Built by Emperor Akbar to be a co-capital with Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is an amazing display of architectural splendor. It was the first planned city of the Mughals and also the first one designed in Mughal architecture, an amalgamation of Indian architecture, Persian and Islamic architecture. It served as the Mughal Empire's capital from 1571 until 1585. Though the court took 15 years to build, it was abandoned after only 14 years because the water supply was unable to sustain the growing population. Today, the complex of buildings, including the extant royal palaces, courts and the Jama Masjid is a popular tourist attraction, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. Excavations by the Archaeological Survey of India conducted in 1999-2000 have led to the discovery of a large number of Jain sculptures with inscriptions including a unique Jain Shruti Sarasvati sculpture showing an ancient history of the city predating the Mughals by half a millennium.
The buildings of Fatehpur Sikri show a synthesis of various regional schools of architectural craftsmanship such as Gujarat and Bengal. This was because indigenous craftsmen from various regions were used for the construction of the buildings. Influences from Hindu and Jain architecture are seen hand in hand with Islamic elements. The building material used in all the buildings at Fatehpur Sikri is the locally quarried red sandstone. Some of the most important buildings in this complex include Buland Darwaza, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Salim Chishti, Diwan-i-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Ibadat Khana and Mariam-uz-Zamani's Palace.
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