The highest Gateway in the world: Buland Darwaza

“The world is a bridge, pass over it, but build no houses upon it”, reads the Persian inscription on the main gateway, Buland Darwaza. 

Akbar wanted to commemorate his conquest over Gujarat. He decided to do something extraordinary. Feasts were organized regularly & competitions were a regular affair, he wished to do something magnificent & thus the idea of ‘Buland Darwaza’ was born.

Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence @Life on Weekends

An example of splendid Mughal Architecture, Buland Darwaza is rightly called the ‘Gate of Magnificence’. Like the early morning colors, the highest gateway of India is made of red and buff sandstone. The decorations are done by white and black marble – like the colors of dusk when the day is about to take a backseat and night grows silently.

Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence, Fatehpur Sikri @Life on Weekends
Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence, Fatehpur Sikri @Life on Weekends

The Gate is symmetrical as if it’s a reminder of the great Akbar’s court where everyone had an equal opportunity to prove their mettle irrespective of their color, caste and creed. The Chatris on top of the ‘Darwaza’ remind of the courteers of Akbar, each famous for a unique characterstic trait and skill. Out of all courteers, ‘Navratanas’ were the most famous:

  1. Abul Fazal, the author of Akbarnama

  2. Faizi, the poet

  3. Miyan Tansen, known for his music

  4. Raja Birbal, popular for his witty remarks and comebacks

  5. Raja Todar Mal, the finance minister who overhauled the revenue system

  6. Raja Man Singh, the millitary commander

  7. Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, known for his Hindi couplets

  8. Fakir Azio-i-din, a sufi mystic

  9. Mirza Aziz Koka, foster brother of Akbar

As you enter the gateway, your eyes pause at the pure shrine of Khwaja Salim Chishti built from white marble. Along the perimeter of the shrine, there are perforated windows where many devotees tie a knot and ask for a wish. Once their wish comes true, they come back, open the knot and offer prayers to the revered shrine.

Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence, Fatehpur Sikri @Life on Weekends
Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence, Fatehpur Sikri @Life on Weekends

At a distance of 43kms. from Agra (the home to the greatest wonder of the world, The Taj Mahal), Buland Darwaza stands tall and proud, but a little old. After all, it’s been 500 long years since the time ‘Buland Darwaza’ saw its first dawn. The time has dented its walls and dimmed the decorated colors. In most of the high angles of the gateway, you can see dark, black beehives hanging from the ceilings, but the gateway has maintained every inch of its glory. You are bound to look twice at the gateway and wonder, what’s the story?!

Fatehpur Sikri is only 43kms. away from Agra. Plan a weekend trip to Agra and club Fatehpur Sikri with it.

Buland Darwaza or Gate of Magnificence, Fatehpur Sikri @Life on Weekends

Tip: Fatehpur Sikri is not a ticketed monument. The guides might fool you saying that you don’t have to pay for the ticket if you take their services. The guides normally charge INR 30 – INR 50 for half an hour of tour.

Also, there have been cases of pickpocketing and snatching. So, be careful.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Anonymous says:

    I always relate darwaza’s (doors) with a wish and Khidki’s (windows) with dream! Buland Darwaza’s concept significantly related with my thought pattern! I am so happy read it. The Navratnas’ are such pool of talents!
    Very good hiring by their H. R. head ;)!

    May the wishes be granted
    Kiran Sakkar Sudha


    1. Just Yamini says:

      Hahahah. Waah waah! Hiring, dreams and all. You can bring fresh perspectives.


  2. mrssaripalli says:

    lot of knowledge in this post. The place looks beautiful and the architecture is superb. Great writing.



    1. Just Yamini says:

      Thank you, Neha 🙂


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