The Fatehpur Sikri took 15 years to build. The palace was abandoned shortly after being used for only 14 years because of water scarcity. It was only 40 kilometers away from the more famous site of the Taj Majal.
I went on a hot July summer day. The temperature reached 105 and it took a look 4.5 hour drive to get there from New Delhi. Sweltering in the heat just to walk around the palace grounds, the sight of the dried up pool and sun-baked red sandstone was as effective as dense humidity would be in dragging my psyche through an oven.
- Nikon D80, f/7.1, 1/200s ©2010
Alternatively, on the humourous sid, a shot of my hot pink buddy dressed in a hot animal print hotel robe. Yes, that was the robe the hotel provided in the room.
- Canon S90 point-and-shoot
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that India’s greatest sites are, well, Muslim? The Taj Mahal was commissioned by a Muslim ruler for his wife. I don’t know if the story has been romanticized for the benefit of millions of tourists coming to see the Taj, but it certainly is an attractive one.
From afar, the Taj Mahal looks like a mosque, with its symmetrical minarets towering up. I would imagine the marble reflects beautifully at sunrise and sunset but my timing doesn’t work out. Instead, I felt as if I needed sunglasses just to look at the building. The building is completely symmetrical, with the tomb of the wife in the very middle, underground, with a mock casket on the top level for viewing. The other irony of the Taj- the very king who commissioned the building- is buried next to his wife after the fact and his tomb disrupts the otherwise perfectly symmetrical construction.
A total aside: It really really bothers me when I type in “Taj Mahal” the second autofill option is some Taj Mahal in Atlantic City…