23 Things To Do In Fatehpur Sikri

Things To Do In Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Uttar Pradesh, India, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and architectural brilliance. Built in the late 16th century by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, this once bustling city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for a brief period. Today, Fatehpur Sikri stands as a testament to Akbar’s vision and artistic sensibilities, attracting visitors from all over the world. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, there are countless things to do in Fatehpur Sikri that will leave you spellbound. From exploring grand palaces and majestic mosques to delving into the daily lives of the Mughal royals, every corner of this city offers a unique story waiting to be discovered.

Things To Do In Fatehpur Sikri

  1. Buland Darwaza

Buland Darwaza, or the “Gate of Magnificence,” stands as the grand entrance to Fatehpur Sikri. This imposing structure, made of red sandstone and marble, is one of the highest gateways in the world.

Rising to a height of 54 meters, the Buland Darwaza is an architectural marvel. Built to commemorate Akbar’s victory over Gujarat, it exudes a sense of power and triumph. The gateway’s intricate carvings and inscriptions from the Quran showcase Mughal artistry at its finest. As you walk through the massive arch, you’ll feel the weight of history and the grandeur of Akbar’s empire. The view from the top offers a panoramic glimpse of Fatehpur Sikri and the surrounding countryside, making it a perfect spot for photography. Visiting Buland Darwaza is like stepping back in time, offering a majestic start to your exploration of Fatehpur Sikri.

  1. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, is a central feature of Fatehpur Sikri. This mosque exemplifies the fusion of Persian and Indian architectural styles.

The Jama Masjid, with its vast courtyard and elegant design, is a testament to the architectural brilliance of the Mughal era. Built in 1571, it served as a spiritual center for the residents of Fatehpur Sikri. The mosque’s three domes, supported by slender minarets, create a striking silhouette against the sky. Inside, the prayer hall is adorned with intricate calligraphy and marble inlays. The central courtyard, capable of holding thousands of worshippers, is an ideal place for quiet reflection. As you explore the mosque, you’ll notice the harmonious blend of different artistic influences, making it a cultural and architectural gem.

  1. Diwan-i-Khas

Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audiences, was the venue where Emperor Akbar held meetings with his advisors and foreign dignitaries.

Diwan-i-Khas stands out for its distinctive architectural design, especially the central pillar with its elaborate carvings. This single, richly adorned column supports a platform where Akbar’s throne once stood, radiating power and authority. The hall’s symmetrical design and intricate stone work highlight the precision and creativity of Mughal architecture. As you walk through the hall, you can almost hear the echoes of historic discussions and decisions that shaped the empire. The central pillar’s detailed carvings reflect a blend of different cultural motifs, symbolizing the diverse influences embraced by Akbar’s court. Diwan-i-Khas is not just a historical site but a symbol of the Mughal era’s grandeur and intellectual richness.

  1. Panch Mahal

Panch Mahal, a five-story palace, offers a unique architectural experience with its open-sided design, allowing for natural ventilation and panoramic views.

Panch Mahal is an architectural masterpiece, designed to provide respite from the heat with its open pavilion structure. Each of its five stories diminishes in size as you ascend, creating a tiered effect. The building’s 176 intricately carved columns support the pavilions, allowing cool breezes to flow through. This airy design made it a perfect retreat for the royal family. As you climb to the top, you’re rewarded with stunning views of the entire Fatehpur Sikri complex and the surrounding landscape. The Panch Mahal not only showcases the ingenuity of Mughal architecture but also offers a serene space to appreciate the beauty of the area.

  1. Tomb of Salim Chishti

The Tomb of Salim Chishti is a revered site, attracting devotees and tourists alike. This white marble mausoleum is a striking contrast to the red sandstone buildings around it.

Located within the Jama Masjid complex, the Tomb of Salim Chishti is an exquisite example of Mughal architecture. Built in honor of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti, who predicted the birth of Akbar’s heir, this mausoleum is a place of worship and reflection. The tomb’s white marble facade is intricately carved with delicate lattice screens, creating an ethereal ambiance. Inside, the saint’s grave is covered with a green cloth, surrounded by prayer offerings from visitors. The peaceful environment and the tomb’s spiritual significance make it a deeply moving experience. Visitors often tie threads to the lattice screens, a tradition believed to fulfill wishes. The Tomb of Salim Chishti is a serene and sacred spot that adds a spiritual dimension to your visit.

