This ghost town was once a bustling citadel All that is left is its glorified shells. From its the palaces and courtrooms to mighty gate of victory, These attractions in Fatehpur Sikri are ready to whisper its majestic history. Discover the best places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri and learn why this city was built and later abandoned. Plan your visit here with this complete list of Fatehpur Sikri tourist places.
The legendary Ghost Town, once the ruling capital of the renowned Mughal emperor Akbar, had always piqued my attention. For me, visiting Fatehpur Sikri was like filling the gaps left by the story of Agra Fort and Taj Mahal. Adding to its wanderlust quotient were the glimpses of the famous monuments in Fatehpur Sikri on the internet and movies like Pardes. Fatehpur Sikri eluded me during my earlier visits to Agra. It was finally this year that the missing pieces of the Mughal jigsaw fell into place to give me a complete picture of this imperial history of India.
Fatehpur Sikri did not disappoint me at all. In fact, walking through all those attractions in Fatehpur Sikri triggered my imagination to the point where I could actually imagine characters and dialogues from those pages of history. To be honest, for many this visit would have taken around 2 hours but with my photography bug and versatile imagination, I ended up spending half a day in Fatehpur Sikri. And yet, I feel as if I left a lot unseen during this trip. That is the sheer number of things to see in Fatehpur Sikri – one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in India
In this blog article, I will be sharing a complete list of places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri. To help you enjoy the Fatehpur Sikri sightseeing list, I have included the history of this city, and why it was made and later abandoned. There are several legends and folklore attached to the monuments of Fatehpur Sikri – which is what will make this virtual journey even more interesting for you. Of course, the handy tips are going to help you plan your final itinerary to Fatehpur Sikri
So let’s get going!
Quick links for your trip to Fatehpur Sikri
Here are some useful links that you can use when you are planning a visit to Fatehpur Sikri.
- I would recommend that you do a day trip to Fatehpur Sikri and stay either in Agra or Bharatpur. However, if you do want to stay in Fatehpur Sikri, you can use Booking.com to pick a hotel of your choice. Here are the Agra and Bharatpur hotel links
- GetYourGuide has various local tours and car bookings available that you can use to explore the Golden triangle including Fatehpur Sikri. Here are four tours and activities that you might want to book for yourself.
- Viator.com offers several tours to Fatehpur Sikri from Agra, Delhi and Jaipur. It even has transfer options. Here are three services that you can book online for your Fatehpur Sikri trip.
- For any of your travel needs or general shopping, consider using Amazon through this link.
Disclaimer: This article includes affiliate links. This means that at no cost to you, I will receive a small commission if you purchase through my link. Thank you for supporting me with this.
- 1 History of Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh | About Fatehpur Sikri
- 2 Where is Fatehpur Sikri located?
- 3 The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri
- 4 Fatehpur Sikri Plan and layout
- 5 Fatehpur Sikri map
- 6 Best places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri
- 6.1 Fatehpur section
- 6.2 Sikri Section of Fatehpur Sikri – the key attractions in Fatehpur Sikri
- 6.2.1 5) Diwan-i-Aam or the hall of public audience
- 6.2.2 6) Diwan-i-Khas – one of the most famous places in Fatehpur Sikri
- 6.2.3 7) The offices & the weighing scale
- 6.2.4 8) Khazana Mahal or Ankh Micholi palace
- 6.2.5 9) Panch Mahal – one of the most popular things to see in Fatehpur Sikri
- 6.2.6 10) Pachisi court in Fatehpur Sikri Fort
- 6.2.7 11) Turkish Sultana Palace – the home of Akbar’s first wife
- 6.2.8 12) Anup Talao or Char Chaman
- 6.2.9 13) Khwabgah – Akbar’s private residence
- 6.2.10 14) The Golden House (Sunhera Mahal)
- 6.2.11 15) Palace of Jodha Bai – one of the most popular places to see in Fatehpur Sikri
- 6.2.12 16) Elephant Stables
- 6.2.13 17) Birbal Mahal
- 6.3 Places to see in Fatehpur Sikri – outside the fort
- 7 Common FAQs about Fatehpur Sikri and its attractions
History of Fatehpur Sikri Uttar Pradesh | About Fatehpur Sikri
Archaeological evidence dates the Fatehpur Sikri history to a village in the 6th century. Called Sikri back then, this village was under Rajput rule till the 16th century when it was lost to the Delhi Sultanate during the Battle of Khanwah. From there, it came into the hands of the Mughals led by Babur.
