Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
The construction of Fatehpur Sikri by Mughal emperor Akbar as the new capital of his empire actually was a big mistake. After only 15 years he abandoned it because the water supply for the city was too difficult.
According to a legend Akbar build the city at this location because it was the domicile of Salim Chishti, a holy man who helped him to get a son.
The city is one of the best preserved emsembles of magnificant buildings in the Mughal architecture in India and therefore inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage list.
Fatehpur Sikri is located about 40 km west of Agra near the road to Jaipur.
Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 1569 by the Mughal emperor Akbar. He based his capital here from 1571 to 1585. This site was chosen to honor the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. The construction of this walled city took almost fifteen years and the complex included several royal palaces, a harem, courts and a mosque. The buildings are made from red sandstone which is readily availble in teh area. Akbar used Persian architectural concepts in building although the overall style is Mughal. The word Fateh is Persian Arabic for Victory. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collections of Mughal architecture in India.
Lack of water caused the Fatehpur Sikri complex to be abandoned in 1585, shortly after its completion. It was also close to the Rajputana areas in the North-West, which were experiencing growing turmoil. Most of the buildings are intact and the complex has the aura of a ghost town.
Fatehpur Sikri is a World Heritage Site.
Entrance is 250Rs from sunrise to sunset.
First be warned .... this place is about 45 minutes to an hour away from the city center of Agra .....Once at Fatehpur Sikri you have to take a bus to the actual entrance to the palace ..... Once inside we had the WHOLE place to ourselves ..... We spent about an hour here and saw all the rooms in a non rushed way .... admission price was 250 rupee ..... Fatehpur Sikri was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1571 .... it was the Mughal capital for 14 years, before it was abandoned by the lack of water ..... just be warned it's about 50 miles away from Agra .....
Akbar built this city in 1571 intending for it to be his capitol. But the city was abandoned after just 14 years, possibly because of problems with the water supply. It is built entirely of red sandstone. Like a big ghost town.
A mosque is part of the complex and inside its walls you will find local "craftsmen" selling candle holders, statuettes etc. In fact, if you're like me, your guide will take you right to them and work hard for his commission off their sales. Anyway, the items are junk and will fall apart at the slightest touch. I learned that the hard way:).
Fatehpur Sikri is a place in the province of Uttar Pradesh, only 40 km from Agra towards the city of Jaipur. It was the political capital in the Mogul empire during the time of Akbar the great. The mighty wall around the place is 6 km long, and you pass close to it on the way from Agra to Jaipur.
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fatehpur Sikri, lies 40km from Agra and was once the capital of the Mughal Empire - from only 1571 to 1585 because of water shortages.
In the "royal" part of Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar built his for 1st wife (his Hindu and favourite wife) a massive and magnificent palace, for his 2nd wife (a Portuguese Christan from Goa) a palace with beautiful paintings and for his 3rd (muslim) wife a small but intricately carved palace. For himself he built an enormous stone bed which he enjoyed many a concubine with! The royal kitchens consist of two separate buildings. One kitchen was solely for preparing vegetarian food for the Hindu wife. The other kitchen prepared all the other dishes for the rest of the household.
Akbar loved his elephant and when it died he built a cmmemorative tower for it. The outside of the tower has what looks like hundred of elephant tusks all over it... but they are not real - made from stone. Akbar also liked to play a game similar to draughts. In the courtyard there are the markings to thsi game. The only difference is Akbar used real, live (and they had to be beautoiful) slave girls as his game pieces!!!
It is, in my opinion, worth taking a guide around the royal side of Fatehpur Sikri - our guide was very informative and we learnt a lot from him. His father had been a guide here and he had every intention for his sons to be guides here.
The other side to Fatehpur Sikri is the 'holy' side. Jama Masjid is huge and beautiful but be prepared... whilst the royal side is tranquil and seemingly empty, the mosque is overflowing with visitors and even moer annoying, it is a bubbling hot spot for sellers and beggars. Honestly there was no place to turn without somebody pestering me for something.
Inside the courtyard there is the tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti. You can for a "donation" buy a piece of cloth (small, medium or large) to place over his tomb. The small cloths are Rs500. The cloth goes to the local poor women to turn into clothes. You lay the cloth over the shrine, scatter petals and then get given a piece of strong to tie around the jali and make a wish. Childless women apparently flock here to make wishes for families...
There is a locked entrance that apparently conseals a tunnel which (allegedly) leads all the way back to Agra!
Fatehpur Sikri also has the tallest gateway in India... it was for the common people.
It makes a good day trip from Agra... and a good en route to Jaipur one too.
Fatehpur Sikri (Hindi: फतेहपूर सिकरी, Urdu: ÝÊÍæÑ Óی˜Ñی) is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. The historical city was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570 and served as the empire's capital from 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned for reasons that remain unclear. The surviving palace and mosque are a tourist attraction and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Fatehpur Sikri was planned as a great town by Akbar with great care and planning in the honor of Sheikh Salim Chisti but had to be abandoned only after fifteen years due to scarcity of water in the town. Sheikh Salim Chishti was a Sufi saint who blessed the Akbar with his first son and heir, who was named Salim after him and later came to be known as Jehangir. The town was otiginally named Sikri after the village, where it was founded but its twin city Fatehpur (Victory Town) was erected to celebrate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat in June 1573.
