Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh: Fatehpur Sikri is a magnificent tourist destination which is 40 km westwards from Agra. This city is a Mandal in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The geographic location of this city is 27° 5′ 40.79″ N, 77° 39′ 46.02″ E. Fatehpur Sikri is an extension of upper Vindhya ranges. These are old mountains and hills which are in round shape. This city is situated on the banks of a natural lake, which is almost dry now.
Babur, the founder of Mughal dynasty mentioned this city as Sikri in his memoir Baburnama. But, he named this hamlet as Shukri, meaning returning thanks. When Akbar was 26 years old, he was worried as he had no heir. He consulted the Sufi Saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti, who lived in cavern on the Sikri ridge. The saint predicted that Akbar would have a baby boy. The baby boy was born in the year 1569 at Sikri and could survive. To honor the saint, Akbar shifted his capital from Agra to Sikri and renamed the city as “Fatehpur” after his conquest over Gujarat in 1573. It is derived from Arabic word, Fateh meaning victory.
Fatehpur Sikri is a city located near Agra, Uttar Pradesh in Northern India. Fatehpur Sikri was planned as a great town by Akbar with great care and planning in the honor of Sheikh Salim Chisti but had to be abandoned only after fifteen years due to scarcity of water in the town. Sheikh Salim Chishti was a Sufi saint who blessed Akbar with his first son and heir, who was named Salim after him and later came to be known as Jahangir.
Fatehpur Sikri bears exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization which offers a unique example of architectural ensembles of very high quality constructed between 1571 and 1585 during the reign of Mughal Emperor, Akbar the great. This fascinating city comprises of a cluster of splendid Mughal monuments and structures which are rated as one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites near the city of Agra.
The Fatehpur Sikri Fort is a combination of many regional schools of architecture. The architectural design in this tomb has the influence of Hindu features with some traces of Islamic elements. This tomb is made up of red sandstone. It has the mausoleum of the Sufi saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti.
Fatehpur Sikri enjoys a mixture of Mughlai and Rajasthani culture. Nan Khatai is a sweet which famous here. The average literacy rate of the city is 46% which is less than the national average literacy rate. This city is the most popular day excursion from Agra. The temperature here can go as high as 45 degrees Celsius in summer and as low as 2 – 3 degrees Celsius in winter. The rainfall may vary from 9.0 to 849.0 mm per month. The best time to visit this place is during October to March.
Most people visit this World Heritage site by clubbing it as a part of their itinerary to Agra. A visit to Agra is considered incomplete without exploring the magnificent Fatehpur Sikri.