For quite a few years, Sikri was not a significant part of the Mughal empire. It only gained importance when Akbar decided to develop it into his ruling capital. The story of Fatehpur Sikri – its rise and how it got its name is a series of events that begins with the legendary sufi saint – Shaikh Salim Chisti.
Despite having three wives, Akbar remained childless for years. In 1569, he heard of this miraculous saint in Sikri. It was believed that if he prayed for you, your wish would come true. And so, Akbar visited him with the hopes of a miracle. Salim Chisti prayed for him and predicted that he would be blessed with a son within a year and lo behold! That year, Akbar’s wife – Jodha Bai gave birth to his first son who he named after the saint. (Later Salim grew up to be Jahangir – the next Mughal emperor).
To honor and thank the saint, Akbar began expanding the Sufi khanqah (residence cum prayer rooms of sufi saints) of Salim Chisti. A series of fortunate events followed after which Akbar deemed Sikri an auspicious site. In 1571, on the 2nd birthday of his son, Akbar began the construction of a citadel – the Fatehpur Sikri Fort. He moved his capital from Delhi to Sikri.
After his grand victory against the kingdom of Gujarat, Akbar renamed his new capital to Fatehpur Sikri – meaning the City of Victory. It was then he built one of the most famous monuments in Fatehpur Sikri – the Buland Darwaza. He continued to rule from here till 1585 after which he got busy with his siege in Punjab and gradually abandoned it.
The importance of Fatehpur Sikri completely diminished by 1610 and the place fell into disarray. Historians believe that the city was deserted largely due to the diminishing of drinking water sources. Whatever the reason being, Fatehpur Sikri remained ignored even by the British. It was only in 1986 that it was recognized and awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.
Today with the restoration efforts, there are enough of Fatehpur tourist places to see and experience the grandeur of a once thriving capital of Mughals.
Where is Fatehpur Sikri located?
Fatehpur Sikri is in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is just 36 km from Agra. It makes an easy day trip from Agra and hence is often a part of the Agra Fort and Taj Mahal tour packages.
The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is mostly built with red sandstone – a material that Emperor Akbar favored. In fact, if you do visit the Agra fort, you will see the same sandstone used in all the palaces constructed by Akbar.
One of the key features of Fatehpur Sikri architecture is that it is quite heavy on the Persian style – specifically known as the Timurid style. However, as you walk along the famous places in Fatehpur Sikri, you will notice elements of Hindu and Gujarati architecture too – especially the Jodha Palace and the Panch Mahal.
I shall, of course, point out these specifics as we explore each of these Fatehpur Sikri tourist places.
Fatehpur Sikri Plan and layout
Built on an elevated plain, the Fatehpur Sikri fort is built in a rhombus shape. There are two distinct parts of this fort – Sikri and the Fatehpur. The Sikri section basically includes the offices, courts and the residential chambers of the royal family. Here too, there is a clear division of public and private areas.
On the other hand, the Fatehpur part is centered around a large mosque and the tomb of Salim Chisti. The entire layout of this citadel is bound by walls on three sides. The fourth side is open to a lake.
Fatehpur Sikri map
Here is the map displaying all the important places to see in Fatehpur Sikri. You will find this at any of the entrances (there are two of them) as well as the ticketing counter. This is around 1 km from the main entrance to the Fatehpur Sikri Fort.
Important tip here – You will need to park in the official parking area which is around 1 km from the main entrance. To get to the site, you will need to use the Government bus that charges INR 10 per person. Remember to keep the bus ticket for your return. Alternatively, you can walk up to the entrance.