However, ruins of the temple dating back to 12th century suggest the reign of Rajputs in the area long before Mughals took over the area. The two mosques in the village of Sikri have inscriptions, which announce their conception in 1314 under Mohd. Khilji. There have been records that Babur renamed the village 'Sikri' as 'Shukri', meaning 'thanks to the god'. It was also the famous dwelling place and khanqah of Shiekh Salim Chishti, the famous Sufi saint whom Akbar revered for blessing him with child.
This tourist spot is perched a top a rocky ridge 37 km west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri came into being four centuries ago when the Emperor Akbar, not yet 28 years old, created the first planned city in Indo-Islamic style. The city was actualised with great energy, but was completely abandoned a little more than a decade later.
In 1568, Akbar was secure and powerful but he had no son and heir. His search for blessing for the birth of a successor brought him to the Sufimystic Shaikh Salim Chisti, who lived in Sikri village. The saint prophesied the birth of three sons and soon after was born Prince Salim, later to become Emperor Jahangir. In gratitude for the blessing Akbar decided to create imperial residences in Sikri, which would function as a joint capital with Agra. As a mark of his faith and his recent victories, he named his new city Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar was a keen builder and the plan of Fatehpur Sikri reveals an architectural mastermind at work. Research has proved that it was planned on a definite mathematical grid.
The history is very nice and so as the tourist spot. So do not miss to pass by here when you go to Agra.
Fatehpur Sikri is an erstwhile capital of India’s Mughal Empire under Akbar’s reign and was abandoned due to lack of water. Fatehpur Sikri in the current scenario is most deservingly designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its awe inspiring site of architecture. The entire palace complex has influences of Hindu and Jain architecture along with Islamic elements added to it. Some of the beauteous buildings in the city include religious and secular monuments. Out of which Diwan-i-Am, Hall of Public Audience caught my eyes while driving through the city. It was the place where the emperor used to hear the public cases and used to caste his verdict of justice.
In the same complex lies Diwan-i-Khas which was the Hall of Private Audiences such as ministers and high officials. This hall had a circular platform the seat of Emperor Akbar. The royal accesses can be guessed from the fact that the Kings had several palaces for various reasons similarly Fatehpur Sikri also has a spectacular Palace for the erstwhile Queen, Jodhabai. Today the city lacks human populations but is an ideal place for us travelers to take a journey back to the era of Mughal regency.
The history and architecture is amazing and it made it that much better having Mr. Khan tell it. Fatehpur Sikri includes one of the largest mosques in India (the Jama Masjid). Fatehpur Sikri is full of beautiful monuments and temples that can’t be missed. You can get lost walking around here. Really beautiful! the details of the architecture had so much history and there was a meaning behind every detail -hiring a guide would be ideal.
Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid
The layout of the city shows a conscious attempt to produce rich spatial effects by the organization of built forms around open spaces in interesting ways. Of particular note is the way in which shifts in axes occur as one moves along the city and the location of squares in important places with buildings forming
Fatepur Sikri was Akbar the Great's capital for only 11 years. Building started in 1570 with the city being occupied in 1573 after Akbar's conquest of Gujarat. Akbar housed three wives here, one Muslim, one Hindu and one Christian (and three times the nagging poor lad). The palace is a mixture of all three influences, reflecting Akbar's failed attempt to merge Brahmanism, Islam and Zoroastianism into one faith (more nagging from his wives).
Akbar allegedly built the city on the advice of a Sheikh Salim (a Sufi saint), who said he'd have an heir if he did so; however, he must leave Fatepur Sikri after 11 years. He abandoned it in 1785 in favour of Lahore then Agra, after one of his Hindu wives (he married another) gave birth to a son.
The Mosque at Fatepur Sikri (pictures below) contains the Mauseleum of Sheikh Salim. It also contains the most pushy and best organised hawkers I have ever encountered. Here a second hawker (after the one in Agra) smashed his souvenir whilst trying to push me to buy it.
Fatehpur Sikri is located about 40km west of Agra just over the border in Rajasthan. It was planned as a great city, (built between 1571 and 1585), by Emperor Akbar with great care and planning in the honour of Sheikh Salim Chisti but had to be abandoned after only fifteen years due to scarcity of water. Sheikh Salim Chishti was a Sufi saint who blessed Akbar with his first son and heir, who was named Salim after him and later came to be known as Jehangir. The city was originally named Sikri after the village, where it was founded but its twin city Fatehpur (Victory Town) was erected to celebrate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat in June 1573.
Today, the city is a major tourist attraction and has gained UNESCO World Heritage status for its well preserved buildings such as the large Jami Masjid (mosque) and the palaces and buildings. Visit my Fatehpur Sikri page below.
Open: Sunrise to sunset. The mosque is free but the palaces and other buildings are Rs250 for foreigners.
Jodhabai’s Palace is the largest of all the palaces, it housed Akbar’s queens. Here stylistic elements of Gujarat, Mandu and Gwalior are blended with traditional Islamic designs. Its blue tiled roof is the only splash of colour in Fatehpur Sikri.