Fatehpur Sikri, the ephemeral capital • Uttar Pradesh, India

Uncover Fatehpur Sikri, India's intriguing ghost capital, in under 4 minutes! Dive into the captivating history of this short-lived city, built by the Mughal emperor Akbar and abandoned after just a few years. Appreciate the preserved architectural beauty of this hidden gem in Uttar Pradesh. Don't miss the chance to journey through time without leaving the comfort of your couch. Ready for the adventure? Click the link and let the secrets of Fatehpur Sikri sweep you away. Ghost Capital, Fatehpur Sikri, Indian History.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip India • Rajasthan and Varanasi (EN)

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Uttar Pradesh • northern state of India in India. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the historical context of the sites shown in this video.

Fatehpur Sikri

The city of Fatehpur Sikri is the work of Mughal Emperor Akbar and was the ephemeral capital of the empire from 1571 to 1584.

Fatehpur Sikri is nowadays the best preserved of the ghost towns which are not uncommon in India.

Mughal Emperor Akbar

Emperor Akbar ascended the throne of the empire at a young age, upon the death of his father Humayun. He restored Agra to its status as the capital of the empire and devoted himself to the development of the Agra fort. But, like many rulers of the time, he had the idea of ​​building his own capital to inscribe his name in history.

Choice of the place to build your new capital

Emperor Akbar having difficulty having heirs, he sought the blessing of wise men and their intervention with the gods to overcome his sterility. Among these sages, a famous Sufi hermit named Salim Chishti lived in the village of Sikri, about forty kilometers from Agra. Salim Chishti's interventions were crowned with success and Emperor Akbar was fortunate to have 3 sons.

To pay homage to this wise Sufi, Emperor Akbar implemented his plan to build a new capital near the village of Sikri. This capital was to be called Fatehpur Sikri.

The abandonment of Fatehpur Sikri.

Autocratic decisions that are not based on solid science can sometimes have dramatic consequences. Emperor Akbar did not have his choice validated by the geologists of the time, and he quickly realized that water would quickly run out, which made the occupation of the new capital impossible.

For political reasons linked to the turbulence of certain Afghan tribes, it was decided to move the capital to Lahore, in present-day Pakistan.

The city was therefore abandoned after ten years of occupation and remained uninhabited forever, except for a short period of a few months when the plague decimated Agra in 1619.

The city

Fatehpur Sikri was built on a rocky plateau and its area was 3.5 kilometers by 1.5 and was surrounded by a 9 kilometers perimeter wall. The capital was built to receive the emperor and his court, the popular masses being sheltered in a city below, of which no trace remains today.

The architecture reflects quite well the various currents dominating India at that time. The general plan of the city is Islamic in type, the decoration of palaces and other buildings is clearly influenced by the Hindu tradition as practiced in Rajasthan and Gujarat, with its floral motifs and columns.

The interest of Fatehpur Sikri from a historical point of view is undeniable. This city gives a very precise idea of ​​India of this time thanks to its absolutely remarkable state of conservation.



Spoken comments in the film: 

Despite its remarkable state of conservation, Fatehpur Sikri, a ghost town located about forty kilometers from Agra, dates no less from the 16th century.

Founded by Emperor Akbar, the city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for only ten years.

The political necessities of the time demanded the presence of the emperor in Lahore, and this together with the poor water resources of Fatehpur Sikri ended up signing the death warrant of this ephemeral capital.




 - Lakshminarayana Subramaniam (Inde)  - Le violon de l'Inde du Sud - Rga Kirvani Ragam, Ocora (558585/86)

Diwan E-Khass, Fatehpur Sikri • India • Uttar Pradesh

Diwan E-Khass

inside the Kwabgah (royal chamber), Fatehpur Sikri • India • Uttar Pradesh

inside the Kwabgah (royal chamber)

Jodha Bai Palace, Fatehpur Sikri • India • Uttar Pradesh

Jodha Bai Palace

Birbal Palace, Fatehpur Sikri • India • Uttar Pradesh

Birbal Palace

Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh, India

© 2020 - 2024 • Jean-Marie Putz, PutzProductions