Fatehpur Sikri is a small city in northern India, just west of Agra, founded by a 16th-century Mughal emperor. Red sandstone buildings cluster at its center. Buland Darwaza gate is the entrance to Jama Masjid mosque. Nearby is the marble Tomb of Salim Chishti. Diwan-E-Khas hall has a carved central pillar. Jodha Bais Palace is a mix of Hindu and Mughal styles, next to the 5-story Panch Mahal that overlooks the site.
Basing his arguments on the excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1999-2000 at the Chabeli Tila, senior Agra journalist Bhanu Pratap Singh said the antique pieces, statues, and structures all point to a lost "culture and religious site," more than 1,000 years ago. "The excavations yielded a rich crop of Jain statues, hundreds of them, including the foundation stone of a temple with the date. The statues were a thousand years old of Bhagwan Adi Nath, Bhagwan Rishabh Nath, Bhagwan Mahavir and Jain Yakshinis," said Swarup Chandra Jain, senior leader of the Jain community. Historian Sugam Anand states that there is proof of habitation, temples and commercial centres before Akbar established it as his capital. He states that the open space on a ridge was used by Akbar to build his capital.But preceding Akbar's appropriation of the site for his capital city, his predecessors Babur and Humayun did much to redesign Fatehpur Sikri's urban layout. Attilio Petruccioli, a scholar of Islamic architecture and Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Bari, Italy, notes that "Babur and his successors" wanted "to get away from the noise and confusion of Agra [and] build an uninterrupted sequence of gardens on the free left bank of the Yamuna, linked both by boat and by land." Petruccioli adds that when such escapist landscapes are envisioned, the monument becomes the organizing element of the city at large, partly due to its orientation at a significant location and partly due to its sheer size. Humayun's Tomb was one such organizing element, which at a height of 150 feet towered over the city and is now one of the most recognizable Mughal monuments in the country
October to March: The best time to visit Fatehpur Sikri is between autumn and winter as by this time the heat has ebbed and the weather is pleasant and perfect for sightseeing. Walk through the many bazars of Fatehpur Sikri buying souvenirs and presents and practice your bargaining skills.
The short-lived capital of Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585, Fatehpur Sikri was a fortified city about 40 km west of Agra, and a fine specimen of Indo-Islamic architecture. Fatehpur Sikri held a special meaning for Akbar after the time he visited the village of Sikri and was foretold about the birth of a son and heir to the Mughal throne, by renowned sufi saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti. Akbar was thrilled when the prophecy came true, and after Jahangir’s second birthday commenced the construction of what would be his capital for days to come. ‘Fatehpur’ meaning city of victory seemed apt a name for the new capital city that brought with it happy tidings of Akbar’s Gujarat campaign which led to Gujarat becoming a Mughal province in 1573.Behold the way the turrets and the domes of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hem a sunset sky doused in all kinds of crimson by plunging themselves in abject darkness. To say the least, it is a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset from its 11-kilometre-long ramparts with walls on three sides and a lake on the fourth. Built on a 40-metre-high promontory, its rhombus-shaped layout and the architecture of its most important structures, the mosque, the three palaces and the gardens are believed to have been inspired by the Emperor’s interest in the arts and architecture. The grand mosque, the Imperial Palace Complex, and the marble tomb of Salim Chishti for their detailing and craftsmanship are comparable only to the Taj Mahal. And across the complex, you will witness this fine tapestry of Hindu and Islamic styles merging into one another, and yet retaining their individual fluidity and unique geometry.
Emperor Akbar built the tomb of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti in 1580-81, after the saint died in 1572. The saint Salim Chisti was a successor of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti of Ajmer, and lived in a cavern on the ridge at Sikri. The mausoleum, constructed by Akbar as a mark of his respect for the Sufi saint, who foretold the birth of Akbar's son, who was named Prince Salim after the Sufi Saint and later succeeded Akbar to the throne of the Mughal Empire, as Jahangir.When Salim Chisthi died, he was buried in the same Sikri complex where he once resided. A tomb was later commissioned that stands in the middle of the courtyard of the Jama Masjid in Sikri Fort. Originally it was built with red sandstone but was later converted in to a marble one in 1606 by Qutubuddin Khan Koka, on orders from Jahangir. Much later in 1866, a district magistrate of Agra replaced the plaster dome with white marble.The tomb has been constructed on an elevated platform with a flight of five steps leading to the portico. The main tomb building is enclosed by delicate marble screens on all sides and the tomb is located in the center of the main hall, which has a single semicircular dome. The cenotaph is covered by a canopy made of ebony. The marble building is beautifully carved, and has an ivory-like appearance. The plinth is ornamented with mosaics of black and yellow marble arranged in geometric patterns. The door to the main chamber is intricately carved with attractive patterns inscriptions from the Quran. The floor of the chamber is paved with white marble, inlaid with stones of different colours.People of different religions come in thousands to offer flowers and pray at the shrine. It is believed that tying a thread on the marble screens of the main tomb building serves as a constant reminder to the saint of their wishes. The Saint's Urs (death anniversary) is celebrated during winter with great devotion by his followers.