west of Agra. It will take you one hour to Fatehpur depending on the flow of traffic. The tour guide brought us to the entrance to purchase a ticket. I was captivated by how ancient it looked, it was truly awesome! This place was the capital of the Mughal empire between 1571 and 1585; this is during the reign of Emperor Akbar. Our tour guide explained that Akbar visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne.
When the prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque, the Jama Masjid which is one of the largest mosques in India and three palaces for each of his major wives, one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. The Hindu wife was the favorite so her place was the largest. The city and the structure was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but was established in an area of a water shortage and was abandoned shortly after the death of the emperor. If you touch the stone you will feel how intricate the place is and the complexity of the monuments and temples are all in uniform architectural style.
The tour guide said that Akbar was trying to revive the splendors of the Persian court ceremony with the influence of Indian design. Also the areas of Fatehpur Sikri were made of red stone that adds to its uniqueness and beauty. The last part of our tour was to see the Jama Masjid which is huge! I can’t imagine the number of people who could worship here.
The amazing part was that there was a big wall where you can tie a string three times, while making three wishes, They say that most of the people have their wishes come true. I was skeptical, but I had nothing to lose. Yep, after 10 months my 1st wish happened, I married the guy who was with me, while tying the little piece of string. He made a confession to me, before the wedding, that he wished the same. Maybe the place is somehow magical. Beside the wishes; the place is truly a magical work of a brilliant mind. It is worth your time and money, I so promise.