atop a rocky ridge 37 km west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri came into being
four centuries ago when the Emperor Akbar, not yet 28 years old, created
the first planned city in Indo-Islamic style. The city was actualised
with great energy, but was completely
a little more than a decade later. In 1568, Akbar was secure and
powerful but he had no son and heir. His search for blessing for the
birth of a successor brought him to the Sufi mystic Shaikh Salim Chisti,
who lived in Sikri village. The saint prophesied the birth of three sons
and soon after was born Prince Salim, later to become Emperor Jahangir.
In gratitude for the blessing Akbar decided to create imperial
residences in Sikri, which would function as a joint capital with Agra.
As a mark of his faith and his recent victories, he named his new city
Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar was a keen builder and the plan of Fatehpur Sikri
reveals an architectural mastermind at work. Research has proved that it
was planned on a definite mathematical grid.
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 ware.
Fatehpur Sikri is built in red sandstone, and is a beautiful
blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural elements. The sandstone is
richly ornamented with carving and fretwork. Fatehpur Sikri was
abandoned 14 years after its creation. A shortage of water is believed
to be the reason. Today it is a ghost city, its architecture is in a
perfect state of preservation, and wandering through the palaces it is
easy to imagine that this was once a royal residence and a dynamic