The Forgotten City
When our Driver suggested going to see Fatehpur Sikri, we have to be honest, after days of sight-seeing, hours of driving and being eager beavers to get to the Taj Mahal, we weren’t over enthusiastic by the idea. Well we were wrong.
After some attention from the locals and a Kaju Fudge icecream (our absolute favourite you must have when in India) we found our guide. For 50 rupees we kicked our shoes off and entered what seemed to be a city that time forgot.
Fatehpur Sikri, known as ‘The Ghost city’ was made the capital of the Mughal Empire in 1569 by Emperor Akbar. With its maze of secret passageways, breathtaking pillars, momentous arches and intricate carvings, our guide let us wander through its red walls while he filled our ears with tales of these times.
TIP: Don’t leave your shoes outside the main entrance, we were told by our guide the little local terrors might run off with them, so carry them with you.
How To Get To Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a small town in the state of Uttar Pradesh, just 40 km west of Agra. It sits on the Agra – Jaipur road. Jaipur is approx. 210 kms away from Fatehpur Sikri. So the best way to get there is to hire a private driver in Delhi and stop on route to the Taj Mahal
By Train: Definitely an experience but they aren’t frequent and overcrowded so unless you have time to spare you’re better off getting a Bus
By Bus: They run frequently and are the easiest and cheapest way to get around. If you’re travelling from Agra it’s only 32Rs for a single journey and stops within walking distance to the city.
Uttar Pradesh, Agra District, India
A Little History Lesson
Fatehpur Sikri meaning the City of victory was built during the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar. The Great Mughal Emperor Akbar claimed the throne in 1556 at the age of 14 after sudden demise of his father, Humayun. Once Akbar consolidated his power as Emperor, he moved his capital from Delhi to Agra in 1565 and started building the Agra Fort.
After losing his children, he set off on a barefoot pilgrimage landing him in Sikri and soon decided to settle. And so in 1569, Akbar’s Rajput wife Jodhabai, Princess of Amber, gave birth to his first son, Salim named after the sage.
So he began building his walled city, Fatehpur Sikri. Built entirely of red sandstone and white marble, influenced by Persian Architecture with an overall Moghul style. Possessing one of the biggest Mosques in India, Jama Masjid, several Palaces, pavilions, courtyards and even a harem. It really is captivating.
The Four Facts
1 The word ‘Fateh’ is Persian Arabic for Victory so Fatehpur Sikri translates to City of Victory
2 The city’s walls were purposefully built for perfect acoustics, allowing even the faintest of whispered secrets to be overheard by the emperor
3 It was designated as a world heritage site by UNESCO in 1983
4 It was the capital for around 15 years (1569-1584) until it was abandoned because of lack of water supply. By 1605 it was completely deserted