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History of Fatehpur Sikri: Features, Facts & More

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history of Fatehpur Sikri

India is a land known for its rich history and cultural heritage. One such architectural wonder that adds as a magnificent chapter to the grandeur of the Mughal era is the history of Fatehpur Sikri Fort. Situated in the state of Uttar Pradesh, this magnificent structure was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in the 16th century. Let’s delve into the history and explore the fascinating features of this historical site.

Built byMughal Emperor Akbar
LocationAgra, Uttar Pradesh
Timings6:00 am to 5:30 pm; except Friday
Entry Fee for fort₹ 40 for Indians; ₹ 550 for foreigners 
Free Entry for children below 15 years
Architectural StyleCombination of Mughal and Indian Style
StatusUNESCO World Heritage Site 

History of Fatehpur Sikri Fort

  • Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 1569 by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar.
  • Akbar found the city of Sikri, inspired by a prophecy from Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti.
  • The city thrived as the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1585 for a period of nearly 14 years.
  • Akbar renamed it “City of Victory” after a military win in 1573.
  • By 1585, water scarcity and political priorities lead to the city’s abandonment. Akbar relocates the capital to Lahore and then Agra. Fatehpur Sikri became a ghost town by 1610. 
  • Colonial rulers briefly revived the site as an administrative centre (1803-1850).
  • Monument restorations began in 1815 under British rule. 

Also Read  – Red Fort History: Features, Facts, Timings & More

Features of Fatehpur Sikri Fort

Today, Fatehpur Sikri stands as a stunning architectural legacy. Its red sandstone structures blend Hindu and Islamic influences. The fort was strategically located to have easy access to the interiors of India and Persia.

FeatureDescription
Fortified City WallsStretched in 6 kilometres, enclosing the entire city with eight majestic entry gates.
Buland DarwazaThe “Gate of Grandeur,” towers 54 meters and showcases magnificent Indo-Islamic architecture. Buland Darwaza is also known as the Gate of Magnificence, it was erected in 1602 to commemorate Akbar’s successful campaign in Gujarat.
Jama MasjidFatehpur Sikri is home to the Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India. Built-in 1571, this mosque showcases the perfect blend of Persian and Indian architectural styles. It has a central courtyard with a large water tank for ablution.
Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience)The Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, is a stunning structure within the fort. This elegant building was where Emperor Akbar held private meetings with his courtiers. The central pillar of the hall is adorned with exquisite carving, depicting a lotus flower.
Panch MahalThe Panch Mahal is also known as the Five-Storey Palace. A pavilion that offers a panoramic view was once used for musical performances and leisure.
Tomb of Shaikh Salim ChishtiA beautiful white marble structure dedicated to a revered Sufi saint attracts pilgrims and visitors.
Buland Darwaza Echo ChamberThe chamber gives a mystic touch where whispers echo 27 times due to clever architectural design.
Harem QuartersThese quarters give a glimpse into the lives of the emperor’s wives and their intricate courtyard designs.
Jodha Bai’s PalaceThis palace was built for Jodha Bai, the Hindu wife of Emperor Akbar. It is known for its unique blend of Rajput and Mughal architectural styles. The palace has a spacious courtyard.
CaravanseraiA large rest house for traders and travellers, highlighting the city’s role in trade and commerce.
Anup TalaoIt is believed Tansen, the great classical singer used to perform in the artificial water body.
Birbal’s HouseA residence of the famous Akbar’s navratna, Birbal.
Daftar KhanaThe official record room of Akbar

Other things to see include the Hiran Minar, Karkhana, Pachisi court, Hujra-i-Anup Talao, Naqqar Khana, Khazana Mahal, etc

Also Read – Agra Fort History: Features, Facts, Timings & More

Fascinating Facts about Fatehpur Sikri

  • The city was named Fatehpur Sikri, meaning “City of Victory,” after Akbar’s victorious campaign in Gujarat.
  • Fatehpur Sikri has eight gates namely Delhi Gate, Agra Gate, Lla Gate, Ajmeri Gate and Gwalior Gate, etc
  • It is regarded as the first planned city in India built by the Mughals.
  • The fort complex was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986.
  • Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned due to the scarcity of water, which made it unsustainable for habitation.
  • Mughal Emperor Jahangir, the son of Akbar is believed to have lived in the fort for three months.
  • English traveller of the 16th century, Ralph Fitch quotes that the city of Fatehpur Sikri in the 16th century was much larger and more populous than London.

Panch Mahal

Timings of Fatehpur Sikri Fort

The timings of visiting the complex are –

PurposeTimings
Entry6 am to 5:30 pm 
Week EntryOnly closed on Fridays
Jama Masjid of Agra

Other Attractions near Fatehpur Sikri

Taj Mahal Wildlife SOS Bear Sanctuary 
Itmad-ud-Dulah’s Tomb Sadar Bazaar
The Red Taj Mehtab Bagh 
Sikandra Fort and Akbar’s Tomb Mughal Gardens 

Fatehpur Sikri Fort adds to the allure of the architectural brilliance and cultural diversity of the Mughal era. This majestic structure, with its intricate designs and awe-inspiring monuments, provides a glimpse into the grandeur of the past. 

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That’s all about history of Fatehpur Sikri Fort! If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! Alternatively, you can also read our blog on general knowledge for competitive exams!

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