  1. Jodha Bai’s Palace

Jodha Bai’s Palace, also known as Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace, was the residence of Akbar’s favorite queen. It showcases a blend of Hindu and Mughal architectural styles.

Jodha Bai’s Palace is a harmonious fusion of Hindu and Mughal architectural elements, reflecting the cultural syncretism of Akbar’s reign. The palace’s large courtyard, surrounded by rooms with beautiful carvings, served as a private residence for Akbar’s queen. The palace features a blend of ornate brackets, pillars, and balconies, showcasing the intricate artistry of the period. The expansive layout includes a central courtyard, where the queen could enjoy private moments away from court life. As you explore the palace, you’ll notice the seamless integration of different architectural styles, symbolizing Akbar’s inclusive approach to governance and culture. Jodha Bai’s Palace offers a glimpse into the royal domestic life and the aesthetic sensibilities of the Mughal era.

  1. Birbal’s House

Birbal’s House, or Birbal Bhavan, was the residence of one of Akbar’s most trusted advisors, known for his wit and wisdom.

Birbal’s House is a fine example of Mughal residential architecture, designed to reflect both functionality and elegance. The house features beautifully carved stone pillars and brackets, with a layout that includes several rooms and courtyards. The intricate lattice work and ornate facades highlight the craftsmanship of the era. As you walk through the residence, you can imagine the intellectual conversations and strategic discussions that took place here. Birbal’s House not only offers insight into the daily life of one of Akbar’s closest advisors but also showcases the architectural finesse of the Mughal period. This site is a must-visit for those interested in the personal histories that shaped the Mughal empire.

  1. Diwan-i-Aam

Diwan-i-Aam, or the Hall of Public Audiences, was where Emperor Akbar addressed the public and held court sessions.

Diwan-i-Aam is a large, open hall that reflects the inclusive and accessible nature of Akbar’s rule. The hall is supported by multiple pillars, creating a spacious area where the emperor could interact with his subjects. The central throne alcove, slightly elevated, signifies the seat of the emperor. The surrounding open space allowed people to gather and voice their grievances or seek justice. The simplicity of the structure contrasts with the elaborate designs of other buildings in Fatehpur Sikri, emphasizing its functional purpose. A visit to Diwan-i-Aam provides insight into the administrative and judicial aspects of Akbar’s reign and highlights his efforts to stay connected with the common people.

  1. Anup Talao

Anup Talao is a picturesque ornamental pool located in the royal complex of Fatehpur Sikri. It is known for its beauty and historical significance.

Anup Talao, meaning “Peerless Pool,” is a striking water feature surrounded by beautiful pavilions. Built to serve both aesthetic and practical purposes, the pool was used for performances and gatherings. In the center of the pool stands a small, square platform connected to the edges by four bridges, creating a unique and serene setting. The reflection of the nearby buildings in the clear water enhances the visual appeal of the pool. The Anup Talao was a favorite spot for musical performances and poetry recitations, adding a cultural dimension to the royal court. Visiting Anup Talao offers a tranquil experience, perfect for appreciating the artistry and lifestyle of the Mughal era.

  1. Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar, also known as the Elephant Tower, is a unique structure built by Emperor Akbar in memory of his favorite elephant.

Hiran Minar is a tall tower adorned with stone projections shaped like elephant tusks, creating a distinctive and somewhat whimsical appearance. The tower stands as a testament to Akbar’s affection for his elephant, which played a significant role in his military campaigns. The minar’s design is both functional and symbolic, offering a vantage point over the surrounding landscape while commemorating a beloved animal. Climbing to the top provides a panoramic view of Fatehpur Sikri, adding a layer of exploration to your visit. Hiran Minar’s unique design and historical significance make it an intriguing stop on your tour of the city.

  1. Ibadat Khana

Ibadat Khana, or the House of Worship, was a place where Akbar held religious debates with scholars from various faiths.

The Ibadat Khana is a symbol of Akbar’s progressive and inclusive approach to religion and governance. This building was the venue for discussions and debates on religious and philosophical matters, reflecting Akbar’s interest in promoting a syncretic culture. The structure itself is simple, designed to accommodate gatherings of scholars and religious leaders. Visiting the Ibadat Khana offers a glimpse into Akbar’s visionary efforts to foster dialogue and understanding among different faiths. It is a testament to his commitment to intellectual and spiritual exploration, making it a meaningful and thought-provoking part of your visit to Fatehpur Sikri.

