Visiting Fatehpur Sikri, India

Visit for Jama Masjid, one of the largest mosques in the country and a designated World Heritage Site

Fatehpur Sikri is a town in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh and was a fortified city that includes a massive complex containing the Jama Masjid mosque, three palaces and gardens, which were all believed to have been inspired by the Emperor’s interest in the arts and architecture.

Fatehpur Sikri complex

Location: Dadupura, Fatehpur Sikri Fort, Fatehpur Sikri

Getting there: Around 40 km (45 mins) west of Agra, in Uttar Pradesh by taxi or you can catch a bus from Idgah bus station to Fatehpur Sikri. The journey takes around 1 hour. The nearest train station is Fatehpur Sikri Railway Station.

Entry fee: Rs 550. You can pay upon entry or online.

Opening hours: 6am – 6.30pm. Closed on Friday.

Option to pay for a guide.

After a 10 minute walk from the car park you will end up at the Fatehpur Sikri Fort. This magnificent fort is a feast for the eyes.

On a huge scale, just like Agra Fort it is very impressive, with palaces, stables and vast courtyards.

It is also well worth a visit before you head to the mosque.

Water shortage in the area led to the abandonment of the site, though the mosque remains functional.

As one of the largest mosques in the country, Jama Masjid was designated as a World Heritage Site in 1986.

The 17th Century mosque stretches approx 540 feet in length and contains a large courtyard and an ornate tomb for Salim Chishti, a Sufi saint of the Chishti Order during the Mughal Empire. It is by this tomb where women pray for a child and tie a thread on the jali windows.

It’s colossal gateway, Buland Darwaza (Victory Gate), is located at the mosque’s southern entrance and is constructed out of red sandstone with carvings.

Jama Masjid, translated to Great Mosque, was built to accommodate some 10,000 faithful and contains elements of Persian and Indian design.

On the east wall of the courtyard is a smaller entrance to the mosque – the Shahi Darwaza (King’s Gate), leading to the palace complex.

TIPS: The mosque gets really busy during religious festivals, so traffic can get really congested.

If arriving by taxi, you will pay around Rs 1,800 if coming from Agra. This price varies depending on what type of car you choose.

Taxis are required to stay at the car park near the site’s entrance at Agra Gate, so you have to walk uphill for about 20-30 mins to reach the payment booth. Otherwise, there are shuttle buses that cost 10 rupees per person for one way and go to the palace complex.

TIPS: Visit the mosque on a day excursion while at Agra. It’s advised to go in the morning, when the crowds are less.

TIPS: There are fake guides operating in this area. Licensed guides are available at the front of the ticket counter at the Diwan-e-Am gate. It is advised to get a guide otherwise tourists can be persistently harassed.

TIPS: Women are required to dress appropriately and cover their hair. Both men and women must take their shoes off. The area is dirty, so take some wipes or tissues with you for afterwards.  

TIPS: Check out Hiran Minar, which has a 21.34m high tower decorated with an alternate row of six-pointed stars and hexagons.

Numerous elephant tusks protruded that have been replaced with stone tusks. There are 53 steps leading to the tower’s top, where you can get a bird’s eye view of Fatehpur Sikri.

To get there, walk down the stone path through the palace complex’s Elephant Gate.

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