Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
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
Too many things to describe here.. tombs, mosque, gates, palaces, ponds, ...
Within an hour bus from Agra this ancient city is a must see in the region.. however i wouldn't recommend going there on the same day after your visit to the Taj and Agra Red Fort ... It may look less attractive after having seen so much beauty in the morning and you may feel the effect of an early rising in the middle of the afternoon ...
Fatehpur Sikri was planned as a capital city by the great Akbar, but failed due to water shortness. And this might be the reason why we, as tourists, are able to visit these ruins as a beautiful ghost city, that did not change from ancient times.
It is a beautiful place worth at least a daytrip!
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.
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 Sufi mystic 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 siting of the Jama Masjid marked the actual beginning of the city which came up around it. The palace courts were laid out parallel to the cardinally aligned mosque and the sequential order of the palaces were emphasised by change in level. The most public space was at the lowest level, while the royal harem was at the highest.
Fatehpur Sikri is built in red sandstone, and is a beautiful blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural elements. The sandstone is richly ornamented with carving and fretwork. Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned 14 years after its creation. A shortage of water is believed to be the reason. Today it is a ghost city, its architecture is in a perfect state of preservation, and wandering through the palaces it is easy to imagine that this was once a royal residence and a dynamic cultural centre.
Open Sun Rice to Sun Sed
Entrance Fee Rs 260 Camera Rs 25.
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.
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.
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.
While the "ghost" city of Fatehpur Sikri is certainly interesting and attractive, the touts here are like mosquitos buzzing around your head.
At most tourist attractions in India, the touts are thick and heavy, but usually once you get inside you are safe for a little while anyway....
Not so here, they will be circling you, throwing post cards and trinkets at you from the time you arrive till you depart....
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.
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.
This city was only inhabited for 16 years and was abandoned in the late 16th century.
It was built on high ground looking out over what used to be a lake. There is a small town there now
it is an eerie place even when busy with tourists, the reason it was abandoned is still unclear, but the likliest reason is that the water supply failed, it is very well preserved and easily accessable from Agra
The town of Fatehpur Sikri, meaning 'city of victory', lies 35 kilometros from Agra and is now one of India's chief tourist attractions. The town was built by the Moghal King Akbar in 1571, who made it home, and then strangely abandond it altogether, for reasons which are not clear. It was used sparingly until it was largely abandoned altogether in 1748. It was left almost desolate, until the british sponsored restoration efforts in 1898. It is now a fascinating attraction, and another must see for visitors to Agra.
This is a magnificent place filled with rich history and architecture. It's the place with maharajahs of old get away from Agra and stay close to Fatehpur mosque which still stands and is still of significant importance till today.
Nice constrast with its red, earthy look compared to the cool white marble of Taj Mahal
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.