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Fatehpur Sikri


Inside Fatehpur Sikri


  • Fatehpur Sikri is a city in Agra, India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sikri is located 23 miles from Agra on the bank of a natural lake that has dried up. With plentiful water and forest, it was an ideal place for ancient man’s habitation. In this area, Stone Age tools have been found which shows that Sikri was inhabited since the prehistoric time. From 1571 to 1585 Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire.
  • The Mughal emperor Akbar was without an heir till he was 26. He visited a Sufi saint, Shaikh Salim Chisty in Sikri, to pray for him. Shaikh Salim Chisty prayed for him and Akbar was blessed with a son in 1569 who was named Salim.
  • After his victories over Ranthambore and Chittor, Akbar shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri, to honor Shaikh Salim Chishti. Here he started the construction of a walled city which took 15 years in planning and construction of a number of private quarters, a mosque, courts, harem, royal palaces and other utility buildings. He named the city, Fatehabad, with Fateh, meaning "victory”. Later it was called Fatehpur Sikri. It is among the greatest conserved collections of architecture of Mughal era.
  • Akbar was personally involved in the construction of Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar designed the works on Persian principles in order to revive the splendours of Persian court. But he used Indian decorations. All the buildings were made of the red stone because the red stone was easily available in nearby areas of Fatehpur Sikri. The monuments at Fatehpur Sikri reveal the intelligence of Akbar in incorporating different regional architectural influences in a holistic style which was exclusively his own.
  • Shortly after its completion, the Imperial complex was vacated in 1585, due to scarcity of water and its nearness to the Rajputana areas which were in turmoil. For this reason Akbar shifted the capital to Lahore, but returned to Agra in 1598 to concentrate on Deccan.
  • The buildings of Fatehpur Sikri demonstrate a fusion of different regional schools of architectural craftsmanship like Bengal and Gujarat. Influences from Jain and Hindu are visible together with Islamic elements. The construction material used in all buildings is the local red sand stone. the five-mile long fort wall has 9 gates, namely The Ajmer Gate, The Chor Gate, The Tehra Gate, The Gwalior Gate, The Chandanpal Gate, The Birbal's Gate, The Agra Gate, The Lal Gate, and The Delhi Gate.



Inside Fatehpur Sikri