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General view of Akbar's Tomb from the top of the entrance gateway, Sikandra, Agra.

General view of Akbar's Tomb from the top of the entrance gateway, Sikandra, Agra.

Photographer: Caney, W.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(647)

Item number: 1003647

Genre: Photograph

This view shows the mausoleum of the Mughal emperor Akbar in Sikandra outside Agra, taken from the top of the main gateway to the south. Akbar was crowned the third emperor of the Mughal dynasty in 1556, aged 14. He started to build his tomb before his death in 1605, however it was completed by his son, Jahangir in 1612. A broad paved causeway leads from the southern gateway to the tomb, which has five storeys and is a blend of Islamic and local architectural styles. The tomb itself lies at the centre of a square garden, divided into four parts by similar causeways with a gateway at the far end of each. This layout is a Persian form and is known as the 'chahar bagh' or 'four gardens' layout. At the centre of each walkway is a sunken channel originally filled with flowing water. The use of the 'chahar bagh' plan makes allegorical reference to the gardens and four rivers of Paradise promised as a reward in the afterlife to the faithful Muslim in the Qur'an.

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