Saturday, 8 July 2017

Great monuments of Fatehpur Sikiri complex - Mogul architectural wonder,

Fatehpur Sikiri is a paradise for those who like intricate -Islamic architecture. No doubt that this place attracts thousands of tourists from world over  who enjoy the amazing architecture of beauty and artistic grandeur. Located 26 kms away from the city of Agra, this beautiful monument was built by the most popular and secular Mogul ruler Akbar. The purpose was to pay  homage to a great Sufi saint.

The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri has true Indian character. The walls of monument posses versatile Indo-Muslim composite style designs, which are a fusion of composite cultures. The monuments bring out the affluence of the Mogul rulers and the artistic talents of the workers who were behind each monument here.

The following monuments are quite fascinating:
 Diwan-i-khas

Diwan-i-Khas,wikipedia. org.




Above image: Diwan-i-khas or Hall of Private Audience is part of Fatepur Sikri complex and it is in the  northeast corner of the royal complex with a big and richly carved pillar in the center. The central platform connected  to the pillar was the seat of the emperor. The  diagonal galleries are  said  to be the seat of ministers and nobles who  were entertained here. However, some consider this building as a store house for the safe keep of the jewels, valuable gems, etc of the Royal families as the galleries were too narrow and not good enough to keep all ministers of the court at once. According to historian Abul Fazl, among the  three treasuries of Akbar that were close to each other, one of them was marked for storing   gems and jewels only. Besides, this building was close to Ankh Michauli or the treasury for gold and silver.

it is likely that  Diwan-i-khas  was used as a treasury for jewels. This square red sand stone building has four double-storeyed façades. This simple building without any big dome has  four beautiful kiosks at each corner of the building that are octagonal in shape and have a circular dome with an inverted lotus on the top, making the building more impressive.. The main hall is quite fascinating and has   36 brackets arising from the pillar in three tiers, in a circular shape. The building  is not well decorated and ornamental, however, the most impressive piece of work is  the pillar in the center- apparently the stamp of impressive Mogul architecture.

Tomb of Salim Chishti

Fatehpur Sikiri. .en.wikipedia
Above image: Tomb of Salim Chishti(left) tomb in Jama Masjid courtyard,Fatehpur Sikiri.

 The Tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti built during the period 1580 and 1581 is  a good example of the finest Mogul architecture in India and it was bullt along with the imperial complex at Fatehpur Sikiri near Zenana Rauza and facing south towards Buland Darwaza, within the quadrangle of the Jama Masjid which measures 350 ft. by 440 ft. It enshrines the burial place of the great Sufi saint, Salim Chisti (1478 – 1572), a descendant of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer. Here, he  lived in a cavern on the ridge at Sikiri. The mausoleum was built by Akbar to show his respect and reverence for the saint who blessed him with a male child. The child was named Prince Salim after the Sufi Saint and later succeeded Akbar to the throne of the Mughal Empire, as Jahangir.

The Jama Masjid,

ama Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri. n.wikipedia.org/
The Jama Masjid, also known as Friday Mosque was built in 1648 by Emperor Shah Jahan and dedicated to his loving daughter, Jahanara Begum. This 17th-century mosque is part of the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikiri Considered one of the largest mosques in India, lots of people come here on pilgrimage. The style of the structure is that of Iranian. Right in the middle of Fatepur Sikiri, this reputed mosque is just across the Agra Fort. Earlier there existed Tripolia Chowk between Jama Masjid and Delhi gate, it was demolished to build the Agra Fort Railway station. The Buland Darwaza and the Tomb of Salim Chishti are also a part of the mosque complex.

It is situated opposite the Agra Fort right in the middle of Fatehpur Sikiri. Earlier there was a Tripolia Chowk, octagonal in shape in-between the Jama Masjid and the Delhi Gate of the Agra Fort. Later on it was demolished to build Agra Fort Railway Station.

