The massive 440 years old red sandstone Agra Fort, is the original red sandstone fort of North India. Built by Akbar, the greatest Mughal Emperor in 1564 A.D., the present structure stands on the site of 14th century fort that was occupied by the Lodi Sultans of Delhi. When Akbar established his supremacy in Northern India, he began his first architectural venture with rebuilding the fort as a beautiful fort palace. The work was completed by his son and grandson, highlighting the ability of the Mughals to blend defensive and decorative architecture. Richly decorated with marble and mosaic, the many beautiful monuments within the Fort include the delicate Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque, the Diwan-i-Khas, the Diwan-i-Am, Jehangir’s Palace and the Shish Mahal, among others. It was in a part of this fort that Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life, imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb. His private quarters, where he was confined, have a magical view of the Taj Mahal across the river Yamuna.
An epic in red sandstone, the city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar during 1564 A.D. A sonless Akbar had gone to Sikri to seek the blessings of a muslin saint, Sheikh Salim Chishti. When his son was finally born, Akbar constructed the famous city of Fatehpur Sikri in gratitude to the mystic and named it his capital. Later, due to administrative reasons, Akbar had to abandon this city. This now deserted city still contains many reminders of its resplendent past. The beautiful marble tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti attracts thousands of visitors who seek the blessings of the revered saint. Other monuments worth visiting are the towering Buland Darwaza (built to commemorate Akbar’s Gujarat campaign ), Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai's Palace and Birbal Bhavan.