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Sikandara, Agra Tours

The mausolumn of emperor Akbar represent his philosphy and secular outlook, combining the best of Hindu and Muslim architectures in a superlative region. Completed in 1613 A.D. by his son Jahangir, it is one of the well preserved monuments. This is the last resting place of the Mughal Empror Akbar.

A visit to Akbar's monument opens before one, the completeness of Akbar's personality as completely as the Taj Mahal does of Mumtaz Mahal's. Akbar's vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was a Tartary custom which the Mughals followed religiously. Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction of this pyramidal tomb in 1613.

Tourist Attractions

The Garden

The tomb stands in the center of a vast garden, which is enclosed by high walls on all sides. In the middles of each enclosing wall is a monumental gateway. The whole garden is divided into four equal quarters on the conventional charbhag plan. Each quarter is separated by a high terrace or raised path with a narrow shallow water channel running at the center. Each terrace has in the center, a tank with fountains.

Gateway

Although there is only one entrance in use today there exist four red sandstone gates which lead to the mausoleum complex. The decoration on the gateways is strikingly bold, with large mosaic patterns set into it. The gateway's four minarets rising from the corners are particularly striking. Built of red sandstone, the minarets are inlaid with white marble polygonal patterns; the pleasing Proportions & Profuse surface ornamentation makes the gateways very impressive. These gateways reflect a curious hybrid of different styles of architecture-Hindu, Muslim Christian and a patent mixture of Akbar's typical style.

Mausoleum

A broad paved causeway lead to the tomb, which has five storeys and is in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The main tomb has a unique square design which is unparalleled by all other Mughal buildings,

Ground Floor

Sikandara, Agra Tourism

The ground floor has spacious cloisters on all four sides except in the middle of the southern side. The cloisters are divided into numerous bays by massive piers & arches. Each bay measures 22 feet square. The centre of the southern side is occupied by a vestibule, which has been ornamented very profusely with exquisite carvings, artistic paintings & inlay work in geometric and floral designs. An inclined and descending passage leads from this vestibule to the mortuary chamber.

Second Storey

The second storey has an arcaded verandah on each side which is composed of 23 bays. The use of an ornamental arch and square pillar has brought about unique composition.

Third and Fourth Storeys

These storeys are smaller in size than the one below it. They have an identical arrangement of arches supported on pilllars and chhatris attached on the exterior to each façade.

Fifth Storey

The fifth storey is entirely in white marble as against the lower storeys which are finished in red sandstone.