Tomb of Akbar – The Greatest of Mughal Dynasty

Tomb of Akbar – The Greatest of Mughal Dynasty

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Tomb of Akbar, the greatest emperor of the Mughal dynasty is located in Sikandra, Agra. The construction of Tomb of Akbar began 1 year before his death in 1604 and the construction of Akbar’s tomb was completed by his son Emperor Jahangir in 1613. Emperor Akbar himself chose his burial place and ordered the construction of the tomb.

Tomb of Akbar or Akbar’s tomb is built in an approximate area of 119 acres. The tomb of Mariam Uz Zamani (Jahangir’s mother) is merely 1.5 km away from Akbar’s tomb.

History:

Jalal Uddin Mohammad famously called Akbar is considered to be the greatest Mughal Emperor. The was the first Mughal emperor who tried for the harmonious coexistence of different religions of the country. Emperor Akbar’s reign ranges from the years 1556 to 1605.

Emperor Akbar died of dysentery in the year 1605. But 1 year before his death he had already chosen the site of his burial and ordered the construction of his tomb.

Tartary tradition allowed people to construct their own tomb while they were still alive; Emperor Akbar following this tradition and chose his burial place. He decided that after he died he would be buried at the site in Sikandara (a suburb of Agra U.P.) which is now called Tomb of Akbar / Akbar’s Tomb.

The construction of the ‘Tomb of Akbar’ was completed in the year 1613 by Akbar’s son Emperor Jahangir. The tomb of Akbar is a beautiful 5 storey structure that is primarily made from red sandstone.

Akbar’s Tomb – Architecture:

Tomb of Akbar stands on a platform made of stone. The building mostly reflects Islamic and Persian architectural style. The tomb almost looks like a shortened pyramid (four tired pyramid). The entrance of the monument is beautiful; it is adorned with excellent patterns and gorgeous calligraphy resembling Islamic and Persian styles. Unlike most of the tombs, the Tomb of Akbar does not have a dome which reflects a hint of local architectural style.

The South gate of Akbar’s tomb is the largest, the entry from there leads through beautiful gardens. The entrance is adorned with calligraphy, floral and geometrical establishments. Tomb of Akbar is surrounded by four minarets topped with chhatris made of white marble. This is the main entrance to the tomb.

There are several cubicles in the tomb; some of these have pyramid-like tops while others have cupolas. On the third storey of the building, a square room is present in each segment. Slender arches and piers with beautiful marble screen walls encircle the open square court which is on the top storey of the building.

The false cenotaph lies at the center of the courtyard; it is decorated with beautiful floral patterns. Topmost storey of the building is built using white marble. The actual cenotaph and grave of the emperor lie in the basement, in a chamber made of stone, the vestibule adorned with arabesque, floresque and calligraphical styles bring one to the Akbar’s grave. The entrance of the memorial is roofed with stunning stucco paintings. The monument also houses graves of Akbar’s daughters (Shukru-n-Nisa and Aram Banu), daughter of Aurangzeb (Zebu-n-Nisa) and son of Shah Alam (Sulaiman Shikoh) in different chambers of the monument.

Inside Picture of Tomb of Akbar
Source

When the Tomb of Akbar was in despair:

Tomb of Akbar has suffered the hatred of Jat community in the past. During the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb, under Raja  Ram Jat ’s leadership, Jats stood against Aurangzeb. They defeated Mughal forces and took over the control of Agra Fort.  The Jats attacked and destroyed Akbar’s Tomb partially. They looted the precious things like jewels, gold, silver, carpets from the tomb. In order to take revenge of the death of his father, Raja Ram Jat opened the grave of Akbar and dragged out his bones. Angry Aurangzeb captured and killed Raja Ram Jat mercilessly after this incident.

The tomb of Akbar remained in bad shape until then Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon ordered intensive repair of the monument. 

Wanderer’s comment:

Agra, the erstwhile Mughal capital has quite a lot of interesting Mughal monuments; one of those is the tomb of Mughal emperor Akbar the great. 

As of Today, the tomb of the greatest Mughal emperor looks bright and beautiful.  The tomb located in the Suburbs of Agra is a quite well-maintained monument. The tomb of his favorite wife Mariam Uz Zamani, famously called Jodha is situated in the close vicinity.  Once you are done exploring this mausoleum, you should definitely go ahead and explore the Tomb of Mariam Uz Zamani which is situated at a distance of 1.5 km from here. 

On your visit to Agra do visit this monument and do not forget to tell us what you think of it.

References:

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