FATEHPUR SIKRI - FEBRUARY 2008
Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory - built either in memory of Babur's victory over Rana Sanga in the battle of Khanwa, about 40 km from Agra, or in honour of the famous Sufi saint Slim Chishti) was, from 1571 until 1585, the capital of India's Mughal Empire under Akbar. The complex, a blend of Hindu and Islamic styles, was abandoned only fourteen years after its creation, allegedly due to lack of water. The complex of monuments and temples includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. It was included in the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1986.
"ENTRANCE - The Jodha Bai's palace is the largest and most important part of Imperial Harem. The palace consists of a rectangular block, with several Hindu motifs, which confirms that the occupant was a Hindu lady. The upper structure of the building includes chhatris, chhaparkhats, semi circular domes and triangular khaprel roofs"
"MARYAM'S HOUSE - Profusely painted, in colour combination with gold, this building was abode of Akbar's Mother Hamida Banu Begum, who was entitled Maryam Makani (Equal in rank to Mary). The building, standing over a rectangular plinth, which is 18.23m north to South by 14.75m East to West, is composed of four rooms. Rama and Hanuman, most popular Hindu deities are carved in relief of the brackets. The interior has beautiful paintings depicting elephant fights, hunting, battle scene and tournaments"
"PANCH MAHAL - The five-storey palace, also known as «Badgir», which means wind catcher/tower, stands close to the Harem and that supports the fact that it may have been a pleasure palace. Containing 84 columns, the pavilion gives a magnificent view of the fort that lies nearby"
"SULTANA HOUSE is a sandstone pavilion topped with a stone roof. The geometrical pattern on the ceiling is similar to Central Asian wood carvings"
"DIWAN-I-KHAS - The Hall of Private Audience of the emperor"
"CENTRAL PILLAR of the Diwan-I-Khas. It has thirty-six voluted brackets supporting a circular platform for Akbar..."
"PACHISI COURT - It seems the name derives from a ludo-like game played here by the ladies of the harem..."
"VIEW of the Court taken from the Khwabgah, the emperor's private sleeping quarters"
"ANOOP TALAO - The pool is, according to the guide, associated with Akbar's legendary musician Tansen who, it is said, could light oil lamps with the magic of his voice..."
"BADSHAHI DARWAZA - Akbar used this gateway to enter the complex, just in front of the mosque"
"JAMA MASJID - Said to be one of the most beautiful mosques in the world, it was completed in 1571. The mosque is composed by a central nave with a single dome, two colonnaded halls on either side, with two square chambers crowned with domes"
"HUJRA - Cloistered prayer rooms with flat-roofed pillared galleries"
"TOMB OF SHEIK SALIM CHISHTI, built by Akbar in 1580 and 1581, is one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture. Situated facing south towards Buland Darwaza, it enshrines the burial place of the Sufi saint"
"BULAND DARWAZA, meaning «great gate» in Persian and also known as the «Gate of Magnificence», is the largest gateway in the world. It was built by Akbar in 1602 to commemorate his conquest of Gujarat"