Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur SikriFatehpur Sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It was the political capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar's reign, from 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned, ostensibly due to lack of water. It is located in what is now Uttar Pradesh, India.

Fatehpur Sikri is a perfectly preserved Mughal city that you should not miss during your Agra trip. The name ‘Sikri’ originates from the Urdu word ‘Shukriya’, meaning thanks to God and was originally uttered by Mughal Emperor Babar on the occasion of his triumphs over the Rajputs. But, today everything else related to Babar has vanished in Fatehpur Sikri except the place name ‘Sikri’.

The layout of the city shows a conscious attempt to produce rich spatial effects by the organization of built forms around open spaces in interesting ways. Of particular note is the way in which shifts in axes occur as one moves along the city and the location of squares in important places with buildings forming a backdrop or envelope.

Unlike other important Mughal cities (such as Shahjahanabad, which has a very formal planning), Fatehpur Sikri has aspects of informality and improvisation. Indeed, the newly constructed city bore a similarity to the movable imperial encampment also designed by Akbar.
Fatehpur Sikri is now a World Heritage site. The Panch Mahal , or Palace of Five Storeys, and the Buland Darwaza, a massive gate which provides entrance to the complex, number among the finest specimens of Mughal architecture, and it is even arguable that Fatehpur Sikri is the greatest accomplishment of Mughal architecture, surpassed only in reputation but not in its beauty and the awe it inspires by the Taj Mahal. The cultural politics of the site remains to be written: perhaps the mammoth chess board, where human figures were used as chess pieces and moved at the emperor's will, provides a cue.

Places to see in Fatehpur Sikri
Naubat Khana – Drum house: near the entry, where important arrivals are announced.
Diwan-i-Am – Hall of Public Audience: a building typology found in many Mughal cities where the ruler meets the general public.
Diwan-i-Khas – Hall of Private Audience: famous for its central pillar with thirty-six voluted brackets supporting a circular platform for Akbar.
Raja Birbal's house: the house of Akbar's favourite minister, who was a Hindu.
Jodhabai's palace: The building shows Gujarati influence and is built around a courtyard, with special care being taken to ensure privacy.
Pachisi Court: a square marked out as a large sized board game where live coins- people- participated.

Char Chaman Tank: a tank with a central platform and four bridges leading up to it.
Panch Mahal: A five-storied palatial structure. The bottom floor has 176 intricately carved columns.
Buland Darwaza – the 'Gate of Magnificence': one of the gateways to the Jami masjid, a stupendous piece of architecture from the outside, gradually making a transition to a human scale in the inside.
Jama Masjid: the mosque, built in the manner of Indian mosques, with liwans around a central courtyard. A distinguishing feature is the row of chhatris over the sanctuary.

Tomb of Salim Chisti: a white marble encased tomb within the Jama mosque's courtyard.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary:57km from Agra, this bird sanctuary is situated on the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. The major attraction is the migrating Siberian Cranes in the winter months.

How to reach Fatehpur Sikri
By AIR- The city of Fatehpur Sikri is only 40 km from Agra city. Agra is well connected by air with Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Delhi. Kheria airport in Agra is the nearest airport from Fatehpur Sikri. Domestic flights are available to Agra from important places of India. From the airport, you have to reach Fatehpur Sikri via road route.
By Rail- Nearest major railway station is located in Agra. Agra railway is served by large number of express trains from important places of the country. Trains are available at regular intervals between Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.
By Bus- UPSTDC, ITDC and other private operators arrange conducted tours to Fatehpur Sikri, but the tour buses stop only for an hour. If you want to spend longer time at Fatehpur Sikri it is better you take a regular bus from the Idgah Bus Stand.

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