In addition to the picture map above, I am sharing a Google map of the key Fatehpur Sikri tourist places. This should be handy enough for you to open on the mobile when you visit the place.
There are two entrances to go inside Fatehpur Sikri. One opens to the Sikri side while the other one is through the Buland Darwaza on the Fatehpur side. Which one is better? – Read on for my recommendation in the next section.
Best places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri
Your list of what to see in Fatehpur Sikri is distributed between the two sections of the erstwhile capital of the Mughals. This is clearly seen in the map that I have shared earlier, You will also, notice that the number of these Fatehpur Sikri attractions is higher in the Sikri part. This is why I would recommend using the Sikri entrance to begin your journey through this ghost town.
In any case, no matter which gate you choose to enter, here are the key places in Fatehpur Sikri that you must try and see.
This section was originally the Khanwah of the Sufi saint Salim Chisti. It was expanded by Akbar to include a mosque, a gate of victory and later the tomb of his patron saint. Since this section contains a live mosque, the entry here is free. You, however, have to remove your shoes at the entrance and then explore the area.
1) Buland Darwaza – the most iconic of all Fatehpur Sikri tourist places
One of the most common pictures of Fatehpur Sikri is that of the Buland Darwaza. Recorded as the highest gateway in the world, this was made by Emperor Akbar as a mark of his victory in Gujarat in 1575. The name itself means the gate of victory. It was built a little later than the other monuments in Fatehpur Sikri.
The Buland Darwaza is 54m high and 35m wide. To get to its base, you have to climb 42 steps. Built with red sandstone, this gateway exhibits typical Mughal architecture with its arched entrances and chhatris on the top. The entire structure is symmetrical in a half-octagonal shape to face the direction where Gujarat was located. The orientation is said to be a symbolic reminder of the military conquest of Gujarat.
Looking up at the 15 storied gate, right above the smaller arches, I noticed 9 windows. “On special occasions, the royal staff would climb there and shower flowers on the emperor and important visitors entering Fatehpur Sikri” – explained my guide. There have been occasions where the Navratna courtiers themselves would shower flowers.”
The façade of Buland Darwaza also, has columns of black and white marble inlays with etchings on it. Don’t miss the Quranic verses on the red sandstone façade of this landmark of Fatehpur Sikri. There is one more such etching in Persian that records the victory of Akbar over Gujarat. I am told that there were stairs to the top from where you could see the entire view of city – right up to its outer walls..But of course, it is no longer accessible.
However, you can stand by the entrance and get a glimpse of the view that might have been back then. Notice the black domed building. This was the Hammam used by public to have a bath or wash before entering the mosque behind the Buland Darwaza.
Step inside the doorway and remember to look up at the ornate ceiling. Also, notice the doors that have horseshoes on them. I am told that these horseshoes actually belong to the horses in the Mughal army and were added to the door when they were replaced. The Buland Darwaza opens into the courtyard of a grand mosque – called the Jama Masjid.
2) Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri
This Fatehpur Sikri mosque was one of the first structures to be built by Akbar in honor of the Sufi saint. The gigantic mosque even today, is one of the largest mosques in India. The beautiful structure is a living place of worship and hence, the entry inside is restricted. “The prayer hall inside can accommodate 25000 people and is filled with carvings and paintings.” – explained my guide. The courtyard has an ablutions tank and is also, home to the tomb of Salim Chisti and his khanqah
Along the courtyard, connecting the various gates, you will see several rooms. These belong to the Madrasas or the schools that Akbar had established for anyone who wanted to study. Run by one of his Navratnas (more on this coming up) – Abdul Fazal, the school was funded using the Royal Treasury. The Madrasas have now shifted to a different location behind Fatehpur Sikri Fort and to date are functional.
