Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sikandra Agra, India













The Mughal Emperor Akbar, known as Akbar the Great, ruled an empire that stretched across North India from 1556 to 1605. His reign is considered the pinnacle of Mughal rule in India.

Akbar's tomb is located in the serene ambience of Sikandra 3 km away from Agra. Akbar began building it during his lifetime and his son, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, completed it. Some of its design features are similar to the design of the Taj Mahal built later in Agra. Akbar's tomb at Sikandra has a large arched entrance and green lawns, on which deer can be seen grazing, surround the tomb.

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.


Style of Architecture


The tomb of Akbar, though Islamic in spirit, is a blend of styles. The magnificent entrance, use of exquisite patterns, excellent jali work (intricately perforated decorative stone screens), fine Persian style calligraphy, the charbagh garden layout (four-quartered garden layout, with the main building at the center), etc., are representative of Islamic influence. On the other hand, the absence of a dome, use of chhatris (small domed canopies, supported by pillars), tiers of airy pavilions, etc., reflect a local influence, which are also found in the buildings built by Akbar in Agra Fort and the deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri.

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