The mosque is a blend of both Persian and indigenous architectural elements. This blending enhances the beauty of this mosque. The mosque is rectangular in shape and has a central nave with a single dome. The two colonnaded halls on either side, have  two square chambers crowned with domes. Carved mihrabs adorn the main chamber and the two smaller rooms.The pillared dalan in the front, the liwan with three arched openings framed by panels and crowned by five chhatris  are well built. The central mihrab  has decorated mosaic stones  bordered by glazed tiles. Unlike other place, herecorbelled pendentives support the dome.  

Buland Darwaza:
  • Buland Darwaza, Fatepur Sikiri. en.wikipedia.org
Buland Darwaza or the "Gate of Magnificence", was constructed  in 1601 A.D. by Akbar to commemorate his victory over Gujarat and it is the main entrance to the palace of Fatepur Sikiri built by the Mogul ruler. It is  It is 43 km from Agra, India. It was a great monumental work undertaken by Akbar.

Buland Darwaza, made of red and buff sandstone decorated with white and black marble, is the highest and most majestic  gateway in the world.
The inlaid marble work in the arches and the Hindu style of architecture in the gallery above the entrance are impressive. The doorway is is topped by large free standing kiosks, which are the chhatris.The total height of Buland Darwaza is about 54 metres from the ground level. It is a 15-storied high gateway acting as the southern entrance of the city of Fatehpur Sikri. The approach to the gate has 42 steps. The structure is is semi octagonal in plan and has  two smaller triple-storeyed wings on either side. Besides, it has three kiosks on its top surrounded by thirteen smaller domed kiosks. There are smaller turrets surrounding the gateway.  The total height of the Gate above the pavement is 176 ft.The principal arch stands in the centre of three projecting sides and topped by a dome. The central arch is divided into three tiers with rows of smaller arches and flat brackets.

An interesting feature is on the main gateway one can find an Islamic inscription written in Persian that reads reads: "Isa (Jesus), son of Mary said: 'The world is a Bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it. He who hopes for a day, may hope for eternity; but the World endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer for the rest is unseen.'" Jesus was advising his followers not to consider the world as a permanent home.There are  verses from the Quran  carved in the Naskh (script) along the top. These were drawn by Khwaja Hussain Chishti, a disciple of Sheikh Salim Chishti. It is believed that it took
nearly 12 years to complete the construction of the  highest gateway.Buland Dawwaza reveals Akbar's secular attitude, catholicity  and religious openness. 

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buland_Darwaza

 Marium-uz-Zamani Palace:

Marium-uz-Zamani Palace  Mountains Of Travel Photos

The Marium-uz-Zamani Palace was the residence of of Akbar’s wife, Mariam. The palace is famous for highly embellished interiors and Akbar employed skilled wokers to build this dream palace for his queen who happened to a Hindu woman of Rajput origin. The palace is surrounded by a nice garden with rich carvings and floral motifs which enhances its charm. Since Marium-uz-Zamani was  a devotee of Lord Krishna, her palace is also adorned with many paintings of Lord Krishna.

Panch Mahal:

Panch Mahal, en. wikipedia. org.
The Panch Mahal, commissioned by sikarwar Rajputs  is also also known as "Badgir" meaning wind catcher tower.  That it is  close to the Zenana quarters (Harem) supports the  view  that it was used for entertainment and relaxation.  Considered as one of the most important and active buildings in Fatepur Sikiri,  one of the most important building in Fatehpur Sikiri, it is an extraordinary unusual built on the model of f a Buddhist Temple; entirely columnar, it has four storeys of decreasing size arranged asymmetrically upon the ground floor, which  has 84 columns. These columns, that originally had jaali (screens) between them, give full support the whole structure. Once these ornamental screens provided purdah (cover) to queens and princess on the top terraces enjoying the cool breeze and watching splendid views of the town of Sikri and adjacent places near the structure.

 http://asi.nic.in/asi_monu_whs_fatehpursikri.asp