Fatehphur Sikri : a World heritage site by UNESCO

General information / location / significance / history / monuments / architecture / structure / foundation / map / area / architect / architectural design / height / elevation / travel / photography tips / tourism / timing / entry fee / gates / points of
Fatehphur Sikri , Agra district, Uttar Pradesh , India

when / best season / time to visit Fatehphur Sikri : November to February, Timings : Sunrise to Sunset

Acknowledged as a world heritage site by UNESCO, Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire during 1570 and 1585, through the reign of Emperor Akbar. Located on top of a 708 m high ridge, 40 km west of Agra, the city more than 430 years old still maintain its appeal and stands as a perfectly preserved model of Mughal architecture and splendor.

Legend says that Akbar, in spite of having many wives, had no living heir. The children born to him had all passed away in infancy and he made a pilgrimage to Sikri in Agra to visit the Muslim Saint Shaikh Salim Chishti. The saint made prediction that the Emperor would have three sons. His blessings came factual and Akbar had three sons, namely Salim generally known as Jehangir, Murad and Daniyal. Akbar was so overwhelmed that he built an exclusively new capital in the village of Sikri to show his gratefulness to the Sufi saint.

In 1569 AD, Akbar ordered a huge mosque and a palace to be erected under Salim Chishti's supervision and later on some splendid palaces, courtyards and high battlement walls were constructed. And Akbar named the city Fatehpur (Fateh means victory) Sikri, marking his victory over Gujarat in 1573. But alas, the city which reached the zenith of glory was deserted and Akbar moved his capital to Lahore in1585. The difficulty with the water supply is assumed to be the cause for the shifting.

Fatehpur Sikri is enclosed on three sides by 50 feet high, 9 km long fortification walls built of red sand stone, and by an artificial lake on the other side. There are seven huge gates namely Ajmeri / Mathura / Chand Darwaza, Suraj / Birbal / Gwalior / Agra Gate and Lal Darwaza.

Most of the buildings in the city are made of red sandstone and are a combination of Hindu, Jain and Mughal Architecture. The city is alienated into two parts, the Palace Complex and the Mosque Complex. The Mosque complex, houses the Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid along with the tomb of Salim Chishti while the Palace complex houses Diwan i Am, the Diwani i Khas, Jodha Bai's Palace, Birbal's House, Mariam's House, the House of Turkish Sultana, Panch Mahal and many more.

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