  1. Chishti’s Baoli

Chishti’s Baoli is a historic stepwell, providing a vital water source and showcasing ancient engineering prowess.

Chishti’s Baoli is an impressive stepwell built to ensure a reliable water supply for the residents of Fatehpur Sikri. The stepwell features a series of steps leading down to the water, surrounded by arched corridors and niches. The cool, shaded environment within the baoli was a welcome respite from the heat, and the structure itself is a marvel of engineering. Exploring Chishti’s Baoli allows you to appreciate the practical and architectural ingenuity of the Mughal era. It also provides a glimpse into the daily life and resource management of the time, adding depth to your understanding of the city’s historical context.

  1. Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, is a structure designed to facilitate natural ventilation and comfort in the royal complex.

Hawa Mahal is a beautifully designed building with numerous windows and jharokhas (overhanging enclosed balconies) that allow for the free flow of air. This architectural feature made it a comfortable retreat during hot weather, as the natural ventilation kept the interior cool. The facade is intricately decorated with lattice work, creating an elegant appearance. The Hawa Mahal’s design is a testament to the ingenuity of Mughal architects in creating functional yet aesthetically pleasing structures. Visiting Hawa Mahal offers a chance to experience the innovative solutions used in royal architecture to enhance comfort and luxury.

  1. Royal Harem

The Royal Harem was the private residence of the emperor’s wives and concubines, offering a glimpse into the domestic life of the Mughal court.

The Royal Harem is a complex of interconnected rooms and courtyards designed to provide privacy and comfort for the women of the royal household. The area features beautiful gardens, fountains, and intricately decorated chambers. The architecture reflects a blend of luxury and seclusion, with high walls and discreet entrances ensuring privacy. Exploring the Royal Harem allows visitors to understand the daily life and social structure within the Mughal court. The detailed carvings and serene environment offer a unique perspective on the personal side of the royal family’s life, adding a human element to the grandeur of Fatehpur Sikri.

  1. Treasury Building

The Treasury Building was where the empire’s wealth was stored and managed, reflecting the administrative prowess of the Mughal rulers.

The Treasury Building, also known as Khazana, is a robust structure designed to protect the empire’s riches. The building is characterized by thick walls and minimal windows, emphasizing security. The interior comprises several rooms and chambers where gold, jewels, and other valuables were stored. The architecture combines functionality with aesthetics, featuring intricate carvings and motifs that signify prosperity. Visiting the Treasury Building offers a glimpse into the economic strength and administrative organization of Akbar’s reign. It’s a fascinating stop for those interested in the logistical and financial aspects of the Mughal Empire.

  1. Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace

Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace, dedicated to Akbar’s Rajput wife, is a beautiful blend of Hindu and Mughal architectural styles.

Mariam-uz-Zamani’s Palace is a striking example of architectural fusion, reflecting Akbar’s policy of cultural integration. The palace features spacious rooms, ornate balconies, and beautiful gardens, showcasing both Mughal and Rajput design elements. The intricate stonework and decorative motifs celebrate the queen’s heritage and her important role in the court. As you explore the palace, you’ll notice the harmonious blend of different artistic traditions, symbolizing Akbar’s inclusive approach. This site offers insight into the personal lives of the royal family and the cultural syncretism of the Mughal period.

  1. Daulat Khana

Daulat Khana, or the “House of Fortune,” served as the residence and administrative quarters for Emperor Akbar.

Daulat Khana is a significant structure within the Fatehpur Sikri complex, representing the emperor’s power and administrative capabilities. The building includes reception halls, private chambers, and offices where state affairs were conducted. The architecture is marked by intricate stone carvings and detailed ornamental work. The large courtyards and open spaces reflect the grandeur of the Mughal court. Visiting Daulat Khana allows you to envision the daily operations of the empire, from administrative decisions to royal meetings. It’s a crucial stop for understanding the inner workings of Akbar’s government.

  1. Hathi Pol

Hathi Pol, or the “Elephant Gate,” is a grand entrance that was used by royal elephants to enter the city.

