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Fatehpur Sikri, the great abandoned city

We invite you to discover the city of Fatehpur Sikri, the capital of the Mughal Empire. A great abandoned city that you can visit!

About 37 km away from Agra, the city of the Taj Mahal, we find the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. It was a place not to be missed for us, so we visit it and here we show it to you.

The Fatehpur Sikri complex has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

Information to visit Fatehpur Sikri

How much is it?
The price is 610 rupees.

Which are the schedules?
From sunrise to sunset.

When buying the ticket several people will approach to offer their “guide” services, the problem is that some are not certified guides, so you have to be careful. In addition, another thing is that the people offering their services will begin to say that if we do not have a guide, we cannot visit the site, which is a complete lie. What you have to do in that case is to tell them NO and keep walking.

To get to the monument, we had to take a small bus, which for a small fee leaves us at the door where tickets are purchased. The driver who was taking us left us in a parking lot from where these buses were taken. Of course, when you get off the sellers of all kinds will start doing their thing, and you have to try to politely ignore them.

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Fatehpur Sikri city areas

The city is divided into two large areas, one is the civil one, which is the area for which we pay a ticket and is the one we are going to show you here, and the religious one, which is free and consists of the great Buland Darwaza gate, 54 m high, the white marble tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti and the Jami Masjid mosque. Unfortunately we could not visit this area, due to lack of time, despite being very close. We totally regret it and mention this area anyway because it is worth giving yourself more time to visit.

In our case, as we visited the city on the way from Agra to Sawai Madhpour, we had an agreed time with the driver, and it ran out. So that you take it into account and do not miss it.

You guys don’t miss this door, please!

A little bit of history

The city of Fatehpur Sikri, which reminds us a bit of the Red Fort in Agra, was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, grandfather of the Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal. It was inaugurated in 1571 and served as the capital of the Mughal empire for only 14 years, ending abandoned (and looted).

The great reason for the abandonment of this great city is a very simple one: the lack of water.

Repeated droughts wiped out the reserves and the place did not have a natural water source. For this reason, Fatehpur Sikri ended up becoming a ghost town, the great abandoned city.

Visiting the civil area of Fatehpur Sikri


Upon entering one of the first things we see is a garden and the Diwan-i-Am which was the public audience hall. In the garden, the population that attended the hearings could be placed and even put a cloth to protect them from the sun.

The treasure

We continue walking, and we find a building which probably served to store the imperial gold and silver. Due to this, it is called the treasure. It features a decoration that looks like it has richly detailed snakes. But, they are not actually snakes, but it is the shape they are, and they are based on the forms of the Jain temples of western India.

Pachisi courtyard

Then we find a large courtyard, which is called the Pachisi courtyard, whose name is believed to come from the fact that Akbar’s queens and their servants used to gather there to play Parcheesi. Being there, we see the Panch Mahal, a building that has five levels, 176 pillars and no walls. You can see that it is not Islamic in style but rather Hindu, throughout the site you can see a mix between the two styles of architecture. To the right of the parcheesi courtyard, we can see the pavilion of the Turkish sultan, beautifully decorated.

The Kissing Parakeets

As it happened in the other monuments that we saw in India, the encounters with the fauna that walk freely could not be missing. We met again the green parakeets that we saw throughout the trip, but this time we also witnessed a scene that at first seemed like a “kiss from birds.” I took the photos tenderly, it was until much later when I looked at the photos zooming in that I saw that it was not a couple. It was a parent feeding its chick, you can see that the fed does not yet have the lines marked on its fur like the parents. But yes, he is already quite old, but it seems that he continues to depend on his parents: D a very curious scene.

Jodh Bai

We continue walking, and we find the palace of Jodh Bai which is said to have the private rooms of the Hindu wife of the emperor.


In addition to the public court building, there is also the Diwan-i-Khaas which is the private court building. The contrast with the large space for a large public compared to this square and practically closed building is remarkable.

We arrived at an elongated patio with several square spaces, called the lower Haramsara. In this area, the numerous servants of the palace were given a roof, it is estimated that there were about 200. The circles that can be seen on the ground were used to fix fabrics that separated the “departments” of its inhabitants.

Leaving the city of Fatehpur Sikri

Time passed very quickly, and it was time to return, although we were not able to see it completely. As I already mentioned, we missed the religious part for lack of time.

This is a place that is well worth visiting. Of course, if you can stay a little longer than us, the better.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.