Sikandra, Agra - Architecture of Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra

Agra, Tourist Attractions in Agra, Sikandra in Agra

Sikandra, Agra

Sikandra is about 10 kms from Agra. This city is named after the great Afghan king, Sikandar Lodhi. This city is visited by many tourists from all over the world. Sikandra houses the world's famous Akbar's tomb. This tomb is the most unique sculptured tomb of Asia, built in the Indo-Saracenic style. This beautiful monument was constructed by the Akbar himself. But later upon his death it was completed by his son Jahangir in 1613. Jahangir made many modification in the original plan of the building. This tomb is divided into four square parts. This structure has a perfect blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain motifs. The blending is much like Deen-e-Ilahi, a new religion started by Akbar. Some of its design features are similar to the design of the Taj Mahal built later in Agra. 

Sikandra, Sikandra in Agra
Architecture of the Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra
The Akbar's tomb is in a pyramid shape and consist of five storeys. The building is unique in its departure from Islamic architectural tradition, for it has no domed roof. The tomb is situated in the middle of a vast forty acre garden with trees planted in the turf and is protected by a wall with four monumental gates having three-storey-minarets at the four corners. These minarets are built in red sandstone with stunning inlay work of marble. This tomb has a large arched entrance and green lawns, on which deer can be seen grazing. The entrance is decorated with marble inlay work around the arch, and the inner surface of the dome of the tomb is decorated with images of flowers, geometric designs and Islamic calligraphy. This huge entrance leads to the great garden enclosure. The walled garden enclosure is laid out in the Char Bagh style with the mausoleum at the center. The entrance leads up to an open four-storeyed structure with a white marble cenotaph at the top. Bold floral mosaics made of marble or red sandstone appear on the south gateways of Sikandra. They are nearly equivalent in effect to Pietra Dura, though not identical. On the top of the tomb is an open courtyard surrounded by a marble screen enclosing the tomb itself. 
 
  Akbar's Tomb, Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra The five-storey tomb can be approached by a broad paved entrance. 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. The cloisters are divided by the numerous bays by massive piers and arches. A vestibule, which has been ornamented very profusely with exquisite carvings, artistic paintings and inlay work in geometric and floral designs occupies the centre of the southern side. The tombstone of Akbar is placed in the middle of this room. 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 a unique composition. The Third and Fourth storeys are smaller in size than the ones below it.
They have an identical arrangement of arches supported on pillars and chhatris attached on the exterior to each facade. The fifth storey is entirely in white marble as against the lower storeys, which are finished in red stone. 
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Taj Mahal
Agra Fort
Sikandra
Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb
Fatehpur Sikri

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