Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 Grand World Voyage, Day 169, Agra to Ranthambore, India (Part 3 of 4)

Another slow start to the morning, trouble with vehicles but the scenery along the way to Fatehpur Sikri was amazing.  Fatehpur Sikri is a magnificent fortified ancient city, 40km west of Agra, was a short-lived capital of the Mughal empire during the reign of Emperor Akbar.  Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque, still in use today, and three palaces, one for each of his favorite wives – one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. We spent an hour and a half touring the palaces and mosque and left for Abhaneri.  We had a wonderful drive to Abhaneri seeing the everyday life of the Indian people from; working in the fields, herding camels, making cow patties to showering...such a great experience to see how the other cultures exist.  After a three hour drive, we arrived at the Chand Baori (stepwell) in the Abhaneri village.  One of the largest and oldest stepwells in the world, Chand Baori was built to conserve water and provide a respite from the intense heat. The stepwell is an architectural wonder with 3,500 perfectly symmetrical narrow steps, 64 feet deep and 13 stories underground, it's exquisite geometry is what makes the structure so captivating.  Next door to the stepwell was the Harshshat Mata Temple built in the 8th century.  Our last journey of the day was a four hour drive to Ranthambore National Park, where we will spend the next two nights on a tiger safari.  Driving the back roads of India to Ranthambore was long but very interesting dodging cows, goats, motorcycles and grain trucks.  It is wheat harvesting time and the hauling trucks are like none you have ever seen before...the trucks are equipped with huge canvass bags piled high and overflowing way beyond the size of the trucks...a site to be seen!  Another amazing day in India....complete sensory overload...there was so much to see...5 things in one direction and at the same time miss 15 others.  I love India!  This will be a four part blog, here is part three….  The rest may wait a bit….  Long day and up early for safari…..



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