The pièce de résistance of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Fatehpur Sikri, a carefully preserved former Mughal capital established by emperor Akbar in 1570, Diwan-I-Khas (which translates to the "Hall of Private Audiences") is a beautiful red sandstone structure. It was once adorned with murals and Persian poetry, but today only traces remain.
Situated in the heart of Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar’s 16th-century Mughal capital, Diwan-i-Khas features exquisite details such as built-in bookcases. The capital was eventually abandoned due to a lack of potable water, but while the emperor reigned from here, he greeted his subjects at the Darshan Jharoka (viewing window) of Diwan-i-Khas. Tours to the Fatehpur complex generally spend a fair amount of time here.
Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Diwan-I-Khas and the surrounding Fatehpur Sikri is a must-visit for anyone interested in history or architecture.
- Wear sunscreen and bring water, as much of this monument is exposed to the elements.
- This attractions is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible, with smooth ground and lots of ramps.
Diwan-I-Khas is located inside Fatehpur Sikri, about an hour's drive from Agra's Taj Ganj neighborhood (i.e., the area around the Taj Mahal). Most tours that connect Agra to Jaipur stop at Fatehpur en route, and there are plenty of half-day tours from Agra to Fatehpur for those who don't want to haggle with taxi or auto-rickshaw drivers. When to Get There
Diwan-i-Khas and Fatehpur Sikri are open daily from sunrise to sunset. The best time to visit is first thing in the morning, when crowds are sparse and temperatures are lower, particularly if you visit outside of the cooler season (November–March).Akbar the Great
One of India's most famous Mughal emperors, Akbar reigned for nearly half a century, from 1556 to 1605. He was best known for his major military campaigns, which led to a rapid expansion of the empire across the subcontinent. Also a supporter of the arts and education, Akbar was popular with non-Muslim and Muslim subjects alike.