On Easter afternoon, we headed to the Agra Fort, also known as the Red Fort. The fort is a walled city from the 1500s.
The above right photo is of a bath tub! I remember this bathtub clearly from my visit 22 years ago.
Below, the fort was buttressed by not one, but two, moats. The first moat was filled with water and contained crocodiles. The second moat was dry and filled with lions and tigers and bears (oh my!)
The most famous part of the fort is the fated bedroom where Shah Jehan sat in house arrest for the last eight years of his life, imprisoned by his son, the current king. From his bedroom window, Shah coudl see the Taj Mahal that he had built for his wife.
The photo below, captures well the experience of both kiddos at the fort. Carson wrestled with Ducky the entire time and play acted various Shakespearean style fights complete with fake punches. Kaden and her camera kept on snapping.
And again, the highlight of the visit? A small, common animal. This time–feeding little striped chipmunks.
We were to stop at yet another location–the Baby Taj–but instead we thought the kids would be happier with a pit stop at McDonalds for french fries and chicken nuggets.
Then it was time to drive an hour to Fatehpur Sikri. During the drive in the car, the kids watched “It’s Easter, Charlie Brown!”
Our trip to Fatehpur Sikri was ill fated. First, a bus accident blocked the road. In the mid day heat, we had to walk past the accident, including this damaged sign, and then take tut tuts up the hill because our van could not get past the chaos.
We managed to fit 11 of us in the tut tut. Even during the drive, local kids would jump onto the back of the tut tut to try to sell things to us. The inside of this tut tut (what they call autorickshaws elsewhere in India), was very colorful.
Fatehpur Sikri reminds me of the story of the Three Little Pigs. Sikriwal Rajput Rajas Last Emperor Maharana Sangram Singh (also known as Emperor Jahangir) had three wives. The first wife was Muslim and was an arranged marriage. She had a little tiny house, shown through the arches below. The second wife was Catholic. She was married for love and had a medium sized house. The third wife was Hindu and she was married to end a feud. She produced the son and thus had the biggest, fanciest house of all.
From the seat where we are sitting (above), the king would play a game of parcheesi in which he use life women as as the pieces.
Above, right, is the parliament building where the king held court, high above the ground.
Above, one of my favorite shots. Indians area always asking to get their pictures taken with us white folk. Here is one of my favorite ones of my friend’s dad. Above, right, some earring decorations on the vegetarian kitchen of the fanciest wife.
As interesting as all of this was, it was hot. Very, very hot. The little kids and the grandparents were wilting. Plus, the vendors were very, very aggressive here. To get from this palace area to the Muslim mosque we were totally surrounded by people. Sadly, this is as much of the mosque as we saw. It was too hot that day and too oppressive, in terms of vendors as much as the temperature. We needed a place to get a cold drink and recharge. But nothing nearby. So it was time to move on to Jaipur.