Fatehpur Sikri, , a city predominantly in red sand-stone, situated at a distance of 37 kms from Agra, was built by the Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-din Mohammad Akbar, in honour of the great Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chisti ; its magnificence and uniqueness offers a fine example of the emperor's architectural finesse. Akbar's tolerant religious views and interest in literature, architecture and fine arts gave the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri a charismatic blend of Islamic and Hindu elements in their style and design.
At Fatehpur Sikri during sunset and sunrise, the turrets and domes create shadows and silhouette against the copper red sky; which truly is an inspirational scene for a painter's canvas or the visitor's eyes.
Fatehpur Sikri is enclosed by a 11 kms long fortification wall interspersed with numerous gateways. The remains of the great city; the Imperial Palace Complex, the intricately built marble tomb of the great Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chisti and the grand mosque are second only to The Taj Mahal, a benchmark of architectural beauty.A rich imagination is all it takes to transport any visitor to the era of gold tapestry, drapes, rich plush carpets and the royalty of the Mughal courts.
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.
The journey to the royal palace begins with Diwan-I-Am or the Hall Of Public Audience. This hall was also used for celebrations and public prayers. It has cloisters on three sides of a rectangular courtyard. To the west is a pavilion with the Emperor’s throne. Beautiful jali screen on either sides separated the ladies attending the court.
To the right is an apparently looking two storeyed building, with corner kiosks, known as diwan-khana-I-khaas or Hall Of Private Audience. On entering it, one finds only a single vaulted chamber. In the centre stands a profusely carved column supporting a collosal-bracketed capital. Four narrow causeways project from the centre and run to each corner of the chamber. It is believed that Akbar’s throne occupied the circular space over the capital and the corners were assigned to the four ministers.
Turkish Sultana’s House
To the left of the Pachisi Board is the Turkish Sultana’s house. The house, as its location at the corner of Anup Talao shows, was a pavilion for repose, attached to the pool. The geometrical pattern on the ceiling is reminiscent of Central Asian carvings in wood.
To the left of the Diwan-I-Khaas is the Treasury or Ankh Michauli, once believed to have been used for playing the game, comprising three rooms each protected by a narrow corridor which were manned by guards.
Located in the corner to the left is the emperor’s private chamber. It has two main rooms on the ground floor. One housed Akbar’s library while the larger room was his resting area. On the first floor is the Khwabgah or the bed-chamber. It was connected with the Turkish Sultana’s house, the Panch Mahal, Mariam’s House and the Jodha Bai’s palace by corridors.
Palace of Jodha Bai
To the left of the Sunehra Makan is the largest and the most important building in the royal palace, named after Akbar’s Rajput wife, Jodha Bai. This spacious palace was assured of privacy and security by high walls and a 9 metre guarded gate to the east. The architecture is a blend of styles with Hindu columns and Muslim cupolas.
Hawa Mahal And Nagina Masjid
To the right of Jodha Bai’s palace is Hawa Mahal, the Palace of Winds. This small-screened wind tower faces the garden and is attached to the palace. The garden is laid out in the Char Bagh style with straight walls intersecting at right angles and divided by shallow channels.
The Jami Masjid
One of the largest mosques in India, Jami Masjid was built in 1571 AD. Inside, there is a vast congregational coutyard. To the right, at the corner, is the Jammat Khana Hall and next ot this is the tomb of the royal ladies. To the left of the Jami Masjid is the Stone Cutters’ mosque, the oldest place of worship at Fateh Pur Sikri. It is entered through the eastern entrance known as the Buland Darwaza.
This gate can be approached from the outside by a 13-metre flight of steps which adds to its grandeur. The gate erected in 1602 AD to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Deccan is the highest and grandest gateway in India and ranks among the biggest in the world.
Getting to Fatehpur Sikri
Agra is the most easily accessible tourist destination in India. The city has excellent air, rail and road links. While in Agra, the best way to visit Fatehpur Sikri is by a taxi. The Imperial fort of Fatehpur Sikri is approachable from Agra, 37 kilometers away or 18 kilometers from Bharatpur. Most visitors prefer to make a day trip to the fort en route from Agra or from Bharatpur, as it requires at least half a day to explore.
AIR : Nearest airport is Agra which is 7 km from the city center and 3 km from Idgah bus stand. It only takes 40 minutes from Delhi to Agra.
RAIL : The main railway station is the Agra Cantonment station. It is well connected to all major cities of India.
ROAD : Idgah bus stand is the main bus stand of Agra, from where one can catch buses for Delhi, Jaipur, Mathura, Fatehpur-Sikri, etc.
It seems anyone and everyone in this neighborhood has the agility to metamorphose into a guide. Qualified guides are available near the ticket counter.
