royal city at Fatehpur Sikri, situated 37 kms west of Agra, was built by the
Mughal Emperor Akbar as his dream capital.
The Legend Behind the City
According to contemporary sources, Akbar was without an heir for a long
time. Therefore, he made a pilgrimage to the renowned Sufi saint, Sheik
Salim Chisti, to seek his blessings. Finally, a son -- later to be known as
Jehangir -- was born to him, and as a mark of his gratitude Akbar named him
after the saint and built the new capital to mark his birth. Work on the
ambitious project, featuring elaborate palaces, formal courtyards,
reflecting pools, harems, tombs and a great mosque, began in 1571. A large
number of skilled masons and craftsmen toiled on an area that was over two
miles long and a mile wide; they used a brilliant red sandstone available
locally, which provides the buildings with much of their iridiscence. But
destiny has its own way- just after fifteen years of the completion of work,
the fabulous city had to be abandoned due to acute shortage of water.
Fatehpur Sikri : A Mughal Marvel
Fatehpur Sikri, today, has gained the status of a World Heritage site.
Inside the complex there are numerous sites which will leave you
wonderstruck. The Panch Mahal , or Palace of Five Storeys, and the Buland
Darwaza, a massive gate which provides entrance to the complex, remain
unsurpassed in their beauty and elegance. The mammoth chess board bears
connotations to the cultural politics inherent in the Mughal era. It is
believed that here human figures were used as chess pieces and moved at the
emperor's will. Other aweinspiring structures inside Fatehpur include the
Jama Masjid (Imperial Mosque), Salim Chisti tomb, Diwani- Aam, and Jodh
Bai's Palace. The entire city is a harmonius blend of Muslim and Hindu
Fatehpur Sikri : Information
37 kms from Agra.
How to Reach :
Agra is the most easily accessible tourist
destination in India. The city has excellent air, rail and road links. While
in Agra, the best way to visit Fatehpur Sikri is by a taxi.
6AM- 7:30PM everyday.
Indian Nationals :
Accommodation facilities in Agra are
quite good . Apart from hotels there's the UPSTDC's tourist complex, Taj
Khema near the Taj Mahal. It offers accommodation in tents and deluxe rooms.
There's a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow as well.