Reflecting the splendour of
Akbar and with a legend to tell, this capital city of the Mughal (1570-1586)
lies 40 kms away from Agra.
Emperor Akbar had made a pilgrimage to
the powerful saint Sheikh Salim Chisti as Akbar did not have a male heir.
When his prayer for a son was fulfilled he named his son Salim in honour of
the saint and found the new city to commemorate his birth. Fatehpur Sikri
thus became the new capital.
Akbar was known for his immense respect towards other religions and had a
great study of the same held in his new capital. The city was intended to
embody the noble ideals, and the humanitarian bent of this dynamic emperor.
A new religion called Deen-e-Elahi which attempted to amalgamate the
positive aspects of all religions was created by Akbar.
houses some spectacular monuments of Diwan - i - Am, Diwan - i - Khas, Panch
Mahal, Jama Masjid, Panch Mahal, Buland Darwaza and the tomb of Saint Sheikh
Salim Chisti.An Epic In Red Stone
Situated at a
distance of 40 km from Agra is Fatehpur Sikri, the city built by Mogul
emperor Akbar, to serve as the new capital of his vast empire. The city
symbolises its creator's eclecticism and his earnest desire to break down
the barriers of religion and faith that divide men.Built
on a hillock adjoining the village of Sikarwal, the city spread over an area
of 10 km like a veritable museum made of red sandstone.
majestic buildings of Fatehpur Sikri stand silent testimony to the loftiness
of Akbar's ideals. Legend says that Akbar was without a son and made a
pilgrimage to this spot to see the Saint Shaikh Salim Chishti. He foretold
the birth of Akbars son and in gratitude when his son was born Akbar
named him Salim. Furthermore, he shifted his capital here and built a new
and splendid city. He named it Fatehpur in memory of his Fateh
(Victory) over Gujarath.Between 1570 and 1585, during the
reign of Akbar, Capital of Mughal Empire was situated here.
this city had to be abandoned mainly due to difficulties of water supply.
Akbar was known to be very tolerant towards other religions. Hence we find a
unique combination of Hindu and Muslim architectural styles in the
construction of each building built by him at Fatehpur Sikri. He also
developed here a new religion called Deen-e-ilahi, a new faith that
synthesised the best from all religions. Today this city is an attraction no
visitor to Agra should miss.
Fatehpur Sikri is surrounded by a
stone wall, which has seven gates, by names Agra Gate, Delhi Gate, Ajmeri
Gate, Gwalior Gate, Mathura Gate, Chandraphool Gate and Birbal Gate.
Prime Attractions of
Fatehpur Sikri» Diwan-khana-I-khaas
the Hall of Private Audiences is another major monument. Its interior design
is unique. A stone column in the centre of the building supports a
flat-topped throne. From the four corners of the room stone
bridges lead across to this throne. Akbar spent much time discussing with
scholars of many different religious persuasions. »
Another attraction in the row is Panch Mahal. The ladies
of the court once used this amusing little five-storey palace. Watching
divers plunge from a high parapet into the pool below was a favourite
pastime of theirs. Occasionally, Tansen and Baiju Baura, the musical
geniuses who adorned Akbar's court, would render recitals here. The long,
spacious corridors and the sculpted pillars bear testimony to the
architectural genius of the age. Each of the five storeys is stepped back
from the previous one. The lower floor has 56 columns while the dome of top
floor is supported by only four columns. »
Main attraction here is Jama Masjid and Durgah of
Shaikh Salim Chishti. Jama Masjid is said to be a copy of the mosque at
Mecca, and is a beautiful building composition of elements of Persian and
Hindu design. The main entrance is through 54 meter high Buland Darwaza
the Gate of Victory. The gate is probably the Asias tallest gate. In
the northern part of the mosques courtyard is the superb white marble
Durgah of Shaikh Salim Chishti built in 1570. The carved marble lattice
screens (jalis) are very marvellous. If we see them from a particular angle,
they look like a glass panel. Salim Chisti's mausoleum attracts visitors of
all faiths from all over the country. They come here in the belief that the
spirit of the saint lives on and that he will bless them, as he blessed
» 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 Akbars victory over Deccan
is the highest and grandest gateway in India and ranks among the biggest in
the world. » Diwan-I-Am
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 Emperors throne. Beautiful jali screen on either
sides separated the ladies attending the court.