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Fatehpur Sikri History And Architecture For Visitors


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Fatehpur sikri is former Mughal Capital. Earlier, there was a village, and people called it Sikri. It is only 35 km from Agra. Emperor Akbar built this enormous walled city in 1570. According to history, Emperor won Gujrat, and he named this city Fatehpur Sikri (City of victory). It was also the dream city of Akbar. When you visit Fatehpur Sikri, you will realize that it is very organized, which has everything. For example, palaces of King and queens, Ministers houses, Market, Army quarters, Turkish bath, Mint ( they made currency), Wells, Lake, Dam, Mosque etc.

According to historical sources, Everyone was living inside the wall. Emperor Humayun died in 1556 in Delhi, which was the Capital. After his father’s death, Akbar became Emperor and shifted Capital to Agra. People ask why he built New City just 35 km away from Agra, and the answer is defence from Rajput local kings. Finally, almost all Rajput joined hands with Akbar. Unfortunately, Akbar’s brothers revolted against him, and he left Sikri and Shifted his Capital to Lahore. Finally, Akbar returned to Agra from Lahore, not Fatehpur Sikri, and died in Agra Fort.

Moreover, Mughal Empire always had great relations with Sufi Saints. As we know, Akbar used to go to Ajmer, and Emperor was very upset because he had no child. Interestingly, a Sufi saint in Sikri and people called him Salim Chisti. People asked him to go Sikri to get Salim Chishti Sahab’s blessings. Finally, he got Son (Jahangir) and was so happy. Later he decided to build a mosque and built Sufi Saint’s tomb.




When we talk about Mughal Architecture, it has a substantial influence on Rajput Architecture. Emperor Akbar convinced many Rajput Kings to submit to him. Akbar not only gave them important posts in the empire but also accepted their culture, art, and architecture. The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri is Indo-Islamic, along with Rajput architecture. Interestingly, you can see many carved animals and Rajput-style arches there.

Fatehpur Sikri is a huge city. There are many things to visit. Let us talk about them in detail. Before starting, Sikri was neither a haunted city nor an abandoned city. These are two myths. Akbar never abandoned it; there was always a governor to rule. To clarify, people still live here; there is no ghost.




Fatehpur Sikri

Dewan e aam is the public audience. To govern people, you should always hear and understand their problems. Dewan e aam played a very important role to connect Emperor and the people. During Akbar’s, reign artists used widely red sandstone. As a result, Fatehpur Sikri is completely red. It is also a perfect example of Rajput and Islamic architecture. Importantly the main attraction is the throne room where Akbar used to sit. Carved red stone windows are beautiful and worth watching. There were paintings on stones. Unfortunately, there are no paintings left.

Emperor Akbar was a true statesman. Every morning he used to listen to people. Interestingly, he wanted to immerse himself in Indian culture. In his empire, if anyone had problems, they could talk with people. Unfortunately, In Today’s democratic system, there is no such concept.



Dewan e Khas is a private audience hall. As we already know, In a public audience, the Emperor met with people to solve their problems. On the other hand, he heard his ministers and family members in the private audience. If I talk about its design and architecture then, it is unique. Interestingly, the main attraction here is the huge carved pillar in the centre. There is a huge circle on the pillar where the Emperor used to sit. It is a two-story structure. Surprisingly, the second story is completely supported by this pillar.

Akbar had great relations with Rajput kings. He also made matrimonial alliances with them; Mughal and Rajput bond is significant on their palaces and forts. For example, there are Rajput-style arches in this dewan e khas the entrances. There were paintings also. Imagine the beauty of those days.



Panch Mahal is a five-story palace of Akbar. This Unique building is the most attractive structure in Fatehpur Sikri. If we see the whole structure, the ground floor is the biggest, and the top floor is the smallest. Surprisingly, it follows decreasing size arrangement from bottom to top. Pillars support this red sand story, and each floor is opened. According to history, there were jalis (Windows) between every pillar. When there were ladies, they used curtains to cover windows.

One question everyone asks that, why Mughal structures are opened? There is indeed no wall. We can say they were nomads and followed this pattern. Panch Mahal is also played an important role to enjoy the rainy season. In Summer also Emperor stayed here to enjoy the fresh air.



This small palace is located near Anup Talab and khwabgah. If we talk about carving, it is the most beautiful palace in Fatehpur Sikri. Artists here used red sandstone; it has four entrances. Undoubtedly, carving and working on the red stone is the main attraction here. Inside there were glassworks with precious and semi-precious stones. You can imagine beautiful walls with glass and precious emerald, diamond, and ruby stones. Curtains and carpets were enhancing beauty.

