Fatehpur Sikri

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Built In : 1571

Time Required : 1 day

Established By : Emperor Akbar

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"The Pride of Mughal Empire"

Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Overview

Located at a distance of 40km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra district and a famous tourist attraction. A city predominantly made of red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 1571 century by Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is essentially a fortified city built by the king and had been the capital of his Empire for fifteen years. Now a UNESCO world heritage site, it is home to Jodha Bai's Palace, Jama Mosque, Buland Darwaza, and Tomb of Salim Chisti among many other famous monuments. Derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments, the Imperial Complex is a work of pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of land. 

A unique blend of architectural excellence, as well as religious beliefs - sums up Fatehpur Sikri. It was built by Akbar to honour Sheikh Salim Chisti, whose prediction of the birth of a Mughal heir came true while Akbar was visiting the then city of Sikri. In honour of the prophecy, Akbar built this city and Jama Masjid, a stunning mosque which is still in use today. He also undertook the construction of three palaces for each of his favourite wives, one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. An Indo-Islamic Masterpiece, Fatehpur Sikri look its resplendent best during sunset.

Fatehpur Sikri Highlights

1. Diwan-i-Aam

Diwan-i-Aam
As the name suggests, Hall of Public Audience, it was meant to hold public meeting and gatherings. The settlement of public grievances at the hands of the Emperor took place over here. It is a multi-b (Read More)ayed rectangular pavilion-like structure that faces an ample open space. Standing on 49 pillars, the Diwan-i-Aam consists of a Jharokha type chamber which is also known as Takht-i-Murassa. This place has beautiful decorations all over its pillars and walls. Made of Marble is the Bethak where the ministers were to sit. Two gateways and three aisles divide the hall.

2. Diwan-i -Khas

Diwan-i -Khas
Built-in the Persian architectural style, this building was the hall of private audience. Only the royal members assembled here to discuss private affairs. It has a roof with four Chattris. The Centra (Read More)l Pillar with a square base and an octagonal shaft has brought fame to the architectural masterpiece. Floral and Geometrical designs increase the beauty of the base and the shaft. Furthermore, it's thirty-six meandering paths act as a support to Akbar's platform. These are connected to every corner of the building on the first floor by four stone walkways.

3. Ibadat Khana

Ibadat Khana
Constructed in 1575 CE, Ibadat Khana or the House of Worship was a meeting house where Akbar had laid the foundations of Din-e-Ilahi. Here spiritual leaders of different religions gathered to conduct (Read More)discussions of the teachings of their respective faiths.

4. Panch Mahal

Panch Mahal
An extraordinary structure at Fatehpur Sikri, the Panch Mahal has the design elements of a Buddhist Temple. Entirely columnar, it has four storeys in decreasing size built asymmetrically over the grou (Read More)nd floor. The structure contains 176 columns with Jaalis or the screens suggesting the presence of the Purdah System which the Queens had to follow.
The pavilion gives a splendid view of the fort. Panch Mahal has a pool, the Anoop Talab in front of it which once was a setting for musical concerts.

5. Tomb of Salim Chisti

Tomb of Salim Chisti
Enshrining the burial place of the Sufi saint, Salim Chisti, the tomb is the most beautiful example of Mughal Architecture. It finds its place in the courtyard of the mosque. Emperor Akbar took on to (Read More)the building of this tomb as a mark of respect for Salim Chisti who foretold the birth of Jahangir, Akbar's successor. The main building of this tomb is enclosed by marble screens from all sides. The door of the main chamber is carved beautifully with the patterns and inscriptions from the Quran. The marble made floor has multicolored stones laid over it. The inner chamber of the tomb consists of a wooden canopy where inlays the mosaic of the mother of pearl. The Tomb is known for its Child Birth Blessings. Devotees from all over the country visit the tomb with the hope of fulfillment of their wishes. People tie threads over the marble screens as a reminder of their aspirations to Salim Chisti.

6. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid
It was a congregational mosque that was one of the first buildings erected in the city. Built-in the 17th century, Jami Masjid is a World Heritage Site now. Also known as the Friday Mosque, it is the (Read More)most visited place in Agra. Devotees consider it as a pilgrimage destination.
It contains a single dome with two colonnaded halls on either side. Sculpted Mihrabs adorn the two smaller rooms and the main chamber. The Mosque is a transition in Islamic Architecture mixed up with that of Persian Style. The visitors find golden inscriptions on a royal blue colored background which is a tribute to this fusion. Following this, the interiors are embellished with watercolor paintings giving a glimpse of stylized floral designs. Corbelled pendentives support the dome in comparison to squinches which support the domes usually.

7. Buland Darwaza

Buland Darwaza
Gate of Magnificence, the Buland Darwaza is a symbol of kbar's victory over Gujarat. It is the grand doorway that leads to the Fatehpur Sikri from Agra. The grand door is the result of 12 years of con (Read More)tinuous hard work. Made up of red sandstone and decorated with white and black marbles it is 50 meters from the ground. The archway has two inscriptions, out of which one reads: "Isa, Son of Mariam, said: The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity. The world endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer, for the rest is unseen".

