Perched atop a rocky ridge, 37 KM West of Agra, Fatehpur Sikri came into being four centuries ago when Emperor Akbar, not yet 28 years old, set out to build the first planned city in Indo-Islamic architecture. The plan was started with great vigour but abandoned a decade later.
By 1568, Akbar has secured his empire but his only grief was that he had no son and heir. His search for blessings for the birth of a successor brought him to the Sufi mishit Salim Chishti, who lived in Sikri village. The Saint prophesied the birth of three sons and soon Prince Salim, who later became Emperor Jahangir, was born. To express his gratitude Akbar decided to build Imperial residence in Sikri, which would function as a joint capital with Agra. He also named the new city as Fatehpur Sikri. Akbar was keen builder and the plan of Fathepur Sikri reveals and architectural mastermind at work. Researchers have established that it was planned on definite mathematical grid.
The construction of the Jama Masjid marked the actual beginning of the city which came up around it. The palace courts were laid out parallel to the cardinally align mosque and the sequential order of the places was emphasized by change in level.
Even today its redstone architecture, richly ornamented with carving and fretwork, is in perfect state of preservation.