Front view of the Mausoleum of Akbar, Secundra. .
Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey, a front view of the mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Akbar at Sikandra near Agra. Akbar died in 1605 but his red sandstone tomb took many years to build, his son Jahangir completed it by about 1614. It is speculated that construction of the tomb may have been in progress when he died. It is square in plan and built in an unusual design of five receding storeys. There are marble-faced chatris (domed pavilions) on each level. The lowest level forms the plinth and is arcaded on all sides, the arcades divided into square bays by massive piers and arches. In the centre of each side of the plinth is a rectangular-framed projecting portal. An inclined passage leads from a vestibule decorated with stucco and paint to the square tomb chamber where Akbar's simple brick and mortar tombstone lies in the centre. The next three storeys are open pillared halls with ornamental arches. The fifth storey, entirely of white marble, has a court open to the sky with Akbar's marble cenotaph. The mausoleum is set in a vast garden enclosure of the char-bagh (four-plot) Persian style, containing water channels, fountains and ponds. The perimeter wall has four portals, the one on the southern side is the main gateway while the others are false gateways added for symmetry.