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Old 10th July 2019, 00:30   #1
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Default Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800

Prologue: When it comes to reading and sharing travel stories, then Team BHP is the place to be. After every road trip the eagerness to share the experience is quite high. Then there are some interesting travel experiences from the past which too need to be shared. So here is one such lovely experience dating back to 2011 when I went on road trip to Agra and Jhansi in a Maruti-800. Recalling the events in entirety from an old trip is not easy but nonetheless the photographs and the trip log helps a lot.

Itinerary:The trip was spread across six days which included two full days of travel from Chandigarh to Agra and back. Three days were earmarked for sightseeing within and around Agra on a leisurely pace which included Agra Fort, Taj Mahal, Emperor Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra and Fatehpur Sikri, the erstwhile capital founded by Emperor Akbar. Finally one day was reserved for a visit to Jhansi Fort.

Some random photographs from the trip:

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r1.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r2.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r3.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r4.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r5.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r6.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r7.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r8.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r9.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-r10.jpg


Day 1: (Chandigarh to Agra: 478 km) (Route Via: Ambala, Karnal, Panipat, Delhi, Faridabad, Hodal, Mathura)
After breakfast rolled out by 0800 Hrs. The drive up till Ambala was steady due to morning daily commuters traffic but soon speeded up after joining the Grand Trunk road at Ambala Cantonment. By 1130 Hrs entered Delhi from Kundli border and by the time reached Mukarba Chowk got caught in heavy traffic. Took outer ring road and crossed Raj Ghat, Pragati Maidan, Sarai Kale Khan and moved towards Ashram flyover from where took left to head towards Faridabad. It took almost 1 hour and 15 mins to cross the Delhi traffic. Crossed Faridabad by 1400hrs and made a pit stop for lunch at Hodal which is the last town in Haryana near Haryana - Uttar Pradesh border. Had our lunch at Haryana Tourism’s Dabchick Resort, Hodal. After lunch started again at 1600Hrs and crossed Mathura by 1730Hrs and reached Agra at 1900Hrs.

Route Taken (Courtesy: Google Maps)
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-chandigarh-agra.jpg

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Old 11th July 2019, 00:16   #2
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Day 2: Local sightseeing in Agra. (Agra Fort, Taj Mahal & Itimad-ud-Daulah)
The plan for the day was to first visit Agra Fort and then proceed to Taj Mahal. As it was our very first visit we requested for a guide at the hotel itself so as to avoid any hassles. The manager was nice enough to arrange for a local off duty staff member who was well versed with the area. Agra Fort was 2 km from our hotel and our guide navigated us through narrow lanes of old city and we reached our destination in about 15 minutes. After parking the car near the main entrance we entered the fort. At ticket counter we got to know that entry for the day is free as the archaeological department was celebrating heritage week. The day started on a foggy note as it was the last week of November and winter was around the corner. As the day progressed gradually the fog lifted and it became sunny with periods of haze in between.

Agra Fort: The Agra Fort represents the first major building project of Emperor Akbar. It was built between 1565-1575 AD on the site of an earlier castle. Emperor Shahjahan made further additions to it in the next century. Primarily the stress was to make the fort as a military structure with strength as a major consideration, nonetheless the ornamental aspect was blended in to give the fort a special aesthetic character. Initially the fort had 500 buildings, constructed in the beautiful Bengali and Gujarati style of architecture but now quite a few remain. Nonetheless they are a testimony to the marvel of Indian architecture during the reigns of Emperor Akbar and Shahjahan at Agra. The notable buildings in the fort are Akbari Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Shahjahani Mahal, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, Musamman Burj, Shish Mahal, Moti Masjid and Dilli Darwaza. Agra Fort was declared as a monument of national importance in 1920. Since then, the Archaeological Survey of India has been responsible for its conservation and maintenance. The Agra Fort provides the visitors with an opportunity to appreciate Mughal architecture and also offers a peep into the administrative system and the life and times of the Mughal Empire.

When talking about Mughal Empire the discussion is incomplete without the mention of its adversaries and the most prominent among them was the legendary warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj who challenged the suzerainty of the Mughal Empire and never bowed before their might.

Statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in front of Agra Fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

Amar Singh Gate: Located on the south end of the fort, Amar Singh Gate also known as Amar Singh Darwaza serves as the main public entrance. The other two prominent gates are the Delhi Gate or Dilli Darwaza which lies on the western side and Water Gate which lies on the eastern side of the fort.

Amar Singh Gate
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2a.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-44.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-46.jpg

The fort has well strengthened walls and fortifications surrounded by a deep moat to withstand attacks.
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-3.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-47.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-48.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-49.jpg

Diwan-i-Aam: The hall of public audience is a common structure found across most of the Mughal era buildings. The place was used for holding meetings between the public and the monarchy along with senior administrative officers.

Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

The royal chamber in Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8.jpg

Garden in front of Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

John Colvin’s Tomb: There is a tomb in front of Diwan-i-Aam building which belongs to a senior British officer named John Russel Colvin who was posted in Agra during the uprising of 1857. He had taken shelter in Agra Fort during the uprising and died here due to illness.

Tomb in front of Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

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Old 13th July 2019, 23:41   #3
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Machchi Bhavan: This magnificent structure with marble balcony lies behind Diwan-i-Aam. It has spacious court with series of flat roofed chambers. As the name suggests the court once was adorned with marble tanks and fountains in which golden and silver coloured fish were kept for the amusement of the royalty. Hence the name of the building is 'Machchi Bhavan' i.e Fish Palace. A garden courtyard adorns the center of the building.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-9.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-10.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-11.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-12.jpg

Takht-i-Jahangir: Emperor Jahangir also known as Prince Salim had this throne made at Allahabad when he had rebelled against his father Emperor Akbar. Jahangir became emperor in 1606 AD and brought this throne from Allahabad and suitably placed it in the fort. The throne is made of black marble.

Emperor Jahangir’s Throne
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-14.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-13a.jpg

Musamman Burj: This building is situated behind Emperor Jahangir’s throne and served as private residential area of Emperor Shah Jahan overlooking Yamuna River.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-13.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-18.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-21.jpg

Pachisi Court: This place was used by the royalty for entertainment and games.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-15.jpg

Diwan-i-Khas: The hall of private audience is an elegant structure constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1636 AD. The building was used for meetings between the emperor and senior administrative officers along with the notable personalities of the empire.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-16.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-17.jpg

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Old 13th July 2019, 23:59   #4
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Anguri Bagh: It is a large rectangular garden with small hexagonal grids of red sandstone. The name of the garden derives from the fact that grapes were grown in it at some point of time.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-19.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-20.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-30.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-31.jpg

Primarily the fort was constructed as a strengthened military structure with equal importance being accorded to the ornamental and aesthetic aspects. The perimeter walls were well fortified to protect the structure in case of attack.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-22.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-23.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-24.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-25.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-26.jpg

Shahjahani Mahal: This palace was specially got designed by Emperor Shahjahan to suit his tastes and needs. The construction took place in between 1628-35 AD. The most notable aspect of this palace is its water harvesting system which was designed to tap rainfall.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-27.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-28.jpg

Rain water harvesting drain
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-29.jpg

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Old 16th July 2019, 19:34   #5
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Jahangiri Mahal:This palace is situated in the south east section of the fort where it was effectively protected from public areas. It is one of the earliest surviving buildings of Emperor Akbar’s reign and the earliest palace extant.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-32.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-33.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-35.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-39.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-40.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-45.jpg

Interior view of the palace

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-36.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-37.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-38.jpg

Bengali Mahal: Now in ruins this used to be a large palace in the fort overlooking River Yamuna. It was constructed under the reign of Emperor Akbar. The unique location of the palace provided it with perennial supply of water along with cool fresh air. During the British era the palace served as military garrison and was also used as prison.

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-41.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-42.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-43.jpg

After exploring Agra Fort we proceeded to Taj Mahal which is located at distance of 3 km from the fort.

