ii, iii, iv
18°C, Wind SE at 6 km/h, 81% Humidity
Points of interest
Buland Darwaza, Jama Mosque - Fatehpur, Jodha Bai's Palace, Tomb of Salim Chishti, Panch Mahal
Fatehpur Sikri (Hindi: फ़तेहपुर सीकरी, 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 , 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.
Map of Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh 283110
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 easy availability of sandstone in the neighbouring areas of Fatehpur Sikri also meant that all the buildings here were made of the red stone. 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.
The Imperial complex was abandoned in 1585, shortly after its completion, due to the exhaustion of the small, spring-fed lake that supplied the city with water, and its proximity with the Rajputana, with which the Mughal Empire was often at war. Thus the capital was shifted to Lahore so that Akbar could have a base in the less stable part of the empire, before moving back to Agra in 1598, where he had begun his reign as he shifted his focus to Deccan. In fact, he never returned to the city except for a brief period in 1601. In later Mughal history it was occupied for a short while by the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (r. 1719 -1748) and his regent, Sayyid Hussain Ali Khan Barha, one of the Syed Brothers, was murdered here in 1720. The palaces were occupied by the Marathas after their conquest of Delhi, then transferred to the British army, which used the fortified complex as a headquarters and barracks. Restoration began under Lord Curzon.
Because the palace area has been in nearly continuous use over the centuries, much of the imperial complex which spread over nearly two mile long and one mile wide area is largely intact. It is still surrounded by a five mile long wall built during its original construction on three sides. However apart from the imperial buildings complex and the magnificent mosque, which continues in use, little of the city survives. The former site of the city is mostly barren, except of ruins of the bazaars of the old city near the Naubat Khana, the 'drum-house' entrance at Agra Road. The modern town lies at the western end of the complex, which was a municipality from 1865 to 1904, and later made a notified area and in 1901 had a population of 7,147. For a long time it was still known for its masons and stone carvers, though in Akbar time it was known and 'fabrics of hair' and 'silk-spinning'. The village of Sikri still exists nearby.
Basing his arguments on the excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1999-2000 at the Chabeli Tila, senior Agra journalist Bhanu Pratap Singh said the antique pieces, statues, and structures all point to a lost "culture and religious site," more than 1,000 years ago. "The excavations yielded a rich crop of Jain statues, hundreds of them, including the foundation stone of a temple with the date. The statues were a thousand years old of Bhagwan Adi Nath, Bhagwan Rishabh Nath, Bhagwan Mahavir and Jain Yakshinis," said Swarup Chandra Jain, senior leader of the Jain community. A 400 sq-m mound was opened near the village of Nagari, some half a kilometre from the ramparts of the 16th century fort, a sandstone chamber was found, filled with decapitated and broken idols of Jain Tirtankaras.
Fatehpur Sikri sits on rocky ridge, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) in length and 1 km (0.62 mi) wide and palace city is surrounded by a 6 km (3.7 mi) wall on three sides with the fourth bordered by a lake. Its architects were R Roy and Dhruv Chawla and was constructed using Indian principles. The buildings of Fatehpur Sikri show a synthesis of various regional schools of architectural craftsmanship such as Gujarat and Bengal. This was because indigenous craftsmen were used for the construction of the buildings. Influences from Hindu and Jain architecture are seen hand in hand with Islamic elements. The building material used in all the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri, palace-city complex, is the locally quarried red sandstone, known as 'Sikri sandstone'. It is accessed through gates along the 5 miles (8.0 km) long fort wall, namely, Delhi Gate, the Lal Gate, the Agra Gate and Birbal's Gate, Chandanpal Gate, The Gwalior Gate, the Tehra Gate, the Chor Gate and the Ajmere Gate.
Some of the important buildings in this city, both religious and secular are:
The central portico comprises three arched entrances, with the largest one, in the centre, is known locally as the Horseshoe Gate, after the custom of nailing horseshoes to its large wooden doors for luck. Outside the giant steps of the Buland Darwaza to left is deep well.
On the left of the tomb, to the east, stands a red sandstone tomb of Islam Khan I, son of Shaikh Badruddin Chisti and grandson of Shaikh Salim Chishti, who became a general in the Mughal army in the reign of Jahangir. The tomb is topped by a dome and thirty-six small domed chattris and contains a number of graves, some unnamed, all male descendants of Shaikh Salim Chisti.
Other buildings included Taksal (mint), Daftar Khana (Records Office), Karkhana (royal workshop), Khazana (Treasury), Hammam (Turkic Baths), Darogha's Quarters, stables, Caravan sarai, Hakim's quarters, etc.
Fatehpur Sikri has a population of 28,757. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Fatehpur Sikri has an average literacy rate of 46%, lower than the national average of 74%; male literacy is 57%, and female literacy is 34%. In Fatehpur Sikri, 59% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Fatehpur Sikri is one of the fifteen Block headquarters in the Agra district. It has 52 Gram panchayats(Village Panchayat) under it.
The Fatehpur Sikri, is a constituency of the Lok Sabha, Lower house of the Indian Parliament, and further comprises five Vidhan Sabha(legislative assembly) segments:
In all there are 12 villages of Sisodia Rajputs near Fatehpur Sikri fort in Agra district. These are Daultabad, Nayavas, Satha, Korai, Behrawati, Byara, Undera, Kachora, Singarpur, Vidyapur, Onera, Arrua.
Fatehpur Sikri is about 39 kilometres (24 mi) from Agra. The nearest Airport is Agra Airport(also known as Kheria Airport), 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Fatehpur Sikri. The nearest railway station is Fatehpur Sikri railway station, about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) from the city centre. It is connected to Agra and neighbouring centres by road, where regular bus services operated by UPSRTC ply, in addition to tourist buses and taxis.