A Nomad's Diary - travel tales

Fatehpur Sikri – the Land of Jodha & Akbar!

Recently on a long weekend, along with a bunch of friends, a trip to Agra & Fatehpur Sikri materialized. Well, this wasn’t my first visit to Agra but definitely the first one to this town. We have all read about Fatehpur Sikri history which is worth visiting someday. Sadly, in all my previous visits to Agra visiting this town didn’t happen. After all, the beauty and marvellous architecture of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort are so encaptivating.

So this time, our group made it a point to visit this historical town – the land of Jodha & Akbar. 

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What is Fatehpur Sikri to Agra Distance?

Reaching Fatehpur Sikri to Agra takes around 45 minutes to an hour.

The heritage sites here have been beautifully maintained by the tourism department so one can witness Fatehpur Sikri history without any hassle. There is a point beyond which no private vehicles are allowed. However, government-run shuttle buses with good frequency or walking are the only two resorts left for a tourist if he wants to visit various heritage sites in this town.

Here are intriguing historical folklore and facts related to the top heritage sites that compel a history-loving tourist to visit Fatehpur Sikri:

Queen Jodha Palace in Fatehpur Sikri Fort area

The love between Emperor Akbar and Jodha, his Hindu wife is famous. But after coming to Fatehpur Sikri Fort, one gets to actually experience the love and the position that Jodha had. She is not only considered to have given Akbar his successor but is also considered to be his most beloved queen. Whether she was Mariyam-ur-Zamani or not is still a point of debate among historians. Inside the fort compound itself, there is another palace of Mariam. This queen is described as the Christian queen of Emperor Akbar.

Nevertheless, the Jodha Palace is a huge architectural marvel and the biggest among the palaces of all queens. As she was a vegetarian so she had a separate kitchen of her own which is huge and beautiful. It is believed that she too used to cook food. Many parts of her palace have the influence of Rajasthani architecture.

Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti:

Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti - fatehpur sikri history
Fatehpur Sikri history Source: By Marcin Białek – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

It is said that Akbar didn’t have a successor for many years and as he was an ardent follower of Sheikh Salim Chisti, one day he went to him and told about his woe. It is said that the saint then directed him to go to Ajmer Sharif on his feet which Mughal emperor Akbar did. When he came back, saint Salim Chisti professed that soon his Hindu wife, Jodha, would bear him a successor. The prophecy came true and soon Akbar’s first son was born. He named the boy ‘Salim’, as a mark of respect to the great saint. Since then the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti is visited by couples who don’t have children and prayers are offered for the same. This story from Fatehpur Sikri history has different versions and is debatable. Nevertheless, people from all walks of life despite their religion come here and bow before this great saint.

Diwan -e-Khaas, Panch Mahal and Anup Talao:

Paanch Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri fort
Paanch Mahal at Fatehpur Sikri fort

These are some of the most beautiful and unique monuments in terms of their architecture. Diwan-e-Khas was the place where king Akbar used to meet his nine chief consultants (navratans including Birbal) and other religious people. The speciality of this monument lies inside it. Its central pillar has been beautifully designed with various geometric and serpentine patterns.

Next is Panch Mahal which is a gorgeous five-storey monument that must have been a skyscraper in Akbar’s era. Anup Talao is an ornately designed pond that has a central sitting area and is connected with four bridges. It is said that the queens used to sit here and had a fun time.

Buland Darwaza:

Buland Darwaza is the huge victory door that was created after Akbar’s victory over Gujarat King. The intriguing part about this monument is the verse from the Bible written on it which is a symbol of Akbar’s secularist mindset and respect for all religions.

As they say, ‘Great Men aren’t born great but they grow to be great’. So is the history left behind of Akbar-the-Great of which Fatehpur Sikri fort still is a living witness. I would say just be there to glimpse the royal Mughal era!

(1) Comment

  1. […] in Ain-e-Akbari which is a documented collection of administration details from Mughal emperor Akbar’s rule in […]

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