On 04 Nov we left Kanpur and hit NH2 again. Roads were good but rural tractor / ‘Tempo’ traffic kept on increasing gradually. I could maintain 90-110 kmph usually. Did 125 kmph on some stretches.
Having seen the Taj Mahal a few times in the past, we decided to skip it this time and head straight towards Fatehpur Sikri. But at Agra we came across the imposing Akbar’s Tomb right adjacent to the highway as we were passing by and stopped to see it. It was well worth the visit. Akbar’s Tomb is huge, spread over hundreds of acres, and the architecture is really grand. The lawns are well maintained with hundreds of deer grazing there. The structures on the higher levels appear truly magnificent but tourists are allowed to visit only the ground floor of the mausoleum. The crypt itself (where the tomb is located) is located deep inside the mausoleum building and is a chamber with an amazing echo effect. I found this design quite different from that of the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb. Check out some pics I took at http://picasaweb.google.com/debashis1/AkbarSTombAtSikandra
After Agra we sought directions for turning off towards Fatehpur Sikri and 8 km after Akbar’s Tomb we turned left at a prominently marked turn off. But the roads (about 17 km) were very bad till we reached the Agra-Jaipur road. After that, the last 11 km to Fatehpur Sikri on the Agra-Jaipur road was okay. [While returning from Fatehpur Sikri on 05 Nov, we took a little different route which joined NH2 at a place called Farah, 22 km short of Mathura. This route was much better.]
At Fatehpur Sikri we checked into a hotel first and after lunch and some rest we visited the historic monuments there. I was visiting them for the first time and found them very impressive indeed.Check out some pics I took at http://picasaweb.google.com/debashis1/FatehpurSikri.
It was convenient to have the car there as one can drive right up to the monuments of tourist interest.
The last lap to Delhi
After spending the night at Fatehpur Sikri we left for Delhi early on 05 Nov. Roads were very good but due to increasing population density along the highway I had to drive more carefully. We cut across to Gurgaon (a wrong turn at one point added about 30 km to our route) from Faridabad (Bhatkal Chowk) and settled down with a close Naval friend. We had reached NCR (National Capital Region), 8 days after leaving Kolkata.
Ever since I bought the car, it has done about 2200 km and returned a mileage of 21 kmpl over this entire distance which includes city driving, driving on bad roads, etc. I use the AC almost all the time except early in the morning when the ambient temperature is low (winter is approaching). On the highways I have got mileage of 23 kmpl. Don’t forget that the fuel I’m burning is diesel which is about 33% cheaper than petrol in India. I think the mileage is quite amazing and exceeds my expectations at the time of buying the car.