The Great Mughal Emperor Akbar rests, as is the custom, in a crypt in the basement of his mausoleum, which stands inside a walled enclosure north of Agra. The entry is through the imposing red sandstone, marble inlaid south gate, replete with four white marble chhatri-topped minarets.
In the early morning mist, there is just us, a few squirrels, our guide, the shoewallah (two rupees to watch our shoes) and a posse on monkeys.
The rich decoration, in which the architect manages incorporate decorative elements of the Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish religions into the inlays, reflection Akbar's syncretist tendencies (or perhaps just having a bet each way!)
This beautiful mausoleum is befitting a great emperor of which Akbar was! Akbar actually planned his own tomb, selected the site he considered most appropriate ( it is in Sikandra which is approx 10km outside of Agra) and commenced its build! Apparently this is within keeping to the Tartary tradition!
The building is a combination of red sandstone and marble and is set to the points of the compass.
Note of possible interest - the monkeys here were rather irritable and unless I had had a little too much sun and had started hallucinating, there were also springbok in the grounds.
Certainly worth stopping en route to Agra or taking a bus/rickshaw out of the city for.
Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace North-faced building was constructed by Jahangir for his beloved consort Noor-Janan.When Jahanjir comming here for hunting. Its beauty is indescriable but its remains are in a dilapidated condition today.I don't find any Mirror in the rooms in side, but beautiful carvings on red sond stone & white marble, entrance of both sides, balconeyes worth-seeing.
The gate way of Sikandra is extremely beautiful and is situated on the south side.It is made of red sand stone, and 4 minaret white marble on its four corners.Its main door was made of sandal wood, which was taken away by the Jats of Bharatpur during the reign.The upper storey of the gate has a "Naubat Khan" from where the big kettle Drums were played in the morning to evening in the honour of the dead Emperor.The roof has got four couples marble and red sand stone which is surrounded by beautiful 'kangura' work.The exterior portion is profusely decorated with white marble inlay work.
Sikandra is one of the superb Mughal buildings, which is situated about 7 Km. from Agra city on the Agra-Mathura road on N.H. 2.Sikandar Lodi the powerful king of Lodi dynasty, made it his capital in 1492, A.D. and in halted this township.Though all the glorious signs of the then Sikandra are no more now, except a beautiful Baradari, made of stone.
Emperor Akbar the Great selected this place for his burial and startd the construction work in 1602 A.D., but it could not be completed as Akbar lived.He was buried here as per his wish i the catacomb.The main building was constructed by Akbar only Sikandra but was completed by Emperor Jahangir in 1613 A.D.
My guide at Akbar’s Tomb informed us that Akbar started building his own mausoleum near Agra because he wanted to have a very royal and splendid one according to his own liking. Truly this mausoleum is a perfect amalgamation of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain architectural styles which speaks of Akbar’s secular views. However it was late completed by his son Jehangir which is situated in Sikandra. Later on Jehangir also incorporated some alternations which are symbols of Mughal architecture which can be seen in the fort in the current times as well.
This three storeyed tomb is built with red sandstone and displays an exquisite inlay work of marble inside the buildings. While strolling in the gardens of the tomb we encounters various Langurs who have made the gardens their second home and thus, one should take good care of one’s self while taking a walk. The tomb exhibits very beautiful floral and geometric designs form of art which is very typical of Mughal art form. The main gateway into the tomb is also very tastefully decorated and constitutes of four tall white marble minarets and thus while passing through it I could actually feel the air of royal riches.
Made from marble and standstone Akbar's mausoleum was finished by his son and successor Jahangir. the name sikandra comes from sikander lodi the last king of delhi . Akbar the great started the building and constructing the mausoleum and prefectly finished by his son jahangir by added symmetrical design on each three minarates, designs in harmony from both hindu and musilm designs.The tomb itself is located in centre of the garden where there is a deers and peacocks roaming inside the park.
Akbars tomb is located in sikandra which is 10km northwest of agra fort, i visited first sikandra then Taj which is lot easier comming from delhi and then agra itself.
About 10 km northwest of Agra, in the town of Sikander, lies the magnificent tomb of Akbar the Great. Akbar was born in what is today Afghanistan. He expanded the Mughal Empire to cover much of northern India and is best remembered for his Sulh-I-Kul (Peace for All) policies which abolished many previous restrictions on his non-Islamic subjects. He also fulminated a philosophy, predating the Ba’hai movement, which claimed a common truth in all religions - Din-I-ilahi (Faith of God).
