Close view of corner minaret on the southern gateway to Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of a corner minaret of the southern gateway to Akbar's tomb at Sikandra, Uttar Pradesh, taken by an unknown photographer in around the 1880s. 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 (1556-1605) he encouraged a synthesis of Hindu and Islamic artistic traditions and his tomb may be seen as a culmination of this syle although the building remained unfinished at his death and was completed by the Emperor Jahangir.