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Akbar Mausoleum, Agra

Akbar Mausoleum Overview

Introduction to Akbar’s Mausoleum
Akbar’s Mausoleum was constructed in 1605 and is situated at a region named Sikandra, which is around 10 km away from the Agra city. The mausoleum has a blending of the Muslim-Hindu styles of architecture. The building was constructed with a combination of white marbles and red sandstone. Besides being an architectural innovation, a blending of ancient architectural styles based on red sandstone and trendy white marbles, ornaments, and fine carvings are used in its building. The construction of Mausoleum was started by Akbar, but he couldn’t complete it. Thus, it was on his son Jahangir to see the completion of the Mausoleum.  Akbar’s Mausoleum comprises of two buildings. One is the Mausoleum, while the other is a giant gateway, known as Buland Darwaza, connected with each other through a wide corridor. The place is very calm and silent, with stunning, colorful, and grand interiors that include both the well-preserved and the badly damaged parts of the Mausoleum. There is a color shade that resembles the Kalamkari prints, and there’s another which looks like the Thewa jewelry designs. There resides a variety of designs and richness all around. If you are like to witness beautiful architecture and heart throbbing artistic approach, Akbar’s Mausoleum is the perfect place to visit.

Location

10 kms. from Agra


Mausoleum

A broad paved causeway leads to the tomb having five storeys that is in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The main tomb has a unique square design which is unparalleled by all other Mughal buildings. The ground floor has spacious cloisters on all the four sides except in the middle of the southern side. Numerous bays divide the cloisters by massive piers and arches. Each bay measures 22 feet square. A vestibule, which has been profusely ornamented with exquisite carvings, occupies the centre of the southern side. The tombstone of Emperor Akbar is placed in the middle of this room. His daughters, Shakrul Nisha Begum and Aram Bano are also entombed in this floor. The second storey has an arcaded verandah on each side, which is composed of 23 bays. Here the use of an ornamental arch and square pillar has brought about a unique composition. These storeys are smaller in size and they have an identical arrangement of arches supported on pillars and chhatris attached on the exterior to each facade. The fifth storey is built entirely in white marble.


Construction

The mausoleum is situated in the centre of a large garden and four red sandstone gates lead to the tomb complex-one is Muslim, one Hindu, one Christian and the other is Akbar's own patent the Din Ilahi, a mixture of all religions. The complex consists of two buildings, one the mausoleum and the other a gigantic gate, connected to each other via a wide paved walkway. The Buland Darwaza (gateway of magnificence) consists of a huge archway and 4 marble minarets, which is more impressive than the mausoleum. The architecture of the mausoleum is interesting as it is a good example of the mixture of the use of sandstone together with marble. It reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture which characterized the era. Inside the mausoleum, one can find the cenotaph in a very small sober room. In the gardens of the tomb is the Baradi Palace, which was built by Sikander Lodi who ruled here just, preceding the Moghul period.


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