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On arrival at Fatehpur Sikri- your car will become surrounded by many men, all waving a pass that states that they are "official guides". Not only are the guides fake-their passes are fake too. I becomes almost impossiblevto shake off these guys. Eventually, one has to choose one of them, just to get rid of the others. The cost was negociated, and we paid R300.
Now comes the real catch- after the tour, but still inside the complex, the guide will entreat you to meet some of his family- descendents, he claims, from the days of Akbars rule. No problem! The "family members" are no more than salespeople- having little displays of marble and sandstone figurines and ornaments. They were charging an exhorbitant price, I had seen
these same items in Delhi for half the price. Guide then assures us that it is his family's business. Right- and pigs can fly.
Again- we purchased something small, just to get rid of this guy. I bargained, and got it down by 50%. The hidden agenda of touts in India again rears its ugly head.
Unique Suggestions: Point of BEFORE the tour that you will NOT be spending money on any family treasures- (unless of course you want to!)
Negotiate a price for the Guide- and choose one yourself. Pay him before you enter. R300 is generous. (there is an separate entry fee at the gate)
Fun Alternatives: Go it alone. Read up a bit on the history, or take a guide-book. Going alone is not easy- a bit of forceful language might have to be used to persuade these guys to leave you alone.
Updated Mar 31, 2009
As Fatehpur Sikri is one of the most perfectly preserved deserted towns, you may well decide to spend few rupees to hire a guide.
When you arrive look for licensed guides waiting for you at the official entrance to the fort.
Unique Suggestions: Buland Darwaza is the gateway to the mosque and shrine, here unlicensed guides will look for you as well. The mosque and shrine are not inside the city walls; you have to go there separately.
Updated Aug 30, 2004
When we went through the gate into the Jami Masjid, before we could even walk over to the white marble tomb we were caught. We explained (for the 100th time) that we did not want a guide.
This man was very personable (perfect con man) and told us that he did not want money, that he worked at the mosque and only wanted to help foreigners understand the beautiful place he worked.
He had us then, and led us around the main courtyard giving lots of information. After about 20 minutes he showed us somewhere that we could by materials, offerings etc that we could offer in the tomb and which would then be given to the needy (in this case, local widows). Wanting to do the right thing and having seen a laminated sheet explaining the 'charity's' work I handed over RS250. What a jerk! When we finally made it to the tomb there is a big sign saying don't give money to anyone else and put charitable donations here (if you believe that too! India makes you cynical).
Unique Suggestions: Don't be a fool like me. Don't let anyone intercept you, or if they do, don't hand over any money.
Written Feb 4, 2005
When you go to Fatehpur Sikri care full with Non Lincese Gude.They are mostely staying nere Buland Darwaza ( Gate )Salim Chisti Tomb.
Fun Alternatives: Can find Lincese guide near the Palace Entrance / Booking window there you pay for the Entrance Fee to visit the Palace.
Updated Feb 13, 2005