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Old 16th July 2019, 19:59   #6
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Taj Mahal: Unique among the world’s famous architectural wonders, the Taj Mahal stands on the bank of River Yamuna, adorning the skyline of Agra. It was built by the fifth Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife, Arjumand Bano Begum. Being the most favourite queen of Emperor Shah Jahan, she received the title of Mumtaz Mahal after her marriage to Shah Jahan. The construction of this fine marble tomb began in 1631 AD and was completed in seventeen years. It is said that twenty thousand workmen, worked day and night to complete it. The material was brought in from all over India and Central Asia. The architecture and its adornments are linked to the passion of eternal love that inspired it. The beauty of the Taj Mahal lies in its perfect proportions. The octagonal structure is topped by a fine dome and balanced by four tapering minarets at the edge of the platform. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid Cenotaph of the Queen. Standing in a beautiful garden embellished with waterways and fountains the garden tomb is framed by sandstone walls and tall gateways. The exquisite workmanship of the Taj has been described as “Been designed by giants and finished by jewellers”.

The Iconic Taj
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-19.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-20.jpg

Gates: There are two gateways which serve as entrance, the East Gate and the West Gate. Both the gates are quite similar in construction with their outer facades having a broad center with a vaulted archway in a rectangular frame set between gates topped with polygonal shafts. The Western gate is most widely used by the tourists.

The Western Gate
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-29.jpg

Main Gateway: The last structure to be erected in the Taj Mahal walled enclosure was the imposing main gateway, which is a towering hundred feet high structure appropriately constructed in the middle of southern side of the perimeter wall.

The Main Gateway
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-27.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-28.jpg

Garden & Water Works: The garden decorating the tomb is known as ‘Charbagh’ or four gardens as it has been divided into. There is a water channel with fountains which runs in the middle of the garden. Two parallel pathways are laid alongside the water channel. A raised square marble tank with five fountains adorns the center of the garden. The water channel and the fountains were fed by water lifted from River Yamuna with the help of two wheel lifts run by bullocks. The water lifted by wheel lifts was stored in high level tanks which ultimately fed the water works. Presently the system is run through electric motors.

Taj Mahal Garden
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-18.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-23.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-24.jpg

The water channel leading to Taj Mahal
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-3.jpg

Water channel while looking towards main gateway
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-30.jpg

Square Marble Tank
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

Water channel extending from eastern to western end
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-25.jpg

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Old 16th July 2019, 23:35   #7
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Taj Mosque: The Taj Mahal Mosque is a very elegant structure which lies to west of Taj Mahal. Its walls are ornamented with marble inlaid in red sandstone in attractive geometric and floral designs. The octagonal turrets at its angles are crowned with kiosks with marble coverings. Atop the structure are three marble domes, bulbous in shape the central being the largest in size, while the other two of its either side are smaller but identical. In the south of the Mosque and adjoining the last arch is a staircase, which leads to the terrace on the second floor, whence a lovely view of the Taj Mahal presents itself.

Taj Mahal Mosque
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

Mosque as viewed from Taj Mahal
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-14.jpg

Guest Chamber: To the east of Taj Mahal lies the magnificent structure which was constructed as the guest chamber or the ‘Mehman Khana’. During the Mughal era the building was used for hosting the dignitaries visiting Taj Mahal. The structure is quite identical in style to the mosque. It was built to maintain the sense of balance and symmetry which actuated the whole design of the Taj Complex.

Guest Chamber
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-16.jpg

Some close up shots of the iconic monument
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-9.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-10.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-15.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-17.jpg

Beautiful designs adorn the walls of Taj Mahal
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-11.jpg

River Yamuna flows behind Taj Mahal
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-12.jpg

View from the main platform
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-13.jpg

View from the Guest Chamber
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-14a.jpg

Mystical Beauty of Taj Mahal
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-21.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-22.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-26.jpg

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Old 16th July 2019, 23:49   #8
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Another historic monument worth visiting nearby Taj Mahal is Itimad-Ud-Daulah.

Itimad-Ud-Daulah: It is a tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg who was a Persian nobleman. He was grandfather of Emperor Shahjahan’s beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal and served as a Prime Minister or ‘Wazir’ in Emperor Jahangir’s court. Due to his loyal service to the Mughal Empire, Mirza Ghiyas Beg was awarded with the title of Itimad-Ud-Daulah which means ‘Treasurer of the Empire’. His daughter, Nur Jahan, who was wife of Emperor Jehangir, built this tomb between1622-28 AD. Due to the resemblance of this tomb with Taj Mahal it is also known as Baby Taj.

