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AGRA –FATEHPUR SIKRI


Fatehpur Sikri is a city in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city was founded in 1569 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585, when it was abandoned. After his military victories over Chittor and Ranthambore, Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to a new location 23 miles (37 km) west south-west on the Sikri ridge, to honour the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Here, he commenced the construction of a planned walled city, which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction, with a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. He named the city Fatehabad, with Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning "victorious." It was later called Fatehpur Sikri. It is at Fatehpur Sikri that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved examples of Mughal architecture in India.
According to contemporary historians, Akbar took a great interest in the building of Fatehpur Sikri and probably also dictated its architectural style. Seeking to revive the splendours of Persian court ceremony made famous by his ancestor Timur, Akbar planned the complex on Persian principles. But the influences of his adopted land 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, a pattern derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments. In its entirety, the monuments at Fatehpur Sikri thus reflect the genius of Akbar in assimilating diverse regional architectural influences within a holistic style that was uniquely his own.

Major Attractions in Fatehpur Sikri

The Major Attractions in Fatehpur Sikri are:
I) Diwan I Aam: It was a hall that was meant to hold public meeting and gatherings.
II) Diwan I Khas Built in Persian architectural style, this building was the hall of private audience and only the royal members assembled here to discuss private affairs.
iii) Panch Mahal: It is a palace-like structure having five storeys.
iv) Tomb of Salim Chisti: The tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti is located within the courtyard of the mosque.
v) Jama Masjid: It was a congregational mosque that was one of the first buildings erected in the city.
vi) Buland Darwaza: It is the grand doorway that leads to the Jama Masjid of Fatehpur Sikri. Other major attractions were Ibadat Khana, Anup Talao and the various palaces.

Facts About Fatehpur Sikri

The Akbarnama, written by Abul Fazal, contains a fascinating description of Fatehpur Sikri. The Ain-a-Akbari has properly detailed chapters on the imperial palaces in Sikri and the reason why they were built. The Commentarius by Father Anthony Monserrate is also a brilliant source of information for Fatehpur Sikri. It has details about the minute intrications in the palaces as well.

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