The Candid Eye

August 3, 2009

Distortion of Indian history – Part 9

Source:- Article by Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari

The Distorted History of Fatehpur Sikri:

It has been said earlier how the authorship of the massive fortress in Agra is being falsely attributed to Akbar. In a similar manner, Akbar is being projected as the author of another fort-palace complex, a excellent example of Hindu architecture, at Fatehpur Sikri, nearly 37 Km away from the city of Agra.

  

 

 The so called pseudo secular and the Marxist historians are propagating the idea that the place was originally called Sikri and it was a small village surrounded by deep forest infested with wild animals. In that village, a Sufi saint called Shaikh Salim Chisti began to live in a small hut in 1537. At that time, Akbar was mentally upset as he did not have a male child.

To narrate the situation, Nizam-ud-din Ahmad in his Tabakat-i-Akbariwrites, “The Emperor had several sons born to him, but none of them had lived. Shaikh Salim Chisti, who resided at the town of Sikri, twelve kos from Agra, had gladdened him with the promise of a son. The Emperor went to visit the Shaikh several times, and remained there ten or twenty days on each occasion.  …  When one of the Emperor’s wives became pregnant, he conveyed her to the dwelling of the Shaikh, and left her there. Sometimes he stayed there himself, sometimes at Agra . He gave the name of Fathpur to Sikri, and built a bazaar and baths there.” [1] “Salim, the old saint, had settled among the rocks and wild beasts as a hermit in A D 1537-8 (A H 944), and in the year following had constructed a monastery and school-house.” [2]

In this regard, historian V A Smithin his Akbar The Great Mogulalso writes, “Akbar resolved at this time to press his scheme for converting the obscure village of Sikri into a great city. His reasons, or some of them, for doing so may be stated in the words of Abu-l Fazl: – Inasmuch as his exalted sons [Salim and Murad] had taken their birth in Sikri and the God-knowing spirit of Shaikh Salim had taken possession thereof, his holy heart desired to give outward splendour to this spot which possessed spiritual grandeur. Now that his standards had arrived at this place, his former design was passed forward, and an order was issued that the superintendents of affairs should erect lofty buildings for the use of the Shahinshah.” [3] 

He further continues, “A wall of masonry was built round the town, but never completed, and dwellings of all classes were constructed, as well as schools, baths, and other public institutions, the indispensable gardens not being neglected. The Emperor, after the conquest of Gujarat , gave it the name of Fathabad (town of victory), which was soon exchanged in both popular and official use for the synonymous Fathpur..” [2] V A Smith continues, “The language of Abu-l Fazl in the above passage quoted might be understood to mean that Akbar did not begin his extensive programme of building at Fathpur-Sikri until 1571, but that is not the fact. The design had been formed in his mind and his had actually been begun in 1569.” [2] 

But most of the historians believe that Akbar began the so called construction of Fatehpur Sikri in 1571, and hence the historian R C Majumdar writes, “From there (Punjab) he returned to Ajmer (corrupt of Sanskrit Ajeya Meru) by way of Hissar and on 9th August, 1571, arrived at Sikri which he now decided to make his capital as the auspicious place where his two sons Salim and Murad had been born. The resources of his expanding empire and the artistic genius of India and Persia were employed to convert the petty, quiet hamlet into a crowded  proud metropolis which even in its lost glory was regarded by Fitch in 1585 as much greater than Elizabethan London.” [4] From the above statement it implies that Akbar began the so called construction of Fatehpur Sikri in 1571 and it is not clear, from the above statements, when the job was completed. Smith also says that, Akbar built the Buland Darwaza to commemorate his conquest of Gujarat in 1575-76. [5]

But many hold the view that Akbar finished the construction in 1585.  So, a general notification, in this regard, reads, “Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585. …  This town was built by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. He had planned this city as his capital but shortage of water compelled him to abandon the city.. … Fatehpur Sikri is one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendour at its height.” [6] The Wikipedia Encyclopedia, in this context, says, Fatehpur Sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar PradeshIndia. The historical city was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570 and served as the empire’s capital from 1571 until 1585, when it was abandoned for reasons that remain unclear.” [7]

