09.42 am – Woke up to the same breakfast as the day before.
11.16 am – Started our journey for the day.
About 20 minutes later, we arrived at Idgah bus stand, the bus stand for buses heading towards west and south of Agra. Fatehpur Sikri was located towards the west.
Found bus no.10 that will take you directly to Fathepur Sikri’s bus stand.
How the inside of the public bus looked like. As it was winter, temperatures were pleasant. I cannot imagine how stuffy the bus might become on a hot sunny day.
At about 12pm, the bus departed and the conductor came round collecting the bus fare.
We paid 27 rupees each for a one way fare from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri.
A bustling market in one of the stops.
About 1 hour 15 minutes later, we arrived in Fatehpur Sikri bus stand.
We were pretty hungry and from where we were we couldn’t see any other eating places other than the restaurant attached to the bus station.
In the end, we just decided to have our lunch there and then.
We ordered a Murg Muglai, mild curry chicken cooked with mild spices and dry fruits. I think this was the dish that our stomachs almost couldn’t handle. I suspected from the looks of the color that the chicken was a few days old. We should’ve stuck to vegetables only.
A potato naan.
A plain naan.
Mix vegetables soup.
Lunch was pretty good, aside from the little stomach upset.
02.02 pm – As soon as we exited the restaurant, an Indian teenager kept following us, asking to be our guide. We profusely rejected him but he was really extremely persistent. He kept asking us to take this way, take that way, but we just kept ignoring his advice. And when we asked the locals for directions, he scolded them. Based in his gestures, I think he was asking them to mind their own business. I have never felt so helpless before in all my trips in India so far. I have read about Agra being the worst city in all of India when it came to scams but there was nothing that we could do. In the end, we just gave in. Fuck.
My word of advice: if you are not going to Fatehpur Sikri with a paid tour, skip it. Especially if you intend to take the public bus instead, skip it. Totally skip it. Here, read more about others’ shitty experiences in Fatehpur Sikri as well.
02.02 pm – The clock tower nearby the bus stand.
The bustling bazaar of Fatehpur Sikri.
Was led through a maze of quiet alleys. Vivian and I were on guard, ready to run if anything funny were to start to happen.
Bricks on donkeys.
After about 10 minutes of walking uphill, we reached the Jama Masjid pond.
The view of from the steps of Jama Masjid .
As soon as we stepped through this entrance, the teenager immediately passed us to his brother. Again, we tried to decline his services but he just continued sticking to us. Totally no morals. These are actually Muslims scamming tourists in a mosque! I see other tourists with a ‘guide’ as well. No tourist was left in peace to enjoy the architecture of Jama Masjid. What the fuck? How can the government continue allowing this to happen?!
In the compound of Jama Masjid. (Photo taken by the 2nd scammer.)
This is the face of the second scammer who was with us the whole time in Jama Masjid.
Tying of strings in the Tomb of Salim Chishti to make a wish. All he did was untie 2 strings that were already tied to the wall and gave it to us to retie it back.
Us inside the tomb of Salim Chishti. Notice the Indian family in the background. I have a feeling they were being scammed as well although they were Indians.
Wore a basket cap so that I could go in to view the coffin.
Then we were lead to a quiet section WITHIN Jama Masjid. We knew that we were going to be scammed to buy things from him but when he brought us to view the carvings, we continued declining him. You could tell he wasn’t happy so we just gave him some money and he left.
The other graves in Jama Masjid. (We had a little alone time before we met more touts between the journey from Jama Masjid to Fatehpur Sikri)
I kid you not but I couldn’t find a single proper tourist map of Fatehpur Sikri when I was doing my homework before arriving to India.
02.52 pm – The fees of the guide at the ticket counter.
The admission fee for Fatehpur Sikri was 260 rupees.
Really huge open space.
The house of Birbal, Akbar’s favourite minister.
A pavilion somewhere nearby Birbal’s.
By the Panch Mahal, a five-storied palatial structure built for ladies of the court, with the tiers gradually diminishing in size, till the final one, which is a single large-domed pavilion.
Diwan-i-Khas or Hall of Private Audience, famous for its central pillar, which has a square base and an octagonal shaft.
Vivian by the gardens of Fatehpur Sikri.
A broken oval shaped clay.
Anup Talao, an ornamental pool with a central platform and four bridges leading up to it.
Posing by the windows of Jodh Bai’s kitchen.
04.04 pm – On the bus ride back, I had a front seat experience although I regretted it much later as the blaring horns were just too loud to handle.
The view was good though.
The old man who asked for his picture to be taken with Vivian.
Look at how packed the bus was!
Women sitting dangerously behind a truck.
About an hour later, we arrived back to Agra town from shitty Fatehpur Sikri.
05.09 pm – Idgah bus station.
After that, we took a trishaw ride to Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. We tried hailing down several but none of them knew anything about it. Even our peddler didn’t know where it was. He had to stop by several times to ask the vendors by the roadside.
05.42 pm – Arrived in St Mary’s Church and was told that Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity was just next door.
Upon arriving at the walls, we saw the sign.
“If you can’t feed 100 people, then just feed 1.” ~Mother Teresa
The playground outside of the children’s center.
Mother Mary’s statue right by the entrance.
The room as we entered.
Unoccupied baby cots.
“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” ~Mother Teresa
Vivian and I felt disheartened at the thought of people who would do such a thing as abandon these cute little babies.
This fella was by far our favourite kid as he was so receptive of us, laughing all the while.
This is what I mean when I say cute.
Had a tough time letting him go.
Teaching in progress at the learning center.
Had a picture with the senior sister and some of the orphans playing by the playground. The cool part is, they weren’t shy and enjoyed posing for pictures!
The building for adults.
Went to the office to make a donation.
If this were our last day, we’d have donated EVERYTHING we had!
07.43 pm – Departed Palmstay to catch our train.
Arrived in Agra Cantonment Station.
Passengers trying to squeeze their way in. Too scary for us.
Had a snack.
Waited for out train to arrive at the platform.
08.43 pm – Finally, it arrives.
As it was only a short journey, the entire train was only fitted with chairs and this one was with air conditioning.
09.14 pm – Dinner was served.
15 minutes later, dessert was served.
11.32 pm – Arrived in Incredible Homestay, New Delhi. (This photo was taken in the day as the one at night was too dark)
The notice right above the fridge.
Our bathroom. I noticed that the flooring of the entire hotel was in marble.