The day started at a rather more civilised hour which was a relief to us all. Some 45 minutes drive from Agra we visited Fatepur Sikri, the capital of Rajasthan built by the Emperor Akbar in the sixteenth century. After fourteen years the capital returned to Agra due both to lack of water on the site and the distance from main highway routes rendering it a difficult place to rule an Empire from.
Cavan, who was here 50 years ago, remembers it as a ruin, but the Indian archaeologists have done a fine job restoring the structure in the intervening years. As India has an embarrassment of antique ruins, it must be an extraordinarily difficult job for historians to prioritise which structures to save and restore. One fact which Cavan recollected clearly from all those years ago was having been shown a stone on which hapless criminals were required to lay their heads to be crushed by an elephant. As a form of execution it’s rather deliciously gruesome. The stone still remains, neatly embedded in a lush green lawn.
After lunch we drove 5 hours to the National Park. Tomorrow we hunt for tigers.
Fatehpur Sikri Entrance
Our room for the night