Click here to skip to content

Entrance gatehouse to Akbar's mausoleum, Sikandra

Entrance gatehouse to Akbar's mausoleum, Sikandra


Medium: Watercolour

Date: 1820

Shelfmark: Add.Or.555

Item number: 555

Length: 263

Width: 363

Scale: Millimetres

Genre: Drawing

Watercolour, by an anonymous Indian artist, of the entrance gatehouse to Akbar's mausoleum at Sikandra, dated between 1820-25. The mausoleum is in the background of the image. It is inscribed on the front in Persian characters, 'Naqshah i darwazah i Sikandrah' (Picture of the gate of Sikandrah), and on back in English, '12. The Gateway at Secundra.' The village was named after Sikander Lodi (1489-1517) the king who established his court at nearby Agra in 1504. The mausoleum of the Mughal emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605) is set in a large square garden surrounded by battlemented walls with a red sandstone gateway at the centre of each of the four sides. The main entrance to the mausoleum comprises a high arched gateway flanked by recessed arches and interior chambers. Its surface is inlaid with white marble floral motifs and tessellated coloured stone patterns and has an inscription from the Quran, the Surah-i-Mulk. There are four three-storeyed marble minarets at each corner of the gateway, the first of their kind built in India. The mausoleum itself comprises a series of tiered storeys culminating in a white marble pavilion at the very top. The burial chamber lies deep within the building and on the top floor is a replica tomb, placed exactly above the grave further below, carved from a single block of marble and inscribed with the ninety-nine names of Allah. During Akbar's reign he encouraged a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic artistic traditions and his tomb may be seen as a culmination of this style. The building remained unfinished at his death and was completed by his son Jahangir.

Search within this collection

Elsewhere on our websites


Latest events - register free online

Mobile app

For iPhone, iPad and Android

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Report a Concern

What is the nature of your concern?

Email link to a friend

Write a brief note to accompany the email

Your friend's email address: