Fatehpur Sikri, about 40 km from Agra is an ideal excursion. Made of red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri was founded by Emperor Akbar in 1571 to honour the Sufi mystic Sheikh Salim Chishti who had predicted the birth of a son to the ruler. Fatehpur Sikri boasts of magnificent architecture in the form of arches, courtyards and buildings that indicate a Persian ancestry and yet it is a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic architecture, giving credence to the religious tolerance of the emperor. The Buland Darwaza, the Panch Mahal, the Jama Masjid Mosque, the palace of Maryamuzzamani, Birbal Bhawan and the life-size chessboard where courtiers could play the roles of pieces are must-sees!
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