The tomb is laid out in a fashion not unlike that which you find at the Taj Mahal, lying in the center of a large park. Within the grass fields of the park, deer graze and monkeys cavort. You enter the complex from a large parking complex - hawkers present, but much less than what you find in agra, itself - through a magnificent gateway. At the garden center is the tomb with tall minarets rising from each corner. Taking your shoes off at the entrance, you lower your head through the entry to reach the simple sarcophagus deep in the interior of the tomb.
The mausoleum of the Mogul Emperor Akbar the Great, taking power in India at the age of 13 in 1560, is in Sikandra 10 km north west of Agra (completed in 1605 by Jahangir, his son and successor). Akbar was the most successful and most open minded of all the Muslim Moguls, forging an alliance with the Rajput Hindu rulers of Rajasthan that kept both in positions of power, marrying two Rajput princesses in the process. Akbar explained his dealing with the Hindus to more Orthodox Muslims by saying that the Hindus had no conception that they were on the wrong path and thus could not be punished for their beliefs. He even attempted to make a new religion based on a mix of Islam, Christianity, Brahmanism and Zoroastrianism (Dini-Ilahi); however, this was one area in which Akbar did not succeed - the orthodox Muslims were for starters a bit knarked at this.
The reign of Akbar (after the successful invasion by the last Timurid and first Mogul Barbur - originally from modern day Uzbekistan - and the interrupted reign of his successor Humayun) saw large growth and extension of Mogul power in India from Afghanistan to the Bay of Bengal from the Himalayas southward to the Godavari river. His rule also influenced how the Moguls ruled up to the time of the British Raj.
Four kilometers from Agra is the mausoleum of Akbar. This structure is a blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs. The tomb has three-storey-minarets on its four corners. These minarets are built in red sandstone. The mausoleum is surrounded by a beautiful garden.
Timings & Entry Fees
» Foreigners: Rs 245/-
» Open on all Week Days
Location: When you drive from Delhi to Agra (or vv) you will pass it. To just see the building and gardens, ask your driver to make a pitstop there.
The tomb of Akbar has four gateways facing four different directions, with southern gateway as the main entrance and other three built just for the ornamental purposes. The northern gateway was struck by lightning some years ago and is in ruins now. It was built in red sandstone and was decorated using mosaic and stuccowork, inlaying and painting. The eastern and the western gateways are almost identical in their construction. Both of them are multi-storeyed and have a central iwan (portal) flanked by wings on the sides. These gateways sport two beautiful kiosks on the top and two miniature chhatris on the turrets. They are also adorned with beautiful carvings, stucco, inlay and mosaic work.
These are Langurs, black-faced monkeys that have found a safe haven in the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum. They were so tame and just sitting there with their feet up that you could get within just a few feet of them. I took some photo's of them before an Indian women started giving them chipati's when suddenly all hell broke lose as a mass scramble for food started. The monkeys live here in tandem with deer that roam around grazing on the grass. Nice sight!
Located centrally in the square plan, at the junction of four causeways dividing the garden into four quarters, the main tomb building has five storeys built in the shape of a truncated pyramid. It stands on a high stone platform. The vestibule leading to the Akbar's tomb is decorated with wonderfull floresque, arabesque and calligraphic designs. The chamber itself is simple and paved with stone. The other chambers entomb graves of Aram Banu and Shukru-n-nisa (daughters of Akbar), Zebu-n-nisa (daughter of Aurangzeb) and Sulaiman Shikoh (son of Shah Alam).
The main gatehouse lies at the southern end of the complex and is fairly dramatic as it features 4 tall white marble minarets on the four corners. All of these minarets are built in four tiers that diminish in diameter to the top and are crowned by chhatri. This double-storeyed gateway has a central archway with wings on the side having two arched recesses one over the other. Like all the other gateways, it is also built in red sandstone but has richer ornamentation work on it. Inlay and arabesque work in white marble lend a unique grand look to this gateway. The entrance kiosk counter is just to the left of the gatehouse entrance.
Akbar started building his own mausoleum, near Agra, that was to be a perfect blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain designs and motifs, bespeaking of his religious tolerance and secular views. However, he could not complete it and died. Thus, his son Jehangir completed his tomb (between 1605-12), popularly known as Sikandra after Sikandra Lodi, who established the community where Akbar's Tomb is located. The result is this impressive, perfectly symmetrical complex with the tomb located in the centre of a vast walled garden. The main gatehouse is also very impressive and features 4 tall white marble minarets on the four corners. This place is a must visit and I came here as part of a small auto-rickshaw tour as it's some 20km away from Agra. More photo's can be found on one of my travelogues.
Open: Sunrise to sunset. Admission: Rs110 for foreigners.