Fatehpur Sikri


Fatehpur Sikri was Akbar's capital for approximately 12 years. Akbar selected Sikri as the seat of his government believing it to be auspicious for himself. He experimented both with architecture and art and built a city expressing his ideals and vision. Today, Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted, phantom city. But the inner citadel is immaculately preserved. The finest monuments within this area are the Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Buland Darwaza and the tomb of Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, and the Jama Masjid (one of the largest mosques In India).

Tourist Information

Open on all weekdays from sunrise to sunset. Entry fee for those above 12 years - Rs. 5.00. Free entry on Fridays.

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 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.

Places To Visit

Jama 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 elements.

The 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.

Tomb 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.

Place 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.

Birbal Bhawan : 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.

Karawan 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.

Palace 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.

Panch Mahal : 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.

Diwan-i-Khas : 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.

Diwan-i-Aam : 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.

Itmad-ud-daula's Tomb, Chini-ka-rauza, Ram Bagh, and Fatehpur Sikri.

Uttar Pradesh Tourist Attractions

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