There are several Indian monuments that points to the Mughal civilization of the 16th century. Top among them is the Taj Mahal Mausoleum that was dedicated to the Mamutaz the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan and the Fort Agra that surrounded the palace building. Today, you get to learn of another equally important monument that dates back to the era.

Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri

There are several Indian monuments that points to the Mughal civilization of the 16th century. Top among them is the Taj Mahal Mausoleum that was dedicated to the Mamutaz the wife of Emperor Shah Jahan and the Fort Agra that surrounded the palace building. Today, you get to learn of another equally important monument that dates back to the era.

The Fatehpur Sikri bears exceptional testimony of the Mughal architectural genius. You will find that the Fatehpur Sikri was part of a larger elaborate architectural ensemble. It was built from 1571 to 1585. Its layout was important in influencing how Indian towns were constructed during the period – the most notable is the Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi)

History

The city was fondly referred to as the ‘City of Victory’ and was one of the most important cities of the Mughal Empire. Below is a brief history of the city.

  • 1571 - The Emperor Akbar (1556-1605) decided to construct it in 1571, on the same site where the birth of his son, the future Jahangir, was predicted by the wise Shaikh Salim Chisti (1480-1572).
  • 1573 - The work, supervised by the great Mughal himself, was completed in 1573.
  • 1585 - Akbar abandoned Fatehpur Sikri to fight against the Afghan tribes and choose a new capital, Lahore.
  • 1619 - Fatehpur Sikri was to be the seat of the great Mughal court only once more for three months in 1619, when Jahangir sought refuge there from the plague that devastated Agra.
  • 1892 – Archaeological exploration discovered the abandoned city in 1892.

Fatehpur Sikri is located about 40 kilometers from Agra and was more than a fancy imperial capital. An English traveller in 1585 wrote that it was considerably larger and more populous than London. The city comprises of public buildings, mosques, court’s living quarters, and populace residence.

Attractions

  • Diwan-i-Am, the Hall of Public Audience
  • Daulat Khana (Imperial Palace)
  • Diwan-i-Kas (Hall of Private Audience), called the 'Jewel House'
  • The Ranch Mahal – Within this ranch you will find; Buddhist temples, the pavilion of Anup Talao, or the Turkish Sultana, the palace of Jodh Bai, the palace of Birbal, the caravanserai and the problematic 'stables'.

Whatever else you do, make sure you get a chance to visit this Mughal city. While at it, carry your camera with you. The sights you get here may not be there in another 50 years. You might be storing history for you grandchildren.

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