In my opinion, Turkish sultana ( Ruqayya begum) was not living here. Every royal lady lived only inside the zenana complex in Fatehpur Sikri. It may be a ladies house for enjoying Anup Talab or Akbar’s house.


This iconic tank is located in front of khwabgah. If I talk about the shape of Anup Talab, It is square. In the centre, we have a courtyard enclosed with jalis. You also can see a seat in the centre of the courtyard. In Fatehpur Sikri, artists used only red stone, as we already know.

Surprisingly, it is well connected with a water reservoir outside the palace. Now the question arises, what is the usage of Anup talao? Some people say it was for dancing and Singing for Emperor. According to history, there were coins of gold and silver for donation. Jahangir also described that he emptied it after donating those coins.



Khwabgah is simple means dream’s place. It is a private section of Fatehpur Sikri for Emperor Akbar. After reading this particular blog, you will know how the Emperor used to live. First, we talked about a room where he met his officials and nobles. The second is Kutub Khana or Library. Akbar was very fond of reading books; there were more than 25000 manuscripts in his library. He also ordered translating Indian books into Persian. One can say with the knowledge; he truly understood Indian culture. Third, there is a small bathroom also for his personal use.

Moreover, On the top, there is a bedroom of Akbar where he slept. Interestingly, they painted it and used blue tiles on the roof. All they used was Redstone. This khwabgah is also well connected with other important places. For example, ladies quarters and Daftar khana (offices)



Fatehpur Sikri

First of all, people have a misconception in history about Jodha bai. Akbar got married to Harka bai, and she was the sister of Man Singh I of Amber. After the marriage, she got the title of Mariam Uz Zamani. Later she gave birth to Jahangir. On the other hand, Jodha Bai was the wife of Jahangir. Akbar was making matrimonial alliances with Rajput kings. As a result, he married Queen of Amber Rani Man Bai.

Interestingly, Akbar was tolerant of other religions; he allowed Man Bai to practice her religion. He built an enormous palace for her. When you enter the palace, you will find a big courtyard. Apart from this, there are a Winter Palace, Summer Palace, and a temple for her. The architecture of the temple is Hindu.


Fatehpur Sikri

People say it is Birbal Mahal. In the Mughal empire, there was a purdah system. It means no one could watch royal ladies. Then the question arises why Birbal would live here. In the haram complex, only ladies were living. For example, Mothers, Sisters, Wives, and kaneez (maids). It is probably the palace of the Second wife. In Haram complex, it is the most beautiful palace. Interestingly, it had paintings, but still, the carving is worth watching.

There is royal ladies bathroom also. It is a kind of pool, where they all were bathing. On the corner of this palace, you can find toilets also.


Fatehpur Sikri

The location of this third palace is inside the Royal haram complex. The most exciting thing about this palace is its paintings. During Akbar reign, artists used red stone widely. To beautify the palaces, they carved these stones. Interestingly, paintings played a significant role to beautify the palaces. Emperor Humayun, the father of Emperor Akbar, stayed in Persia. Everyone knows Persia is very famous for its paintings and tiles. As a result, the Mughal empire introduced this in India.

You still can see these paintings on the wall and roof. Later in Emperor Jahangir and Shahjahan used white marble. The best example of white marble is Hz Salim Chishti Sahab’s Shrine. Jahangir rebuilt it and used white marble with fine windows.


fatehpur SikriHiran Minar is located outside the Royal haram complex. One can say that it was the watchtower. For security, they always built a watchtower to see all around. The height of the tower is around 21 meters. On the top, there is one cupola. If we see the tower, you will find the base of the tower is octagonal, and the rest is round. They used stars and hexagons along with elephants tusks to beautify it.

Emperor Jahangir converted the area around into deer (Hiran) sanctuary; It is the reason people started calling it Hiran minar. There was also a lake (Moti jheel), and Akbar built a dam to stop the water. Moti jheel was the main source of water there.


fatehpur sikri


Fatehpur Sikri

This Friday mosque is one of India’s most beautiful mosques. Akbar built it on the hill. As we know, Akbar got the blessing of Sufi saint Salim Chishti Sahab to have a son. He also named his son Salim, who later became Emperor Jahangir. After becoming father, Akbar was so happy. He decided to build this mosque for the Sufi saint in 1571 and built his dream Capital here. The architecture of Jama masjid is Indo Islamic. They used a red and yellow sand stone with white marble to beautify.

