History of Fatehpur Sikri Fort | Uttar Pradesh

History of Fatehpur Sikri Fort | Uttar Pradesh
About City
Fatehpur Sikri, the City of Victory was constructed soon after Akbar won over Rajputs. It was built in 16th century and is situated 40kms southwest of Agra. The city covers a distance of 6 kms and within defensive walls, were constructed many palaces, courts of audience, hunting lodges, mosques and triumphal portals. The city is somewhat rectangular and is thoroughly made of red sandstone. The city was made the capital of Akbar’s empire but after 10 years the city was abandoned due to lack of any reliable water supply for its inhabitants. 
History of Fatehpur Sikri Fort  Uttar Pradesh
History of Fatehpur Sikri Fort Uttar Pradesh

The architecture of the city has roofs of post and beams of Hindu-style along with vaults and domes of Muslim style. 

The Palace of Fatehpur Sikri
The palace of Fatehpur Sikri is placed across the ridge and is divided into four – the daulat khana or treasury in the centre; a princes’ palace; arms and ammunition stocks and the haram sara or queen’s chambers. The entrance of the palace is from Elephant Gate called Hathi Pol. The haram sara is connected to emperor’s private chambers. Haram Sara consists of queens’ apartments around a central court.It bears a single gate which was suitable for those days when women were screened from the public. Towards the north of Haram sara is Nagina Masjid which was queens’ private place of worship. 

The central court of the palace has various water bodies and fountains and a music pavilion. Of many buildings clustered around the court, the attention-grabbing ones are – Diwan-E-Am; Diwan-E-Khas; Birbal’s palace; Jodha Bai’s palace; Panch Mahal, the Nagina mosque, and Khilawatkada-I-Khas and Diwan-Kahan-e-Khas.
  • The Diwan-E-Am
    Right in front of Agra Gate through Naubat Khana, Diwan-E-Am is the hall for public hearing. Here, Akbar presented himself to audience for about 3 hours after sunrise.
  • The Diwan-E-Khas
    Served a hall of private audience, is a two-storey building with four chhatris on top.
  • The Panch-Mahal
    Panch Mahal is a five-storied buliding, where each level of the building is connected by stairs. The building comprises of eighty-four columns (an auspicious number according to Hindus) on the ground floor. The Mahal has touches of Hindu architecture and Buddhist Vihara.
  • Khilawatkada-I-Khas
    Is a chamber on the first floor that served as Akbar’s private room. Here Akbar met ladies from the harem and also met religious guests and watched court proceedings from here from behind the screens. The chamber was a kind of an informal court, where emperor gathered with his favorite noblemen – Birbal, Abul Fazl, Nakib Khan and other philosophers and Sufis.

    The ground floor of this chamber had another chamber, Diwan-Kahan-e-Khas, which was the living room of the emperor. The main chamber was 8m by 5m, with its roofs and walls decorated with gold. But this work was later destroyed by the bandits, who put the chamber on fire to melt the gold.

    The two chambers together are called Khawabagh.

 

Other Noteworthy Buildings
Fatehpur Sikri is also known for two more buildings – Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti, and the Buland Darwaza.
  • Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti
    This is the tomb of Shiekh Salim Chisti made of white marble. Sheikh Salim Chishti was the Sufi holy man with whose blessings Akbar begot male heir. Originally the tomb was built out of the red sandstone but it was later rebulit in white marble by Jahangir.
  • The Buland Darwaza
    This massive gate mounted on steps, is the entrance into the courtyard around the great mosque, Jama Masjid. It was built when Akbar won over Gujarat’s military. The beautifully carved tomb was originally planned in red sandstone, but was later changed into marble by Jahangir.

    The city depicts Akbar’s aesthetic sense and architectural genius.

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