Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Magical Deserted City of Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan, India

One of the real joys of travel is the unplanned and the unexpected.

In this instance, we were travelling through Rajasthan in India a few years back by All India taxi - a great way to avoid the hassles of most other forms of public transport.

You hire the cab for a day, a week, a month or whatever and decide wherever you want to go on the sub-continent in that time. The drivers are guaranteed to speak the language you want to use and are well-informed tourist guides. You stop where ever you like and for as long as you want. And at $25 a day per person it was staggeringly inexpensive. I'm beginning to sound like the company's promotional agency!

Anyway, we were travelling towards Jaisalmer on the edge of the desert in far western Rajasthan ...

Jaisalmer, far western Rajasthan (Not my photograph)

... when the driver suggested a stop in Fatehpur Sikri, a city built as the capital of the Mughal Empire in the second half of the C16 by Akbar the Great. Soon after completion, the water supply failed and so after only ten years the complex was abandoned.

We arrived just after dawn - it was still cool and the bird song crisp clear in the fresh early morning air.

Almost alone, curious for this most populous country, we just wandered round among the empty buildings ...

... snapping details as we went ...

Magical ... magical .... magical!

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