Fatehpur Sikri is one of the many UNESCO-recognized World Heritage Sites located in and around Agra that date back to the Mughal era of dominance, which stretched from the sixteenth into the seventeenth century. An ancient city, it lies 25 miles away from Agra and about three hours' drive from Delhi, the capital of India, and Fatehpur Sikri is easily accessible by roads and trains. As a result, it's a fantastic addition to the popular Golden Triangle tours, which take in the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, and the Red Fort of Delhi. Visitors are thus greeted with an excellent range of tourist facilities around the ruins of Fatehpur Sikri India, with many guesthouses and hotels catering for those who have made it here after having explored the very well-known sights of the Golden Triangle.
The history of Fatehpur Sikri is as fascinating as the architectural wonders of this ancient city. The Mughal emperor Akbar built the Fatehpur Sikri palace and city in honor of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. The name Fatehpur Sikri means City of Victory, which possibly refers to the victory Akbar's grandfather Babar secured in the nearby location of Khanwa against the supposedly undefeatable Rajput leader Rana Sanga. Fatehpur Sikri served as Akbar's capital for about fifteen years from 1570 before it was abandoned, possible due to a sudden drought that occurred around the time.
Fatehpur Sikri India is noted for its marvelous architecture. In the buildings within this ancient city complex one can discern architectural influences of various schools, including Persian, Rajasthani, Islamic, Hindu, and Jain. This is partly due to the fact that artists who constructed the several gates, mosques, and palaces of the city were brought from all over the vast Mughal Empire.
When it comes to exploring the buildings steeped in the history of Fatehpur Sikri, there are a few particular edifices to seek out. The Panch Mahal, for example, is a magnificent five-story palace. Make sure to check out the many pillars of its ground floor, which are decorated with detailed carvings. Another interesting site is the Tomb of Salim Chishti, which is a white marble shrine to the Sufi saint who foretold the birth of Prince Salim of Jahangir, Akbar's heir to the Mughal throne.
The Buland Darwaza is also an impressive site. Literally translated as the Magnificent Gate, Buland Darwaza is the highest gateway in the world, measuring more than 170 feet tall and about 115 feet wide. It is one of the gates to the Jama Mosque in Fatehpur Sikri India and is made of red sandstone inlaid with white marble. It occupies an important position in the history of Fatehpur Sikri having been built to commemorate Akbar's subjugation of Gujarat.
The Char Chaman Tank is a favorite among visitors to the city. A large pool with an island-like platform constructed in the middle, it features four intricately decorated bridges that connect each side of the pool with the island.
Fatehpur Sikri covers a massive area of land, and exploring it is best done with a licensed guide. As ever, try not to dabble in black-market guides, as the information they offer won't necessarily be the most accurate. In general, this is not a tourist site for those seeking activities and adventure, but it is one that is perfect for those who like their itineraries to include relaxed, historically rich, and mesmerizing attractions.