One should notice that the statements quoted above are terribly inconsistent. According to Smith, Akbar began the construction of the city in 1571 (or 1569) and before that the place was a small village. According to R C Majumdar, in 1571, Akbar decided to use the auspicious place as the capital of his empire. But according to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, “Akbar started to use the place as the capital of his empire from 1571 and continued to use the place as the capital up to 1585.” The question naturally arises – How many years Akbar took to convert the small village Sikri into a city? Was it possible for Akbar to shift his capital to Sikri before the completion of the said construction? The most ridiculous part of the episode is that, according to Wikipedia Encyclopedia, Akbar started to use Sikri as his capital in the same year the construction of the city had begun. So, it implies that, Akbar, in 1571, had shifted his capital from the city of Agra to a desolate village called Sikri, surrounded by jungles.

The reader might have noticed another anomaly in the above narrations. According to some authors, the construction of the city was completed in 1585, and in the same year it was abandoned due to scarcity of water. As if the so called scarcity of water fell, all on a sudden, from the sky without giving any prior hint and no body could foresee that. Most importantly, these contradictory statements lead one to conclude that Akbar the fool spoiled so much money for setting up the new city in vain.

There are other anomalies as well. It has been mentioned above that, according to V A Smith, Akbar built the Buland Darwaza as a commemoration of his conquest of Gujarat in 1575-76. While an epigraph inscribed on the Buland Darwaza says that it was built in 1601, when Akbar returned from Daccan. But it has been said above that the city of Fatehpur Sikri was abandoned in 1585. So, it becomes unacceptable because in that case it should be concluded that Akbar built the Buland Darwaza in the abandoned city of Fatehpur Sikri. So, according to another version, it is said that, Fatehpur Sikri was finally abandoned in 1604 and the Buland Darwaza was erected in 1601. [8]

However, to sum up the above narrations, Akbar began the construction of the city of Fatehpur Sikri in 1571 and the construction was completed in 1785. Or, Akbar took 14 years to complete the job. But whosoever has visited the site would refuse to believe that such a massive construction, containing the invincible fort and innumerable palaces therein with fine stone carvings, could be constructed within 14 or 15 years. To make this unbelievable story believable, the so called pseudo secular and Marxist historians of India resort to treachery and lie, and say, “The work was pushed on with such phenomenal speed that, as if by magic palaces, public buildings, mosques and tombs, gardens and baths, pavilions and water courses were called into being beneath the barren sandstone ridge of Sikri.” [8]

In this context, it should be mentioned what absurd Jahangir, son of Akbar, has written in his autobiography, regarding the construction of Fatehpur Sikri. He writes, “In course of fourteen to fifteen years, that hill full of wild beasts became a city containing all kinds of gardens and buildings, lofty edifices and pleasant places attractive to the heart.” [8]

 

It has been pointed out above that historians believe that Akbar built the Buland Darwaza (the Great Portal) in 1601 as a monument after the conquest of Gujarat . In this regard, our historians write, “The southern entrance to the Jam-i-Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri was considered to be suitable position, and the original entrance was replaced by the construction of a massive portal. This was known as the Buland Darwaja.” [9] It is important to note here that originally there was a gate where the Buland Darwaza stands today. Common sense tells us that the said gate was very old and hence Akbar found it suitable to demolish that worn out gate and make a new one. Had this older gate been built by Akbar, hardly 15 years ago, he would have certainly not shown any interest to demolish the same to be replaced by the new gate called Buland Darwaza.

The True History of Fatehpur Sikri:

 

We now may pay heed to what another group of historians, known as nationalist historians, have to say in this regard. These historians are convinced that the authorship of the fort-palace complex at Fatehpur Sikri is being falsely attributed to Akbar. According to them the city, now known as Fatehpur Sikri, was a thriving and prosperous city from very older times. Once upon a time, during the times of Babar, Akbar’s grand father, the fort-palace complex at Fatehpur, was under the occupation of Rana Sangram Singh of Mewar. In 1527, a battle was fought between Babar and Maharana Sangram Singh, known as the Battle of Khanua, in a field close to the fort of Fatehpur. In that battle Babar defeated Rana Sangram Singh and thus the occupation of the fort went to the Mughals.

