Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fatehpur Sikri - Agra, India

About 37 km west of Agra, this royal city was founded as his dream capital by the Mughal Emperor Akbar. There is a legend behind the construction of this splendid city. Akbar was without an heir for a long time. Therefore, he made a pilgrimage to the renowned Sufi saint Sheik Salim Chisti and sought his blessings for a successor. Finally, a son was born to him, who later came to be known as Jehangir. As a mark of his gratitude, Akbar named him after the saint and built the new capital to mark his birth. Work on the extensive project- featuring grand palaces, formal courtyards, pools, harems, tombs and a great mosque- began in 1571. A large number of skilled masons and craftsmen worked to their bones on an area that was over two miles long and a mile wide. The main material used for construction was red sandstone, which is available locally.
But destiny has its own way- just after fifteen years of the completion of work, the fabulous city had to be abandoned due to acute shortage of water.

Fatehpur Sikri: The Cynosure of all Eyes
This magnificent city, today, is recognized as a World Heritage site. Inside the complex there are number of mesmerizing sites. The Panch Mahal, or Palace of Five Storeys, and the Buland Darwaza, a massive gate which provides entrance to the complex, are adored for their unrivaled elegance. The massive chess board signifies the cultural politics inherent in the Mughal era. On this board, as it is believed, human figures were used as chess pieces and moved at the will of the emperor. The Jama Masjid (Imperial Mosque), Salim Chisti tomb, Diwani-Aam, and Jodh Bai's Palace feature among the most impressive structures of the city. The city is notable for its intricate blend of Muslim and Hindu motifs.

No comments:

Post a Comment