One of the Christian congregation having died about this time, he granted permission for the funeral procession to pass through the streets of Fatehpur with all the ceremonies of the Catholic faith. Many of the inhabitants, both Hindus and Muhammadans, attended the funeral.
None of these places was ever really finished and done with; the Basilicas of Cæsar and Constantine just as much as the baths and galleries and halls of audience at Fatehpur Sikri express not ends achieved but thwarted intentions of permanence. They embody repulse and rejection. They are trials, abandoned trials, towards ends vaguely apprehended, ends felt rather than known.
The style of design certainly indicates the period of the Jahangiri Mahal and Akbar's buildings at Fatehpur Sikri, rather than Shere Shah's work. The Jâmi Masjid. Nearly opposite to the Delhi Gate of the Fort is the Jâmi Masjid, or Cathedral Mosque, built by Jahanara, Shah Jahan's eldest daughter.
The carving was intended as a groundwork for painting and gilding which were never added, for the Fatehpur Palace was abandoned even before it was finished. Nothing is known with certainty of the lady who inhabited this delightful bower, but she must have been one of Akbar's favourites.
It was at Fatehpur that Akbar sought to set the seal upon his conquests in peace and in war by evolving from a comparative study of all the religions of his empire some permanent remedy for the profound denominational and racial discords by which, unless he could heal them, he foresaw that his life's work would assuredly some day be wrecked.
The glory of Fatehpur Sikri was short-lived. Akbar held his court there for seventeen years, and then removed it to Agra; some say on account of the badness of the water supply, others that the saint, disturbed in his devotions by the bustle and gaieties of the great city, declared that either he or Akbar must go. "Then," replied the Emperor, "let it be your servant, I pray."
THE MINT. Some distance beyond the Naubat Khana, on the right, is a large building believed to have been the Imperial Mint. Rare specimens of gold, silver, and copper coins from the Fatehpur Mint are in the British Museum.
The impious chief was shortly afterwards assassinated in the palace. THE BATHS. On the side of the terrace directly opposite to the Dîwan-i-khas are the baths, or the Hammam. The water was brought up from a well, outside the walls, 70 feet below. These baths, in their present state, are by no means so fine as those at Fatehpur Sikri, to be described hereafter.
It is known that in 1575 Akbar completed a great building at Fatehpur, called the Ibadat Khana, or hall in which the learned men of all religions assembled for discussion.
All the probabilities are that this was one of the imperial palaces occupied by Akbar's wives, which were the first buildings erected at Fatehpur. Fergusson's assumption that Birbal's daughter was one of Akbar's wives would explain everything; but the fact that Abul Fazl makes no mention of such a daughter, is very good evidence that Akbar was not connected with Birbal by marriage.