Located 40 km west of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was the short-lived capital of the Mughal empire between 1571 and 1585, during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Fatehpur Sikri History
Akbar visited the village of Sikri to consult the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of an heir to the Mughal throne. When the prophecy came true, Akbar built his new capital here, including a stunning mosque – still in use today – and three palaces for each of his favourite wives, one a Hindu, one a Muslim and one a Christian. The city was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but erected in an area that suffered from water shortages and so was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death.
After the city was abandoned, many of its treasures were plundered. It owes its present state of preservation to the initial efforts of the viceroy, Lord Curzon, a legendary conservationist.
Read more about the history of Fatehpur Sikri.
Fatehpur Sikri Architecture
The red sandstone capital of Emperor Akbar, one of his architectural achievements, spreads along a ridge. A fine example of a Mughal walled city with defined private and public areas and imposing gateways, its architecture, a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles, reflects Akbar’s secular vision as well as his style of governance. The great mosque and palace buildings, deserted after only 14 years, are still a vivid reminder of his power and vision. Perfectly preserved, it conjures up the lifestyle of the Mughals at the height of their glory.
Tips for Fatehpur Sikri Sightseeing
Most tourists visit this World Heritage Site as a day trip from Agra. If you time, it’s worth staying for a night as there are a couple of decent places to stay.
The colourful bazaar in the village of Fatehpur, just below the ruins, as well as the small village of Sikri, a few kilometres north, are worth exploring.
Also, the red-sandstone palace walls are at their most atmospheric, and photogenic, at sunset.
FAQs about Fatehpur Sikri
Below are the answers to frequently asked questions about Fatehpur Sikri. If you have another question, please make a note in the Comments section below.
Where is Fatehpur Sikri located?
Fatehpur Sikri is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh in North India.
The distance between Agra and Fatehpur Sikri is 36 km; the distance between Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri is 222 km.
Who built Fatehpur Sikri?
Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar.
Why was Fatehpur Sikri built?
Akbar built his capital at Fatehpur Sikri after the prediction of a Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chhishti came true. Chishti lived in Sikri and predicted that Abkar would have a son who be the heir to the Mughal throne. The capital was built by Akbar in dedication to the saint.
When was Fatehpur Sikri built?
Fatehpur Sikri was built in 1571.
Click on one of the sections on the right for more information about Fatehpur Sikri.