A ‘Pandemic’ Weekend getaway

The last time I wrote a blog post, I was working from home, now,I am STILL working from home! When we realize that we have a longish weekend ,we do not miss an opportunity to travel. Our equally travel parched friends suggested that we go for a quick weekend trip to the one time Mughal Capital of Fatehpur Sikhri. We readily agreed and off we went. Situated at a distance 4 hours from NCR , the roads and the delectable food served in the Dhabas en route make the journey memorable.

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The complex of monuments and temples, all in a uniform architectural style, includes one of the largest mosques in India, the Jama Masjid. The Buland Darwaza and the tomb of Salim Chisti are part of the mosque complex. The Buland Darwaza roughly translates into – the door of victory and is also the main entrace of the Jama Mosque. The door stands tall at a whooping 176 feet. One glimpse at it and it makes you wonder how they created this structure way back in the 16th century with limited machinery.

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The fact that these structures still look magnificent 5 centuries after it was constructed speak volumes about the quality of raw materials used and skilled workmanship!

The Jama mosque complex also houses the beautiful white tomb of Salim Chisti. It is considered to be one of the finest examples of Mughal Architecture. It was constructed by Akbar as a mark of his respect to the Sufi Saint who predicted the birth of his son, Jahangir.

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History has it that Akbar yearned for a son to take forward the mighty Mughal empire. It was finally Saint Salim Chisti who predicted the same, the beautiful structure was constructed as a celebration at the birth of his only born and for the saint too at the village of Sikhri ! No two jalis/panels on this structure are the same!

Right adjacent to Sikhri ( about a km) is the town of Fatehpur that houses the following:

Diwan- I- Aam – the place where Akbar met the general public on a regular basis in order to understand their problems and resolve them too.

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Diwan -I – Khaas- the place reserved for private audience . This place was where Akbar held meetings with people who followed different religions and discussed their faiths too. This place had a central pillar which had carvings of geometric and floral designs!

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Panch Mahal – a 5 storied structure with the top most supporting a single stone chatri or dome. This was where the queens could overlook the different programs being organized in the royal courtyard. The bottom most floor would also lead to Khwabgah – Akbar’s residence

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The Khwabgah still houses Akbar’s royal bed , situated at an elevation closer to the windows to allow for better air circulation. It is believed that the bedroom was filled with rosewater to help bring down the temperature during summer!

Anup Talao – an ornamental pool with a central stage and 4 bridges leading upto it. It is belived that the great musician – Tansen used to often perform here for the royalty.

Soaked in Mughal history, head held high with pride we drove down to Bharatpur with an idea to sight migratory birds the next morning! But that one is a blog of it’s own!!

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