Moreover, Jahangir also praised this mosque and described it as a remarkable achievement for his father. Interestingly, Emperor Jahangir stayed here with his son Prince Khurram, who later became Emperor Shahjahan. He described the length of the mosque with Prince Khurram. Prince was so inspired, later he built Delhi’s Jama masjid.


Fatehpur Sikri

Hazrat Salim Chishti was a Sufi Saint. He was residing in Sikri Village. Akbar had no son; he was very nervous. Emperor came here to meet the Sufi saint and ask him to pray to get a son. Interestingly, After the blessing and praying, God blessed Akbar with a Son. Hazrat Salim Chishti died in 1572, and he built a beautiful tomb for him. Later, Emperor Jahangir converted the tomb into a white marble tomb.

Artists used white marble with beautifully carved pillars to talk about this tomb. The most beautiful thing to watch here is the windows. These white marble windows are a great example of the art of Indian artists. Today’s people come here to get the blessing of this Sufi saint from all over India.


Buland Darwaza means high gate; It is the world’s highest gateway. It is also the main entrance of Jama masjid of Fatehpur sikri. The height of the gateway is around 54 meters from the ground. On the top, there are chattris also. Interestingly, they used a red, yellow sand stone with white marble.

There are religious verses carved to make it more beautiful. You will find more than 42 stairs to reach the gate. Importantly, the central arch is very beautiful and gigantic. One can imagine Indian architectural engineering during Akbar’s reign.

Initially, artists did not include it in the design of the complex. Akbar was fighting in Gujrat, and finally, he won it. As a result, he decided to build this gate in 1575 and described the victory of Gujrat here on the gate.


Rang Mahal palace is significant in the history of the Mughal Empire. According to historical notes, Emperor Jahangir was born here. As we already know, Akbar asked Hz Salim Chishti to pray for a son. The location of mahal is on the left of Buland Darwaza.


On the left, there is a vast well also, and Akbar made it to restore water. People also say it is diving well because you will find people diving into it. There are also some rooms there. Maybe in summer, the royal family stayed here.


JALAL UD DIN MUHAMMAD AKBAR was born in 1542 at Umerkot. His childhood was tough because Emperor Humayun lost Hindustan and was in exile. Shershah Suri did not allow Humayun to live anywhere near Hindustan. As a result, he became a homeless wanderer and lived in Persia. Fortunately. Humayun again won Hindustan in 1555 but died after one year. During this event, Akbar was 14 years old. Interestingly, with the help of the most trusted general, Bairam khan JALAL UD DIN crowned himself. After the coronation, he became Emperor Akbar.

Historians proudly called Akbar THE GREAT because of his contribution to Indian society and the policies of his governance. For example, he solved the central issue of Hindustan, which was disunity. He joined hands with all local kings and secured International borders between empires. He had a profound and tremendous knowledge of all religions and a vast personal library. Apart from this, Akbar was very secular and respected all religions. Interestingly, He gave all important posts of the Mughal Empire to Local rulers.


KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK: It is around 25 km from Fatehpur Sikri. If you love nature and bird watchers, it is the perfect place for you. Interestingly, this bird sanctuary is a world heritage site of Unesco. You can hire a cycle there visit Keoladeo sanctuary.

BHARATPUR: This city has many places to visit. For example, Lohagarh Fort, Deeg fort etc. Bharatpur is also around 25 km from Fatehpur Sikri. 

AGRA: Mughal Capital Agra is around 40 km from Fatehpur Sikri, Where you can visit Many places. Taj Mahal, Red fort, Sikandra, Itmad ud daula etc. 

JAIPUR: Rajashtan Capital Jaipur is 200 km far away from Fatehpur Sikri. In Jaipur, there are many forts, Places and Pink city to visit. 


Fatehpur Sikri is samll town. After Mughal Empire, it lost the importance of commerce. The other reason is it is very near to Agra, and it has no airport, and the railway station is not significant. So I suggest you go in your Car. If you are a backpacker, there are buses from Agra and Jaipur.


If you plan to visit Sikri from Agra, you have various options available. The Distance between Siki and Agra is around 35 km, and it is on Agra Jaipur Highway. You can book a cab online if you do not have your car. Apart from this, you can use the public bus from the Idgah bus stand in Agra.

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