|The founding of Fatehpur Sikri
reads like a fairytale. When all else had failed, the EmperorAkbar came here
in search of the renowned Sufi mystic, Sheikh Salim Chishti, to ask the
blessing of a son. His prayer was heard, and soon a son was born. In honour
of the saint, Akbar named the prince Salim and vowed to found a new city.
And so Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent new city rose on the craggy hills 40
kms from Agra. And for 16 short butmemorable years it was the wonder of
travellers from all over the world.
Today, Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted, phantom city. But the inner citadel is
immaculately preserved. Its walls, palaces, baths, royal mint,courts and
gardens still stand in splendidhomage to a great visionary and builder. The
heart of the palace complex however, is verymuch alive. For at the tomb of
Sheikh Salim Chishti, a white marble canopy set in the greatcourtyard of the
Royal Mosque, pilgrims still come in thousands to offer flowers, tie a
threadin the latticed screens, and to pray for the gift of son.
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 to cherish.
Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim
architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in
Mecca and has designs are derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.
Entrance to this mosque is through the Buland Darwaza which was built in
Gujrat and is 54 meter high. To the North of the Mosque is the dargah of
Shaikh Salim Chishti. This dargah was built in 1570. Here childless women
come for blessings of the saint. Even Akbar was blessed with three sons when
he came here. The lattice work in the dargah is among the finest to be found
any where in India.
of Fatehpur Sikri
- Diwan-i-Khas- Hall of Private Audience
The Diwan-I-Kas is also known as the "The Jewel House or The
Ekstambha Prasada"(Palace of Unitary pillar). A fine taste in
jewelry and knowledge of the market was an accomplishment of a
Moghul gentleman. In this royal chamber for imperial gems and
jewels, Akbar sat on the top of the capital to inspect precious
treasures.This elegant structure with unusual interiors is composed
in two stories from outside, but is single chambered with high
ceiling from inside. It is surmounted by 4 kiosk and lies in the
middle of a court.
- Buland Darwaza
The 54 meter high Buland Darwaza or triumphal gateway was built in
1575 to celebrate Akbar's successful Gujarat campaign, is the most
stupendous architectural work of the Mughals. The gateway is
approached by a steep flight of steps, which add height and majesty
to the entire structure. The gateway is designed in colored stone
- Panch Mahal
most intriguing building in Fatehpur Sikri is the Panch Mahal
(five-tiered palace), which is a five-storied pavilion of winds. The
first two floors are of equal size, while the next two are graded.
On top is a single kiosk or open pavilion. Each of the floors is
supported on pillars. Originally, jali screens stood between the
pillars. The pavilion was originally used by the women of the royal
household and ladies of the harem. From the top of the Panch Mahal,
one can have a panoramic view of this imperial city with its
buildings, palaces, and the courtyards linking them.
- Khwabgah: Chamber of dreams/Khilawatkada-I-Khas
This is a beautiful chamber, on the first floor is Akbar's private
room where ladies from the harem could easily visit him. They also
met religious guests and watched court proceedings from here from
behind the screens. The Emperor retired here for his short afternoon
sleep and for relaxation at night. He held an informal court here
with his favorite noblemen such as witty Birbal, Abul Fazl, Nakib
Khan and other philosophers and Sufis.
- Anup Talao
It is also called as "The Peerless Pool or Kapur Talao".
This was the recreation place for the Emperor and it was here that
Tansen used to entertain Akbar and his guests. During festivals the
whole tank was filled with coins handed out in fistful and skirtful