Hathi Pol is an impressive gateway designed specifically for the entry of elephants, symbolizing strength and grandeur. The gate is adorned with carvings of elephants and other motifs, showcasing the Mughal’s appreciation for these majestic animals. The wide arch and sturdy construction reflect the importance of elephants in royal ceremonies and processions. Walking through Hathi Pol offers a unique perspective on the ceremonial aspects of Mughal life and the significance of elephants in their culture. It’s a distinctive and memorable feature of Fatehpur Sikri’s architectural landscape.

  1. Tansen’s Baradari

Tansen’s Baradari is a pavilion dedicated to the legendary musician Tansen, one of the nine gems of Akbar’s court.

Tansen’s Baradari is a beautiful open pavilion that served as a venue for musical performances and gatherings. The structure is designed to enhance acoustics, creating a perfect setting for Tansen’s legendary performances. The simplicity of the pavilion, with its elegant arches and open spaces, highlights its functional purpose. As you sit in the baradari, you can almost hear the echoes of classical music that once filled the air. Visiting Tansen’s Baradari provides a cultural and artistic dimension to your exploration of Fatehpur Sikri, celebrating the rich musical heritage of the Mughal court.

  1. Palace of the Christian Wife

The Palace of the Christian Wife is a small yet charming building that highlights Akbar’s respect for different religions.

The Palace of the Christian Wife, also known as the Palace of Mariam-uz-Zamani, reflects Akbar’s pluralistic approach to religion. This modest structure features simple yet elegant design elements that incorporate both Mughal and Christian architectural styles. The palace includes a small chapel where the queen could practice her faith, symbolizing Akbar’s acceptance and support of religious diversity. Exploring this palace offers insight into the personal lives of the royal family and Akbar’s efforts to create a harmonious and inclusive society. It’s a unique and touching part of the Fatehpur Sikri complex.

  1. Caravanserai

The Caravanserai served as a resting place for travelers and traders, highlighting the importance of trade in the Mughal Empire.

The Caravanserai in Fatehpur Sikri is a large courtyard surrounded by small rooms and stables, providing shelter and amenities for travelers and their animals. This structure played a crucial role in supporting trade and commerce, offering a safe haven for merchants. The architecture is simple yet functional, designed to accommodate large numbers of people and goods. Visiting the Caravanserai allows you to understand the logistical aspects of the Mughal economy and the empire’s efforts to promote trade. It’s an interesting stop for those curious about the everyday life and commerce of the period.

  1. Khwabgah

Khwabgah, or the “House of Dreams,” was Emperor Akbar’s private quarters, reflecting his personal tastes and interests.

Khwabgah is a beautifully designed building that served as Akbar’s personal residence within Fatehpur Sikri. The structure includes a sleeping chamber, a library, and private meeting rooms, all adorned with intricate carvings and decorative motifs. The peaceful environment and elegant design reflect Akbar’s sophisticated tastes and his desire for a tranquil retreat. As you explore Khwabgah, you’ll gain insight into the emperor’s personal life and interests, from his love of literature to his need for solitude and reflection. It’s a fascinating and intimate part of the royal complex.

  1. Turkish Sultana’s House

The Turkish Sultana’s House is a small, beautifully decorated residence within Fatehpur Sikri, showcasing the cultural diversity of Akbar’s court.

The Turkish Sultana’s House is a charming and intricately decorated building that reflects the influence of Turkish culture in the Mughal court. The residence features elaborate stone carvings, beautiful frescoes, and elegant architectural elements that create a luxurious living space. The house’s design is both functional and aesthetically pleasing, providing a comfortable and private retreat for the Turkish sultana. Visiting this house offers a glimpse into the diverse cultural influences that shaped Akbar’s court and highlights the emperor’s appreciation for different artistic traditions. It’s a delightful and culturally rich stop in Fatehpur Sikri.


A visit to Fatehpur Sikri is more than just a journey through an ancient city; it is an immersive experience that brings the grandeur of the Mughal era to life. The diverse range of things to do in Fatehpur Sikri ensures that every visitor, regardless of their interests, finds something captivating. From the imposing Buland Darwaza to the serene Tomb of Salim Chishti, each site offers a glimpse into the past, enriched by stories of power, culture, and spirituality. As you walk through the corridors and courtyards of this historic city, you will not only witness the architectural genius of the Mughal era but also feel a deep connection to the rich cultural heritage of India. Fatehpur Sikri, with its blend of history and beauty, promises an unforgettable adventure that will linger in your memory long after you have left its ancient walls.

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