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Fatehpur Sikri :: City Information

Best Travel Duration

October to March

History of Fatehpur Sikriri

Greatest of all the Mughal Emperors who ruled India, Akbar ascended to the throne in 1556 at the tender age of 14 years. Apparent reason of ascending throne was the sudden demise of his father, Humayun. Akbar turned his attention towards building a magnificent Imperial capital at Agra as soon as he consolidated his power. Instant result of his interest was impressive Agra Fort, which was a great asset militarily as well as it served as the royal residence.

In due course of time Akbar decided to shift his capital to nearby. There is a difference of opinion among historians about this decision of Akbar. According to the legends Akbar used to visit the hamlet of Sikri to take the blessings of the great Sufi saint Salim Chisti in order to have an heir to his throne. Akbar's visitations were fruitful, for he was blessed with three sons.

He built the new city according to the instructions of Salim Chisti whose mausoleum is a part of Fatehpur Sikri. Another set of historians say that he built the new city at Fatehpur Sikri as it was falling on the highway towards South India from North India. From this place he was able to control all parts of the country and move in any direction without much trouble.

The new city was set on a hilltop that made it reasonably safe from future attacks. The new city, built on a ridge, grew into a magnificent township larger than contemporary London. Akbar did not stayed in this magnificent city for long and reasons for deserting Fatehpur Sikri are as much mysterious as was its construction.

Places to Visit at Fatehpur Sikri

Diwan-I-Aam

Description: Diwan-I-Aam

As one enters Sikri from the Agra Gate, one of the nine gateways on the way to the palace complex, Diwani-I-Aam, or the hall of public audience appears first. It is a huge rectangular walled-in courtyard where petitions were heard, proclamations made, embassies received and entertainment programs held. The royal balcony, set within a frame of jail screens, appears on the western front. In front of the royal seat, a stone hook is still found embedded in the ground. As per tradition, Akbar's pet elephant Hiran was tied to this hook to crush to death under its feet the head of the guilty. If it refused to obey thrice, the victim was freed. .

Diwan-I-Khas

Description: Diwan-I-Aam

The royal enclosure lies behind the Diwan-I-Aam. At the northern corner stands a small but grand single-storey structure of Diwan-I-Khas with the most magnificently sculptured and most photographed stone column at the center of the hall. It bursts forth into a set of 36 closely set vaulted and pendulous brackets supporting a circular platform from which radiate four passages. Is it really the famous Ibadat-Khana where Akbar initiated religious discourses amongst diverse religious groups-Hindu, Muslim, Jain, and Jesuit etctc

Panch Mahal

Description: Panch Mahal

Panch Mahal, a five storeyed pavilion, stands on the western line of the courtyard. This is the badgir, the Persian wind tower for ladies of the harem. The jail screens between the 176 differently carved pillars have disappeared. Once these screens provided purdah (cover) to queens and princess on the top terraces enjoying the cool breezes and watching splendid views of Sikri fortifications and the town nestling at the foot of the ridge. In the courtyard Akbar played pachisi (checker board) with dancing girls as live pieces. .

How To Get To Fatehpur Sikri

By Air:

 

Air Kheria Airport at Agra – 40 km.

By Rail:

 

Agra Cantt Railway Station 40 km

By Road:

 

Fatehpur Sikri is connected to Agra and neighboring centers by regular bus services of UPSRTC.