3) The tomb of Salim Chisti – one of the Fatehpur Sikri sightseeing attractions
Even today, there are several devotees of this famed saint who blessed Akbar’s wish of getting a son. The tomb of Salim Chisti made with white marble stands in contrast to the surrounding red sandstone mosque. Initially though, Akbar had the mausoleum made with the same red sandstone. However, later Jahangir replaced it with marble.
You can step inside this gorgeous building with its ornate jhali screens and pay your respects to the saint. It is still believed that a wish made here comes true!
Right next to the marble mausoleum, you will see a few more graves. These belong to the family of the saint. Even today, the descendants of Salim Chisti are buried here. I am told that currently this would be the 16th generation of the clan. The larger sandstone building besides the tombs is the Khanqah built by Akbar. It is the extension of the original Khanqah of Shaikh Salim Chisti.
4) Badshahi Darwaza
Besides the Buland Darwaza, there is one more grand entrance to the Jama Masjid courtyard. This is the King’s entrance or the Badshahi Darwaza. Smaller than the victory gate, this was the entrance used by Akbar when he visited the Jama Masjid. This doorway connects the Fatehpur part of this ghost town to Sikri. I used this gate to enter the Fatehpur section after I had seen Sikri.
Sikri Section of Fatehpur Sikri – the key attractions in Fatehpur Sikri
It must be pretty obvious now that the Fatehpur area was developed more as a religious center. The actual hub and the rest of the places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri are in the Sikri part. This is honestly where you will end up spending most of your time – getting up, close and personal with the Mughal Royal life (gossip included!) and of course, taking pics of Fatehpur Sikri.
5) Diwan-i-Aam or the hall of public audience
A large garden facing a royal sandstone pavilion will welcome you as you walk through the Sikri entrance. This is where the public would congregate to see their emperor mete out justice. Called the Diwan-i-Aam (hall of common audience), this is where the general public could directly voice out their grievances to Akbar.
The central pavilion called the Throne Chamber had a seat where Emperor Akbar would sit while his council of ministers would sit on either side of him. I will take a small deviation here to tell you the story of his council of ministers called the Navratnas (I first mentioned it when I spoke of the Madrasas). It will give you a better insight into the other Fatehpur Sikri attractions.
Humayun’s tomb in Delhi is where Akbar’s father was finally put to rest. This is also, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some really unusual facts. Check them out
Owing to the untimely death of his father – Humayun, Akbar was forced to ascend the throne at the age of 13. The kingly duties kept him away from studies and Akbar recognized that his lack of education was one of his weaknesses. Thus, he selected nine scholars from different fields and made them his Navratnas (meaning nine jewels). These include some famous personalities like Birbal (his chief minister), Tansen (the renowned court musician) and Raja Man Singh (his commander in Chief)
Coming back to the Diwan-e-Aam in Fatehpur Sikri, there were quite a few historical anecdotes and stories that took place here. If you have read the chronicles of Akbar and Birbal, you might know many of them. It is largely accepted that Emperor Akbar was quite a just king who had a novel way of determining justice – so much that the people would just come to witness various grievances and their resolution.
One of the harshest punishments that has been recorded was the crushing of the guilty by his pet elephant Hiran, who was almost always tied to a post in the Diwan-i-Aam. The pillar has gone missing but you can see a remaining stump in the well-manicured lawns.
6) Diwan-i-Khas – one of the most famous places in Fatehpur Sikri
Before I get into the tour of this Fatehpur Sikri monument, I would like to introduce you to Din-i-Illahi. The literal translation of this is the Religion of God. It was a new faith propagated by Akbar that reinforced the belief that faith is just common and one. He believed that the greatest teaching of every religion was humanity. As an emperor, he abolished discriminating taxes like the Jiziya and attempted to promote religious tolerance. He welcomed religious debates – a lot of which took place in the Hall of private audiences or the Diwan-e-Khas.
The beautiful Persian-styled building has four white chhatris on the top. The eaves and chajjas (brackets) of the building reminded me of the Akbar Mahal that I saw in Agra Fort. The architecture is quite similar and is classical Akbar-styled.
