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A weekend tour of Agra and Jaipur from Delhi.
Many of you come to India for a quick business trip and perhaps only have a weekend available for a little sightseeing. As a Golden triangle tour operator for many years we have come up with this short and exciting Agra Jaipur visit.
Agra is the city where the lingering presence of the Mogul domination of India is most vivid and eloquent of its opulence.
No other city found as much favour from the Moghuls as Agra did. Agra was the prime beneficiary of the revenues of the Mogul Empire. The accompanying video shows a little bit of it.
Bollywood song depicting Akbar's court where happy citizenry pay him lavish tributes and bestow the title of Akbar on to him.
For a dynasty that was ruthless in its conquests, Agra is a fine example of their evolution from bloodthirstiness of its beginners to the cultured and civilised manner of governance by the descendants as enlightened monarchs. It was from Babur that the transition began and Mehtab Bagh in Agra is his creation. Know more about the Mughal Architecture.
Fatehpur Sikri is about 43 km away from Agra on the Agra Jaipur highway. It is called the ghost city as it was abandoned when water ran out. It was built by Akbar in gratitude to the Sufi saint Salim Chishty, who had assured Akbar of begetting three sons.
Now the road between Agra and Fatehpur Sikri is fairly deserted but in the hey-days of Agra, the journals of awe struck visiting foreigners/Europeans recount that either side of the road was full of shops and it was one never ending extended bazaar.
Jaipur is the city of many delights and shopping bargains. Jaipur is a plant city laid out on a grid of nine squares, two of which are straddled by the sprawling City Palace complex. It was a Bengali architect, the best talent available at that time, who was entrusted the task of planning the new city.
The then ruling Maharaja Jai Singh allocated each block to a certain trade. Each block had wide streets and beautiful buildings alongside them. It helps to know this if you decide to explore the city on your own.
In the mid-18th century when Jaipur was about 16 years of age, a Jesuit Father Tieffenthalar reveals in his writings the charm of Jaipur's modernity that was cast on to him.
He writes of the long and equal wide streets of Jaipur, while mentioning the narrow and unequal streets of ancient India.
Prior to Jaipur, it was the Amber Fort that was the seat of power for the ruling family. Jaipur today is an amalgamation of the modern and the mediaeval. It's fascinating bazaars adorn themselves easily with three centuries of history and existence.
The total circuit of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur is about 1000 km in length, most of it on very good roads.
You are free to stop the car at any place that interests you for taking photographs or just sauntering around.