For a long time, Mughal emperor Akbar had no son to succeed him. On hearing that the Sufi saint Sheikh Salim Chishti could perform miracles, he went to see him and seek his blessings. And it worked! Soon Akbar was blessed with his first son Salim, who went on to become Emperor Jahangir. As a mark of gratitude and respect, between 1571-73, Akbar had the city of Fatehpur Sikri built around Salim Chishti’s camp, about 40 km from Agra, and shifted his capital there. The city was the Mughal capital only for about 14 years and is a bit of a ghost town now, but it is a fascinating example of Akbar’s secular beliefs, with its mix of Hindu, Persian, Buddhist and Christian architectural elements.
A beautiful white marble dargah dedicated to Sheikh Salim Chishti is a part of the palace complex. It is believed that if you tie a thread onto one of the marble jaalis or grills of this dargah and make a wish, it will come true.
Fatehpur Sikri’s most iconic structure is the Buland Darwaza, a gateway built to commemorate Akbar’s victorious conquest of Gujarat. At a height of 176 feet, it is the world’s tallest gateway, probably symbolic of the might of the Mughal empire.