This is one of the most significant buildings inside Fatehpur Sikri fort and the reason for that is obvious when you enter it. The single room has a large intricate pillar supporting it. This is like a fulcrum with a throne seat in the center – which in turn is connected to the sides of the building by four pathways.
Akbar used to stand on top of that pillar and his debators or navratnas would stand around him on the passage ways. This is where major political decisions were also, discussed and strategies planned.
It is believed that the interior of this hall has semi-precious gems along its façade but these were taken away by the British when they briefly took over Fatehpur Sikri. The central pillar was initially plain. When you see it now, there are intricate carvings all along its length. Every tier has a significance and this is where it the concept of Din-i-Illahi comes into play.
Starting from the base of the pillar, you will see typical Mughal designs, followed by intricate Hindu ones. Then comes the cross in the carvings that represent Christianity, followed by the domes that represent Islam. The next one is the zigzag lines representing the Persian faith, followed by the pendants of Buddhism and finally the designs typical of Jainism.
True or not, I have no way of figuring that out. I would tend to believe it as there are similar carvings in the most unexpected places of Fatehpur Sikri. Either way, it is this and the beautiful architecture that makes Diwan-i-Khas one of the most significant places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri.
7) The offices & the weighing scale
You will notice a row of rooms and a raised platform on your right when you pass through the inner gates from the Diwan e Aam to the Diwan e Khas area. These rooms inside Fatehpur Sikri Palace were used as offices for the accountants. The raised platform however, was another story.
This is where many important ceremonies were held including the weighing of the Emperor. A large balancing scale would be kept on the platform – of which on one side would be the Emperor and on the other side gold, silver and other forms of wealth were added. The wealth equal to the weight of the Emperor was then distributed to the public or used for their welfare. Of course, now, the scale is long gone but you can well imagine the scene, especially if you have seen one of those Mughal movies.
8) Khazana Mahal or Ankh Micholi palace
On the other side of the Diwan-i-Khas, is the treasury or the Khazana Mahal. This is one of those places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri that has a quirky tale attached to it. This building is known by another name – Ankh Micholi mahal (Hide and Seek Palace).
Though designed as a treasury, the layout of this Fatehpur Sikri palace was a C-shaped making it ideal for playing hide and seek. It is believed that Emperor Akbar indulged in some pleasurable play with his wives and the women of his harem. As far as the original function of this place, the treasure was hidden in the hollow walls of the building.
9) Panch Mahal – one of the most popular things to see in Fatehpur Sikri
The Panch Mahal is quite an imposing sight inside the Fatehpur Sikri Fort. Even though I was busy getting awed by the interiors of the Diwan-i-Khas, my attention kept getting diverted to this five-storied , a very pagoda-styled building.
Panch means five and naturally, as you can guess the name comes from its five levels. Broad at the bottom with 84 pillars, the palace gradually tapers to the top with 4 pillars and chhatris. There are a total of 176 pillars in this monument. There used to be lattice screens (jhaalis) between the floors that not only added extra support but helped shield the women from the public eye. However, today, those screens have got lost with time.
The Panch Mahal was designed as a pleasure palace for the royalty where they could enjoy the captivating view of Fatehpur Sikri at sunrise or sunset from the rooftop. It was also, a place where the cross ventilation allowed in the cool respite from the sweltering heat. Kind of reminded me of the wind palace aka Hawa Mahal of Jaipur.
Pity though that now you are not allowed to climb this attraction of Fatehpur Sikri. I sure would have loved to see those views for myself.
10) Pachisi court in Fatehpur Sikri Fort
Pachisi is an Indian game that can be described as a cross between chess and ludo. Akbar played this in style. In the courtyard between the Diwan-i-Khas and the Panchmahal is a giant Pachisi board. Akbar used his staff as human pieces on the board when he played this game. Earlier this was a black and white board on the red sandstone floor.
A unique concept for the 15th century, the Pachisi court that you must keep an eye out for when sightseeing in Fatehpur Sikri.
