We all hear a lot about the Taj and long to see it always till we get a chance. Indeed, it’s true but when I visited it one fine December day a few years ago , there was something else which captured my imagination more than the Taj did. I was enamoured by the beautiful monument of Fatehpur Sikri, some 30-40 kms away from Agra.
The city was founded in 1569 by the Emperor, Akbar, and served as the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1571 to 1585. After his military victories overChittor and Ranthambore, Akbar decided to shift his capital from Agra to a new location 23 miles (37 km) W.S.W on the Sikri ridge, to honour the Sufi saint Salim Chishti. Here he commenced the construction of a planned walled city which took the next fifteen years in planning and construction of a series of royal palaces, harem, courts, a mosque, private quarters and other utility buildings. He named the city, Fatehabad, with Fateh, a word of Arabic origin in Persian, meaning “victorious.” it was later called Fatehpur Sikri. It is at Fatehpur Sikri that the legends of Akbar and his famed courtiers, the nine jewels or Navaratnas, were born. Fatehpur Sikri is one of the best preserved collections of Indian Mughal architecture in India.(Source: Wikipedia )
We reached the monument at about five in the evening. It was winter. The mellow golden sunlight bathed the monument in an enchanting light. I very much enjoyed every minute of my being there. The experience was simply magical.
With the beautiful Panch Mahal, I could very well imagine Akbar sharing some of his great moments with Jodhabhai on the terrace of this gracious building.The best thing about this monument is that it is amongst the best preserved in the country.