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Sheikh Salim Chishti

Sheikh Salim Chishti

Among the most significant of Sufi shrines, the tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti stands and represents one of the finest and marvelous paradigms of marble work masterpieces in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

The tomb is positioned in the north half of the great courtyard of the Jami Masjid (Royal Mosque) in the city of Agra. The very place where the tomb has been built was the hermitage of the renowned Sufi mystic Sheikh Salim Chisti, where he used to have meditation during his lifetime. The shrine was built in the year 1570.

It was believed that Chishti could perform wonders. The Mughal Emperor Akbar-e-Azam visited the shrine of Ashraf Jahangir Semnani and on his travels he also felt inspired to see Chishti. Akbar pays a visit to Chishtis home, deep in the desert, for being granted with a male legatee to his throne. Chishti blessed Akbar and soon three sons were born to him. He named his first son Salim (later emperor Jahangir) in honor of Chishti. A daughter of Sheikh Salim Chishti, was the foster mother of Emperor Jahangir. The emperor was deeply attached to his foster mother, as reflected in the Jahangirnama and he was extremely close to her son Qutb-ud-din Khan Koka who was made the governor of Bengal and his descendants are still anonymous.

Akbar had a great regard for the Sufi and made a city called Fatehpur Sikri as a tribute to him. Then there were his Mughal Court and Courtiers that were relocated here. The city was abandoned because of the shortage of but now it sits to be in a remarkably good condition as one of the most isolated city. At present it is considered as one of the major tourist attractions of India.

The saint passed away in the year 1571. In the memory of the saint, Akbar constructed a fascinating mosque in the midst of Sikri complex with its palaces, courts, baths and gardens. The mausoleum of Sheikh Salim Chishti is all created out of the remarkable carvings with a high-class quality.

The opening keeps up with four thin pillars with unusual Gujarati style serpentine walk that leads upwards to the highly decorative roof. At the entrance hall the names of God are inscribed, as the Prophet and the four Caliphs of Islam. Later, Shah Jahan inserted beautiful pietra dura work as a mark of respect for the saint.

The doors of the tomb are opened for the people of all religions, who visit the place and offer flowers and prayers at the shrine and fasten cotton threads as they believe that their wishes would be fulfilled and they would be blessed with an offspring. The Saints Urs (death anniversary) is celebrated during winters. This 400 years old structure, the Fathehpur Sikri complex is perfectly preserved by the conservation work done by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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