Let me take you into one of the oldest epitomes of wonder in the heart of Agra City - well.... not the Taj. Its Fatehpur Sikri, the pair of two forts that hold up numerous histories of the Mughals. Let me give you a glance !!
Fatehpur Sikri is located in a distant place from the main Agra City, It's not on the same route as the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. So while planning, make sure you plan it in such a day when You can give time to this one alone and in addition may be Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur. TAKING A GUIDE INSIDE THIS HERITAGE IS REALLY MUCH MORE HELPFUL THAN YOU CAN EVER THINK.
The image above is the way to Shahi Darwaza which is located at the Fatehpur Fort. It was situated on the eastern side of the mosque facing Agra and was the main entrance to the mosque. Projecting out in the form of a half hexagonal porch, it has two kiosks and merlons at the top. The gateway is adorned with bands of buff sandstone carved in geometrical designs. It has two arches one on top of the other...
Let me tell you at the very first, that Fatehpur-Sikri is a pair of forts. Not a single one. Emperor Akbar, in memory of the great Sufi Saint Salim Chisti, designed this superiorly planned fort-town which after few years, had to be brought down due to lack of water supply. The Sikri was purely dedicated to Salim Chisti, the great Sufi who brought back Akbar's luck.
Ask Why Akbar kept his 1st son's name, Salim?
According to the guides there, Akbar after many tries failed to give birth to a son. Salim Chisti was the most renowned Pir at that time and with all hands tied, Akbar went to him. With Salim Chisti's blessings, Akbar had his 1st son whom he named Salim (Jahangir), making Salim Chisti's daughter, Jahangir's foster mother.
With gratefulness, Akbar made this Fort for Saint Salim. The whole fort is made of red sandstone except the dargah inside - a marble-made house of prayers where all your wishes seem to come true! (Vendors here can force you to buy holy clothes at an unusual price. Don't go above 50 or 60 rupees).
Outside the dargah when you will be walking in between the tombs of other saints and people close to the emperor who was coffined there itself, you will get to see the underground tunnel from where one of the spy-maids of Jodhabai tried to escape.
As I proceeded towards Buland Darwaza, the great door of 60 feet outside Fatehpur, (I will tell the tale in another blog) I could see this amazing frame where these elderly people were having their early morning talks beneath the soft winter sunshine! Later I had a knowledgeable conversation with them knowing how the city has changed over the years! the increase in population, number of visitors in Salim Chisti Dargah, how people entered the fort area to live inside it, and how this Fatehpur Sikri has given many people a guide job.
All over it was one amazing experience visiting this Ancient Qila of Majesty. Go for it in the winters as you will be safe from the scorching heat.