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The main entrance to the tomb facade

The Tomb of Akbar the Great is an important Mughal architectural masterpiece, built 1605-1613, set in 48 Ha (119 acres) of grounds in Sikandramarker, a suburb of Agramarker, Uttar Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker.


The third Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great (1542 – 1605), himself commenced its construction in around 1600, according to Tartary tradition to commence the construction of one's tomb during one's lifetime. Akbar himself planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it, after his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605-1613.


It is located at Sikandramarker, in the suburbs of Agra, on the Mathura road (NH2), 8 km WNW of the city center.About 1 km away from the tomb, lies Mariam's Tomb, the tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the mother of Jehangir.


The grounds are a precise 690 m square, aligned with the points of the compass, surrounded by walls, and laid out as a classic charbagh garden style. A gatehouse stands at the center of each wall, and broad paved avenues, laid out in Mughal style with central running water channels representing the four rivers of Paradise, lead from these to the tomb at the center of the square.

The south gate is the largest, with four white marble chhatri-topped minarets which are similar to (and pre-date) those of the Taj Mahalmarker, and is the normal point of entry to the tomb. The tomb itself is surrounded by a walled enclosure 105 m square. The tomb building is a four-tiered pyramid, surmounted by a marble pavilion containing the false tomb. The true tomb, as in other mausoleums, is in the basement.

The buildings are constructed mainly from a deep red sandstone, enriched with features in white marble. Decorated inlaid panels of these materials and a black slate adorn the tomb and the main gatehouse. Panel designs are geometric, floral and calligraphic, and prefigure the more complex and subtle designs later incorporated in Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb.

Architectural details

Akbar grave inside the mausoleum

File:Main entrance of Akbar's Tomb complex from inside.jpg|Main entrance of Akbar's Tomb complex from inside.File:Tomb ceiling detail, Tomb of Akbar the Great, Sikandra, Agra.jpg|Tomb ceiling details, Tomb of Akbar the Great, SikandraImage:LDAkbarTombInlay1.jpg|Inlay panels on the South GateImage:LDAkbarTombInlay2.jpg|Inlay detailFile:Calligraphy over the entrance to the main burial chamber at Akbar's tomb.jpg|Calligraphy over the entrance to the main burial chamber.File:The true tomb of Akbar, at the basement of the tomb, Sikandra.jpg|True tomb of Akbar, at the basement of the tomb.


  1. Remembering the Great Emperor The Hindu, Oct 27, 2003.
  3. Akbar's Tomb
  4. Akbar's Tomb Architecture of Mughal India, Part 1, Volume 4, by Catherine Ella Blanshard Asher. Cambridge University Press, 1992. ISBN 0521267285. p. 107.

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