Busy day today, so I take the second anti-bacterial tablet. Early bus trip to Fatehpur Sikri in Uttar Pradesh province. I just love saying that word “Fatehpur Sikri”.
Built by Hindu ruler Akbar, who attempted to unite warring religions by accepting all religions in his philosophy Din-i Ilahi. His Palace includes a small, Islamic Palace for his Islamic wife, and medium sized Christian Palace for this Christian Portuguese wife from Goa (although it seems unclear whether she was really Christian or if this was just a PR stunt), and a huge palace for his Hindu wife. The temple shows example of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the Christian palace is built in the shape of a cross.
From there we drive to the hotel, check in, then off to the Taj Mahal (Taj meaning crown, and Mahal meaning Palace). Like any major tourist attraction, there are hawkers and queues. But passing through the gate, the Taj Mahal opens up to us.
Married at 16, the Murgal Empress, Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to 14 children in 19 years before dying in childbirth aged 35. On her deathbed, she asked the Maharaja to prove his love for her to the world, so as a result he built this mausoleum. It is seen as an embodiment of undying love and marital devotion.
I took so many photos, and lots of videos, but it’s all the same subject, just from a different angle and as the light starts to set. So it wasn’t easy to whittle it down to just a few. There were a lot of Indian tourist as well, who wanted photos with us white tourists, which was a little weird, but kind of fun.
The American chap in our group commented that you don’t see such grandeur in death nowadays, to which I replied, “Wait until Trump dies”.
I’m sure the Delhi Belly has now passed (which I attribute to the tablets) so out at dinner, I order a hot curry. I’ve not had a properly hot one yet. Weirdly, Chicken Tikka Masala is the hottest one. It’s very tasty and quite hot, but nothing special. So the waiter brings me a second one which is hotter and a good mix of flavour and heat. That’s what I was expecting all along.