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Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)-India
Built during the second half of the 16th century by the Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri (the City of Victory) was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. Fatehpur Sikri is a fascinating ghost city built in the 16th century; 37 km from Agra Akbar the great, who at 26 years did not have an heir, founded this historic site.

Fatehpur Sikri went to a saint, Shaikh Salim Chishti who lived in a city called Sikri. His blessing gave Akbar 3 sons. As a gesture, Akbar built a whole new city in Sikri. Akbar named his new capital Fatehpur Sikri or the City of Victory .Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.

It was built between 1569 and 1585 and was intended to be the joint capital with Agra, but was soon deserted because the water system could not support any residents. It remained untouched for over 400 years now and its palaces are a remainder of the extravagance of the Mughals Fatehpur Sikri is the best example of the culmination of Hindu and Muslim architecture. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque is said to be a copy of the mosque in Mecca and has designs, derived from the Persian & Hindu architecture. After this within 20 years, the capital of Mughals was shifted to Lahore
Fatehpur Sikri (built mostly 1571-86):
Fatehpur Sikri, the "City of Victory", sits 35 kilometers from Agra on a low hill of the Vindhya mountain range. Before the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), the Mughal King who built Fatehpur Sikri, the site of the future city had already earned an auspicious reputation. Babar, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty and Akbar's grandfather, had won a battle here over Rana Sanga of Mewar. In gratitude he named the area Shukri, which means "thanks".

In Akbar's time the site was occupied by a small village of stonecutters and was the home of Shaikh Salim Chishti, a Muslim astrologer and Sufi Saint. In 1568 Akbar visited the Shaikh to ask for the birth of an heir. The Shaikh replied that an heir would be born soon. Sure enough, Akbar's wife gave birth to a boy on August 30, 1569. In gratitude, Akbar named the boy Salim after the astrologer, and, two years later decided to move the capital to Sikri. Of course, the decision to build a new capital at Sikri was determined by more than sentiment.

It was a strategic location in Rajasthan that put Akbar and his armies closer to the Gujarat region--the next object of Akbar's expansionist dreams. Gujarat was desirable because its coastal cities were ideally suited to take advantage of the lucrative trade to Arab lands. Construction of the new capital began in earnest in 1571 and continued for about fifteen years. During much of this time Akbar made the area his home, but strangely, in 1586, Akbar abandoned his new capital forever. The reasons are not entirely clear, but the most plausible explanation is that Akbar needed to move his base of operations to wage the war against Kabul, which he occupied in 1585, and Kandahar, which fell in 1595. After Akbar's departure the city was used only sparingly in the coming centuries.

In the early 17th century it became the home of several queen mothers. In 1619 Emperor Jahangir camped here for three months while a plague raged in nearby Agra. Ninety years later, the city was refurbished to host the coronation of Muhammad Shah (1709-48). After that, the city was largely abandoned until Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India for the British from 1898 to 1905, sponspored an archaeological survey and restoration efforts. In present times the city has become one of the chief tourist attractions of India. However, it is impossible to capture in pictures a single iconic image of the city, in the way that the Taj Mahal can be framed in its totality in the viewfinder of any camera. Fatehpur Sikri is so large and decentralized that the city can only be experienced as a series of changing surroundings as one travels from courtyard to courtyard.

There are no broad boulevards or landmark buildings that can be constantly kept in view when experiencing the city. At Fatehpur Sikri, there are very few buildings that can be seen from all four sides in isolation--among them the Diwan-i-Khas and the Sonakra Makan. Most buildings are fused together in such a way that there are a multitude of routes to reach any point. It is almost if the figure-ground of a modern city is reversed: open spaces are non-continuous islands in a network of buildings that flow together like streets.
History and significance :
The name of the place came after Mughal Emperor Babur defeated Rana Sanga in a battle at a place called Khanwa (about 40 KM from Agra). Then Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to make Fatehpur Sikri his headquarters. So he built this majestic fort. But due to shortage of water he had to ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort.

Akbar had no child. After the blessing of Sufi Saint Salim Chisti he was blessed with a male child who became the heir to his throne, he was named Salim (after the name of Sufi Saint Salim) who later become Emperor Jahangir. The tomb "Salim Chisti Ka Mazar" was built in honour of Sufi saint Salim Chishti in 1571 by Mughal emperor Akbar. Earlier it was built with red sand stone but later converted into beautiful marble mauseleum. This was built much later the Fatehpur Sikri Fort was built by Akbar. It is regarded as Emperor Akbar's crowning architectural legacy. Indeed, its numerous palaces, halls, and masjids satisfy his creative and aesthetic impulses, typical of Mughals.
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Important Buildings In Fatehpur Sikri
VISITING PLACES IN AGRA(38 KM from Fatehpur Sikri)
5N/6D- Delhi - Agra - Fatehpur Sikri - Jaipur Tour
1N/2D- Delhi-Agra-Fatehpur