There were times when the Mughal emperor Akbar entertained the common masses, while others were reserved for the royals. The Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, was built for such occasions. During your trip to Fatehpur Sikri, you will find his majestic structure located in the north corner of the Pachisi courtyard. It is marked by a carved pillar in the center.
Akbar, by way of his secular outlook, was a man far ahead of this time. He was interested in knowing about other religions than Islam, and invited scholars belonging to different faiths to hold religious discussions. This is the place where he would do that. Upon visiting it, you are certainly intrigued by its wonderful architecture, which is most popular for its four chhatris (umbrella like structures) and intricately carved central pillar. It is commonly believed that the scholars, who would debate with Akbar, would stand at the ends of the four "bridges" which were connected by the center. If all this sounds quite interesting, wait till you actually come across this marvellous structure during your tour to Fatehpur Sikri from Agra.
The Diwan-i-Khas, or the Hall of Private Audience, was built largely in the Persian style of architecture. A carved central column dominates the interiors, while the four pillars, which open themselves at the top, are adorned with exquisite sculptures and precious stones. One of these pillars is attached to the central platform, which is where the emperor would sit. The diagonal galleries surrounding it are believed to have been occupied by ministers and nobles. At times, though, the galleries were too narrow, and was unable to accommodate all the ministers of the court at once. According to some people, the Diwan-i-Khas is where the gems, jewels and other precious possessions of the royal household would be stored, with the emperor making occasional visits to it. Even though there is lack of much ornamentation in the structure, it is undoubtedly one of the main tourist attractions of Fatehpur Sikri.
The Diwan-i-Khas is one of the most beautiful things to see in Fatehpur Sikri, and is a part of it. You do not have to pay any extra entry fee to visit this structure. To visit Fatehpur Sikri however, you will have to pay an entry fee, which varies for both domestic and international tourists. While citizens of India and those belonging to countries of SAARC and BIMSTEC have to pay an entry fee of 35 INR, the entry for international tourists is 550 INR. Children under 15 years of age are not required to pay any entry fee.
Diwan-i-Khas, a part of Fatehpur Sikri, is located in the state of Uttar Pradesh. During summers, it can get very hot here, with temperatures fluctuating between 41°C to 45°C. This can be a daunting factor for many people wanting to visit it during this time. During the winters, it is a completely different story. The weather is cool and pleasant, with the average temperature being 12°C. This is certainly the best time to enjoy sightseeing and exploration.
After exploring the Diwan-i-Khas in Fatehpur Sikri, there are other popular tourist attractions that you should check out during your Agra Fatehpur Sikri sightseeing tour.