Of Prayers And Blessings

If you are in Agra make sure that you have some extra time in your hands to visit  Fatehpur Sikhri shrine at a distance of about fifty kilometers from it. Though there are actually two very important places of interests to look at- the  Fatehpur fortress and Sikhri , my discussion here would be restricted to only Sikhri. Sikhri is actually a mosque that was built by Mughal emperor Akbar for his master, his savior and the one who guided him through all his joys and sorrows- Salim Chisti.



It is said that Akbar, despite having three wives -Hindu Rajput princess Jodha Bai, Turkish Rukaiyya Begum and Goan princess Mariyam did not have any children. He then traveled to Salim Chisti bare foot from Agra fort in order that his wish of having a son comes true. Salim Chisti blessed him and Jodha Bai gave birth to a son who was named Salim and later became famous as Jahangir.In fact the birth of a son meant so much for the emperor that Akbar established a fort in Fatehpur itself and when Salim Chisti died created a shrine in his honor beside the Fatehpur fort.

TOMB OF SALIM CHISTI
People till date believe that if you ask any three wishes from your heart the prophet blesses you and they are fulfilled. It is also believed that not anyone and everyone can actually visit the place- those who visits the place are called by the Great One.

If you want to make a trip to this holy shrine here are few things you must keep in mind. 

Do’s
  • Try and go during winter. 
  • If at all you have to go during summer (like I did ) wear light cotton clothes.
  • Make sure you wear long sleeves .It would protect you from the scorching heat.
  • Carry a sunglass if you want to.
  • Apply lots of sunscreen.
  • Wear thick socks as you have to open your shoes outside the shrine. 
  • Carry some cash with you . 
  • Wear a cap or cover your head with a cloth.
Don’ts
  • Avoid going during summer .
  • Avoid wearing short skirts or pants. It is not allowed inside.
  • Don’t carry any valuables with you as they might be pick pocketed.
  • Don’t trust anyone who asks you to submit your valuables unless they know your guide or are from the authorities.
After the Dos and Don’ts it is important for you to know few other points which would help you in taking a good tour of this place. 
  • The Sikhri is not only a shrine for the Great Prophet but it also holds graves of male, females, children, infants and the likes. 
    GRAVES/ TOMBS
  • There is a tunnel in the enclosed area which, (though now it is closed) is said to have a hidden path connecting Fatehpur to Agra and Delhi. In fact it is rumored that when Anarkali the courtesan who Jahangir fell in love with was buried alive in the solid wall, she was made to escape through this path. 
    THE SECRET TUNNEL
  • The devotees who come in lakhs or more per day offer stoles  and flowers on the tomb. They then tie the sacred thread around the walls of the chamber and ask for any three wishes that they want on the condition that they never reveal it to anyone. These stoles are later taken off and given in charity to make clothes for children who go to school in the chambers present in the mosque premises. 
    VISITORS OFFERING FLOWERS AND STOLES IN THE TOMB
  • Most people who come here are tourists and are not left alone by the vendors who sell almost anything- pens, model Taj Mahal’s, jewelleries, bags, hats and the like.
    LOCAL VENDORS
Another important sight which you cannot miss is the Buland Darwaza. It is almost a 107 feet tall door overlooking the entire region of Fatehpur. It is said that the Buland Darwaza is the tallest door in Asia. Right after paying homage to the great Prophet when one goes out and sees the view from the Buland Darwaza one feels as if the eyes of the prophet sees and blesses the people of the entire region and fulfills the wishes of all those who come to him.

BULAND DARWAZA
Next time you make a journey make sure you visit the Chisti and if you cannot visit it then remember that the prophet has not yet called you to himself and there will be a day when he would call you in the near future.

VIEW OF FATEHPUR FROM BULAND DARWAZA
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