There are many references to show that fort at Fatehpur (or Fathpur) was there even centuries before the times of Akbar. The Muslim chronicler Yahya bin Ahmad, in his Tarikh-i-Mubarakshahi, writes, “On the 19th Jumada-l awwal, 808 H ( 12th November, 1405 AD), a battle was fought between them (Khizr Khan and Ikbal Khan). At the first charge, Ikbal wasa defeated and fled.  …(Later on) He was killed and his head was cut off and sent to Fathpur.” [10] The statement is sufficient to prove that, at least 150 years before the times of Akbar, Fatehpur Sikri was a place of political importance, not an isolated village surrounded by jungle.

Yahya bin Ahmad also writes, “Sikri, which is now known as Fathpur, was entrusted to Malik Khairu-d din Tuhfa. His Majesty (Mubarak Shah) then proceeded towards Gwalior .” [11] This statement conclusively proves that the city which is now known as Fatehpur was originally known as Sikri. It has been said earlier that the Battle of Khanua was fought between Babar and Rana Sangram Singh in a field close to Fatehpur Sikri. Babar, in his autobiography Tuzak-i-Babrihas given the description of the battle. The Tuzak-i-Babri says that Babar left Agra on 11th February, 1527 AD and advanced towards Fatehpur to meet Rana Sangram Singh. Babar writes, “After marching a kos, we found that the enemy had retreated. There being a large tank on our left, I encamped there, to have the benefit of water.” [12]

At that hour, Babar sent an advanced team of 1000 men, under the care of Abdul Aziz and Mollah Apak, to assess the situation and collect prior intelligence. To describe the situation, Babar writes, “… without taking any precautions, he (Abdul Aziz) advanced as far as Kanwahah, which is five kos from Sikri.” [13] But a troop of 4000 or 5000 Rajputs routed them and compelled them to return to their base.

It is to be noted here that, Rana Sangram Singh was the most famous Hindu warrior at that time and he carried 82 scars on his body. So, naturally, Babar’s army was visibly nervous. Just on the day, previous to the battle, Babar held meeting with his nervous generals. To comment on the result of the discussions, Babar writes, “At this time, as I have already observed, in consequence of the preceding events, a general consternation and alarm prevailed among great and small. There was not a single person who uttered a manly word, nor an individual who delivered a manly opinion.” [14]

As mentioned above, Babar camped outside the wall of Sikri, near a big tank and the Rajput camp was inside the wall. The chief Rajput generals were Rawal Udai Singh, Medini Ray, Bhamal, Varmadev and Siladitya, the caretaker of the Raisin Fort. Beside that, there were a few Afghan generals in the Rajput army and the most prominent among them were Hasan Khan and Sikandar Lodi. After being thrashed at Kanwahah, the Mughal army became extremely frightened and advised Babar to retreat.

So, from the above facts, it becomes evident that, if the Rajputs continued their attack from the incident of Kanwahah, the Mughal army would have defeated and dispersed. But Sangram Singh took time and gave the Mughal army an opportunity to re-assemble. In this context, we should note another development. Babar had initiated a dialogue with Sangram Singh through Siladitya, but later on he succeeded to bribe Siladitya to bring him to his side. This enabled Babar to gather some vital military secrets of the Rajput army.

