Fatehpur Sikri, West of Agra

Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri in India
Photo by: foxypar4, Creative Commons

Fatehpur Sikri is a royal city situated 40 miles west of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, northern part of India. It is listed as one of the world’s heritage site by UNESCO due to its unique features and it is one of the major destinations in India. This city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire during 15th century. This glorious city was planned by Akbar, the great emperor of Mughal dynasty. The name Fateh is originated from Arabic which means “victory” and Sikri means “thanks to god” and the city came into significance when Akbar the Great made it as head quarters and built a majestic fort. But this city was abandoned due to the scarcity of water in the town.

There are number of buildings in Fatehpur Sikri built mostly with red stone. The compound has small palaces which were built for specific purposes.

Naubat Khana: it is the drum house situated near the entrance where important arrivals are announced.
Diwan-i-Am: it is the hall for public audience which is found in most of the Mughal buildings with large open space.
Diwan-i-Khas: it is hall of private audience and it is famous for its decorated pillar consisting of 36 elegantly carved brackets made in Gujarati style.
Raja Birbal’s house: it is the house of Akbar’s favorite minister who is renowned for his intelligence.
Marium-uz-Zamani: this is built around courtyard for complete privacy made in Gujarati style.
Panch Mahal: it is a five storied impressive structure which has 176 carved columns on the ground floor. It is the most fascinating building in Fatehpur Sikri.
Buland Darwaza: it is a huge gateway to Jama Masjid which is a fantastic piece of architecture and it is termed as “gate of magnificence”.
Jama Masjid: it is a mosque where Muslims follow prayers everyday.
Tomb of Salim Chisti: it is the white marble encased tomb of Salim Chisti who was Sufi saint and also the person who was very honored by the great Akbar.

The city of Fatehpur Sikri is only 40 kilometers from Agra which is well connected by air lines connecting all important cities of India. It even has good transport facilities through bus and train as well along with hiring taxis. It is open from sunrise to sunset. The entrance fee varies for the tourist from different countries and for children below is absolutely free.

The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri has its unique character composed with Indo-Muslim style and perhaps one can experience the aura of its magnificent edifices by visiting these kinds of extra ordinary places.

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