Itimad-Ud-Daulah Tomb
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-3.jpg

Tomb Gateway
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

Tomb as seen from main Gateway
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

River Yamuna flows behind the Tomb
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

After visiting Agra Fort, Taj Mahal and Itimad-Ud-Daulah we wrapped up the day, thereby concluding the exploration of historic sites within the heritage city of Agra.

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Old 17th July 2019, 00:00   #9
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Day 3: (Agra to Fatehpur Sikri and back: 75 km)
The itinerary for the day was to visit the erstwhile Mughal capital of Fatehpur Sikri which was founded by Emperor Akbar and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. Fatehpur Sikri is located on Agra-Bharatpur-Jaipur-Bikaner National Highway.

Fatehpur Sikri: Located at a distance of 36 km from Agra city is the erstwhile capital of Mughal Empire. The city was founded by Emperor Akbar. The name of the city is derived from the village called Sikri which occupied the spot before. The Tomb of renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti existed at this place. Akbar's son Jahangir was born at the village of Sikri in 1569 and that year Akbar began construction of a religious compound to commemorate the Sheikh who had predicted the birth. After Jahangir's second birthday, he began the construction of a walled city and imperial palace here. The city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri, the "City of Victory", after Akbar's victorious Gujarat campaign in 1573. Later on in 1803 after the occupation of Agra by the East India Company, an administrative center was established by the company in Fatehpur Sikri which remained till 1850. It was during the company rule that the restoration works were carried out on ancient monuments considering their heritage importance.

Main attractions in Fatehpur Sikri are Buland Darwaza, Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti and The Palace. The site complex can be divided into two main sections. The section one houses the Tomb and has Buland Darwaza as its main gateway. The second section comprises of the palace complex which contains a number of buildings which served as the residences of the royalty.

The site plan of monuments
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7a.jpg

Buland Darwaza: Know as the "Gateway of victory", it was built in 1601 A.D. by Mughal emperor Akbar to commemorate his success in Gujarat campaign. It is the main entrance to the walled complex at Fatehpur Sikri and is the highest gateway in the world. The imposing gateway stands 54 meters tall.

Buland Darwaza
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1a.jpg

The other gateway to the walled complex
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

The tombs in the complex
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

Ventilation system for circulation of cool air in the complex
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-3.jpg

Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

Some random shots
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

After exploring the first section we moved to the second section which is the main palace housing a number of beautiful buildings and structures which served as the residences of the royalty.

The beautiful buildings in Fatehpur Sikri palace
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8a.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-9.jpg

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Old 17th July 2019, 00:15   #10
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Jodha Bai’s Palace: Also known as ‘Shabistan-i-Iqbal’ this is the most beautiful and imposing building in Fatehpur Sikri Fort. It was constructed between 1570-74.

Jodha Bai's Palace
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-10.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-11.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-12.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-13.jpg

Traveller’s Inn
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-15.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-14.jpg

Birbal's Mansion
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-19.jpg

Stables for Horses, Elephants and Camels
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-16.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-17.jpg

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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-20.jpg

The five storied 'Panch Mahal'
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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-34.jpg

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Old 17th July 2019, 00:24   #11
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Default re: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800

Like a common feature in most of the Mughal era buildings there is a Diwan-i-Khas or the hall for private audiences in the palace. The place was used for important meetings and gatherings between the royalty, important dignitaries and officials of the empire.

The Diwan-i-Khas at Fatehpur Sikri Palace
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-23.jpg

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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-27.jpg

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Old 17th July 2019, 19:58   #12
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Default re: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800

Similarly like Diwan-i-Khas there is a Diwan-i-Aam or the hall for public audience in the palace. The place was used for meetings and gatherings between the royalty and the general public.

Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-28.jpg

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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-37.jpg

The beautiful garden in front of Diwan-i-Aam
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-35.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-36.jpg

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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-40.jpg

Returned to Agra in the evening after an eventful day exploring Fatehpur Sikri.


