The fort has four gates. Presently, the entry to the fort is allowed through the gate in the south of the fort called the Amar Singh Rathore Gate is a stone statue of a hourse’s head built by Amar Singh Rathore of Jodhpur in remembrance of his faithful horse that had jumped the walls of the fort and lost its legs in order to save its master.
The other two gates near the river situated in the North and East have been closed now. The gate on the West side of the fort is called the Delhi Gate at whose entrance is the famous statues of Jamal and patta who had laid down their lives fighting for Akbar. The space between the Fort and the river was used for holding elephant fights.
Right behind is Akbar’s majestic palace- the roof and floor of which are made of red stone. The Diwan-e-Am of the palace was the place he held his Durbar and dispensed justice. We also saw the Diwan-e-khas and the Machhli Bhavan. Close to the Diwan-e-Aam is the Meena Bazar. To the west is the building which is a very curious kind of a Hide and Seek Building.
It is said that Akbar was indebted to the blessings of Sufi of Sikri, Sheikh Salim Christi for the birth of his three sons. Therefore, in order to show his gratitude Akbar built and developed Sikri and decided to shift his capital there. The placeis 40 km to the South west of Agra. He named it as Fatehpur Sikri. The buildings at Fatehpur Sikri are outstanding in their carvings. There is an Ibadat-khana built for holdings discussion on matters of religion. But the crowning glory of the city is the Jama Mosque which can hold 10,000 worshippers and is believed to be the replica of the Masque at Mecca. It is a monumental example of the mixture of Persian and Indian style. Inside the Mosque is the tomb of Sheikh Salem Christi. Right at the entrance of the Mosque is the famous Buland Darwaza which is 41 meters high. Other structures to see at Fatehpur Sikri are the panch Mahal, Jodha Bai’s palace, the Sunhera Makan and many other buildings.
We also went to see the great Taj Mahal on the banks of River Yamuna. The monument is truly a wonder. It is beautifully decorated with precious and carved stones. It is built in the memory of Shah Jahan’s beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. The real tomb of the queen lies in a small room downstairs made of white and black marbles. Scriptures and verses from the Queen are engraved on the walls along with lovely floral designs and different coloured carved precious stones.
It is really a ‘dream in marble’ as thousands of poets have attempted to describe it in many ways. Ones are speechless on seeing this great spectacle of marble. It is extremely mesmerizing. Since then Agra and Fatehpur Sikri have become my favorite place. I am now eagerly waiting for another chance to visit Agra.