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Built back in the 16thcentury by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular destinations of India. Set at a distance of 36 km from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri proudly stands as the evidence of the rich Mughal culture and civilization. The city houses a number of historical monuments which are all built of red sandstone. These monuments display a blend of Hindu, Persian and Indo-Muslim traditions in their architecture. Most important monuments of the city include Diwan-i-Am, which was earlier the hall of public audience, Ranch Mahal, the palace of Jodha Bai, the pavilion of Anup Talao, and the palace of Birbal. There are many religious monuments in the city such as Jama Masjid, Buland Darwaza, Ibadat Khana, Anup Talao, Hujra-i-Anup Talao, and Mariam-Uz-Zamani Palace. All the monuments of the city are beautifully adorned with intricate works, which reflect the skills of the artisans of those times.
The best time to visit Fatehpur Sikri is from the month of November to April. During the rest of the year, the weather becomes very hot and dry.
Fatehpur Sikri is well-known to house some of the best examples of Mughal, Hindu and Jain architecture. The structures depict a mix of craftsmanship of Bengal and Gujarat. Local quarried red sandstone, known as 'Sikri Sandstone' has been used in the construction of all the buildings. The historic monuments of the city speak of its rich and glorious past.
Situated about 5 km away from the magnificent Taj Mahal, Agra, lies the oldest Mughal Garden in India called the Ram Bagh. It was originally built by the Mughal Emperor Babur in 1528, as an amusement garden and for the purpose of relaxation. The Garden is designed beautifully, and showcases the love of the Mughals for the nature. It is a Persian Garden that represents the Islamic idea of paradise through divided canals and pathways. The three layered garden offers a beautiful and tranquil ambience to all the visitors. It is believed that Babur got buried here initially before he was transferred to Kabul. The best time to visit the garden is from the month of October to March. The garden remains open from sunrise till sunset.
Chini ka Rauza is a funerary monument, which was built in the reign of Shah Jahan. The tomb was built back in 1635 and is considered one of finest examples of glazed tile work, called chini in Mughal era buildings.
The monument contains the tomb of Allama Afzal Khan Mullah. The monument is best known to feature Indo-Persian architecture. The most distinctive feature of the tomb is the colorful tiles or chini from which the monument gets its name. The walls of the tomb are decorated with inscriptions and colored tiles which add to the beautiful look of the structure.
Well-known as the 'Moonlight Garden', Mehtab Bagh is a beautiful garden complex, which is situated on the northern side of the Taj Mahal. The garden complex is more like an extension of the gardens of the Taj Mahal, but it is situated on the other side of the river Yamuna.
It is believed that the original emperor to set up the garden was the Emperor Babur. Visitors can enjoy a great view of the Taj Mahal from the garden. People from all over visit the garden to enjoy the sunset from this point, which is immensely beautiful. Mehtab Garden is open throughout the day for the visitors. However, the best time to visit the garden is during the evening.
Also known as the "Great Gate", Buland Darwaza was built in the early part of the 17th century. The gate was built to commemorate Emperor Akbar's victory over Gujarat. The monument features typical Persian-Mughal architectural designs. The 15-storied high gateway is located at the southern entrance of the city.
There is a Persian inscription on the Buland Darwaza, which records Akbar's conquest over Gujarat in the year 1601. The Persian inscription is said to signify the open mindset of Akbar.
A number of people visit the monument to flip back the pages of India's rich past. The Buland Darwaza is constructed of red and beige sandstone. It has white and black marble carvings in the interiors. The structure is symmetrically planned and is topped by pillars and chhatris.
The Panch Mahal is a beautiful, five storey structure which was built as a pleasure palace by King Akbar. Here, King Akbar used to relax and unwind and the Mahal had a number of entertainment options for him. The palace was also specially constructed to cater to the emperor's queens and princess. The palace lies close to Anup Talao which was a beautiful and one-of-its-kind water tank built by King Akbar. The tank was used for storing water and distribution purposes.