Fatehpur Sikri: This magnificent city of historical importance, 40 km west of Agra, was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar and it served as the empire’s capital from 1571 until 1585. Although a brilliant Indo- Islamic masterpiece, the city was abandoned shortly after Akbar’s death, due to severe water shortage.
Fatehpur Sikri is a wonderful site and is also a major tourist attraction in Agra. The palace buildings lie along the top of a ridge with the small town of Fatehpur Sikri just to the south. The palace and mosque, regarded as Emperor Akbar’s crowning architectural legacy are now a tourist attraction and also a UNESCO World Fleritage Site. Visit this city and you will become awestruck experiencing its urban spaces and watching its magnificent buildings.
Fatehpur Sikri has a lot to offer travellers and the major attractions include the Anup Talao, Buland Darwaza (Gate of Magnificence), Diwan-i-Am (Flail of Public), Diwan-i-Khas (Flail of Private), Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque), Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace, Naubat Khana, Pachisi Court, Panch Mahal,
Raja Birbal’s House and the Tomb of Salim Chisti.
Itmad-ud-Daulah: Often described as ‘jewel box,’ the Itmad-ud-Daulah, is where Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who got the title Itmad-ud- Daulah, was laid to rest finally. He served as the Chief Minister of Mughal emperor Jehangir. Although smaller in size, the monument deserves to be regarded as a ‘draft’ of the Taj Mahal with its astounding beauty. This grand monument is made of arched entrances, octagonal shaped towers
or minarets, exquisitely carved floral patterns and intricate marble screens and inlay. The absence of a dome and the presence of a closed kiosk atop this building, and the use of chhatris (small domed canopies, supported by pillars) on the four minarets instead of domes, shows local influence. The mausoleum set amidst a small garden, on the east bank of the Yamuna, is the first of its kind to be built entirely in white marble. The tomb adorned with the glorious pietra dura (stone inlay) would have been a true inspiration for the construction of the Taj Mahal.