February 2010
M T W T F S S
« Jan   Mar »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728

A trip to Agra (home of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort) in India (starting from New Delhi) – Part 3 – Fatehpur Sikri




In the previous post (Taj Mahal in Agra), I had covered the magnificent structure of India’s most attractive tourist destination, the Taj Mahal in Agra. And this was the last tourist destination that we were covering inside Agra, since the 3rd one is actually located outside the township of Agra.
This post covers the 3rd major tourist destination in Agra, another UNESCO Heritage Site. This site is called Fatehpur Sikri, and is located around 40 KM from Agra, in the direction of Bharatpur (and a lot of people actually combine going to Agra and Bharatpur in the same trip, driving to these different destinations). In our case, we had already decided not to continue the stay in Hotel Atithi for the second day since our work in Agra was done. We would be going to Fatehpur Sikri and headed towards Delhi from there.

Location of Fatehpur Sikri on Google Maps:


View Larger Map

Fatehpur Sikri was Akbar’s act of faith, and also his folly, since it showed that even an emperor could not use all his might to fight against nature. Fatehpur Sikri was a city build by Akbar as his royal city, in homage to the saint Salim Chishti who lived in Sikri, and who ordained that a son would be born to Akbar (after Akbar had lost his earlier children). Duly after this, Salim (later to be known as Jehangir) was born to Akbar and Jodha Bai in 1569. In 1570, Akbar decided to start building his city, and this was born the complex of Fatehpur Sikri. However, water is essential to sustain any population, especially for a royal city.

The vast center courtyard of the Fatehpur Sikri compound
The vast center courtyard of the Fatehpur Sikri compound

The architecture of the city was incredible, since there was a confluence of different building influences including Islamic, Hindu, and Jain building concepts. It was supposedly in this city that Akbar started evolving the concept of a religion that encompasses beliefs from different religions – this was known as Din-i-Ilahi (but which died out after the reign of Akbar).
Fatehpur Sikri is very impressive, including the Buland Darwaza, one of the largest gateways in the world, and which leads to a steep flight of steps on one side. There is the grand Jama Masjid to one side of the white tomb, there is the Panchratna Mahal, and there is the grand and yet simple tomb of Salim Chisti, to which religious pilgrims from multiple religions still come to seek favors and tie knots on the wall.

The marble tomb of the saint Salim Chisti at Fatehpur Sikri
The marble tomb of the saint Salim Chisti at Fatehpur Sikri

Close up of the wooden gate of Fatehpur Sikri
Close up of the wooden gate of Fatehpur Sikri

Beehives on the huge arch of Buland Darwaza at the main entrance to Fatehpur Sikri
Beehives on the huge arch of Buland Darwaza at the main entrance to Fatehpur Sikri

Parts of the building get illuminated by light bursting through windows in Fatehpur Sikri
Parts of the building get illuminated by light bursting through windows in Fatehpur Sikri

The structure is built of red sandstone, with even the tomb being built of the same material, it was later that it was converted to being white marble. It is supposed that the saint helps childless couples, and hence families without children pay a visit to the shrine and pray their for their wish for a child to be granted.

A shaft of light through a window in a dome in Fatehpur Sikri
A shaft of light through a window in a dome in Fatehpur Sikri

A long beautiful corridor inside Fatehpur Sikri
A long beautiful corridor inside Fatehpur Sikri

People walking in the corridor around the central tomb in Fatepur Sikri
People walking in the corridor around the central tomb in Fatepur Sikri

Devouts laying a sheet on top of the shrine in Fatehpur Sikri
Devouts laying a sheet on top of the shrine in Fatehpur Sikri

After we spent some time admiring the place, paying our respects at the tomb, we set off back to Delhi (there is a side road that connects back to the main Delhi-Agra highway) and reached there around dark, well satisfied that we had a good trip and enjoyed 3 UNESCO World Heritage monuments.

Many more photos of the Agra trip at this location.




Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>