Akbars tomb (Agra)

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The third Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1555–1605), himself commenced its construction in around 1600, according to Tartary tradition to commence the construction of one's tomb during one's lifetime. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it, after his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605-1613. Akbar was one of the greatest emperors of his time. This was not known until later on because his burial chamber laid on a 20 by 5 acre plot of landLocation It is located at Sikandra, in the suburbs of Agra, on the Mathura road (NH2), 8 km WNW of the city center.About 1 km away from the tomb, lies Mariam's Tomb, the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the mother of Jahangir. Architecture The south gate is the largest, with four white marble chhatri-topped minarets which are similar to (and pre-date) those of the Taj Mahal, and is the normal point of entry to the tomb. The tomb itself is surrounded by a walled enclosure 105 m square.

The tomb building is a four-tiered pyramid, surmounted by a marble pavilion containing the false tomb. The true tomb, as in other mausoleums, is in the basement. The buildings are constructed mainly from a deep red sandstone, enriched with features in white marble. Decorated inlaid panels of these materials and a black slate adorn the tomb and the main gatehouse. Panel designs are geometric, floral and calligraphic, and prefigure the more complex and subtle designs later incorporated in Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb. Completed between 1612 and 1614 as per inscriptions on its south gate, the construction of the mausoleum is said to have commenced during emperor Akbar's (1556-1605) lifetime in 1604 but concluded during his son, Jehangir's reign (1605-1627). This is perhaps accurate, as the Akbarnama states nothing about the description of the monument except for noting Behistan or Behistabad (Abode of Paradise) in Sikandra as the burial place of the emperor. Recorded references to the tomb are mostly from Jehangir's rule; they mention his discontent with the initial progress on the mausoleum and outline his active involvement in its design, modification and embellishment. The mausoleum complex is square in plan and aligned on the cardinal axis, with the tomb at its center and four gates, one along each wall. Based on a charbagh, or walled square garden composition much like his father Humayun's (1530-1540, 1555-1556) tomb, the tomb of Akbar has a tall sandstone clad gate with ornate marble inlay carvings and inscriptions. It consists of a colossal arched niche flanked on either side by double-stacked balconies. Surmounting the gate pavilion are four towering white marble minarets, one at each corner. Its inscriptions were written and designed by Abd al- Haqq Shirazi (later known as Amanat Khan), famed calligrapher of Mughal monuments including Taj Mahal. While the inscriptions on the north elevation facing the tomb eulogize the deceased emperor, those above the entrance praise Jehangir, the patron of the tomb. Beyond the lofty gate lies the charbagh divided into quadrants by watercourses designed to evoke the rivers of paradise. Hence, the mausoleum itself is physically and metaphorically located at the center of a heavenly garden, Behistan. A paved causeway leads from the gate to the mausoleum. It is a five-tiered structure much like a truncated pyramid enveloped by low galleries. The domed and vaulted galleries are a hundred and five meters long serving as a large square plinth for the four square stories located at their center, each of which steps in as the structure rises. The gallery space is rhythmically arranged with massive pillars supporting arches roughly 6.7 meters apart. The central bay of each side is marked by a high pishtaq surmounted by a rectangular chattri, or roof kiosks. Only the southern pishtaq gives access to the burial chamber, a small square room at the end of long corridor at the heart of the building domed at eighteen meters. Of the vaulted bays behind the four pishtaqs, the southern one is the most elaborate in ornamentation. The burial chamber also houses the tombs of the emperor's daughter Aram bano begu

Akbar Tomb is known by different names. Few call it Akbar ka Makbara while some know it as Mausoleum of Akbar. Either way, this unique historically significant structure has the same importance. It is located at Sikandra in India. The mausoleum is not too far from Agra. This is the tomb of Akbar, the Great Mughal emperor whose bravery has been recorded in history.

Akbar the greatest of all Mughal emperors ruled over the Mughal Empire between 1556 and 1605. Akbar started building his own mausoleum and the style that was adopted for building the monument was Timurid architecture.

The mausoleum which was started by Akbar was completed by the next Mughal emperor – Jahangir, the son of Akbar. During the reign of Jahangir, he added more architectural brilliance to the structure Akbar Tomb Architectural Features

The gateway that will take you to the interiors of the tomb is made up of colored as well as white marble. There are 4 minarets that are made of white marble.

There is a central arch that is quite high and has smaller arches within the same. There are calligraphic impressions on the walls. The charbagh or 4 gardens will lead you to the chamber of the tomb. Akbar tomb is laid inside a structure that is pyramidal in shape. The color of the tomb is red in color that is in tiers that resemble a pack of playing cards.

How Does Akbar Tomb Differ From Other Mughal Structures?

This building has 5 levels. The first level comprises a podium that has many arches. The other levels have no arches. There is a central inlaid door in between. The levels which have no arches are supported by rows of pillars.

There are screens or jaliss on the outer walls of the verandah. These are present on all the 4 sides of the Verandah. The grave of Akbar can be found in the basement. On the way to Akbar’s grave, you will find many stucco paintings that have a combination of different colors of green, gold, and blue. The carvings and the paintings depict floral designs. There are Persian inscriptions too.

Incoherence In Architecture

Since the mausoleum was started by Akbar and completed by his son Jahangir, you will find architectural incoherence in few places. This is mainly due to the fact that the ideas and concepts differed in both the cases.

Although there is incoherence in architecture, the mausoleum is worth visiting and is regarded as one of the best Islamic structures found in Agra.

How Long Did It Take To Complete Akbar Tomb?

It is believed that Akbar started constructing the tomb while he was alive. Thereafter, it was completed by his son Jahangir, the next Mughal emperor. As per the inscriptions that have been found on the southern gate of the mausoleum, it is assumed that Akbar tomb was completed during the period 1612 to 1614.

If you are visiting Agra, this is one place you cannot afford to miss. Environ of Akbar tomb is in tranquil surroundings. As such, you can spend some time peacefully away from the hustle bustle of the city.


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