Fatehpur Sikri – Agra

A royal city perfectly preserved, Fatehpur Sikri provides a marvellous escape into the past. Akbar embarked on the construction of a new capital here when a prophecy of the birth of a male royal heir, by the Sufi Saint Salim Chisti of Sikri, came true.

Imposing gateways and light- hearted palaces were built in red sandstone within this fortified city only to be abandoned a few years later.

Among its many architectural game are the places for his queens – Jodha Bai, Mariyam and his Turkish sultana, built in varying styles, each perfect in itself.

The Diwan-e-Khas entirely unique in its concept is a tall vaulted room with an intricately carved central pillar and capital supporting a platform that once held the emperor’s throne.

Narrow galleries link this to the corners of the room where it is believed his ministers sat The airy Panch Mahal a 5 storied structure rising in pyramidal fashion was probably used by the ladies of the court.

Set like a jewel in a courtyard of pink sandstone is the finest building here, the marble tomb of Salim Chisti enclosed by finely carved, lacy marble screens.

The Buland Darwaza, an imposing gateway 54 m high was built to commemorate Akbar’s Aligarh the famous university town is a center of Islamic studies. The city is also noted for its handicrafts and metal wares.

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