As you make your way towards Fatehpur Sikri during your trip from Agra, you are greeted by the sight of the Buland Darwaza. And what a marvellous sight it is, exuding majesty by its sheer proportions and heavenly facade. This magnificent structure was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar to celebrate his decisive victory over Gujarat in 1573.
Judging by its proportions, its sheer size matches the grand occasion for which it was built. It is the highest gateway in the world and can be reached after climbing 42 steps. Here's another impressive fact about it. Made of red and buff sandstone, it is adorned with carvings and inlaying of white and black marble. The central face of this gigantic structure bears an inscription which throws light on the religious tolerance and broad mindedness of Akbar. It is said to have taken over 12 years to build this magnificent structure.
The kiosks, also known as chhatries, are located at a great distance from the courtyard of the mosque. It is built with red and buff sandstones and improved with black and white marble. The semi octagonal gateway consists of 15 stories and is accompanied by three storied wings on either side. From the ground, the Buland Darwaza rises to a height of almost 54 meters. It can be reached by climbing 42 steps from ground level. Small turrets surround the gateway on all sides.
If you take a look at the pillars of the Buland Darwaza, the stylish and elegance of this structure comes to light. Those enormous pillars are decorated with fine carvings and inscriptions from the Holy Quran. The verses can also be seen on the arches and offer some idea on the early stages of designs in the Mughal era.
During your sightseeing tour of Fatehpur Sikri, it's the eastern archway that is decorated with Persian inscriptions. These are simply a very beautiful sight to come across and remind you repeatedly of the fine advancements made in the field of art and architecture during Mughal empire under Akbar. An inscription etched on the central part of the Buland Darwaza once again brings to light the policy of religious tolerance pursued by Akbar. This inscription is carved in Persian language and elaborately explains the advice of Jesus Christ to his followers. There is another inscription on the eastern gateway which comprises of verses from the Holy Quran. It is carved in Naskh, a style of calligraphy writing written in the Arabic alphabet.
There is no entry fee for visiting the Buland Darwaza, which is a part of Fatehpur Sikri. However, you will have to pay an entry fee for visiting it. The entry fee varies for both domestic and international tourists. Citizens of India as well as those of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries will have to pay an entry fee of 35 INR. International tourists, on the other hand, will have to pay an entry fee of 550 INR. Children who happen to be under 15 years of age will not be required to pay any entry fee.
Buland Darwaza is a part of Fatehpur Sikri, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It can get very hot during the summers, with the average temperature during this time being 42°C. It gets quite hot and uncomfortable during this time, and as a result, most people are daunted by the heat. It is during the winters though, that many people prefer planning a trip to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri which lies in close proximity. The weather, which is calm, pleasant and inviting, offers the best conditions for sightseeing and exploration. Either way, the best time to visit Buland Darwaza depends on you.
There are other spectacular tourist attractions, most of them dating back to the Mughal era, which you can check out after visiting Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri. Here are the other places which you can check out.