FACTS & FIGURES
Built in : Between 1571 - 1585.
Built by : Akbar
Location : Agra (Uttar Pradesh)
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.
Important monuments within Fatehpur Sikarii :-
There are a number of buildings within the Fatehpur Sikri complex. Each of the small palaces in Fatehpur Sikri has a specific purpose and generally faces a courtyard.
Diwan-I-Aam (Hall of Public Audience):- is an enclosed space surrounded by colonnades and has a large open area where petitioners and courtiers once stood in attendance. On the western face of this building is the pavilion where the emperor sat in honor surrounded by his courtiers.
Diwan-I-Khas (Hall of Private Audience):—used for serious, confidential, diplomatic, and religious discourses—is just behind. The Diwan-I-Khas is famous for its central decorated pillar consisting of 36 elegantly carved brackets in the Gujarati style—heavy and ornate, and sprouting in shape.
The 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. The Turkish Sultan’s palace is known for exquisitely carved panels depicting wildlife—lions, birds, and foliage. Near the Diwan-I-Aam, one can see a tank called the Anup Talao. Four bridges link the central platform at the Anup Talao. Here the famous court musician Tansen played music. Akbar’s private apartments stand close to the tank.
Jodha Bai’s Palace (Jodha Bai was Akbar’s Rajput queen) :-has the most distinctively Gujarati and Rajasthani architectural features. A strong portal guards this place, which was the residence of Akbar’s prominent queens. Also noteworthy are Mariam’s Palace or Sunehra Makan (golden house), Palace of Birbal (one of Akbar’s minister notable for his witticisms) and a miniature garden.
Jami Masjid (mosque):- sacred center of Sikri, symbolizes the city’s spiritual prominence. It stands at the southwestern end of Fatehpur Sikri. A high wall with gateways on three sides opens into a huge courtyard, 111 by 139 meters, making it the largest to be found in the Mughal period. The inner walls are lined with columns and cloisters and the western façade has a massive arched doorways behind which are three domes. In the vast courtyard stands the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti whose blessings are still sought by childless women. This tomb was originally built in red sandstone but was later on made with marble. The tombstone covered by cloth is under a canopy of ebony, mother of pearl and brass. A corridor for circumambulation surrounds the square tomb chamber. The corridor has jail screens having a marvelous quality and the intricately carved serpentine brackets in white marble are pieces of sheer splendor. The tomb has a low dome.
Buland Darwaza ( triumphal gateway):- 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 and marble. The gateway is so awesome that it hides the magnificent Jami Masjid (mosque), which is just behind.