Birbal’s Palace in Fatehpur Sikri royal complex
That Taj Mahal is Indias most popular tourist attraction needs no debate. Known as one of the most breathtaking monuments on the planet, Taj Mahal draws in tourists from all over the world, all year round. However, the region where Taj Mahal stands has a lot more to offer than the magnificent mausoleum. One place that every Agra visitor must check out without fail is Fatehpur Sikri. Located just 45 km away from the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikri is a small city that was once the capital of Mughal Empire. Constructed by Emperor Akbar, the city served as the Mughal capital from 1571 to 1585. It is worth a visit for the historic red Sikri sandstone architecture that can still be witnessed in its monuments. The intrinsic carvings and meticulous designs here have impressed many a history buff. A trip to Fatehpur Sikri can easily be clubbed with your Agra tour. Here are some things to do in Fatehpur Sikri.
Visit the marvellous Buland Darwaza
Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri
Made of the famous red Sikri sandstone, the Buland Darwaza stands testimony to the brilliance of Mughal architecture. A 42-step climb gets you to the mammoth 15-storyed gateway which took 12 years to build. It is the southern entrance to Fatehpur Sikri.
Check out the beautiful structures in the royal complex
Fatehpur Sikris royal complex is home to some of the finest pieces of Mughal architecture. The Panch Mahal is a pillared pavilion which was built for the queens. The Diwan-i-aam was where the petitions of commoners were held every morning. The Diwan-i-khaas is located in the northeast area of the complex and it was where the Maharaja met his private guests and dignitaries. And then there is Birbals Palace, where the Emperor Akbars celebrated Hindu Prime Minister. He was one of the nine jewels in Akbars court. DO SEE Swiss Couple Attacked in Fatehpur Sikri: 5 Safest Places for Foreign Tourists in India
Pay a visit to the Jodha Bai palace
Jodha Bai’s Palace in Fatehpur Sikri complex
Jodha Bai was a Rajput princess who married Emperor Akbar and became his favourite wife over the years. As such, the Jodha Bai palace is one of the largest monuments in the royal complex. Jodha Bai ka Rauza is unique in that it presents a fine blend of Hindu and Muslim architectures. You can see an influence of both Gujurati and Rajasthani architectural styles here.
Visit the Archaeological Museum
The Treasury building in Fatehpur Sikri houses the Archaeological Museum which is home to some fine Pre-Mughal and Mughal artefacts that were excavated from Fatehpur Sikri. From stone tools to pottery displays, the museum has several items that will take you back in time.
Take a trip to the Keoladeo National Park/Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
Keoladeo National Park near Fatehpur Sikri
Located just 22 km from Fatehpur Sikri, the Keoladeo National Park is a must-visit for wildlife enthusiasts. It was created in18th century by Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur for some leisure shooting purposes. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and National Park.
So, on your next visit to Agra, go on an excursion to Fatehpur Sikri. It will take you back in time to a majestic era of Indian history.