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Published: July 11th 2008
Me again from India.
We were supposed to vist the Agra Fort after the Taj, but again Raju (the nightmare driver) changed our plans ignoring my request to see the fort. In a flash, we were already out of Agra, with him angry that I was firm about not stopping at a marble factory.
We stopped at the fortified ghost city of FATEPUR SIKRI next. An "official" guide approached us offering his services for R$600. I bargained it down to R$100 and decided it would be better to stick with him than to be pested by a swarm of unoffical guides. We took an autorickshaw up the hill, to find another amazying Indian site.
The large JAMA MASJID mosque is of Persian and Hindu design, has inumerous archways, a huge courtyard and a beautiful white marble tomb. No foreign tourists around, so we got plenty of attention from the locals and Indian tourists.
Inside the mausoleum are bright coloured flower murals, a canopy decorated with intrigate work of mother-of-pearl shells. Childless women visit the tomb and tie a red thread to the marble lattice as they make a wish to have a child.
This is a
muslin mosque, and we decided to keep it to the "we're from Brazil" statement, no mentioning of USA. May be paranoia, but Bush is to blame for it. I felt relaxed though, with many friendly muslins asking to take pictures with us, showing me where to place the rose pedals on the tomb and giving me "sacred sugar".
We tied our red ribbons, made a wish, followed the rituals as the Muslin pilgrims did, and felt really welcomed.
The sun was brutal and we went back to our car on a wagon pulled by a drooling camel. Camels were to been seen all over Rajasthan from here on, along with the inumerous cows and street dogs.
Til next time in Jaipur.
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