11) Turkish Sultana Palace – the home of Akbar’s first wife
Akbar had many wives. It is believed that there were three of them whom Akbar favored – Ruqaiyah Sultan Begum, Mariam and Jodha Bai. The first of his wives was Ruqaiyah Begum who was from Turkey. This association is what gave her the name –Turkish Sultana. Her palace is the first of the residential quarters that you will see when you walk past the Pachisi court.
Her palace is filled with geometrical carvings which are typical of the Mughal or Timurid designs. A pavilion joins the palace to the water pool. You are no longer allowed inside this palace and have to admire it from the outside.
A long passage connects this palace to the rest of the zenana area (ladies section) of Fatehpur Sikri.
12) Anup Talao or Char Chaman
A beautiful jaali platform stands right in the middle of a red sandstone tank and this is called the Anup Talao. This is one of the most significant places to visit in Fatehpur Sikri – largely owing to its ingenious architecture. Tansen – the musical prowess of Akbar’s navratnas used this central platform for his performances. The surrounding water magnified his melodious voice as did the sandstone walls of the other monuments around it. The result was a soulful performance that people talk of to date.
It is said that when Tansen sang the Raag Malhar, the atmosphere felt as if it were humid and about to rain. Raag Deepak by Tansen would make their listeners feel as if the diyas (candles) were burning brighter.
Anup Talao in its heyday used to be filled with rose water. The cool breeze around the tank would help spread the fragrance across the palaces. Some Mughal historical records also, state that the pool was filled with gold and silver to make it shimmer under the sun. These records state that when the pool was emptied, over one crore coins were retrieved that Jahangir distributed to the public.
This attraction in the Fatehpur Sikri palace was also, referred to as the Char Chaman owing to the four paths that connected the central platform.
13) Khwabgah – Akbar’s private residence
Khwabgah translates to the House of Dreams. The three-floored palace on the other side of Anup Talao was Akbar’s residence. While there is no access to explore its interiors, I am told that the 2nd floor had a library with over 25,000 manuscripts. The third floor was his bedroom which was quite ornate with paintings from the Mughal court.
It is believed that Akbar used to enjoy Tansen’s performances from the balcony of his Khwabgah.
14) The Golden House (Sunhera Mahal)
The Golden House is actually the palace of Maria – who was the Portuguese wife of Emperor Akbar. This monument is located in the Zenana area of Fatehpur Sikri Palace. You will in fact have to go through the grand entrance labelled as Jodha Bai Palace and the first building that you come across on the right is the Golden House.
When you look at it, you will wonder where it gets its name. Well, it used to be covered with murals done in golden paint. To reflect the faith of his Portuguese wife, the palace was built in the shape of a cross. However, as was his secular outlook, the murals consisted of paintings of Radha Krishna among others. You can still see faded remains of some of these murals. In addition to the paintings, there were verses from Quran painted in blue within this Sunhera Mahal (Golden Palace).
Can you spot the war scene on the faded wall? See if you can find the elephants and horses. I can only imagine how rich these paintings would have looked back then with the golden details. Sigh! Some things are just lost with time.
15) Palace of Jodha Bai – one of the most popular places to see in Fatehpur Sikri
Jodha Bai is popularly considered as one of the most loved wives of Akbar. A Rajput princess by birth, she was the mother of Akbar’s first born – Salim. Her palace is one of the largest places in Fatehpur Sikri. It is not just iconic owing to its size but also, due to its fusion architecture that seamlessly blends Hindu designs with the Islamic Mughal style.
It is in the Jodha Bai Palace Fatehpur Sikri that you will see the typical Rajasthani-styled jharokha windows and delicate floral carvings. What makes this palace unique is that it has two sections – a summer palace and a winter one. The summer palace has lattice windows to allow the cool breeze in while the winter palace has solid walls on all sides.
The two are connected by a Hindu Temple in the center which also, has a Tulsi aangan. When you wander through this Jodha Mahal (Jodha Palace), you will see several false windows that reflect Gujarati and Rajasthani architecture.
