A short drive from Agra you come upon the city of Fatehpur Sikri, which served as the capital of the Mughal empire between 1570 and 1586. But as quickly as it had been built, it was abandoned. A popular tale is attached to the city’s origin, as is often the case in notable cities throughout India.
According to the legend, Emperor Akbar did not have a male heir. Not knowing what else to do, he made a pilgrimage to ask for the blessings of the powerful saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. The Emperor’s prayer was fulfilled, and it wasn not long before a son was born to him. In celebration of the saint who had granted his prayer, Akbar named the prince Salim, and decided to establish a new city to celebrate his son’s birth. And thus, the magnificent Fatehpur Sikri, the new capital, came into being.
The city was intended to symbolize the splendid standards, and the humanitarian bent of this dynamic emperor. Although a Muslim, Akbar was well known for his incredible acceptance of other religions, and he is said to have spent time in a immense deal of study and discussion of other religions, in his new capital. He also created a new religion, Deen – e – Elahi which attempted to blend positive aspects of all the major religons into one composite whole. This didn’t work as well as he had hoped, but his ideas were noble.
The finest monuments within this area are the Diwan – i – Am, Diwan – i – Khas, Panch Mahal, Jama Masjid, Panch Mahal, Buland Darwaza and the tomb of Saint Sheikh Salim Chisti. This area is a wonderful place to learn of the rich religious culture of India. Peace can be found among the many monuments that inhabit this land.