Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri: Monuments, Cities and Connected Histories

Shashank Shekhar Sinha

23 September 2021
416 pages


‘Very impressive ... It will enrich the understanding of those interested in the history not only about these buildings but also more widely about historical monuments and their preservation’ – Rudrangshu Mukherjee, Chancellor and Professor of History at Ashoka University

‘The first real attempt to bring historical sites and buildings of the past within the reach of the masses … A must-read for all’ – Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi, author of Fathpur Sikri Revisited

‘Offers an excellent academic–public interface for the study of monuments, the cities in which they are located, and their extended geocultural connections’ – Rana Safvi, author of The Forgotten Cities of Delhi and Shahjahanabad

‘A book to be read several times, in different ways’ – Swapna Liddle, author of Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi

Delhi, Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, historic cities of legend and lore and home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, have captured the imagination of Indians and the world at large for centuries. In this ambitious book, Shashank Shekhar Sinha traces the extraordinary pasts of the three imperial capitals, their monuments, settlements and extended geocultural connections, while presenting a graphic account of the iconic heritage sites – from the life and times of rulers who built them, their survival through periods of war, turmoil and conquests, to their present afterlives.

Packed with intriguing and little-known stories about the monuments – busting several myths around them along the way – the book takes us on a journey from the pillared galleries of the mosque at the Qutb Minar complex, the majestic double dome of Humayun’s tomb, the bastions of the impenetrable Agra Fort, the picturesque pavilions at Fatehpur Sikri, the tapering minarets of the Taj Mahal, to finally the Mughal court of the Red Fort, giving us the full measure of their dazzling grandeur.


Combining powerful storytelling with deep, recent scholarship, the Magnificent Heritage series uses multidisciplinary approaches to showcase a fresh perspective on heritage sites and storied cities, locating them in their larger geographical, sociocultural and historical contexts.