Gateway of the Mausoleum of Akbar, Secundra, near Agra. .
Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey, showing the gateway to the mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Akbar (r.1556-1605) at Sikandra which was set in a vast square garden enclosed with high walls. The main gateway is on the south and ornamental false gateways on the other three sides lend symmetry. The monumental gate, of a hybrid style of Persian and Hindu elements, is of red sandstone with beautiful inlay and mosaic patterns of floral and geometric shapes. It has four white marble minarets divided into three storeys by balconies and topped with domed pavilions (the minarets, seen truncated in Impey's picture, were rebuilt in the early 20th century in Lord Curzon's time). This use of multiple minarets to define a structure set a precedent which became a distinctive feature of Mughal architecture by Shah Jahan's period. The north and south faces of the gate have recessed arches within the rectangular frame and calligraphic designs outline the entrance.