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A UNESCO World Heritage site, Fathehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in honour of the Sufi saint Shaikh Salim Chisti {and also his conquest of Gujarat). It is believed that it was by his blessings that the Emperor got a son, Jehangir. Constructed in the sixteenth century, Fatehpur Sikri derives its name from Fatehpur (literally the City of Victory) and Sikri, an adjoining village where Salim Chisti resided. The red sandstone structure houses the tomb (dargah) of Salim Chisti, the humongous Buland Darwaza and the Jama Masjid.

Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned about a decade-and-a-half after it was built, purportedly for the lack of water (one woe that continues to ail modern India). We (four of us) visited Jalaluddin Muhammad’s short-lived capital on the eve of the New Year. No partying for us, it was basking in history centuries old.

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