Fatehpur Sikri was our first stop for day 6. Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of the Mughal empire built by Akbar himself in the 1500’s. It was abandoned shortly after due to the lack of water and intense heat, which we witnessed firsthand. It was well over 105 F with about 80-90% humidity. Today it is a ghost town built of red sandstone . . . but if you looked through the hallucinations of dehydration, you could picture it as it once was a beautiful palace and capital of a huge empire.
From Fatehpur Sikri we continued on our way to Jaipur, stopping at a rural Indian village called Anterhera. We took a tour of the school and were even able to meet the matriarch of the village. It was a refreshing experience as none of the children were begging and we did not have to pay for every picture we took. The villagers seemed to be as intrigued by us as we were by them. Clayton was very involved in this stop, drawing pictures on the children’s blackboard and asking everyone in sight “Aapka naam kya hai?” (“hello, what is your name?”) At the end of our visit we were all taking turns having our photograph taken with the village matriarch. Clayton took one side, I took the other. Apparently she was intrigued by my sunglasses and pulled them off of my face . . . she then asked us something in Hindi and as we had no idea what she was saying (thought she was asking to try them on) we said “yes, go ahead!” She did indeed try them on and promptly waved good-bye to us. It was obvious then that she must have asked if she could have them. As she seemed delighted with her new acquisition I decided to wear my back up $5 Wal-Mart sunglasses with skull and crossbones in the corner for the rest of our vacation.
Our final stop for the day was the bazaar in Jaipur. It was both delightful (as the streets were packed with vendors, colorful goods, sights and smells) and frightening (never knowing if you will return to the outside once you entered into a store, pushy vendors, pickpockets, etc). It does get a little tiring when you know they are increasing the price 10 fold when an American is sighted. I had wanted an article of clothing and when I asked how much I was told 1,200 rupee ($24 US). I knew good and well this piece of fabric was not worth that much and offered 100 rupee ($2 US). The man appeared to be offended and stated that it was hand stamped fabric, worth so much more, I was asking for it for free, etc. I ended up buying it for 200 rupee ($4 US). Take that!! My mother would be proud.