However, on 17th (or 16th) March, 1527 AD, the battle took place at the field of Khanua, close to Sikri and 37 Km from Agra . As soon as the battle began, Siladitya changed side with his men and in addition to that, the Afghan generals Hasan Khan and Sikandar Lodi and their army preferred not to fight against the Mussalmans of Babar’s army and remained, more or less, silent spectators. The actual strength of the Rajput army was not properly recorded, but according to Col Tod, there were 80,000 horses and 500 elephants in the Rajput army. [15]

The fierce battle began in the morning and continued for ten hours. When the victory was under the control of the Rajputs, Sangram Singh suffered a severe wound and had to leave the battle field. The incident made the Rajput army disappointed and they began to disperse, and thus victory went to the hands of the Mughals. To describe the incident, Babar writes, “Having defeated the enemy, we pursued them with great slaughter. Their camp might be two kos distant from ours. On reaching it, I sent on Muhammadi and some other officers, with the order to follow them in close pursuit, slaying and cutting them off, so that they should not have the time to re-assemble.” [16]

Babar continues, “The battle was fought within the view of a small hill, near our camp. On this hillock I directed a tower of the skulls of the infidels to be constructed. … Immense numbers of the dead bodies of the pagans and apostates had fallen in their flight, all the way to Bayana, and even as far as Alwar and Mewat.” [16] After entering the fort, Babar ordered general massacre and Muhammadi and other Mughal generals cut down the civilians of the city of Sikri en masse. There are no proper records of how many Hindus were slaughtered on that day. The so called secular and Marxist historians always try to keep the figure low. It has been mentioned that there were 80,000 strong cavalry and 500 elephants in the Rajput army. Hence, many believe that, including the foot-soldiers, the Rajput army was 200,000 strong, and nearly 100,000 of them were taken prisoners and slaughtered on that day. In addition to that, about another 100,000 civilians were massacred in the city.

It has been mentioned earlier that after the mass-massacre of the Hindus in the Chittor Fort by Akbar, Rajput Kings abandoned the fort and thereafter, they used the fort at Udaipur as their residence and the seat of the government. In a similar manner, the Rajput kings had abandoned the Fort of Sikri after the mass-massacre by Babar, as mentioned above. And, as a result, the city of Fatehpur Sikri gradually turned into a desolate jungle. Later on, Akbar perhaps took an initiative to revive the city by clearing the jungle and our dishonest historians are portraying that as Akbar’s creation of the new city of Fatehpur Sikri. A study of the history of Fatehpur Sikri, it appears that, Akbar might have built a minutely small part, the Buland Darwaza, of the entire edifice and nothing else. And later on, he might have built the tomb of Shaikh Salim Chisti.  

Another point of vital importance should be highlighted in this context. Anyone, whosoever has visited the Fort-Palace complex at Fatehpur Sikri, it must not have escaped his notice that all the palaces and buildings reveal overwhelmingly Hindu style of architecture and stone carving. According to experts, they are either of Rajasthani or Gujarati style. This is due to the simple reason that the Rajput Hindu kings were the real authors of those buildings and palaces. But to hide the true history, the despicable creatures, callef secular and Marxist historians, say that, Akbar engaged both Hindu and Muslim artists of Persia for building the palaces and stone carving. They also say that, Akbar was so generous that he had no hesitation to accept Hindu style of architecture.But all these lies are going to be exposed very soon as the real history of Fatehpur Sikri has started to reveal due to fresh archaeological discoveries. We expect to deal that aspect in the next installment.

 

(To be continued)

References:

[1] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, The History of India -As Told by Its Own Historians (in 8 volumes), Low Price Publication, Delhi (1996) V, 332-333.

[2] V. A. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, Oxford Clarendon Press, 105.

[3] V. A. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, ibid, 104-105.

[4] R. C, Majumdar, The History and Cultures of the Indian People, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan (in 12 Vols) ,VII ,125.

[5] V. A. Smith, Akbar the Great Mogul, ibid, 107.

[6] (www.taj-mahal-india-travel.com/monuments-places-to-visit/fatehpur-sikri.html)

[7] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatehpur_Sikri)

[8] R. C, Majumdar, ibid, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, VII, 760.

[9] R. C, Majumdar, ibid, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, VII, 763.

[10] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 40.

[11] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 62.

[12] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 268.

[13] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 267.

[14] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 269.

[15] R. C, Majumdar, ibid, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, VII, 36.

[16] H.M. Elliot and J. Dowson, ibid, IV, 272.

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