Tourist Places in Fatehpur Sikri India
Fatehpur Sikri, the city is Agra in Uttar Pradesh is famous for its Architectural importance. The city was constructed by Akbar in the 16th Century AD and is one of the UNESCO World heritage sites in India. The architectural excellence that existed during the Mughal Period is reflected in the monuments of the city.
Fatehpur Sikri is built of red sandstone and has a blend of Hindu and Jain architectural styles along with Muslim architectural excellence. This majestic for was built by Akbar when he decided to shift his capital to Fatehpur Sikri. However, due to lack of adequate water supply, he had to move his capital to Agra Fort. There are a large number of tourist attractions in Fatehpur Sikri which worth visit for every tourist who come here. The Fatehpur Sikri has some of the beautiful monuments which attract people from all over the world.
History of Fatehpur Sikri Agra
It was previously a rural community, called Sikri, celebrated as the dwelling of renowned Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, a Muhammadan, or saint. While returning from an operation, Akbar in 1564 halted near the cave in which the saint lived. The Mughal emperor Akbar had many wives but had no heir. The desire for a son led him to Salim Chisti who lived in an isolated cave near Sikri. The saint blessed Akbar and soon a son was born to him.
The emperor named his son “Salim” after the saint and erected the grand Jami Masjid near the saint’s dwelling. According to the legends if Akbar had to be blessed by a son, a sacrifice was to be made of a very dear one. The saint’s son volunteered to be sacrificed so that the heir to the throne could be born. To the west of the mosque lie two graves, one of the saint and the other of the saint’s infant son. And thus Salim was born to the empress, Mariam – uz – Zamani on 30th August, 1569 and the emperor vowed to build a great city. This brought about the emerged the splendid city of Fatehpur Sikri on a stony ridge. Jahangir, who describes all these circumstances in his memoirs, adds : “My respected father, regarding the village of Sikri, my birthplace, as fortunate to himself, made it his capital, and in the course of fourteen or fifteen years the hills and deserts, which flourished in beasts of prey, converted into a magnificent city, comprising many gardens, graceful edifices and pavilions, and other places of great magnetism and splendor. After the conquest of Gujarat, the village was named Fatehpur” ( the town of victory ).
Tourist Attractions in Fatehpur Sikri
Today, even when 400 years have passed, the majesty of this royal city has not faded. Nowadays, its courtyards, pavilions, audience halls, massive gateways and palaces stand in a perfect state of preservation.
The secular buildings are the Diwan – e – Khas, Jodha Bai’s Palace, Mariam’s House, Birbal’s House, House of the Turkish Sultana and Panch Mahal, all depicting a variety of architectural styles. The Panch Mahal is a five storey – ed structure, each of which has a pillared hass smaller than the one below it. Based on 176 richly carved columns, the building served the purpose of a recreation room for the ladies of the royal harem. Other monuments leading to the palace of Jodha Bai are Khawabgah ( house of dreams ), Anup Talao, Abdar Khana, Pachisi Court, Ankh Micholi (the palace where Akbar used to play hide and seek with the ladies of the harem, and which later became the imperial treasury), Astrologer’s Seat, Daftar Khana, Ibadat Khana and Haram Sara.
Jama Masjid or the Friday Mosque :
The magnificent buildings in Fatehpur Sikri can be divided into two categories namely, the religious and the secular. The religious buildings are the imposing Jama Masjid with the Buland Darwaza. The Buland Darwaza is the most stupendous gateway of India which is the main entrance to Fatehpur Sikri. The 175 feet Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world. It was built by Akbar to commemorate his victory over Khandesh in Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza was erected in the year 1602, to commemorate Akbar’s conquest over Deccan.
Buland Darwaza – Fatehpur Sikri
The doorway is richly carved with verses from the Holy Quran cut in bold Arabic letters. Entrance to the Dargah is through the Buland Darwaza. The Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti or Jami Masjid was built in 1581 out of pure white marble. Thousands of devotees and tourists from all over the world visit the Fatehpur Sikri to offer their gratitude to Sheikh Salim Chisti. A Koranic inscription upon it read, “The world is a bridge, pass over it but build 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.
Tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti :
The tomb visited by many seeking implementation of their wishes was built in 1570. The carved marble pattern screens are simply outstanding. Within the courtyard there is another tomb of Islam Khan. The courtyard is said to be the saint’s garden.
Place of Jodha Bai :
The architecture of the building is a merge of styles with Hindu columns and Muslim cupolas. The walls of the Hawa Mahal or Palace of the Winds are made entirely of stone lattice work. This was the major harem section for Akbar’s Hindu wives, over which Jodha Bai, mother of Salim ( emperor Jehangir ) presided imperiously from her spacious purdah – screened salon.
Birbal Bhawan :
This casket like fort belonged to Raja Birbal, Akbar’s most sparkling 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.
Karawan Serai and Hiran Minar :
The Karawan Sarai was a huge quad used by visiting traders. The Hiran or Deer Minar is said to have been erected over the grave of Akbar’s favorite elephant.
Palace of the Christian Wife :
There was an 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.
Panch Mahal :
A five storied architectural miracle and Akbar’s personal citadel of enjoyment, where he used to spend his evenings with the ladies of the harem. Nearby is the Astrologer’s seat, an ornamented exhibition area where the resident astrologer played an important role in day to day court life.
Diwan – i – Khas :
Fatehpur Sikri’s architectural jewel, this structure is exclusive for its interior decoration. This single vaulted chamber is dominated by its enormous central Lotus Throne Pillar that supported Akbar’s throne. This stone column sustains a flat topped pitch which is 6 m high.
Diwan – i – Aam :
This lobby 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 ), who used to move when ordered on a giant marble board.
Best Time To Visit :
From November to February. Access Agra is connected to Delhi by air. One can also use the Taj Express or the Shatabdi to get there. One can even drive or travel by bus ( 204 km from Delhi ).
Where To Stay :
Agra has a wide range of hotels ranging from the most luxurious to pocket friendly ones and rest houses. UPSTDC’s tourist complex, Taj Khema near the Taj Mahal offers accommodation in tents and deluxe rooms. There is a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow as well. Hotels and restaurants offer Indian, Continental and Chinese food. Mughlai cuisine is Agra’s specialty. There is an ITDC restaurant near the Taj. Several private lodges and hotels are also available, which provide well fooding and lodging facilities to the visitors.
Application Form Submission 16 Dec 2020 to 16 Jan 2021.