Fatehpur Sikri

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Fatehpur Sikri, India

Fatehpur Sikri Reviews

Toonsarah Toonsarah
457 reviews
Practical information for visiting Fatehpur Sikri Oct 19, 2015
Legend tells that Akbar, wanting an heir, made a pilgrimage to a renowned Sufi saint, Sheik Salim Chisti, to ask for his blessing. When a son was born to him, out of gratitude Akbar named him after the saint and built a new ceremonial capital to commemorate his birth, located on the ridge (Sikri) where the saint lived in a cavern.

This may or may not be true; it is certainly the case that Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to Fatehpur in part as a result of military victories and it’s also possible that these victories were the reason that he wanted to honour the saint. Whatever the reason, he will have believed that he had chosen an excellent strategic site, on this ridge that dominates the surrounding countryside. Work started in 1571, and it took the team of masons and stone-carvers fifteen years to complete the series of buildings here: sumptuous palaces, formal courtyards and gardens, pools, harems, tombs, a great mosque and a number of practical buildings such as bazaars, stables, workshops etc. All were contained within a five mile long wall, and in total covered an area nearly two miles long and one mile wide area. In designing the city Akbar drew on Persian and local Indian influences, making this the first great example of Mughal architecture.

But very soon after the work was completed, it was realized that there was a lack of an adequate water supply here, and the new capital was abandoned. Much of it fell into ruins; however the imperial palace complex still stands, along with a few other structures and parts of the wall.

Here today, among the remnants of Akbar’s glory, you can still discover riches – the colours (deep red sandstone and blue sky, dotted with the bright saris of visitors), the ornately detailed carvings, the sense of a world that existed only briefly and is long gone. Much of what remains is in ruins, but Akbar’s palace and some other buildings still stand, and you need several hours to see it properly, ideally half a day.

I have described the site in detail in my blog (http://www.travbuddy.com/travel-blogs/140628/Too-brief-reign-3) so here will focus on the practical details that will help you plan your visit.

You will probably come here by road from Agra, although there is also a railway station. Private vehicles, including tourist cars, must park in a large car park not far from the site from where you take a bus (rather old and rickety) for the short journey up the hill to the palace complex. To reach the bus you must walk past a small shopping area and run the gauntlet of the souvenir sellers (this was the only time on this trip that we were really hassled by anyone to buy, although even here it was done with good humour and much less aggressively than in some other countries). Entry to the site costs 260 IR for foreign visitors. There is no extra fee for camera use, unlike some other sights we visited. The ticket office is a little way into the site (not down below in the car park) so don’t worry that you may have missed it!
The Treasury
Detail of brackets in the Diwan-i-…
Diwan-i-Khas
Our guide Saurav
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Toonsarah says:
Thank you all :-) I really loved it here - one of the highlights of the trip!
Posted on: Mar 23, 2017
davejo says:
A beautiful place and so well kept. I was there in '93
Posted on: Mar 22, 2017
Jo104 says:
nice review Sarah
Posted on: Mar 22, 2017
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