8. Mariam-uz-Zamani's Palace

Mariam-uz-Zamani's Palace
Also known as Harkabai or Jodhabai, Mariam-uz-Zamani was the wife of Emperor Akbar in whose dedication to the Palace came into existence. It is an architectural delight for the people visiting the Fat (Read More)ehpur Sikri. The Palace shows a compelling mixture of Rajput and Mughal Architecture. Located on the eastern side of the court, the place was home to Akbar's Rajput Queens and the other members of Harem.

9. Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar
Octagonal at the base, circular in the middle, and tapering at the top, the Hiran Minar has a unique build. Initially thought to be a memorial of Akbar's favorite elephant it later served as the purpo (Read More)se of Akash Deep during Akbar's reign. It became a starting point for different mileposts.

10. Birbal's House

Birbal's House
Akbar's favorite, Birbal was a Hindu minister in his court. The palace finds its place near the northwest corner of Jodhabai's Palace. It contains four rooms interconnected with open doorways. Two obl (Read More)ong porches are also there. These have a pyramidical roof with a triangular roof. The interiors are full of single bordered designs, Arabesque geometrical designs, and floral designs. The first floor has beautifully decorated Jharokas and Chajjas. The domes have carvings of inverted lotus and Kalash designs. Tile work can also be seen here.

11. Daftar Khana

Daftar Khana
A clone to modern-day offices, Daftar Khana was Akbar's record room. It was a place given to the important files and documents associated with his reign. Built on a high platform, the building has fac (Read More)ades on all four sides. There is a room inside which has three doorways on its north and beautifully carved tracery work on red sandstones on its south.

12. Pachisi Court

Pachisi Court
Known for his bright ideas, Emperor Akbar brought into existence a unique specimen of grandeur and novelty in the form of Pachisi or the Chaupar Court. Built by Kabar in 1572 AD, Pachisi Court served (Read More)as a place of amusement for the emperors. They played the game of Pachisi, similar to that of modern-day ludo by some and chess by others. The game instead of being played with original tokens or mohras was played with the person in real. The servants were dressed in the form of symbols and on the emperor's demands had to make moves. This seemed to be a game, but according to Akbar, this was his way of checking his people's benevolence.

13. Khwabgah

Khwabgah
One of the most beautiful complexes in Fatehpur Sikri, it acted as the Emperor's personal place. It has room for the Emperor to hold separate meetings, a Kutub Khana (own library), a small bathroom, a (Read More)nd a bedroom for the Emperor. The bedroom had covered connections with the Panch Mahal and the Imperial Haram. Where the ground floor is quite simple, the first floor, the king's personal space is pompously decorated with geometrical and floral carvings. The mural paintings on the wall depict the court scenes along with the Persian inscriptions which are now faded.

14. Lower Haramsara

Lower Haramsara
Beside Jodha Bai's palace and opposite to Birbal's Palace lies the Lower Haramsara. The reason behind its construction is ambiguous as for some historians it was a stable and for others was a place of (Read More) servants. The entire structure consists of floral paintings both inside out. The columns here are a mix of Indian and Islamic designs.

15. Naubat Khana

Naubat Khana
Also known as the Naqqar Khana, the musicians over here announced the coming of the Emperor by beating the drums. The vision, planning, and finally the outcome of the Emperor's imagination is (Read More) something worthy of a courteous tribute. Rich carvings on the sandstone walls spark the extravagance of the genius work of art.

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History of Fatehpur Sikri

The majestic walls of this small city echoes of the Medieval Mughal Reign. Fatehpur Sikri was the short-lived capital of the Mughal empire between 1571 and 1585 while Akbar was the Emperor. Akbar once visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi Saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who predicted about the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When the prophecy was proved to be true, Akbar built his new Capital in Sikri. He named it as Fatehabad at first, in which Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian means Victorious.

People say that Akbar was so much involved in its construction that he even dictated its architectural style. He planned the complex to be in the Persian Style to revive the Persian courtly ceremony made famous by his ancestor Timur. Moreover, the easy availability of sandstone marked the building of the complex with the red stone. The city used to suffer from water shortages and was abandoned shortly after the death of Emperor Akbar.

How to Reach Fatehpur Sikri

Agra is a place of major historical importance and it is well connected to the other cities in India. There is a domestic airport in Agra from where there are daily flights to many cities in the country. Also, Agra is linked extremely well with all the major cities of India. The main railway station in Agra is the Agra Cantonment. A taxi or a bus can be boarded from outside the station and the airport to reach Fatehpur Sikri.

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Fatehpur Sikri Reviews

Your rating

Shashwat Kant

on Fatehpur Sikri 3 years ago
A must visit place to witness the grandeur of buland darwaza. Do hire a guide to get the complete story. You can visit the dargah of salim chishti and offer your prayers in form of a "chadar" and flo (Read More)wers, if you are into it. The place is mesmerising.

Have a Question on Fatehpur Sikri?

Q. Is it possible to see Agra in one day while staying at Brindaban?

Nitesh Chittorr

2 months ago
yes it is but it depend on you . you have to leave brindavan early morning by 7 am then you can cover top sights of agra like Tajmahal, Red Fort, Etimad-ud-dhulla, & Local Markets