West of the city of Agra in India and surrounded by a 10 kilometre long wall, is the fascinating ghost town of Fatehpur Sikri. It is believed that the founding of the town was closely associated with a prophecy made by a teacher of the religious Chishti Order, who once lived there.
The design of part of the Friday Mosque, once the largest sacred building in India, was based upon the Bibi Khanam Mosque in Samarkand. An inscription refers to the building as having been completed in 1572, thus making it one of the oldest buildings in Fatehpur Sikri.
In 1569, the prophecy of the legendary mystic came true when the wife of Akhbar The Great gave birth to a long awaited male heir. Delighted at the result of the prophecy, the powerful Mughal commanded that his residence be moved from Agra to Sikri, the home of his chief counselor.
Due to a more reliable water supply than that in Fatehpur Sikri, the Mughal ruler also chose Lahore, situated in today’s Pakistan, for its strategic advantages but only a few months after his death, large sections of the palace buildings began to decay.
In a way, it is fortuitous that this former royal residence became neglected and abandoned thus, free from struggle and strife, this remnant of Mughal history has managed to survive to the present day.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.