My 2 cents - the touts around Fatehpur Sikri and the local guides shouldn't be reviewed as part of this particular tomb which is just a small structure within the complex and has a local legend attached to it.
Traditional customs are still practiced here and the tomb is still being maintained and staffed; it's a good experience to learn about the local customs, the mystique of the place and also, if you wish, to participate in the rituals attached to the place.
While it is understood unaccompanied tourists may be approached by unauthorized guides, this is to be expected in any major monument or tourist trap in India.
Making arrangements beforehand with a reputable tour company to provide an appointed guide is a most recommended thing to do, and can be relatively inexpensive source of security and entertainment to boot.
If you walk in these old forts/palaces alone you don't get any idea of who built this place, why it was built, and why it's being kept in the state it is today.
At the same time, the "donations" and the "tying of strings" have a much, much deeper meaning than the physical act.
With all that said, my visit to the place represented much more than just taking pictures and being harassed by touts. These annoyances are inconsequential - when I found myself back in my home country seeing how friends and colleagues absolutely loved the trinkets and souvenirs I brought from India and listened intently at all the socio-economic-political-historical stories I related from my time visiting these forts and palaces and participating in local customs, donating to the locals and handling merchants/touts in a way that is constructive and beneficial to all parties.
Sure, the government of India can impose full control of the place with tight security and outright ban unauthorized merchants and disallow haggling. They can do that anytime they want to any site and they have in some places.
Then what would become of these "annoying" touts and their families? What would they do to keep their families fed?
Please, complaints about touts don't belong in a review for someone's tomb. Certainly, it should be respected along with its customs and we are there as a guest of said inhabitant.
And as for me - I was perfectly happy here and the attention from everyone only served to benefit me plus provided a measure of additional security and fun to boot.
Some things sold around the site might be overpriced, but look at it from the foreign tourist's perspective. I got home, saw these random trinkets and how friends were absolutely marveling at them, and realized how little they cost... And how that little sum benefited someone's wife, children...
I may have come to India as a tourist, but I came back a different person. Knowing the demographics, the socio-economics, the deep history, and in my own special way, invited to play a little part of that history out in person.
My deepest thanks to GeTS Holidays and Samiya the guide for giving me his part of what appeared to be a royal education :)
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.