Built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses the grandeur of the Mughal Kingdom. The unique feature about this place is that the entire region was well-planned. It has many famous monuments and is truly a major tourist destination.
Fatehpur Sikri at times is referred to as the hub centre of King Akbar's rule, and it reflects in the well-planned layout of this amazing city. There are many places to visit here, and you will be mesmerised by the beauty of the buildings that stand here. It is a hub for historians who visit this place to learn more about Emperor Akbar and the Mughal era during his reign. Here is a guide to the places to visit in the historical city of Fatehpur Sikri.
One of the places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri is the magnificent Anup Talao, which is a one of a kind water tank. There is a red sandstone platform built here that was used for entertaining guests to music and dance shows. The open tank is said to have had many silver and golden coins at its bottom that would glimmer when the sun shone on them. It was later given away in charity by Jehangir. Tourists coming here can marvel at the beauty of this tank and also climb the platform where the performances were held to entertain the emperor and his guests.
Photo Courtesy: Guilhem Vellut
Another tourist place in Fatehpur Sikri is the Buland Darwaza also known as the 'Great Gate'. It was built to commemorate the victory of Emperor Akbar over Gujarat. This 15-storey structure is located at the southern part of Fatehpur Sikri and has Persian inscriptions on it. Tourists come here from far and wide to marvel at this gigantic structure.
Photo Courtesy: Soham Banerjee
Another place to visit in Fatehpur Sikri is Mariam-Uz-Zamani Palace, built for Emperor Akbar's Hindu wife, Jodha Bai. The palace was the seat of power during the reign of Akbar as well as his son Jehangir. The palace has luxurious decors and beautiful architecture. It is surrounded by a lovely garden also. Tourists can explore this palace and be amazed by its marvellous architecture and intricately carved interiors.
Photo Courtesy: Sanyam Bahga
A tourist place in Fatehpur Sikri is the Ibadat Khana, better known as the 'House of Worship'. It is a prayer room built by Akbar at Fatehpur Sikri and originally intended for the gathering of Sunni Muslims. It is now open to all Muslims to come and offer their prayers here. Tourists will have to be content viewing the structure from outside as entry is only allowed to the Muslims.
Photo Courtesy: Unbekannter Maler
One of the prime attractions at Fatehpur Sikri is Birbal's Palace, which is also said to have housed Akbar's other wives, namely; Ruqayya Begum and Salima Sultan Begum. The palace boasts of a mixture of Hindu and Mughal architecture and has many detailed carvings. Tourists coming here can explore this majestic palace and wonder at the richness that it would have once held.
Photo Courtesy: Sputnik Mania
Another place to visit in Fatehpur Sikri is the five-storey columnar structure of the Panch Mahal. It was built as a place of relaxation for King Akbar. It is an open structure with each floor being smaller than the one below it. It lies close to the Anup Talao and was the place from where the queens and princesses watched the shows held at the Anup Talao. Tourists coming here can enjoy the beauty of this architecture and climb the many storeys to get different views of the region from here.
Photo Courtesy: Bruno Girin
Tomb of Salim Chishti
Another tourist place in Fatehpur Sikri is the tomb of Salim Chishti, who was the holy saint of Emperor Akbar. It is said that the king was told by the saint that he would be blessed with an heir and soon thereafter a son was born to him. In respect and gratitude for the saint, Akbar is said to have built this tomb. Tourists coming here can explore this tomb and also see many inscriptions written on its walls.
Photo Courtesy: Poco a poco
How to Reach Fatehpur Sikri
By Air: The nearest airport is the Kheria Airport at Agra, at about 40 km distance. It is well-connected with all the major cities in the country.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Agra Cantonment, served by trains from all parts of India.
By Road: Fatehpur Sikri is connected to Agra and neighbouring regions by regular bus services run by the state transport corporation including Agra and Delhi.
Photo Courtesy: Selmer van Alten