Tomb of Akbar

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Weather:

Ideal Time: 1-2 hrs

Timings:

Sunrise to Sunset,
Closed on Fridays

Entry Fee:

Development Authority: INR 5,
Citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries: INR 25,
Toll Tax by Agra Development Authority: INR 10,
Other foreigners: INR 110,
Children (up to 15 years): Free
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Tomb of Akbar, Agra Overview

The final resting place of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar, Tomb of Akbar is an important architectural masterpiece of the Mughal era. Located in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, the tomb is believed to have been built between 1605 and 1618. Although the tomb is the place where one of the greatest emperors of India is buried, the Mughal gardens around it present a beautiful and cheerful facade. Built entirely out of sandstone and white marble, Emperor Akbar himself oversaw the construction of this tomb until his death. However, the construction of Akbar's Tomb was completed by his son Salim. Unlike the other tombs of famous Muslim kings around the world, the Tomb of Akbar faces towards the rising sun instead of Masjid of Mecca

The tomb is situated in Sikandra, the outskirts of Agra and spreads over an area of 119 acres. The main tomb is surrounded by a beautiful garden that was designed by Akbar himself. His wife's (Mariam-uz-Zamani Begam) tomb is also located in Sikandra about a kilometre away from Akbar's Tomb. The main structure of the tomb is built out of sandstone and a portion is made from marble. Following Tartary traditions, that state that one must see-through the construction of one's tomb themselves, Akbar lived through the construction of his tomb and built a beautiful garden around it. 

More on Tomb of Akbar


The site for the tomb was selected by Akbar, and most of the construction happened during his lifespan. After his death his son Salim, also known as Jahangir, decided to add another storey made of marble at the top of the structure, thereby seeing through the end of the construction for his father's tomb.

During the rule of Akbar's great-grandson Aurangzeb, the tomb suffered a lot of losses. Being an oppressive and strict ruler, Aurangzeb had offended a lot of Hindus but destroying their temples and belittling their religion. This resulted in a revolt headed by the Jats who attacked the Agra Fort. In order to offend Aurangzeb more, they looted Akbar's tomb and walked away with precious silver jewellery, gold ornaments, diamonds, and carpets and damaged the property. They even burned the bones of Akbar and cremated them, which is unacceptable in Islam. All of these retaliations were carried out under Raja Ram Jat in order to avenge his father's death.

The Architecture of the Akbar's Tomb is an epitome of Mughal style. The architecture is a mixture of Hindu Rajputana design and gothic Mughal style. It has the standard feature of symmetry like other monuments of this era. The tomb is surrounded by a wall which encloses the entire property. There are four gates. The southern gate is the largest one with four marble chhatri-topped minarets which are very similar to those of Taj Mahal's. This gate is the normal point of entry. The shape of the tomb is pyramidal and has four storeys and a marble pavilion, which contains the false tomb. The true tomb is in the basement.

The ground floor is surrounded by walkways all around except at the centre of the southern side, which is the way that leads in from the main gate. These arcades are divided by huge arches and piers that divided the walkways into many bays. The next three storeys are square with arcades and clusters of kiosks on each side. In the second storey, some of the kiosks have marble roofs in pyramidal shapes. The rest of the kiosks are crowned by cupolas. Every end of the third storey has a small square shaped room.

The top storey that is, the pavilion is made entirely of white marble. It has an open-to-the-sky square court. Slender arches and piers have enclosed the central courtyard, dividing it into many bays. A square platform lies at the centre of the courtyard over which the false tomb is laid out, made of marble. The tomb had floral patterns and arabesque beautifully carved on to it.

The building is constructed mainly from a deep red sandstone, enriched with features in white marble. Black slate and various decorated inlaid panels adorn the entire structure including the main gatehouse. The panel designs are geometric with floral patterns and calligraphy.

1. The foreigners who purchase the Agra Development Authority toll ticket of INR 500 for Taj Mahal, do not need to purchase any other toll ticket if they visit Akbar's Tomb on the same day.
2. There are a lot of monkeys at this place, so take care of your belongings.

The tomb of Akbar is located on the Mathura Road at NH-2 and lies around 8 km from the city centre. The easiest way to get to Akbar's tomb is by hiring a cab or an auto rickshaw from any part of the city. 

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