Day 4: (Agra to Jhansi and back: 471 km) (Visited Jhansi Fort) (Route taken: Agra-Dholpur-Morena-Gwalior-Dabra-Datia-Jhansi and back via same route)


On the fourth day of the trip visited Jhansi fort located in Jhansi City. After breakfast started from Agra at 0800Hrs. Took the Agra-Gwalior-Indore-Nashik-Mumbai National Highway No 3 (now numbering has been changed). Due to an early start the traffic was negligible which resulted in swift drive. On the way entered Rajasthan for a short while crossing Dholpur City. Entered Madhya Pradesh at Chambal Ravines and soon crossed Morena. Reached Gwalior by 1045Hrs and got stuck in traffic jams. Had no other option rather than crossing through Gwalior City as the bypass was under construction. Moreover as Google Maps was not available for navigation therefore had to ask locals for direction which resulted in further delay. Finally left Gwalior behind and we were now heading towards Jhansi. After crossing the towns of Dabra and Datia finally reached Jhansi by 1315Hrs and headed straight towards the fort which is perched at an elevation above the city. After purchasing the tickets and hiring a guide finally began our tour of Jhansi fort.

Route Map (Courtesy: Google Maps)
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-agra-jhansi.jpg

On the way to Jhansi
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

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Old 17th July 2019, 20:24   #13
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Jhansi Fort: Jhansi Fort is a fortress situated on a large hilltop called Bangira, in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India. It served as a stronghold of the Chandela Kings from the 11th through the 17th century. The city and the fort of Jhansi have been immortalized in the annals of history due to the bravery of the Queen of Jhansi Rani Lakshmi Bai who was the head of the princely state of Jhansi and was one of the leading figures of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Parking outside the fort
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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

A Cannon known as ‘Kadak Bijli Tope' is placed upon the entrance. The cannon derived its name from the fact that it used to make a loud sound similar to lightening thunder when fired.

Kadak Bijli Tope
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

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Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-25.jpg

A small gateway leads to the palace
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

A British era machine gun is placed near the gateway
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8.jpg

A small cannon in the palace garden
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-9.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-10.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-11.jpg

Gallery inside the palace
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-12.jpg

Prison inside the fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-13.jpg

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Old 18th July 2019, 22:54   #14
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Default re: Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800

The very place from where Rani Lakshmi Bai jumped with her horse
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-14.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-15.jpg

Temple in the fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-16.jpg

The fort ramparts along with views of Jhansi City
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-17.jpg

The beautiful garden inside the fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-18.jpg

The fort was constructed with strength as primary consideration
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-19.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-20.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-26.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-27.jpg

Another Cannon inside the fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-21.jpg

The memorials of the martyrs of 1857 in the fort
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-22.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-23.jpg

After exploring the fort we learnt from the office that there is light and sound show presented every evening upon sunset to highlight the history of the fort. Nonetheless as we have to return to Agra the same day therefore we started our return journey by 1445Hrs. Followed the same route through which we came in the morning and finally reached our hotel at Agra by 2000Hrs. That was an end of an eventful day with its substantial part spent travelling.
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Old 18th July 2019, 23:02   #15
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Day 5: Visited Emperor Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra
Another must visit monument located nearby Agra is the Tomb of Emperor Akbar at Sikandra. The tomb is located on Agra-Delhi National Highway just on the outskirts of Agra City.

Sikandra: The site of the tomb was selected by Akbar himself and the construction began after his death in 1605 and his son and successor Emperor Jahangir got the monument completed. The construction ended in 1612. The tomb has been planned in the center of a vast garden by the bank of River Yamuna enclosed by high walls on all four sides. A monumental gateway has been provided on all four sides with the one on the south being the largest one serving as the main entrance. There are water channels in the complex adorned by fountains.

The south gateway to the tomb serves as the main entrance
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-1.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-2.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-3.jpg

Main gateway interiors
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-4.jpg

Gateway Minarets
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-5.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-6.jpg

Garden inside the complex
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-7.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-8.jpg

The building housing the tomb
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-9.jpg

An old chandelier inside the tomb structure
Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-10.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-11.jpg

Agra, Fatehpur Sikri & Jhansi in a Maruti 800-12.jpg

The tomb was built on an area covering 119 acres during early 17th century. This is the mausoleum that Akbar chose for himself but could not finish it during his time. The monument has the signature style of Mughal architecture with widespread use of red sandstone and white marble with inlay works and geometric patterns.
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