Akbar’s Fort & Patalpuri Temple

sights / Military

Lonely Planet review

Built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, this 16th-century fort on the northern bank of the Yamuna has massive walls with three gateways flanked by towers. Most of it is occupied by the Indian army and cannot be visited, but a small door in the eastern wall by Sangam leads to one part you can enter, the underground Patalpuri Temple. This unique temple is crowded with all sorts of idols – pick up some coins from the change dealers outside so you can leave small offerings as you go. You may be pressured into giving ₹10 to ₹100 at some shrines. A few coins are perfectly acceptable.

Outside the temple – though its roots can be seen beneath ground – is the Undying Banyan Tree from which pilgrims used to leap to their deaths, believing it would liberate them from the cycle of rebirth.