Jodha Bai being a Hindu and a vegetarian, had her own kitchen. You can see this right opposite the Golden house, just before entering the main palace of Jodha Bai.
16) Elephant Stables
The Jodha Bai palace is usually the last of the Fatehpur sightseeing places. Most guides take you back from here. However, instead of proceeding to the exit behind the Khwabgah of Akbar’s palace, turn left. You will need to walk a little to find the elephant and horse stables. There isn’t much to see here but I mention this because it leads to another ignored building of Fatehpur Sikri – the Birbal Palace.
17) Birbal Mahal
Birbal, like I mentioned was the right-hand man of Akbar. Many historians believe that this structure behind Jodha Bai Palace was the unfinished home of Birbal. The building was constructed but later owing to its proximity to the zenana area, was not considered suitable for a male courtier. Hence, it was abandoned and never occupied.
If you are visiting places in Fatehpur Sikri, you will find this monument on the map marked as Birbal Mahal. Authentic or not, it is definitely worth a quick peek – largely for its Mughal-Hindu architecture.
Places to see in Fatehpur Sikri – outside the fort
There are many other monuments in Fatehpur Sikri that you will pass by as you tour this ghost city. These require you to walk outside the fort into the little hamlet.
18) House of Abul Fazl (Abdul Fazal)
Remember the Navratna who was the scholar and taught in the Madrasas? He is the same person who chronicled Akbar’s life in a biography called Akbarnama. Well, his home as well as that of his brother is close to the Jama Masjid.
It is a single-storey building with a verandah that is called Tibara Dalan. The house has pillars and carved brackets. The upper floor is connected to a separate bath and restroom area.
19) Naubat Khana
Just five minutes from the ticket counter, there is a triple-arched gateway. This is called the Naubat Khana (or the Nakkar Khana), where the drummers used to sit and play their instruments to announce visitors. Sometimes during ceremonies, along with the drums, shehnai was played. The structure is quite elaborate with its arched doorways and chhatris on the top.
This one requires a little walk but is definitely worth a visit. It is a tall pillar with spikes around it. The spikes actually used to be elephant tusks but have now been replaced by stone ones. It was built by Akbar and seems to have functioned as a watch tower. I believe it has 50-odd steps inside it but then, you can’t see it as it is closed.
Hiran was the name of Akbar’s favorite elephant and the whole design and elephant spikes might have been inspired by the creature. Or so I would like to associate or conclude.
To be honest, there are a few more hidden spots within this ghost town in Uttar Pradesh. Tansen’s Baradari and Caravan Serai (a resting house for travelers) are two that I missed out on – though the latter I did pass by . As I said, even half a day did not seem enough to capture them all. In any case, I have you covered with this ultimate list of visiting places in Fatehpur Sikri – enough to explore and uncover the enigma of this ghost town in Uttar Pradesh.
Common FAQs about Fatehpur Sikri and its attractions
Is it worth visiting Fatehpur Sikri?
Fatehpur Sikri is the erstwhile Mughal capital that was built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for only 10 years. It is widely acknowledged as a must-visit attraction, especially for those who would like to understand the life of the Mughal royalty. There are several interesting monuments here that hold a record of its own – like the Buland Darwaza which is the highest gate in the world. It definitely is a place worth visiting.
How much time do you need in Fatehpur Sikri?
You can visit most of the key attractions in Fatehpur Sikri in 2 hours.
What is the entry fee for Fatehpur Sikri?
The entrance fees for Fatehpur Sikri are INR 50 for Indians and SAARC residents and INR 600 for foreign nationals.
Why is Fatehpur Sikri called a ghost town?
Though built as a capital by Akbar, this town was abandoned completely when he went on a siege to Punjab. Another reason the city is said to have been deserted is for the shortage of drinking water. Thus, it got classified as a ghost town.
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Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.
I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through this travel blog. My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including BBC Travel, Lonely Planet India and Jetwings. I have recently published my first book – When Places Come Alive – a collection of stories that are based on legends, landscapes, art and culture of a place which is available in both ebook and paperback format.
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