You must have heard of Jodha Bai, the Rajput princess who was married to the Mughal Emperor Akbar. She was also famously known by her other name, Mariam-uz-Zamani. Apart from these two names, she was known by many other names like Heer Kunwari, Hira Kunwari and Harka Bai. The Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace is one of the most impressive structures in the entire Fatehpur Sikri. It also arouses a lot of curiosity with its architecture which reflects the Mandu, Gwalior, Mandu elements, along with the traditional Islamic designs.
Jodha Bai was the first Rajput wife of Akbar, and came to be called Mariam-uz-Zamani after she gave birth to Jahangir. She was also the longest serving Mughal empress who was a Hindu. Her marriage to Akbar was one of the most important episodes in Indian history, because it symbolized Akbar's tolerance for other religions, which also led him to create inclusive policies.
While visiting the Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace for the first time on your sightseeing tour from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri, you are immediately impressed by its size and aesthetics. It is indeed a brilliant combination of the two. The intricate carvings and floral motifs catch your attention immediately.
Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace, also known as Jodha Bai's Palace, is one of the largest palaces in the entire Fatehpur Sikri complex. The eastern side of the structure is marked by a splendid gateway, accompanied by several guard rooms with triangular ceilings. An interesting feature of this magnificent structure built under the reign of Akbar is the presence of Hindu motifs. Some of the motifs which you will come across during your visit to Fatehpur Sikri are parrots, elephants, srivatsa mark, ghant mala and swans. Most of these will be found in the interiors. The building's super structure deserves a special mention in itself, as it comprises of chhaparkhats with eight pillars, chhatris and semicircular domes.
- Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace is also known as Jodha Bai Palace.
- It is believed that Jodha Bai was a smart businesswoman too, who ran an international trade in spices and silk.
- Her palace was the largest and most important part of the Imperial Harem.
- You can also see the kitchen of Jodha Bai inside the palace.
You do not need any separate entry fee for visiting Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace, as it is a part of the enormous Fatehpur Sikri Complex. To visit the latter however, you will be required to pay an entry fee. This varies for both domestic and international tourists. The citizens of India, as well as those belonging to the countries of SAARC and BIMSTEC, will have to pay an entry fee of 35 INR. For international tourists, the entry fee is 550 INR. Children who are under 15 years of age will not have to pay any entry fee.
Best Time to Visit
Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace is a part of Fatehpur Sikri, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the top places to visit near Agra. As far as the best time to visit it is concerned, that depends on the kind of weather you are most comfortable travelling in. During the summers, it can get very hot in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with the weather fluctuating between 40°C to 45°C. The heat can be daunting for many people, but if you are comfortable with it, you can visit it during this time. During the winters, the weather is calm and pleasant, with the average temperature being 15°C. Many people consider this to be the best time for sightseeing and exploration.
Nearby Tourist Attractions
After visiting Mariam-uz-Zamani Palace during your sightseeing tour from Agra, there are other famous tourist attractions which you can check out. Here are some of them.
- Jodha Bai's Palace
- Tomb of Akbar the Great
- Badshahi Darwaza
- Taj Mahal
- Birbal's Palace
- Nubat Khana
- Ibadat Khana
- Buland Darwaza
- Jama Masjid
- Panch Mahal