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Sikandra Architecture

Introduction

Sikandra Architecture The south gate is the largest, with four white marble chattri, topped minarets which are similar to those of the Taj Mahal, 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. It is different in plan from any other Mughal monument, and, contrary, to the usual mohamdan custom, the head of the tomb of Akbar is turned towards the rising sun, and not towards Mecca. The whole structure gives the impression of a noble but incomplete idea; both in it's greatness and it's incompleteness, it is typical of Akbar and his work.

Akbar Tomb Architecture

Akbar tomb at Sikandra is the main tourist attractions. It is artistically designed building whose architecture is well appreciated by visitors. The tomb of Akbar has four gateways facing four directions i.e. North, South, East and West. Here Southern gateway is used as the main entrance for visitors and other three gateways were built just for the ornamental purposes. It means, practically they are not used. The Northern gateway was struck by lightning some years ago and is in ruins now. It was built of red sandstone and was decorated using mosaic and stucco work, inlaying and painting. The eastern and the western gateways are almost identical in their construction. Both of them are multi-storeyed and have a central iwan (portal) flanked by wings on the sides. These gateways sport two beautiful kiosks on the top and two miniature chhatris on the turrets. However, it is the southern gateway or the main entrance of the tomb, which is the most magnificent one. This double-storeyed gateway has a central archway with wings on the side having two arched recesses one over the other. The arched roof crowns the central iwan. Like all the other gateways, it is also built in red sandstone but has richer ornamentation work on it. Inlay and arabesque work in white marble lend a unique grand look to this gateway. Four white marble minarets on the four corners of the southern gateway lend it a royal look. All of these minarets are built in four tiers that diminish in diameter to the top and are crowned by chhatri.

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