elegant monument is located at Sikandra, 4 kms away from the city of Agra.
Construction of this mausoleum of Emperor Akbar, which was started by Akbar
himself, was completed by his son Jehangir. The monument is a perfect
coalescence of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain motifs. The
structure gives vital insight regarding the evolution of Mughal
architecture- from the Humayun's tomb in Delhi to Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra
finally to the Taj Mahal.
Structure of the Tomb
Three-storey-minarets, built in red sandstone and replete with exquisite
inlay work, rise from the four corners of the tomb. The mausoleum is flanked
by a beautiful garden. The Baradi palace in the gardens was built by
Sikander Lodhi. A paved causeway leads to the five-storied tomb, which is in
the shape of a truncated pyramid. The unique square design of the main tomb
remains unrivalled by all other Mughal buildings.
Design and Architecture
All the four sides, except the middle of the southern side, have spacious
cloisters which are divided by massive piers and arches. The centre of the
southern side is adorned with a vestibule, which has been blazoned with
exquisite carvings, splendid paintings and inlay work in geometric and
floral designs. The tombstone of Akbar lies in the middle of this room.
Akbar's daughters, Shakrul Nisha Begum and Aram Bano are also entombed in
Rest of the Tomb
Each side of the second storey has an arcaded verandah consisting of 23
bays. The combination of ornamented arches and square pillars is quite a
unique feature. In contrast, the third and fourth storeys are smaller and
have a similar arrangement of arches supported on pillars with chhatris
attached on th exteriors of each facade. While the lower stories are built
in red sandstone, the topmost storey is a complete structure of white
Sikandra, Uttar Pradesh
How to Reach :
Agra has excellent airlinks with Delhi, Khajuraho
and Varanasi. There is also a good rail and bus network connecting it with
major Indian cities. For visiting the tomb you can hire taxi, tempo,
auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw from anywhere in Agra. Prepaid taxis and
autos from the railway station are available. You can also hire bicycles on
an hourly basis from different parts of the city.
Sunrise - Sunset on all weekdays.
Indian Citizens :
Agra has a good range of accommodation
facilities. Apart from hotels and tourist lodges, there's the UPSTDC's
tourist complex, Taj Khema, near the Taj Mahal. It offers accommodation in
tents and deluxe rooms. There's a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow as well.