Fatehpur Sikri is located in India, in the federal state of Uttar Pradesh, just ore hour drive from Agra (Taj Mahal) or four hours from either Delhi and Jaipur. Fatehpur Sikri is not actually located in Rajasthan, but we put this destination in our Rajasthan travel itinerary, because it's easy, convenient and highly recommended to visit this location when moving between Delhi and Rajasthan by car or train, rather than by plane (an option really chosen by many tourists visiting both Delhi and Rajasthan).
The ancient city of Fatehpur Sikri, known also as the City of Victory, houses numerous palaces, pavilions, royal residences, temples and mosques, built mainly in red sandstone and protected by massive walls and imposing access gates among the biggest in Asia. The construction of Fatehpur Sikri began in 1570 and the city grew very quickly, before being abandoned a few decades later with the same rapidity, perhaps due to lack of water or just to move closer to the army busy in protecting the northernmost borders.
The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri is typical Mughal, a mixture between Hindu and Islamic, with imposing buildings richly decorated by bas-reliefs and inlaid marble. Although most administration and public buildings are in good conditions, there is apparently no trace of private structures and homes belonged to ordinary people. In fact, we don't have to forget that Fatehpur Sikri was a real city inhabited also by common people and wasn't just a residence complex only for royal families.
How long time is necessary to visit Fatehpur Sikri? It is necessary to spend around 2-3 hours to visit Fatehpur Sikri, including the trips by shuttle bus between main parking lot and entrance to the ruins. The excursion can be taken while moving by car between Agra (Taj Mahal) and Jaipur and it's really not necessary to add an overnight stop in the city.
What is the best time to visit Fatehpur Sikri? The best time to go to Fatehpur Sikri is from October to March, as for whole northern India, because the weather is drier with much less chances of rain, and cooler. In the coldest months of December and January, some morning fog may be possible.
But now let's see some photos of Fatehpur Sikri taken during our trip in India.
The tour in Fatehpur Sikri starts from Diwan-i-Khas, a quadrangular red sandstone building used for private audiences.
Inside the building, in the center of the room, there is a column exquisitely carved, which ends in a capital decorated with shapes similar to stalactites, from where four walkways converge: here the emperor sat on a marble platform during the audiences.
The palace overlooks Pachisi Court, a courtyard with a chessboard drawn on the floor, where members of the court could play a kind of chess.
This massive pavilion entirely built by red sandstone, was characterized by safes hidden in the cavities under fake windows. Valuables were accessed through a large hole on the shelf, which was covered and hidden by a heavy stone slab.