Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Fatehpur Sikri - staying close to Salim Chisti

Fatehpur Sikri – staying close to Salim Chisti

If only men were like Akbar!

The five feet three, had three wives and three hundred concubines and a bed large enough to have all three wives spread themselves in a foursome with their husband.

I am sure Akbar is not turning in his grave for I do not hear the slightest rustle of disbelief. But many women are, for I hear a loud rave and rant!

Son of the invader who began the Mughal Empire in India, Babur, Jalauddin Mohammad Akhbar was born on October 15, 1542. He married three women, a Hindu from Rajasthan, Jodha bai, a Muslim and a Christian from Goa. Unfortunately, none of the wives were able to produce an heir for him, until he heard of the Sufi saint, who was sitting on a hill in a village called Sikri, about 40 kms from Agra. Akbar had already travelled to Ajmer to pray at the tomb of Ajmer Sheriff, but he walked on foot to pay homage to Salim Chisti and beg him for an heir. And he was blessed with a boy, from his Hindu wife, Jodha bai, on 30 August, 1569. They called him, Mohammad Salim. Also Jahangir.

Akbar decided that he would not only build a palace with a mosque for Salim Chisti, but go and stay close to him. Fatehpur Sikri was born at the same it and the impressive structure which is aworld heritahe monument was build over 12 years with 32,000 men working there. But after Salim Chisti left his body the dire water shortage in the [place made Akbar move after living there for 16 years, along with his family and son,

Fatehpur Sikri is a living example of an alishaan life of wine, women and song . The administration of his kingdom, was done by remote control, from the top of a minor hillock.  Although Akbar continued to rule his domain from there, what strikes the viewer most is the place he gave to all three women in him life. Equally honoured in all respect, each had their own living quarter, separate from the other. Jodha bai’s palace was large; she had her winter palace and her summer palace which faced each other across a very large quadrangle. She shared a close proximity in her living quarters with his Christian wife, from Goa. Hers was a smaller version of a palace, with separate rooms. But the one, that is most engaging though, is the sheesh mahal – the official residence of his Muslim wife. Set at the farthest end of the main monument across the central water lake, where Tansen sang his songs in the evening, sheesh mahal is intricately carved with art at every wall, pillar, window. A small room, most elegantly designed, for perhaps a lady with much artistic taste, or someone Akbar honoured the most, although Jodha bai may have been his priority in other ways.

The ladies, also had their own jewellery rooms, or tijoris, in which they kept their precious jewels and money.

Fatehpur Sikri had its own hospital, with its own Hakim ji. A horse and camel stable which would have done the horses proud!
Akbar had a message in his marriages – he did want so much to bring together all religions together. I am told he even proposed a new religious sect called “Din-e-lahi” which included the best tenets of all religions existing those times. Why I have chosen to say, that if only men were like Akbar, is, while men may still like many women, behind the purdah, most would not give all their women the same honour or status in their lives through marriage or otherwise. Protesting feminists must concede this point.

Perhaps a ruler with a gentle heart and an open mind to all religions, Akbar must be remembered not for the second Mughal to rule over his domain in India, but a man who put to practice, what he believed in, all roads lead to One!

Akbar died in 1606 on the night of 25th – 26th October, in Agra Fort where he had moved from Fatehpur Sikri and was buried in Sikandara a little away from Agra Fort.

Picture gallery:


Anuradha Shankar said...

its been so long since i visited, but you brought back some wonderful memories!

Julia Dutta said...

Thanks Anu. Yes, it can be visited over and over again


Amrita said...

That 's a lesson in history Julia. Quite a man Akbar was and I didn' t know all this abouot F Sikri. I' d like to visit sometime

Nisha Jha said...

I never knew so much detail about Fatehpur Sikri. Never been there, so when I do so, will keep your post in mind.

Nisha - Le Monde-A Poetic Travail

Julia Dutta said...

Hi Amrita,

Surely deserves a visit, but look out of the quiet times.

Julia Dutta said...

Sure Nisha :)) Is this the first time you are on my blog?

Welcome friend!


Durgasankar Mandal said...

If one were the emperor and wanted to rule a land for as long as possible, one sould do the same as Akbar did.

Able politicians! Akbar was certainly one as was Krishna! what they do as a king is not necessarily what they like to do as a person. Imperative is more important here.

I am not sure who Akbar was, what were his sexual likings. But I would be safe to guess he was an able politician.

1) Din-e-lahi was a good manoever. To appease the restless Marathas and the Rajputs - I am sure Akbar could foresee the rise of the Marathas

2) marriage into other Hindu Kings and respecting their wives - I can see only a good politician - who wanted to keep Mansingh in good humour who was an able general - nontheless his submissiveness of the order that he was OK with Akbar marrying his sister.

3) Akbar was also able to retain the pride of the conquering muslims - since though he ostensibly preached a mixture of religions and gave them honour than other rulers (looks at how long the other rulers who were partisans to their own muslim religion ruled! nothing compared to the long tenure of the Mughal empire that characterised it!), he never offered his daughters or female relations to Hindu kings in exchange.

Julia Dutta said...


With my new dynamic blog, I am myself lost! Sorry I did not see your comment earlier. He was a good strategist I would say. Able politician if you may call him that.


Julia Dutta said...

What I don't understand, where is my picture gallery?

Nisha Jha said...

I came here to check response to my previous comment and see that it isn't appearing here. KIndly check your spam folder also. It was dated Nov 15th, a long comment. :)

Nisha Jha said...

ok, I dug out my mails and this was the comment.
"Sorry for late reply, I wasn't in town and/or busy.
No, it isn't my first time here. Had commented before also but generally I read blogs thru reader and comment only when I think I have something to add value to the post or I have a query. I do not believe in marking one's attendance on every single post.

Julia, your last comment made me laugh out loud. :D And that is the reason I came here again. :)

Hope by now you've figured out about your picture gallery. :)
But I am lost here!

Well, Can I request you something? Can you pls enable the Name/URL option for commenting ?
First, while seeing a preview of comment, it makes me go to blogger, sign in & type the entire comment again! I, myself, am lost here now.
Second, my blogger id will take you nowhere.
Below is my URL.

Nisha - Le Monde-A Poetic Travail "

Julia Dutta said...

There you are! Here is one tech-challenged person running a blog LOL. I don;t know what to do, about the comments so I am leaving it as it is. This dynamic version of Blogspot is great but for guys like you LOL. Mine is an ambitious project LOL
Thanks anyway for your comment etc.