Fatehpur Sikri - Agra
Agra's favourite destinations, India
Taj MahalThe Pinnacle of Mughal Arch...Read more...
Agra FortAgra Fort is.....Read more...
Itimad-Ul-Daula TombItimad-Ul-Daula Tomb is....Read more...
Akbar's TombAkbar's Tomb is....Read more...
Chini Ka RauzaChini Ka Rauza is....Read more...
Mehtab BaghMehtab Bagh is....Read more...
Ram BaghRam Bagh is....Read more...
Fatehpur SikriFatehpur Sikri is....Read more...
Jodha Bai Ka RauzaWhat is Jodha Bai Ka Rauza....Read more...
Jahangir MahalJahangir Mahal or Rani Bagh is....Read more...
Moti MasjidMoti Masjid is....Read more...
Octagonal TowerOctagonal Tower is....Read more...
Sikandra FortSikandra Fort is....Read more...
Soami Bagh SamadhiSoami Bagh Samadhi is....Read more...
Guru Ka TaalGuru Ka Taal is....Read more...
Sikri an extension of the upper Vindhyan ranges is situated on the bank of a large natural lake, which has now mostly dried up. It is a pre-historic site and, with abundant water, forest and raw material, it was ideal for primitive man’s habitation. Rock shelters with paintings exist on the periphery of the lake. Stone age tools have been found in this area. Ochre Coloured Pottery (c. 2nd millennium B.C.) and Painted Grey Ware (c.1200-800 B.C.) have also been discovered from here.
Sikri has been mentioned in the Mahabharata as 'Saik'. Lexicons define 'Saik' as a region surrounded by water. An inscription found on the stone sculpture of Jaina Saraswati (dated 1067 Vikram Samvat - 1010 A.D.) mentions this place as 'Sekrikya', which seems to be a similar derivative. All this shows that Sikri was continuously inhabited since the prehistoric period.
Babur visited the place on the eve of the Khanwah battle in A.D. 1527 and mentioned it as 'Sikri' in his Memoirs. He founded here a garden and a Jal-Mahal surrounded by the lake-water, and a baoli (step-well) to commemorate his victory in the Khanwah battle.
Akbar (1556-1605), grandson of Babur, shifted his residence and court from Agra to Sikri, for a period of 13 years, from 1572 to 1585 to honour the Sufi Saint Sheikh Salim Chishti, who resided here (in a cavern on the ridge). Akbar revered him very much as the Saint had blessed him with a son who was named Salim in 1569. He raised lofty buildings for his use, and houses for the public. Thus grew, a great city with charming palaces and institutions. Akbar gave it the name of Fathabad and which in later days came to be known as “Fathpur Sikri”.
Here practically, all Mughal institutions such as the 'Ibadat-Khanah', 'Din-i-Ilahi', 'Tarikh-i-Ilahi' , Jharokha-Darshan, the doctrine of Sulh-i-Kul and policy of liberal patronage to indigenous arts and literatures, were founded. It was also here that workshops of various handicrafts were established.
Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. Some of the important buildings in this city, both religious and secular are-
Buland Darwaza - set into the south wall of congregational mosque, the Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri, this stupendous piece of architecture is 55 metre high, from the outside, gradually making a transition to a human scale in the inside, the gate was added some five years later after the completion of the mosque ca. 1576-1577 as an 'victory arch', to commemorate the Akbar's successful Gujarat campaign. It carries two inscriptions in the archway, one of which reads: "Isa (Jesus) Son of Mary 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".
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.
Jama Masjid - it is a Jama Mosque meaning the congregational mosque, and was perhaps one of the first buildings to come up in the complex, as its epigraph gives AH 979 (A.D. 1571-72) as the date of its completion, with a massive entrance to the courtyard, the Buland-Darwaza added some five years later. It was built in the manner of Indian mosques, with diwans around a central courtyard. A distinguishing feature is the row of chhatri over the sanctuary. There are three mihrabs in each of the seven bays, while the large central mihrab is covered by a dome; it is decorated with white marble inlay, in geometric patterns.
