Fatehpur Sikri is a city that was built with a vision, but
abandoned in haste. It is a city that could have been greater than Agra or
Delhi in the Mughal History. Originally named Fatehabad, this city was built by the
Mughal Emperor Akbar to honor the Sufi Saint Salim Chishti, who lived here.
This was the first planned city of the Mughals; its construction commenced in
1570. The buildings here reflect the evolution of typical Mughal architecture,
which is a blend of Persian, Indian and Islamic styles.
Akbar, who is generally regarded as the Greatest of the
Mughals, built this city after his son Salim was born, as foretold by Salim
Chishti. Akbar took a personal interest in the construction of this city, which
was finished in just 3 years. Agra was then the capital of the Mughal Empire,
but Akbar shifted his capital to Fatehpur Sikri, and it remained the capital
for around 13 years. Fatehpur Sikri is a popular place to holiday in North India.
Akbar planned and carried out some of his major military
campaigns from this city. Initially called Fatehabad, it was renamed Fatehpur
Sikri, meaning City of Victory. For more than a decade, this city was the
center of the expanding Mughal Empire during its most glorious period. However,
in 1585, a severe drought hit the region, and owing to severe water shortage
and other problems, Akbar was forced to abandon this city and shift his capital
back to Agra.
Fatehpur Sikri – A World Heritage Site
This city was accessed by several gates along the fort wall.
It is located on a rocky ridge that is surrounded by a wall on three sides with
the fourth side bordered by a lake. This magnificent city houses many palaces,
gardens, courtyards, the huge Jama Masjid, and an artificial lake among other
places of interest. This city has been declared as a World Heritage site by
UNESCO. Holiday in Fatehpur is incomplete without a trip to Agra.
Monuments in Fatehpur Sikri
Jama Masjid: This
beautiful sandstone mosque is the main monument of the city, and it holds the
tomb of Salim Chishti and the Buland Darwaza. This mosque was the initiation of
the blending in of Indian architectural designs and principles in the
previously predominantly Persian style of Mosques in India.
Buland Darwaza: Set
into the South Wall of the Jama Masjid, this huge gate was built to mark
Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat. Built of red sandstone and set with marbles, this
magnificent doorway is one of the most attractive monuments in the city. It is
said to be the highest doorway in the world, measuring 115 feet in width and
about 170 feet in height.
The Panch Mahal:
This is a five-storeyed pillared structure that narrows down as it goes up.
Known as the Badgir or wind-catcher, this was a pleasure palace built near the
harem at Fatehpur Sikri.
The Tomb of Salim
Chishti: This shrine is built of White Marble, and it is located inside the
Jama Masjid complex. This shrine was built by Akbar to honor the memory of
Salim Chishti ‑ the Sufi Saint who predicted the birth of Prince Salim.
The Char Chaman Tank:
A pool with a platform in the middle. Four beautiful, decorative bridges lead
from the sides of the pool to the platform.
Naubat Khana: The
Drum Room from which important visitors were announced.
is a large rectangular pavilion facing an open space, and it was used as the
Hall of Public Audience.
This is the Hall of Private Audience. It has a Pillared Circular Central
Platform where spiritual debates were held,
The magnificent city of Fatehpur Sikri can take
you back in time to one of the most memorable periods in India’s History. Fatehpur Sikari is an extremely popular destination included in Golden triangle tours.