- Features: Mughal-style tomb with geometric patterns
- Opening Times: Dawn to dusk, daily
- Best Time to Visit: Mid-October (Urs of Akbar)
- Duration: 30 mins to 1 hr
- Travelled By: Bus
- Cost: Indian/foreigner Rs 10/110
- Address: Sikandra, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
- Type: Shrine
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Located in Sikandra, 8 km (5 miles) from the township of Agra, the outstanding sandstone and marble Tomb of Akbar the Great commemorates the greatest of the Mughal emperors. If you’re planning a visit to this great mausoleum of Akbar, continue reading to find interesting facts about the Tomb, top tips for visiting the attraction, and what you will see when you get there.
Tomb of Akbar the Great Agra
Interesting Facts about the Tomb of Akbar the Great
- Following the Timurid tradition, Akbar the Great had started to build his own tomb at Sikandra but he died during its construction and his son Jahangir completed it in 1613
- The Tomb of Akbar the Great is typical of Persian architecture with geometric patterns and relatively few floral designs
- The best feature of the Tomb is the gateway which features more than 20 panels inlaid with intricate geometric patterning
- The site is built in a perfectly symmetrical complex, with the tomb located in the centre of a vast walled garden
- The tomb that you will see in the chamber is a replica tomb; the original tomb is buried underground and can only be accessed by family members
- In expectation of a donation, the custodian seated inside the tomb chamber makes an “Akbaaarrrr” echo around the chamber
Top Tips for Visiting the Tomb of Akbar the Great
- The upper levels, previously accessible through special permission are now closed due to security reasons. Contact (0562) 264 1230 for permission to go to the tomb terrace
- The tomb is open daily, with free entrance on Friday
- For foreigners, use your Taj ticket on the same day to get Rs 10 discount on your entry ticket to the tomb
- The best time to visit is during the Urs at the Tomb of Akbar the Great held during mid-October
What You Will See at the Tomb of Akbar the Great[singlepic id=715 w=720 h=560 flat=center]
The huge courtyard is entered through the Buland Darwaza, a stunning gateway to the south. This main gateway is a magnificent red sandstone structure with a colossal central arch, finished with an exuberant polychrome mosaic of inlaid white marble, black slate and coloured stone, a forerunner of the pietra dura technique. On each corner are four graceful three-storeyed marble minarets, considered to be the forerunners of those that can be seen at the Taj Mahal in Agra.
The large garden, where monkeys frolic, is a typical charbagh, an enclosed garden divided into four quarters (representing the four quarters of life) by a system of raised walkways, sunken groves and water channels.
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A broad paved path leads to the mausoleum which sits in the centre of the garden. The main tomb is a distinct departure from the conventional domed structure of the tomb of Akbar’s father, Humayun at Delhi. This 22.5-m-high majestic tomb has four storeys, the lowest of which, nearly 100 m sq and 9 m high, contains massive cloisters. The first three storeys consist of red sandstone pavilions. Above them is an exquisite marble-screened terrace enclosing the replica tomb, which is profusely carved with floral and arabesque designs, Chinese cloud patterns and the 99 names of Allah. The entrance on the south side leads to the tomb chamber. Shoes must be removed or cloth overshoes worn. The sepulchre is in the centre of the room, whose velvety darkness is pierced by a single slanting shaft of light from a high window.
Where is the Tomb of Akbar the Great?
The Tomb of Akbar the Great is located in Sikandra, 8 km (5 miles) from the township of Agra.
Buses heading to Mathura from Biili Ghar bus stand go past the mausoleum every 45 mins. Alternatively, you can get an auto rickshaw or hire a private car for the day to take you to the site.
Tell us what you think. Are you planning to visit the Tomb of Akbar the Great? If you’ve been to this attraction before, what did you like about it?
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