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Tomb of Akbar the Great
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe history of the Mughal Empire has always fascinated historians and amateurs from all over the world. Their long, powerful reign in the Indian sub-continent can be considered as one of the most important times in India’s history.
The Mughals were not only warriors as they were also equally adept in art and cultural forms. The Indian classical music, which rooted from a very early age, also took a major shape during the Mughal rein when the famous Tansen was the court composer for the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Moreover, the vast knowledge of the Mughals on Persian art and architecture has rendered some of the greatest architectural marvels that we flock to see today.
The stunning Taj Mahal in Agra – one of the Seven Wonders of the World has baffled many architects for decades for its intricate construction and still draws millions of people from all over the world.
Of all the rulers that ruled the Mughal Empire the rule of Emperor Akbar (1542 – 1605) can be considered as a major landmark in the Mughal reign. Akbar ascended the throne in troubled times, after the death of his father, the former Emperor Humayun. He was just 14 years of age when he took over the responsibility and his efforts and vision made the Mughal Empire an epitome of culture and development of an organized society.
HistoryIn 1605, Akbar was stuck with dysentery which became the cause for his untimely death. He probably became clear about the fact that his sun is going to set, which led him to build his own mausoleum in a location called Sikandra near Agra. Unfortunately, Akbar could not complete the entire work and his son, the next emperor of the Mughal throne - Emperor Jahangir completed the work to make it the final resting place for the greatest emperor of the Mughal rule.
ArchitectureCompared to the architectural supremacy that the Mughals had shown in the number of buildings erected during their rule, the mausoleum of Akbar lacks coherence. The main reason is that the architects involved in the construction consciously tried to deviate from the conventional form of the Mughals' architectural style and tried something new. However, due to lack of planning and vision, the building did not match the quality of what the Mughals were famous for. Moreover, according to history the construction which was made by Akbar was partly demolished by Jahangir as he built it on his own idea and the sharp contrast of both the architectural forms are clearly visible in the structure of this historic place.
This red sandstone mausoleum of Akbar stands amidst a lush garden, enclosed between the high walls that demarcates the region from its surroundings. The structure of the tomb is strategically placed in the middle of the enclosure. Surrounding the mausoleum are four gates, each strategically placed in the center of the walls, at the four ends of the premise. Of all the four gates, three of them are false entries as they were added only to bring symmetry to the entire architectural form. The southern gate acts as the main entrance to the tomb, which is designed with intricate ornamental carvings and have four minarets at each corner of the building.
The building of the tomb is three storeys high and it resembles to that of a pyramid. The ground section of the building is extended by a vast terrace. According to the Mughals' traditions, the actual tomb of Akbar was placed deep below the ground and what is seen on the top is a false tomb with the 99 names of Allah inscribed on its surface.
LocationThe tomb of Emperor Akbar at Sikandra is located around 8 kilometers from Agra City.
How to ReachYou can hire local taxis or autos to reach Sikandra from the Agra city. Also you can opt for a private car for hire.
Where to StayBeing in close proximity to Agra City, it is better to live in Agra and make your plan from there to reach this destination.
Best Time to VisitThe best time to visit would be from October till March as the weather remains cool in northern India during this part of the year.
Entry Fee and Visiting HoursThe tomb of Akbar remains open from 6 AM until 6 PM. As a foreigner, you need to pay $ 2.00 USD to enter the mausoleum. However if you have purchased the convoluted ADA ticket for ₨ 500 ($8.00), you do not need to pay extra for visiting this historic site.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Feb 23, 2015