Fatehpur Sikri is large palace and separate mosque complex built in the 16th century, abandoned just 20 years after completion due to a lack of sustainable water supply.

The tranquil relatively hassle free palace is impressive in size and preservation. The complex is enormous, so large it almost ceases to be impressive by the time you finish visiting it. I would have loved to see part of the palace fully restored and decorated in a way that would enable my imagination to envisage the splendour that would have once lived here. I found it tricky to imagine life in court here, to imagine the opulence that would have facilitated its creation.

The mosque nearby is a huge fort like complex with a solid perimeter ring of high walls and heavy gates, a small white marble mosque in the centre is lovely. The mosque complex is alive, used today with the covered interior walls used as a place of commerce by many hawkers, beggars, traders and hangers on all trying to relieve you of some rupees. The deaf and dumb approach I have once again adopted when accosted works well, it’s quite difficult to do at times, it can be hard to resist responding to a direct question, even with the knowledge that a response will just cause a volume of annoyance for myself.

Fatehpur Sikri can be visited as a day trip from Agra, or in my case as a stop en route to Jaipur if you are splurging on private transportation.