Destination India

Fatehpur Sikri : A must visit city when you are near Agra

The story tells that Emperor Akbar chose Sikri Hill to build a new place to live with his imperial court. The location was chosen after having consulted Sheikh Salim Chishti, who prophesied to him the birth of three children. The city of Fatehpur Sikri (India) was built in 1567.

A brief history of Fatehpur Sikri!Fatehpur Sikri, about 40 kilometers from Agra, was a city built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585; in honor of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Such importance had, that was the capital of the Mongol empire during 14 years. It tells the story that had to be abandoned, due to lack of water, being looted, many of its treasures being stolen. This is why he inherited the name “ghost town.”However, for our fate, it was not a complete abandonment and plundering, but still retains its magnificent architecture, a mixture of Hindu and Islamic styles.

Akbar started building a mosque and a palace, the court nobles also began to build their houses nearby and a new city emerged that was the capital of the Mongol empire until 17 years later, in 1585. They left abruptly, and it is believed that due to the severe droughts that are lived in the zone, the architects of the time did not find the way to take the water to the hill.The city is made up of a homogeneous architectural complex with numerous monuments and temples, including the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India.

What to see in Fatehpur Sikri!This will depend, mainly, on how much time we have in the city. What we should know is that there are 2 zones:

The public area: where the palaces and courtrooms are located. Paid.

The religious area: where we find the great mosque Jami Masjid and the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti. FREE.

In our case, due to our fast travel and the suffocating heat, we reduced the visit only to the religious part, but still, it is well worth investing that time from Agra, the city, the car trip, the surroundings, for its people, for everything.

The entrance to the old town is coming out of the bus station on the right, after a small slope. That’s when you see the large dimensions of its imposing 55-meter-high access door: Buland Darwaza. After a few steps there you find yourself overwhelmed by its size and beauty.The gate was built five years later from the completion of the mosque as a bow of victory, to commemorate Akbar’s success in the Gujarat campaign. He has two inscriptions in his bow, one of which he says (translated into English):

Isa, the son of Mariam, said the world is a bridge, pass over, but build no house upon it. The one who waits for an hour can wait for eternity. The world lasts, but an hour. Pass it on the prayer, so that the rest is in secret.

#MacroTravellerTips: Access to the religious site cannot be done with shoes, they should be left out. Do not worry, it is safe, but of course, everything has a price, on the way out for a few rupees you will be returned. Our advice is to leave yourselves the shoes where you like most, whether in a corner, crowded with others (if you go in a group) or in a bag that you carry.

If you want more information about the site – Hire Guide!The entrance to this part of the premises is free, but again has a “hidden” price; a kind guide will join you and will indicate that you will teach the entire campus at no cost, studying at the school, which has a card Guide, etc.

The religious compound consists of 5 main areas: the mausoleums, the vast central courtyard and its three main places: the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, the Jami Masjid Mosque and Badshahi Darwaza, the royal gate where the emperor went to enter the complex And meet directly with the mosque.

Panch Mahal, Women’s Palace!Perhaps this is the most striking building of the whole to be the highest, five floors pyramidal form where the queens and their servants met.

The walk begins with the imposing central courtyard and the mausoleums, where the men and women are buried separately. At the exit of the shrine of people, I found one of the great curiosities of Fatehpur Sikri and that was connected to Agra by a passage of 40 km, with breathing pipes and water.

I continued through the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti, beautiful, white marble, with lattices carved by hand in marble, each one different. Fascinating.Inside the tomb they were praying and depositing offerings of rose petals. I will not forget that pleasant smell and the delicate treatment of each of the petals, which delights.

The images obtained from the trellises are beautiful, as is the feeling of going out to the central courtyard and meeting the huge Buland Darwaza from the back.#MacroTravellerFacts: The central courtyard in times of Ramadan becomes a public setting of prayers and spirituality, filling with people carrying lights and candles, as I was told, as a small Mecca.

Sitting down to contemplate the entire religious area we concluded our visit to Fatehpur Sikri. Then we had the civil area, but the heat and the busy schedule invited us to return to Agra.

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