37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly
in Red Sandstone and is called Fatehpur Sikri.
This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
He had planned this city as his capital but
shortage of water compelled him to abandon the
city. After this within 20 years, the capital
of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.
Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585.
Today this ghost city has a population of about
30,000. This deserted city has retained many
of the old structures, because of the efforts
of the Archaeological department .
Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples
of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.
Though the city is in ruins, it is a place to
visit if one comes to Agra.But in real terms
Fatehpur Sikri is a place where one should spend
some time. The sunset over the ruins is sight
::Important buildings ::
Masjid or the Friday Mosque :
Also known as the Dargah Mosque, this is said
to be a copy of the main mosque at Mecca. Its
noted for its design which has persian and Hindu
monumental 54 m high Buland Darwaza :
the Gate of Victory, is the main entrance. It
was constructed to commemorate Akbar's victory
in Gujarat. A koranic inscription upon it read,
"The world is a bridge, pass over it but
built no house upon it. He who hopes for an
hour, hopes for Eternity, for the world is but
an hour". Just outside the gateway is a
deep well wherein local daredevils leap from
the top of the entrance into the water. The
Shahi Darwaza is the official entrance, where
licensed guides can be hired.
of Shaikh Salim Chisti :
The tomb visited by many seeking ful filment
of their wishes was built in 1570. The carved
marble lattice screens (jalis) are simply remarkable.
Within the courtyard is the another tomb of
Islam Khan, the saint's garden.
of Jodha Bai :
This was the principal harem wing for Akbar's
Hindu wives, over which Jodha Bai, mother of
Salim (emperor Jehangir) presided imperiously
from her spacious purdah - screened salon. The
architecture of the building is a blend of styles
with Hindu columns and Muslim cupolas The walls
of the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the winds are
made entirely of stone latticework.
This casket like palace belonged to Raja Birbal,
Akbar's brilliant Brahimin prime minister, one
of the "None Jewels of Akbar's Court".
The palace fronts onto the Lower Haramsara,
which was once believed to be an enormous stable
with nearly two hundred enclosures for elephants,
horses and camels.
Serai and Hiran Minar :
The Karawan Sarai was a large courtyard used
by visiting merchants. The Hiran or Deer Minar
is said to have been erected over the grave
of Akbar's favourite elephant.
of the Christian Wife :
There was a reperate abode for Akbar's Christian
wife from Goa, Maryam, located close to the
Jodha Bai Palace. At one time it was gilded
throughout, earning the name the Golden Facade.
A five storied architectural marvel and Akbar's
personal citadel of pleasure, where he would
spend his evenings with the ladies of the harem.
Nearby is the Astrologer's seat, an ornamented
pavilion where the resident astrologer played
an important role in day to day court life.
Fatehpur Sikri's architectural gem, this structure
is unique for its interior decoration. This
single vaulted chamber is dominated by its massive
central Lotus Throne Pillar that supported Akbar's
throne. This stone column support a flat topped
dome which is 6 m high.
This hall of public audience was designed for
large public gatherings. Nearby is Pachisi courtyard,
where akbar and his courtiers used slave girls
attired in brilliant dress as piece of pachisi
(a game similar to ludo), moving when ordered
on a giant marble board.
Other Places of Interest In Agra