Try to avoid the unauthorized 'guides' who pester the visitors the moment one gets down from the bus.
If you are so needed a guide, fix up the rate and itinerary up front. Also make it clear that you need only guide service to the monuments and nothing else ( like hotel booking, souvenir shopping , donation for a charity and so on... ).
The qualified guides doesn't move around like a tout, nor are they pushy. Typically they approach as you buy ticket and enter the monument. Hire a guide for an hour or so in the palace complex for a quick tour.
Pay and release the guide after a tour. Now you can spend your time re visiting the spots again at your leisure. That is the best strategy especially if you wants to relax and see things at your own pace.
By the way it is worth hiring a guide. More so if you are new to the whole gamut of Mugal history and architecture.
Open from sunrise to sunset
Entrance Fee: Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - Rs. 50 per head.
Foreigners : Rs 610.00
Indian Nationals : Rs 50.00
Entry to Fatehpur Sikri
Gateways and Bazaars
Access into the city was controlled by a series of gates or barriers that progressively restricted movement from the public spaces into the zones of the city reserved for the royal family and nobility.
Beginning from Delhi Darwaza in Sikri village, and moving westward, lay the city's gateways. The Lai (Red), Akbarabad (Agra), the Suraj (Sun) or Bir, the Ghandar (Moon), and the Gwalior Darwazas. Beyond these, further to the west, are the Tehrah (Crooked) and the Ajmeri Darwazas. Delhi, Agra, Gwalior, and Ajmer Gateways are so called because the roads to these towns led out from these named gateways. The gateways are all identical in design but the Agra Gateway is best preserved and most frequently used by the modern tourist coming either from Agra or Bharatpur.
Inside the Agra Gateway, is a large irregular pentagonal enclosure containing ruined cloisters. Locally known as the 'kotwali' or police check post, it was a caravanserai. Behind this caravanserai, the eastern end of the Fatehpur ridge rises, steeply; on its slopes and summit are the remains of some elegant quarters, of which the best preserved is a charming pavilion of red sandstone called Tansen's Baradari. The road leads to the attractive Dak Bungalow built by Lord Curzon (1898-1905). The Dak Bungalow is worth visiting for the magnificent view it offers of Sikri village and Delhi Darwaza.
The road, from Agra Gateway to the Imperial Palaces, runs through a walled enclosure, known as the 'Naubat Khana' or 'Naqqar Khana'. The Naubat Khana was a place where drums were beaten to make important announcements, and also to herald the emperor's appearances in the Diwan-I-Am. A huge structure with rubble masonry walls, popularly called 'Taksal' or mint, was the Karkhana or workshop where goods, both for daily use as well as luxury items were manufactured for the court. The Taksal was a part of the Karkhana and it is possible that gold and presentation coins were minted here. Among these ruins is a large plastered tank, called Hauz-i-Shirin or sweet tank, which was used to collect rainwater for preparing the food for the court.
Not far from the 'Hauz-i-Shirin', are the remains of the 'Yatish Khana' or House of Muhammad Baqir. He was the 'sufrachi' or Superintendent of the Imperial Table whose duty was to wait upon the emperor at his meals. Hakims' Quarters, believed to be the residence of the three Hakim brothers. Their knowledge of philosophy and the sciences, earned them the title of Hakim in Akbar's court.
The Imperial Palace complex can be related to various traditions, representing a unique and mysterious masterpiece. The complex, consisting of the Treasury, the offices, the Daulat Khana and the Haram Sara or ladies' palace , was divided into three parts; the mardana or men's section, the zanana or women's area, and the official area. Akbar planned the complex on Persian principles but the influences of his adopted land also came through in the typically Indian embellishments. The Imperial Palace complex consists of a number of independent pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of level ground.
Daily tours is conducted by U.P. State Tourism Development Corporation for local sight seeing from Agra.
For booking, details and reservation, contact -
Rahi Tourist Bungalow,
Near Raja Mandi, Railway Station,
Agra 0562-2850120, 2851720
E-mail - email@example.com
- Tourist Information Center, Agra Cantt Railway Station, Agra - 0562-2421204
- U.P. Tourism,64, Taj Road, Agra 0562-2226431
|Daily Full Day Tour (Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort & Tajmahal)
|Half Day Tour (Fatehpur Sikri)
|Child Full Day / Half Day Tour (Below 15 Years)
- Office of UP. Tourist 64, Taj Road, Agra +91 562 2226431
- Government of India Tourism Office, 191, The Mall +91 562 2226368+91 562 2226378
- U.P. Tourism Reception Counter, Agra Cantt, Railway Station +91 562 2421204
- Tourism Police Station Agra +91 9454402764