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FATEHPUR SIKRI

Fatehpur Sikri is now a World Heritage site. The royal city at Fatehpur Sikri, situated 26 miles west of Agra, was built at the orders of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. Palace of Five Storeys, and the Buland Darwaza, a massive gate which provides entrance to the complex, it is numbered among the finest specimens of Mughal architecture. It is even arguable that Fatehpur Sikri is the greatest accomplishment of Mughal architecture, surpassed only in reputation.

Construction of the new ceremonial capital, with its elaborate palaces, formal courtyards, reflecting pools, harems, tombs and a great mosque, commenced in 1571. Shortly after the work was completed fifteen years later, it was realised that there was a lack of an adequate water supply and the pristine complex was abandoned.

A view of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal," the tallest tower in the palace complex. In the foreground is the "Akbar palace." In the distance (center) is the great mosque, the Jami Masjid, which served as a model for later congregational mosques built by the Mughals.

A view of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal," the tallest tower in the palace complex. The pitched roof in the center (to the left of the tree) demonstrates that even Christian architectural influence can be seen among the Persian (Islamic), Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain elements. This synthesis of architectural influences representing various religions is a reflection of Akbar's desire to create a syncretic religion, called Din-i-ilahi (literally, the divine faith), that brought together all the religions of his subjects. Probably Akbar's interest in this pursuit was inspired by his Sufi advisor and teacher, Shaykh Salim Chishti, around whose abode this magnificent city was built.
This gate is the entrance into the courtyard around the great mosque at Fatehpur Sikri, the Jami Masjid, which served as a model for later congregational mosques built by the Mughals This white marble structure contains the tomb of Shaykh Salim Chishti, the Sufi holy man who was Akbar's advisor and teacher. Akbar came to him originally because he had been unable to produce a male heir, and Shaykh Chishti promised that Akbar would have a son if Akbar entrusted the education and upbringing of the boy to Shaykh Chisti. The prediction came true, and Akbar's son Jahangir was indeed raised by the Sufi holy man. In addition, Akbar had the entire city of Fatehpur Sikri built around Shaykh Chisti's abode, which was about 24 miles west of Agra. Originally the tomb was built out of the red sandstone that was used throughout Fatehpur Sikri (as well as the rest of the architecture commissioned by Akbar in Agra and Delhi), but Jahangir had the building rebuilt in white marble, which is the building material preferred by the Mughal emperors who followed Akbar.
37 kms from Agra is built a city predominantly in Red Sandstone and is called Fatehpur Sikri. This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore.

Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. Today this ghost city has a population of about 30,000. This deserted city has retained many of the old structures, because of the efforts of the Archaeological department .
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, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture.


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