After 1573, it was regarded as the capital of the Mughal kingdom. However, after the city was
abandoned by Akbar in 1585 to fight a campaign in Punjab, Fatehpur Sikri seems to have declined as
rapidly. By 1610, Fatehpur Sikri was completely abandoned. The reason for the sudden decline of
Fatehpur Sikri is usually given as the failure of the water supply system. However, the major reason may
have been Akbar’s loss of interest since he had built it on a whim in the first place.
The Diwan-i-Aain or the Hall of Public Audience; the Diwan-i-Khas with a curiously and brilliantly carved
octagonal column; Khaas Mahal, Akbar's private apartment; Panch Mahal, a five-storeyed building, the
upper storeys diminishing in dimension; Mariam's Palace, an edifice once profusely decorated with gold
ornaments, being the residence of Akbar's Rajput queen; Hawa Mahal, a breezy building of terraces
meant for the ladies; Birbal Palace, built by Akbar's friend and minister Raja Birbal, Jarna Masjid; Sheikh
Salim Chishti's Tomb built in pure white marble; Buland Darwaja, the largest gateway in India (176 feet
high from the ground and 134 feet from its platform), built of marble and sandstone in remarkable
harmony, and a number of other objects can be seen in this fort. The monuments of Fatehpur Sikri were
constructed of red sandstone and showcased a blend of Hindu, Persian and Indo-Muslim traditions. In
1585, however, Akbar abandoned Fatehpur Sikri to fight against the Afghan tribes and chose a new
capital. Though it had a short life of splendor, Fatehpur Sikri has remained till date as one of the most
magnificent and well preserved heritage sites in India.
Panch Mahal: The Panch Mahal is a five-floored pillared pavilion in Fatehpur Sikri. This extraordinary building was called 'badgir' or wind tower because its innumerable pillars on all the floors allowed the breeze to flow through it so that it was always cool, even in summer. Built on the pattern of a Buddhist temple, Panch Mahal was basically a pleasure palace of Akbar.
Jodha Bai Palace: The palace of Jodh Bai, the Rajput queen of the emperor, is the largest and most important part of Akbar's imperial harem at Fatehpur Sikri. The Palace consists of a rectangular block, with a single magnificent gateway on the eastern side, which was protected by guard rooms. Hindu motifs like swans, parrots, elephants and lotuses adorn the interior.
Diwan-e-Aam: Fatehpur Sikri is regarded as Akbar's crowning architectural legacy. His creative and aesthetic impulses have found exquisite expression in its numerous palaces, halls and mosque. The Diwan-i-Aam is the first enclosure of the palace as one enters. It is a vast courtyard that was used by Akbar for the daily public audience called 'Jharokha'. The Diwan-i-Aam was also used to dispense justice.
Diwan-i-Khas: Diwan-i-Aam of Fatehpur Sikri gave access to a second magnificent enclosure that is called 'Diwan-i-Khas' of Fatehpur Sikri. This is undoubtedly the finest building in Fatehpur Sikri and was used for the private audiences and other court activities. The inspiring chamber of Diwan-i-Khas of Fatehpur Sikri is dominated by a massive carved pillar that has 36 brackets supporting a balcony for Akbar. If you ever get a chance to visit Fatehpur Sikri, let your imagination soar and in your mind's eyes, you will see Akbar granting audience to his subjects and dispensing justice.
How to Reach Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri, a famous tourist attraction in Agra, can be easily reached by the three prevalent means of connectivity – road, rail and air.
Fatehpur Sikri by Flight: Nearest airports to Fatehpur Sikri are New Delhi (205 Kms/4 hrs) and Jaipur (205 kms.4 hrs).
Fatehpur Sikri by Train: The spiritual capital and prime tourist destination of India- Agra, hence Fatehpur Sikri) is well connected to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur and other parts of India.
Fatehpur Sikri by Road: Situated in the flat Yamuna plains, Fatehpur Sikri has a good network of roads and is connected by frequent public and private buses and road transport to all the major towns of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and nearby areas.