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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fatehpur Sikri



Red sandstone city built by Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was chosen as a world heritage site in 1986. Situated on a rocky ridge, about 40 km from Agra, it was planned as the capital of the Mughal Emperor. However, the city was to be abandoned later because of the severe water problem in the city. More than four centuries old, it was built in Indo-Islamic architectural style as a tribute to the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti who bestowed the emperor with a son and an heir to the throne. The saint used to live at the village Sikri. The emperor named his son after him as Salim, who later came to be known as Jehangir. The city was partly raised to immortalize Akbar's victory over Jats and Rajputs and was thus known as 'Fatehpur' or 'City of Victory'. The sandstone structure is carved immaculately with ostentatious carvings and the palaces of this ghost city exhibit some of the finest architectural elements used wisely.However, only 14 years after its construction, the city had to be left due ti the acute shortage of water. Fatehpur Sikri complex is worth seeing and exploring because its architectural treasure is preserved almost in its pristine condition. The main structures include the Dargah or the marble tomb of Saint Chisti situates centrally in the courtyard and is the most prominent and beautiful building of the complex with ornamented interiors that use mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli and topaz and fine marble latticed windows. This shrine is quite famous and prople from far away places come here in hope of being blessed and their wishes being granted. Other builfings are Diwan-i-Khas or Hall of Private Audience, Diwani-i-Am or Hall of Public Audience, Panch Mahal, palaces for queens, Pachisi Court and Buland Darwaza.

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