Sikandara Fort

Mukesh Srivastava

Joined February 2009

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Sikandra, located only 13 km. from the Agra Fort is the last resting place of the Mughal emperor Akbar. Akbar was the greatest of the Mughal emperors and one of the most secular minded royalties of his time. He was the heir to a long tradition of oriental refinement, a great patron of the arts, literature, philosophy and science. A visit to Akbar’s monument opens before one, the completeness of Akbar’s personality as completely as the Taj Mahal does of Mumtaz Mahal’s. Akbar’s vast, beautifully carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. Akbar’s son Jahangir completed the construction of this pyramidal tomb in 1613.
The tomb stands in the center of a vast garden, which is enclosed by high walls on all sides. In the middles of each enclosing wall is a monumental gateway. The whole garden is divided into four equal quarters on the conventional charbhag plan. Each quarter is separated by a high terrace or raised path with a narrow shallow water channel running at the center. Each terrace has in the center, a tank with fountains. A broad paved causeway leads to the tomb, which has five storeys and is in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The main tomb has a unique square design which is unparalleled by all other Mughal buildings.

Akbar started building his own mausoleum, near Agra, that was to be a perfect blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist and Jain designs and motifs, bespeaking of his religious tolerance and secular views. However, he could not complete it and died. Thus, his son Jehangir completed his tomb, popularly known as Sikandra after Sikandra Lodi, who established the community where Akbar’s Tomb is located. However, Jehangir made quite a number of alterations in the original plan, in keeping with the development of Mughal art and architecture. The tomb has three-storeyed red sandstone minarets displaying wondrous inlay work of marble on the four corners of the building. ‘Langurs’, black-faced monkeys have found a safe haven in the beautiful gardens surrounding the mausoleum and often stray to the walkways too.

One can see the Baradi palace in the gardens built by Sikander Lodhi. The tomb building is shaped like a truncated pyramid and has five storeys while the main tomb has a distinct square design. There are spacious cloisters on the ground floor. An elaborately decorated vestibule occupies the centre of the southern side, highlighted by exquisite carvings, artistic paintings and inlay work in geometric and floral designs enshrining the tombstone of Akbar. Other tombs on this floor belong to Shakrul Nisha Begum and Aram Bano, the daughters of Akbar. The ornamental arch and square pillar on the second storey looks unique. The third and fourth storeys also have identical arrangement of arches supported on pillars and chhatris adorning the façades. All the storeys are built in red stone except the fifth one, which is entirely in white marble.

it is an Indian Heritage monument and maintained by Archeological Survey of India.

Artwork Comments

  • Naveen  Sharma
  • Scott  d'Almeida
  • Indrani Ghose
  • Dr. Harmeet Singh
  • EarthGipsy
  • Kamaljeet Kaur
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