Rough translation: (Doors, windows, details, so beautiful, are these buildings, look at them, listen, understand, think, learn, they are speaking to you)
What can I say, but I’m fascinated and inspired by buildings, and people around buildings. That’s why I’m a musafir. Kindly excuse me for my very poor Urdu and Hindi poetry skills.
Darwaza: Urdu for door; Khidki: Hindi for window; Jharokha: An overhanging enclosed balcony used in Rajasthani architecture; Khoobsurat: Urdu for beautiful; Imaarat: Urdu for building; Dekho: Hindi for look; Suno: Hindi for listen; Socho: Hindi for think; Jano: Hindi for learn
The Imposing 55m tall BULAND DARWAZA (victory arch) stands at the entrance of the palatial complex.
The Horseshoe Gate, where horseshoes were nailed for good luck.
Jali, the exquisite stone screens that are a feature of the tomb of Salim Chisti in the center of the complex.
The Jama Masjid (Mosque)
Panch Mahal by Bruno Girin
Located a stone’s throw away from Agra (the home of the TajMahal), in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh isFatehpur Sikri (Fateh Arabic word meaning victorious). It served as the capital of the emperor Akbar (of the famed Jodha Akbar) from 1571-1585.
Designated a world Heritage sight, it is a prime example of India’s Mughal Architecture and is not to be missed particularly if you make the effort to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra.
Built in the honor of the Sufi Saint Salim Chisti, it is a walled city with a series of palaces, courts, harem, a mosque, private quarters and so on.
Constructed almost entirely from red sandstone, this essentially Islamic edifice has many Hindu and Jain embellishments. Spend about an hour or two and wander around the complex and sink your teeth into some juicy history by availing the services of some readily available local guides.
Accommodations to suit all pockets are available in Agra or if you want to make it a day trip, you can choose to stay in New Delhi which is only a 6 hr commute away. But be sure to start early so to avoid the hellish traffic.
Whenever I see these pictures, I’m reminded of the beautiful Qawwali ( a style of muslim devotional music) from the movie Garam Hava (Scorching Winds) which was shot at this place. The movie is perhaps the most poignant depiction of India’s partition which occurred in 1947 when it gained its independence from the British Raj (rule) and is a must watch.
Intricate Jali – Stone latticework window overlooking the Jama Masjid courtyard.
About 25 miles from Agra is the city of Fatehpur Sikri (Hindi: फ़तेहपुर सीकरी, Urdu: فتحپور سیکری), founded by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, which also served as his capital from 1571-1585. Here he proceeded to build a grand walled city which today is one of the best preserved collections of Mughal Architecture in India.
The Tomb of the Sufi saint Salim Chishti (descendant of Khwaja Mouniddin Chishti of Ajmer) built inside the imperial complex is particularly mesmerizing. Facing south toward the Buland Darwaza, the shrine is enclosed by delicately carved Jalis– marble stone screens and topped by a single semicircular dome.
Jama Masjid courtyard
The atmosphere of the place is beautifully exemplified in this haunting melody from the movie Garam Hawa (Hot Winds), 1973.