Tomb of Salim Chishti - a white marble encased tomb of the Sufi saint, Salim Chisti (1478-1572), within the Jama Masjid's sahn, courtyard. The single-storey structure is built around a central square chamber, within which is the grave of the saint, under an ornate wooden canopy encrusted with mother-of-pearl mosaic. Surrounding it is a covered passageway for circumambulation, with carved Jalis, stone pierced screens all around with intricate geometric design, and an entrance to the south. The tomb is influenced by earlier mausolea of the early 15th century Gujarat Sultanate period. Other striking features of the tomb are white marble serpentine brackets, which support sloping eaves around the parapet.
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.
Diwan-i-Aam - Diwan-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience, is a building typology found in many cities where the ruler meets the general public. In this case, it is a pavilion-like multi-bayed rectangular structure fronting a large open space southwest of the Diwan-i-Am and next to the Turkic Sultana's House stand Turkic Baths.
Diwan-i-Khas - the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, is a plain square building with four chhatris on the roof. However it is famous for its central pillar, which has a square base and an octagonal shaft, both carved with bands of geometric and floral designs, further its thirty-six serpentine brackets support a circular platform for Akbar, which is connected to each corner of the building on the first floor, by four stone walkways. It is here that Akbar had representatives of different religions discuss their faiths and gave private audience.
Ibadat Khana - (House of Worship) was a meeting house built in 1575 CE by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, where the foundations of a new Syncretistic faith, Din-e-Ilahi were laid by Akbar.
Anup Talao - an ornamental pool with a central platform and four bridges leading up to it. Some of the important buildings of the royal enclave are surround by it including, Khwabgah (House of Dreams) Akbar's residence, Panch Mahal, a five-storey palace, Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), Ankh Michauli and the Astrologer's Seat, in the south-west corner of the Pachisi Court.
Hujra-i-Anup Talao - said to be the residence of Akbar's Muslim wife, although this is disputed due to its small size.
Mariam-uz-Zamani's Palace - the building of Akbar's Rajput wives, including Mariam-uz-Zamani, shows Gujarati influence and is built around a courtyard, with special care being taken to ensure privacy.
Naubat Khana - also known as Naqqar Khana meaning a drum house, where musician used drums to announce the arrival of the Emperor. It is situated ahead of the Hathi Pol Gate or the Elephant Gate, the south entrance to the complex, suggesting that it was the imperial entrance.
Pachisi Court - a square marked out as a large board game, the precursor to modern day Ludo game where people served as the playing pieces.
Panch Mahal - a five-storied palatial structure, with the tiers gradually diminishing in size, till the final one, which is a single large-domed chhatri. Originally pierced stone screens faced the façade, and probably sub-divided the interior as well, suggesting it was built for the ladies of the court. The floors are supported by intricately carved columns on each level, totaling to 176 columns in all.
Birbal's House - the house of Akbar's favorite minister, who was a Hindu. Notable features of the building are the horizontal sloping sunshades or chajjas and the brackets which support them.
The efficient system of drainage and water-supply adopted here suggest an extremely intelligent town-planning by the Mughal emperor.
All these palaces were built of red sandstone in the trabeate beam-and-post order, and composed of pillars, ornamental arches, brackets-and-chhajjas, jharokhas, chhatris, chhaparkhats, chaukhandis and so on. Domes have been used sparingly. Sometimes corbelled pendentives have been employed in the transition phase.
The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri has a definite all-India character. It is prolific and versatile Indo-Muslim composite style, which is a fusion of the composite cultures of indigenous and foreign origins.
Fatehpur Sikri is now a World Heritage site. The Panch Mahal, or Palace of Five Storey's, 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.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions".
"The purpose of our lives is to be happy" - Dalai Lama