Splendours of Fatehpur Sikri

Clothed in layers of legend and folklore, Fatehpur Sikri, the city that Akbar built and made his capital, was an architectural marvel of medieval India. A journey back in time to explore its real historical importance.Text & photographs

The Badshahi Darwaza through which Akbar entered the Masjid-Dargah complex.

The Masjid-Dargah Complex, crowned by the majestic Buland Darwaza (not in picture), made famous because of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti.

Akbar (1542-1605).

The Abdarkhana (left), where fruits, water, food and beverages were kept for the emperor, and the Panchmahal, a four-storeyed columnar structure which may have served a recreational purpose and offered a good panoramic view of the surroundings.

The Buland Darwaza, which was constructed to commemorate Akbar's conquest of Gujarat.

The exquisitely carved "Turkish Sultana's Pavilion" (right) as seen from the Anup Talao. The Jewel House at extreme left.

The Anuptalao complex (literally “peerless pool”) with the restricted access Diwankhana-i-Khas and Khwabgah in the background.

Inside the Diwankhana-i-Khas, which contained Akbar’s imperial chambers (Khalwatkada-i-Khas) and resting place (Khwabgah).

The marble tomb of Salim Chishti. Built in 1580-81, it is particularly known for its serpentine ornate brackets on the pillars, chajjas (eaves) and the parapet.

The richly-carved pillar and the circular platform inside the Diwan-i-Khas, or "Jewel House". Historians have not been able to agree on the use that Akbar put it to.

The courtyard of the principal Haramsara, where Akbar's wives lived and which was popularly known as "Jodha Bai's Palace". The distinct blue-tiled ribbed roof of one of the residential structures was used to break the monotony of the red sandstone.

One of the residential structures of the principal Haramsara.

Mariam's House, also called Sunhara Makan, or “Painted House”, after the beautiful murals and gold-coloured paintings that once decorated it. Scholars believe it belonged to the queen mother Mariam Zamani (Hamida Banu Begum).

Inside the 'Turkish Sultana's Pavilion'. It has beautiful carvings on brackets, pillars and pilasters, and gives the semblance of intricate woodwork rather than stone masonry.

The stone platform in the Diwankhana-i-Khas where Akbar used to have discussions.

The Diwan-i-Aam, with the imperial pavilion from where Akbar dispensed justice to the people.

The prayer hall of the Jami Masjid profusely decorated with inlaid stone and painted geometrical and floral motifs.

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The Badshahi Darwaza through which Akbar entered the Masjid-Dargah complex.
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