The short-lived capital of Emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585, Fatehpur Sikri was a fortified city about 40 km west of Agra, and a fine specimen of Indo-Islamic architecture. Fatehpur Sikri held a special meaning for Akbar after the time he visited the village of Sikri and was foretold about the birth of a son and heir to the Mughal throne, by renowned sufi saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti. Akbar was thrilled when the prophecy came true, and after Jahangir’s second birthday commenced the construction of what would be his capital for days to come. ‘Fatehpur’ meaning city of victory seemed apt a name for the new capital city that brought with it happy tidings of Akbar’s Gujarat campaign which led to Gujarat becoming a Mughal province in 1573.
Behold the way the turrets and the domes of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hem a sunset sky doused in all kinds of crimson by plunging themselves in abject darkness. To say the least, it is a breathtaking view of the sunrise and sunset from its 11-kilometre-long ramparts with walls on three sides and a lake on the fourth. Built on a 40-metre-high promontory, its rhombus-shaped layout and the architecture of its most important structures, the mosque, the three palaces and the gardens are believed to have been inspired by the Emperor’s interest in the arts and architecture. The grand mosque, the Imperial Palace Complex, and the marble tomb of Salim Chishti for their detailing and craftsmanship are comparable only to the Taj Mahal. And across the complex, you will witness this fine tapestry of Hindu and Islamic styles merging into one another, and yet retaining their individual fluidity and unique geometry.
Water shortage in the area and Akbar’s death in 1605 led to the abandonment of the site, though the mosque remained functional, and is so till date.
Best Time to Visit Fatehpur Sikri
The autumn to winter months between October and March are the best to explore this monument complex. The pleasant to nippy weather makes it ideal for all the walking you need to do, and to also take in the scenery from the ramparts. The local bazaar around the fort is also a great haunt for unique souvenirs from handicraft, junk jewellery to embellished fabrics. Bring on sturdy walking shoes and put your bargaining skills to test.
How to Reach Fatehpur Sikri
Being about 40 kilometres from Agra, the ideal way to visit Emperor Akbar’s former capital is by car. You can either drive down or hire a taxi service in Agra, and club it with your visit to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. However, these are the alternate ways you can travel to Fatehpur Sikri.
Nearest Airport : The Kheria Airport
Nearest Railway Station : Fatehpur Sikri Railway Station (FTS)
Nearest Bus Stand : The Idgah Bus Stand
Fatehpur Sikri Opening Days
Fatehpur Sikri remains open on all days of the week.
Opening Time : 06:00:00 am
Closing Time : 06:00:00 pm
Entry Fee (Indian) : INR 35
Entry Fee (SAARC and BIMSTEC) : INR 35
Entry Fee (Foreigner ) : INR 550
Entry Below (Children Below Age 15) : Free
Fatehpur Sikri entry ticket for Indian tourists is pegged at INR 35. The Fatehpur Sikri entry ticket price is the same for tourists from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries. However, the Fatehpur Sikri ticket price for foreigners is INR 550. The entry is free for children under the age of 15.