Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire in India between 1571 and 1585 during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The city is a collection of architecturally beautiful buildings with numerous intricate carvings, expansive connecting courtyards and gardens.
The Emperor lived large – he had more than 5,000 concubines, played games with slave girls as the game board pieces on a large courtyard and hosted lavish banquets and concerts.
Fatehpur Sikri did not last long as a capital due to a poor water supply. We are now left with the magnificent buildings and grounds that seem perfectly intact from almost 500 years ago. Adjacent to the palace complex is the huge Jama Masjid (mosque), completed about the same time as the palaces and worth visiting. Plan on at least two hours to visit both sights.
Practical Notes: Fatehpur Sikri is located 35 km (22 miles) west of Agra and can be done as a day trip from Agra, or as we did, a stop between Agra and Jaipur. If you are coming by car or bus, there is a car park with the usual trinket stalls and very persistent vendors (they’ll remember you as you return to the car park) about a kilometer or so away from the old city, which sits on a small hilltop just to the north of the car park. There is a shuttle that takes you up to the old city and lets you off between the city gate and the mosque. There are lots of signposts in English next to the main buildings. As with almost every tourist location in India, guides can be hired for a few dollars if desired or you can get an audio guide. We just relied on the signposting and our Lonely Planet book.
Reference: Lonely Planet India Guidebook.