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Akbar's Tomb

Akbar’s Tomb (Sikandra Tomb) is one of not to be missed attractions on Agra sightseeing tours in India. It is a beautiful tomb monument situated in approx. 119 acres of grounds in Sikandra, an important suburb of Agra city in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a tomb of the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, and regarded as an important Mughal architectural masterpiece. This beautiful mausoleum monument was constructed in 1605 - 1613 by his son prince Salim later called Jahangir. The planning of the tomb and site for the tomb was made by Akbar himself. After his death, his son Salim (Jahangir) completed the construction.

The architecture of the Akbar’s Tomb is magnificent and appealing. It is considered to be as very important Mughal architectural masterpiece because of its beauty and decoration work. The largest gate to the tomb complex is the South Gate with four beautiful white marble chhatri topped minarets. Minarets are similar to those of the Taj Mahal. The South Gate is the main and normal entry point to the tomb. The entire tomb complex is ornamented in beautiful geometrical, floral and calligraphic designs.

Akbar was the Mughal emperor from 1556 till his death in 1605. According to the tradition of Tartary, one could construct his own tomb during his lifetime. This custom was religiously followed by the Mughals. Akbar had chosen a suitable site at Sikandra, an area close to Agra city named after Sikandar Lodhi. His son Jehangir completed the monument after Akbar's death, building the topmost storey using white marble.

The tomb, shaped like a truncated pyramid, is a five-storey building resting on a high stone platform. It is located right in the center of a square piece of land with four causeways extending from it in four directions. The magnificent entrance, the fine patterns, the jali work, all are inspired from Islamic style, while the calligraphy and the layout of the garden famously known as Charbagh speaks of the Persian style. The use of canopies, airy pavilions in tiers, and the absence of a dome show influence of the local architecture.

The south gate leads to the Akbar tomb through the garden. Floral and geometrical arabesque embellishments in white decorate the gateway, along with splendidly adorned calligraphy. The corners of the monument are beautified with minarets of white marble. The four causeways and gardens lead to the main tomb. Arcaded verandas with cloisters and several cubicles are there in all the square stories of the tomb. Some of the cubicles in the second storey have pyramidal roofs, while others are adorned with cupolas. In the third storey there is a square room in each segment. The top storey has an open square court encircled with slender arches and piers with delicate marble screens as walls. The false cenotaph of the emperor, adorned with arabesque and floral pattern carvings, is laid on a square platform placed at the center of the courtyard. The entire storey is built of white marble.