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Things To Do In Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri, a city in Uttar Pradesh in northern India. In 1569 Akbar declared the city as the capital as he thought it was auspicious for his rule. Fatehpur Sikri houses monuments and structures that are a mix of Hindi and Mughal Architecture. Built in red sandstone, there are ample things to do in Fatehpur Sikri; you can feast your eyes on intricate carvings and beautifully designed structures in the palace complex. Apart from visiting the main attraction of the monuments in the palace complex, there are other things to do for tourists as well. Let’s have a look at some things to do in and around this historic city.
Visit Nature at Keoladeo National Park
Located at a distance of 27 km from Fatehpur Sikri is the Keoladeo National Park which was also known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary. Created by Maharaja Suraj Mal as a manmade wetland in the 18th century, the National Park was also a former duck shooting reserve of the Maharajas and British Officials. In 1976, this place was recognized as a bird sanctuary and later on in 1982, this site was recognized as a national parka nd came to be known as the Keoladeo National Park. A temple stands right in the middle of the park, which it is named after. This is one of India’s finest national parks and home 230 resident and migratory bird species. You can catch a glimpse of various animals like Golden Jackal, Fishing Cat, Sambar, Nilgai, Wild Boar, Blackbuck and many more.
Gain Knowledge at the Archeological Museum
The Archeological Museum, also known as the Treasury Building is a monument that is centrally protected and has a number of artifacts that are exhibited for tourists visiting the place. The Museum has a lot for its visitors; artifacts that were excavated from the city of Fatehpur Sikri come from both the Mughal and the Pre-Mugha era. Inside the museum there are four different distinctions that give visitors a sense of the history and the culture of the region. Jain sculptures from that era are also exhibited in this museum; if you seek interest in the history of this region and the different people who ruled it, the Archeologocal Museum is a good way to up your knowledge.
Be a part of the Ramzan Fair
The period of Ramzan is a holy for the people in Fatehpur Sikri and during this time, the Dargah of Sheikh Salim Chisti organizes a fair that is enjoyed by the locals as well as visitors who go during that time. In this fair, traditional handicrafts are exhibited along with other items. If you are going with children, this is a great time to enjoy elephant and camel rides in the fair. Also, a speciality during this time that adds to the festivities is the folk music or the mushaira that is played during the fair at all times. You can also see people engaging in folk dance and showing off their culture. The fair takes place not only in Ramzan but also other Muslim festivals and is celebrated with a lot of zeal.
Visit Birbal’s Palace
One of the most important monuments in Fatehpur Sikri is the Birbal’s Palace and the architecture is completely done in Mughal style. This structure was the residence of Raja Birbal, Emperor Akbar’s Prime Minister and one of the Nine Jewels in Akbar’s Court. The structure is two storeyed and the ground floor is made up of four rooms, while the upper floor has two rooms and an open terrace. The interiors of the structure are intricately carved and absolutely worth checking out. On top of the palace are dome shaped structures that gives the structure a complete look along with its red sandstone finish.
Go to the Palace of the Turkish Queens
Located to the northeast of the Anoop Talao, the Turskish Sultana’s House is a beautiful structure in the palace complex. Both the exterior and the interior of the Palace is beautifully designed and carved and is believed to be the home of the two Turkish queens of Emperor Akbar namely Salima Sultan Begum and Ruqayya Begum. The structure is also attached to a pond and must have been a pleasure pavilion for the two queens. Etched in floral and geometrical patterns, the Palace is a square shaped building. There are verandas that have stone screens and connect this palace to the Khwabgah complex. The intricacy of the architecture is worth visiting for.
Visit the Grand Courtyard of Caravanserai
The Caravanserai is a huge courtyard in the Fatehpur Sikri monument complex situated right next to the Hathi Pol. The structure has spacious residential rooms in the quadrangle court which were used as guestrooms for merchants who were visiting the area. There is also a terrace on the south east side which you can walk on. The structure is built in typical Mughal style of architecture with arches, and beautifully carved walls. The complex also has a tank and a deep well attached to it that was used by the guests who stayed there in the nights.
See the Stone Elephants at Hathi Pol
Situated on the southern corner of the Caravanserai, the Hathi Pol is a gateway and entrance to the complex of monuments. The huge gateway is made up of rubble and finished with a touch of marble and red sandstone. The gate has a height of 5.2 m and the structure used to be adorned with two elephant carvings that were 3.7 m high each, from which it got its name. The carvings have weathered in the past years and aren’t visible properly. There is also a 3 m wide gallery here that can be accessed by a narrow staircase.