The Mughals

Gallery

Fatehpur Sikri



Map of the City

This is a clickable image map of the city of Fatehpur Sikri.

Derived from Akbar the Mogul , 2nd Edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917).


Map of the Main Buildings

This is a clickable image map of the main buildings of Fatehpur Sikri.

Derived from Akbar the Mogul , 2nd Edition (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1917).


View of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal," showing the Jami Masjid

A view of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal," the tallest tower in the palace complex. In the foreground is the "Akbar palace." In the distance (center) is the great mosque, the Jami Masjid, which served as a model for later congregational mosques built by the Mughals.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


View of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal"

A view of Fatehpur Sikri from the "Panch Mahal," the tallest tower in the palace complex. The pitched roof in the center (to the left of the tree) demonstrates that even Christian architectural influence can be seen among the Persian (Islamic), Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain elements. This synthesis of architectural influences representing various religions is a reflection of Akbar's desire to create a syncretic religion, called Din-i-ilahi (literally, the divine faith), that brought together all the religions of his subjects. Probably Akbar's interest in this pursuit was inspired by his Sufi advisor and teacher, Shaykh Salim Chishti, around whose abode this magnificent city was built.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


The Buland Gate

This gate is the entrance into the courtyard around the great mosque at Fatehpur Sikri, the Jami Masjid, which served as a model for later congregational mosques built by the Mughals.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


Darga Salim Chishti

This white marble structure contains the tomb of Shaykh Salim Chishti, the Sufi holy man who was Akbar's advisor and teacher. Akbar came to him originally because he had been unable to produce a male heir, and Shaykh Chishti promised that Akbar would have a son if Akbar entrusted the education and upbringing of the boy to Shaykh Chisti. The prediction came true, and Akbar's son Jahangir was indeed raised by the Sufi holy man. In addition, Akbar had the entire city of Fatehpur Sikri built around Shaykh Chisti's abode, which was about 24 miles west of Agra. Originally the tomb was built out of the red sandstone that was used throughout Fatehpur Sikri (as well as the rest of the architecture commissioned by Akbar in Agra and Delhi), but Jahangir had the building rebuilt in white marble, which is the building material preferred by the Mughal emperors who followed Akbar.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


The Panch Mahal

This view of Fatehpur Sikri shows the tallest tower in the palace complex (the "Panch Mahal"), and in front, a building that according to legend was the school for Akbar's numerous wives. To the right of the school (which has 176 pillars) is the huge parchesi "board" on which Akbar could play parchesi using slave girls as lifesize "pieces."

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


Diwan-i-Khas (center) and Astrologer's Seat (left, rear)

The small pavilion on the left in the background is the spot from which Akbar's astrologer made his predictions. Several details in its construction demonstrate Jain influence. The large structure in the center is the Diwan-i-Khas, where Akbar would hold public audience. The synthesis of architectural influences in the construction of Fatehpur Sikri, representing various religions is a reflection of Akbar's desire to create a syncretic religion, called Din-i-ilahi (literally, the divine faith), that brought together all the religions of his subjects.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


Diwan-i-Khas

From this elevated platform, Akbar would conduct public audience and hear the entreaties of his subjects without being exposed to potential assassins. The intricate detailing in the stone beneath the platform demonstrates Hindu influence. Remarkably, this structure, as well as the rest of Fatehpur Sikri, was constructed without the use of mortar.

Copyright, Deborah Haynes, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


Diwan-i-Khas

A second view of Akbar's platform.

Copyright, Paul Brians, PhD; for educational and non-commercial use only.


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1997, Richard Hooker

Updated 3-5-97