Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri
Buland Darwaza, the 54 mt. high entrance to Fatehpur Sikri complex
Buland Darwaza, the 54 mt. high entrance to Fatehpur Sikri complex
Fatehpur Sikri is located in India
Fatehpur Sikri
Coordinates: 27°05′28″N 77°39′40″E / 27°05′28″N 77°39′40″E / 27.091; 77.661
Country India
State Uttar Pradesh
District Agra
 • Total 32,905
Time zone IST ( UTC+5:30)
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Criteria Cultural: ii, iii, iv
Reference 255
Inscription 1986 (10th Session)
Kos Minar#793 at 12 mile on Agra-Fatehpur Sikri Road section of National Highway 21

Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh, India. The city itself was founded as the capital of Mughal Empire in 1571 by Emperor Akbar, serving this role from 1571 to 1585, when Akbar abandoned it due to a campaign in Punjab and was later completely abandoned in 1610. [1]

The name of the city derives from the village called Sikri which occupied the spot before. An Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavation from 1999-2000 indicated that there was a habitation here before Akbar built his capital. It was also a much-loved place of Babur who called it Shukri for its lake of water needed for his armies. He used it for relaxation and also defeated Rana Sanga on its outskirts.

The khanqah of Sheikh Salim existed earlier at this place. Akbar's son Jahangir was born at the village of Sikri in 1569 and that year Akbar constructed a religious compound to commemorate the Sheikh who had predicted the birth. After Jahangir's second birthday, he began the construction of a walled city and imperial palace here. The city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri, the "City of Victory", after Akbar's victorious Gujarat campaign in 1573.


Basing his arguments on the excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1999-2000 at the Chabeli Tila, senior Agra journalist Bhanu Pratap Singh said the antique pieces, statues, and structures all point to a lost "culture and religious site," more than 1,000 years ago. "The excavations yielded a rich crop of Jain statues, hundreds of them, including the foundation stone of a temple with the date. The statues were a thousand years old of Bhagwan Adi Nath, Bhagwan Rishabh Nath, Bhagwan Mahavir and Jain Yakshinis," said Swarup Chandra Jain, senior leader of the Jain community. Historian Sugam Anand states that there is proof of habitation, temples and commercial centres before Akbar established it as his capital. He states that the open space on a ridge was used by Akbar to build his capital. [2] [3] [4]

The place was much loved by Babur who called it as Shukri ("Thanks"), for its large lake of water needed by the Mughal armies. [5] Annette Beveridge in her translation of Baburnama noted that Babur points "Sikri" to read "Shukri". [6] Per his memoirs, Babur constructed here a garden called the "Garden of Victory" after defeating Rana Sangha at its outskirts. Gulbadan Begum's Humayun-Nama describes that in the garden he built an octagonal pavilion which he used for relaxation and writing. In the center of the nearby lake, he built a large platform. A baoli exists at the base of a rock scarp about a kilometre from the Hiran Minar. This was probably the original site of a well-known epigraph commemorating his victory. [5]

Akbar remained heirless until 1569 when his son, who will become known as Jahangir, was born in the village of Sikri in 1569 and Akbar began the construction of a religious compound in honor of the Chisti saint Sheikh Salim who had predicted the birth of Jahangir. After Jahangir's second birthday, he began the construction of a walled city and imperial palace probably to test his son's stamina. By constructing his capital at the khanqah of Sheikh Salim, Akbar associated himself with this popular Sufi order and brought legitimacy to his reign through this affiliation. [7]

The city was founded in 1571 and was named after the village of Sikri which occupied the spot before. The Buland Darwaza was built in honor of his successful campaign in Gujarat, when the city came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri - "The City of Victory". The city was founded in 1571 and was named after the Sikri village which had existed on the spot before. It was abandoned by Akbar in 1585 when he went to fight a campaign in Punjab. It was later completely abandoned by 1610. [1]

According to contemporary historians, Akbar took a great interest in the building of Fatehpur Sikri and probably also dictated its architectural style. Seeking to revive the splendours of Persian court ceremony made famous by his ancestor Timur, Akbar planned the complex on Persian principles. But the influences of his adopted land came through in the typically Indian embellishments. The easy availability of sandstone in the neighbouring areas of Fatehpur Sikri also meant that all the buildings here were made of the red stone. The Imperial Palace complex consists of a number of independent pavilions arranged in formal geometry on a piece of level ground, a pattern derived from Arab and central Asian tent encampments. In its entirety, the monuments at Fatehpur Sikri thus reflect the genius of Akbar in assimilating diverse regional architectural influences within a holistic style that was uniquely his own.[ citation needed]

The Imperial complex was abandoned in 1585, shortly after its completion, due to the exhaustion of the small, spring-fed lake that supplied the city with water, and its proximity with the Rajputana, with which the Mughal Empire was often at war. Thus the capital was shifted to Lahore so that Akbar could have a base in the less stable part of the empire, before moving back to Agra in 1598, where he had begun his reign as he shifted his focus to Deccan. In fact, he never returned to the city except for a brief period in 1601. In later Mughal history it was occupied for a short while by the Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah (1719 -1748) and his regent, Sayyid Hussain Ali Khan Barha, one of the Syed Brothers, was murdered here in 1720. The palaces were occupied by the Marathas after their conquest of Delhi, then transferred to the British army, which used the fortified complex as a headquarters and barracks. Restoration began under Lord Curzon.[ citation needed]

Because the palace area has been in nearly continuous use over the centuries, much of the imperial complex which spread over nearly two mile long and one mile wide area is largely intact. It is still surrounded by a five mile long wall built during its original construction on three sides. However, apart from the imperial buildings complex and the magnificent mosque which continues in use, little of the city survives. The former site of the city is mostly barren, except of ruins of the bazaars of the old city near the Naubat Khana, the 'drum-house' entrance at Agra Road. The modern town lies at the western end of the complex, which was a municipality from 1865 to 1904, and later made a notified area and in 1901 had a population of 7,147. For a long time it was still known for its masons and stone carvers, though in Akbar time it was known and 'fabrics of hair' and 'silk-spinning'. The village of Sikri still exists nearby.[ citation needed]

Other Languages
العربية: فتحبور سيكري
Bân-lâm-gú: Fatehpur Sikri
čeština: Fatehpur Sikrí
español: Fatehpur Sikri
Esperanto: Fatehpur Sikri
français: Fatehpur-Sikri
hrvatski: Fatehpur Sikri
বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী: ফতেহপুর সিক্রি
Bahasa Indonesia: Fatehpur Sikri
italiano: Fatehpur Sikri
Basa Jawa: Fatehpur Sikri
Kapampangan: Fatehpur Sikri
lietuvių: Fatehpur Sikris
Bahasa Melayu: Fatehpur Sikri
Baso Minangkabau: Fatehpur Sikri
Nederlands: Fatehpur Sikri
नेपाल भाषा: फतेहपुर सिक्री
norsk nynorsk: Fatehpur Sikri
português: Fatehpur Sikri
slovenčina: Fatéhpur Síkrí
српски / srpski: Фатехпур Сикри
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Fatehpur Sikri
Türkçe: Fetihpur Sikri
українська: Фатехпур-Сікрі
Tiếng Việt: Fatehpur Sikri