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Mughal City Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan – imperial city of the Mughal dynastyRediscover the fading glory of ancient India at Fatehpur Sikri, Rajasthan. Predominantly built in red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri in Agra is a place to spend some time for cherished sight of sunset over the ruins. Diwan-i-Khas, The Panch Mahal, Darga Salim Chisht and The Buland Gate are few remarkable places to see around Fatehpur Sikri India.
The Mughal city Fatehpur Sikri is about 22 miles away from Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh. This former Mughal capital was included in 1986 by UNESCO on its World cultural heritage list.
An old legend is the “city of the victory” was built during the second half of the 16th century when the childless Mughal Emperor Akbar prayed to the famous Sufi saint Salim Chisti for the birth of a son. The holy prophet predicted that Akbar would have three sons. After few months, Akbar’s Hindu wife gave birth to a healthy child, who later succeeded the throne as Emperor Jehangir. Akbar was very satisfied and out of gratitude to Salim Chisti, he built an entire city known as Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar shifted his capital from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri where he reined North India between 1571 and 1585. Eventually the scarcity of water made Akbar abandon the city and shift his capital to Lahore (now in Pakistan) and later back to Agra.
Akbar built the city of Fatehpur Sikri entirely out of red sandstone on a hill which is surrounded by a six-mile-long wall. You will be able to wander around this magnificent Mughal city full of multi-story and richly decorated palaces, gardens, a market place, water reservoirs, mosques, innumerable roofed corridors, stairways and terraces. Fatehpur Sikri unites two contrasts: the figurative architecture of the Hindus and the geometric architecture of Islam. Unlike other important Mughal cities, Fatehpur Sikri is beautiful and more delicate. Even today it is a pilgrimage city for childless people and women pilgrims travel from all over India to pray for male descendants.
Some most important sites to visit while in Fatehpur Sikri Diwan-i-AmThe Diwan – i – Am is the 33-foot-long forecourt of the palace and you will enter through the Agra Gate. Surrounded by a terrace, to the west you will see the king’s balcony. When you go inside you will see many rooms behind the king’s balcony which were the harem ladies’ rooms. The women could watch the activities in the court only through the latticed windows in those rooms. On the right side of the garden you will see a stone block: that’s where an elephant was tethered so when someone was sentenced to death, the person would be placed on the platform where they would be trampled to death in front of an audience.
The Diwan – i – Khas, built in 1575, was the private audience hall of the palace. Inside you’ll find a richly decorated red sandstone column that soars towards the top in a treetop shape. From the column’s tip, four galleries branch off connecting the audience hall and main building which depicts the elements of Indo-Islamic architecture. Akbar spent many hours meeting with Christians, Hindu, Jains and Buddhists in the middle of the hall while at the four corners, sat the four ministers.
Rumi Sultana—the house of the Turkish sultana—only has one preserved room. Its walls and ceilings feature intricate sculptures of relief-like patterns with vines, garnet apples, palms trees, lotus flower and animals showing the Chinese influence.
The Panch Mahal is a five-story pavilion within the palace wall where the wives of the emperor observed the lively activities in the palace court. Each floor is somewhat smaller than the preceding giving a pyramidal shape.
In the south of the city, you will find the 162-foot-high victory gate, which is the largest portal of Asia. It was erected in 1602 to commemorate the victorious expedition of the emperor Akbar. You will ascend a large stairway that leads to the gate, whose gateways are covered with horseshoes. They were mounted by horse owners as a sign of thanks because their animals were healed by the blessing of the Moslem holy saint Salim Chisti. From the portal, you will have a beautiful view over the entire city of Fatehpur Sikri.
The Jami Masjid stands to the southwest of the palace. Also named Daragh Mosque, it is the largest mosque of India. You will enter the patio through one of the two gates (King Gate & Buland Dawarza) and find the grave of Salim Chisti, a teacher of the Chisti orders. You will also find the white marble Jama mosque built by the son of Akbar, Jehangir, in memory of the Sufi saint Salim Chisti.