Jama Masjid & Buland Darwaza, Fatehpur Sikri , India

Master Page: Fatehpur Sikri

Fathapur Sikri, Interior of the Mosque
Publisher: D. Macropolo

360 Cities: Jama Masjid, Looking out Towards Salim Chisti Tomb (panorama)

The Jami’ Masjid of Fatehpur Sikri is the sacred complex of the fortified imperial city built by Akbar between 1571-85. A congregational mosque organized around a large courtyard, it was the largest mosque in India at the time of its construction. Its completion, according to an inscription, can be dated to 1571. The mosque complex, as well as the palace complex, contains similarities to earlier structures in Gujarat and Jaunpur. This may be attributed to Akbar’s conquests in Gujarat and Jaunpur, which were contemporary with his Fatehpur Sikri building projects.

The Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) is a 17th-century mosque in the World Heritage Site of Fatehpur Sikri in India. The Mughal emperor Akbar personally directed the building of the Jāmiʿ Masjid (Great Mosque; 1571), which stretches some 540 feet (165 metres) in length. . . . The rectangular mosque comprises a central nave with a single dome, two colonnaded halls on either side, with two square chambers crowned with domes. Carved mihrabs adorn the main chamber and the two smaller rooms.

The mosque marks the phase of transition in Islamic art, as indigenous architectural elements were blended with Persian elements. The pillared dalan of the facade, the liwan with three arched openings framed by panels and crowned by five chhatris and the central mihrab adorned with an inlaid mosaic of stones that are bordered by glazed tiles, and golden inscriptions on a royal blue background is a tribute to this fusion. The interiors of the liwan are adorned with watercolour paintings depicting stylized floral designs. The dado panels, spandrels of arch and soffits are painted profusely. Unlike other monuments, where domes are supported on squinches, here corbelled pendentives support the dome. The Buland Darwaza and the Tomb of Salim Chishti are also a part of the mosque complex.

Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. In accordance with the sloping ridge, terraces on receding levels were made for the three main complexes; The mosque complex at the highest level, comprised of the Jama Masjid, Buland Darwazah and tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti; the royal complex, on the lower level comprised of the rainwas (Harem), Mahal-I-Ilahi, Shahi-Bazar, Mina-Bazar, Baithak and a garden and the public complex, at the lowest level comprised of the Panch Mahal,Khwabgah, Shahi Kurub-Khanan, Anup Talao, the hall of the unitary pillar, chaupar and diwan-I-Am.
Fatehpur Sikri: Fortified Ghost City of Mughal Empire

The Buland Darwaza of Fatehpore Sikri, Agra
Published: K. Lall & Co., Agra

Set into the south wall of congregational mosque, the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri is 55 metres (180 ft) high, from the ground, gradually making a transition to a human scale in the inside. The gate was added around five years after the completion of the mosque c. 1576-1577 as a victory arch, to commemorate Akbar’s successful Gujarat campaign. It carries two inscriptions in the archway, one of which reads: “Isa, Son of Mariam said: The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses on it. He who hopes for an hour may hope for eternity. The world endures but an hour. Spend it in prayer, for the rest is unseen”.
The central portico comprises three arched entrances, with the largest one, in the centre, is known locally as the Horseshoe Gate, after the custom of nailing horseshoes to its large wooden doors for luck


Buland Darwaza or the loft gateway at Fatehpur Sikri was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601. Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwaza, approached by 42 steps and 53.63m high and 35 meters wide, is the highest gateway in the world and an astounding example of the Mughal architecture. It is made of red and buff sandstone, and decorated by carving and inlaying of white and black marble. An inscription on the central face of the Buland Darwaza throws light on Akbar’s religious tolerance and broad mindedness.
Cultural India

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