Monday, July 4, 2022

Fatehpur Sikri

Come visit Fatehpur Sikri, the place where history comes alive. Here’s everything you wish to know about this small, historic town near Agra.

The Taj Mahal is the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Agra. However, Agra isn’t all about the magnificent monument of love. There’re a lot more pleasing sights to keep you awe-struck in Agra and its environs. Take, for example, Fatehpur Sikri. Though the city has been overshadowed by Agra, its significant historical value and architecture drive the visitors to it.

Fatehpur Sikri: Overview

Fatehpur Sikri was Akbar’s finest architectural achievement. The Mughal emperor built this magnificent city in the 16th century to serve as his capital. Located 37 kilometers from Agra, Fathepur has designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1986. This underlines the place’s historical, cultural and architectural heritage. Unsurprisingly, Fatehpur is one of the most popular destinations on the Golden Triangle Tour circuit, alongside Delhi and Jaipur. It’s an excellent weekend destination for residents of Delhi and Noida.

About Fatehpur Sikri (need some more info here)

Fatehpur Sikri means “the city of victory.” Akbar ruled his vast kingdom from here for 12 years. Its construction started in 1569 and ended in 1574. Fathepur was a well-planned city back then, replete with royal palaces, graves, private areas, and other structures within it. These structures contain significant elements of Mughal architecture.

It is home to some of the most beautiful religious and secular buildings, all of which bear evidence to the emperor’s vision of social, political, and religious harmony. One side of Fatehpur Sikri is made of red sandstone and has walls on three sides. One side opens up to the magnificent backwaters. Buland Darwaza, Salim Chishti’s Tomb, Jama Masjid, Diwan-I-Khas, Jodhabai Palace are just a few of the sights to explore here.

Here is a list of the most important buildings and structures in Fatehpur Sikri:

Buland Darwaza

Buland DarwazaThe Buland Darwaza, or Great Gate, was constructed in the 17th century to commemorate Emperor Akbar’s conquest of Gujarat. A merger of Persian and Mughal architecture is visible in the stonework. On this gate, the details of the emperor’s Gujarat conquest in 1601 are inscribed in Persian. Historians point to this as an example of a mash-up of cultures and traditions. It’s made of broad, thick sandstone and looks like a vast cave with entrances all around it.

Red and yellow stones were used in the construction of Buland Darwaza’s exterior while white and black marble stones adorn the interior. Standing 177 feet tall, the gate stands 40 meters tall with 42 steps. The height of the entrance is the height of the 15-story skyscraper. It is Fatehpur Sikri’s southern entrance and took 12 years to complete. Buland Darwaza features a terrific, sturdy design with well-built walls and pillars.

Diwan-I-Khas

Diwan-I-KhasThe term, Diwan-i-Khas, means the “Hall of Private Audiences.” Foreign high officials, ambassadors, and kings were housed in the Diwan-i-Khas. The empire was discussed in perfect secrecy here. This is why, throughout the Mughal period, the Diwan-i-Khas served as the true seat of power. In the hall’s platform, there used to be two great thrones. One, built of white marble, was used by the emperor. The second throne, built of black stone, was for the guests.

This vast hall was decorated with precious stones, gold, and silver ornaments, which drew the attention of the audience. The hall’s ceiling was composed of wooden planks decorated in gold and silver coatings to give it a sun-like look. And, it was only accessible through a door featuring twin pillars. A Persian inscription on the hall’s interior compared the hall to the highest heaven and the emperor to the sun.

Jodhabai Palace

Jodhabai PalaceJodha Bai, Akbar’s queen, lived at Jodha Bai Palace, the grandest of all palaces. Gujarati, Mandu, and Gwalior architecture have been blended with traditional Islamic architecture to give this palace a unique appeal. In addition, the blue-tiled roof is the only one of its sort. The palace is a two-storey structure with a primary entrance facing south. Hindu architecture is evident throughout the structure, from the craftsmanship to the murals.

The northern and southern sides of this beautiful structure were clad in indigo tiles imported from Multan. The palace has a length of 320 feet and a height of 215 feet. The south’s temples have impacted the decoration of this palace, and Gujarati artists have left their mark on this piece. The pillars in the palace, such as the beams and the horns of their bells, are designed to look exactly like Hindu temples.

Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti

Tomb of Sheikh Salim ChistiSheikh Salim Chishti’s Tomb is a majestic structure built in the early 16th century. Akbar created this tomb to honor the Sufi saint Salim Chishti, who foresaw his son’s birth. The emperor had given up hope after a long period of praying for a son. The ornate white structure draws visitors from all walks of life, representing many religions and beliefs.

This magnificent marble tomb is one of India’s finest examples of Mughal construction. This tomb is located across the street from Buland Darwaza and close to Zanana Rauza. The porch of this mausoleum is reachable by climbing five steps from a high platform. The tomb is positioned in the center of the main hall, which is shaped like a semi-circular dome.

Jama Masjid (need more info here)

Jama MasjidThe Fatehpur Sikri Jama Masjid is a massive mosque dedicated to Shahjadi Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s daughter. It was built in 1648 and is notable for its towerless structure and unique dome. The Jama Masjid was constructed in 1571 during the reign of Akbar. The mosque’s verandah is quite big, with the Jammat Khana Hall and the Janana Rauza on either sides.

The tomb of Sufi Sheikh Salim Chishti, a beautiful piece of art, can be seen from Jama Masjid. Beautiful sculptures and multicolored tiles cover the whole Jama Masjid. Buland Darwaza is the way to get to Jama Masjid. In addition, Badshahi Darwaza is located nearby.

Conclusion

This is all about Fatehpur. Plan your trip now to spend a day or two amidst the rich history and culture that would be etched forever in your memory. If you want to know about other attractive places and travel destinations in Agra and elsewhere, follow our other articles.

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