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Marvelously inlaid gate to tomb of Akbar, Mogul emperor of 16th century, Sikandarah [Sikandra], India

Marvelously inlaid gate to tomb of Akbar, Mogul emperor of 16th century, Sikandarah [Sikandra], India

Photographer: Ricalton, James

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1903

Shelfmark: Photo 181/(69)

Item number: 69

Length: 8.9

Width: 17.8

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Stereoscopic photograph of the gateway to Akbar's Tomb at Sikandra in Uttar Pradesh, taken by James Ricalton in c. 1903, from The Underwood Travel Library: Stereoscopic Views of India. Akbar's tomb was completed by his son Jahangir (r.1605-27) in 1614. It is set in a vast square garden of the char-bagh (four-plot) plan, divided into quarters by red sandstone causeways containing water channels, interspersed with fountains and ponds. The main entrance is on the south while ornamental false gateways on the other three sides lend symmetry. This is a view of the monumental main gateway, built in a hybrid style of Persian and Hindu elements. The red sandstone is inlaid with mosaic patterns of floral and geometric shapes. It has four white marble minarets divided into three storeys by balconies, once topped with domed pavilions. This is one of a series of 100 photographs, designed to be viewed through a special binocular viewer, producing a 3D effect, which were sold together with a book of descriptions and a map. Stereoscopic cameras, those with two lenses and the ability to take two photographs at the same time, were introduced in the mid 19th century and revolutionised photography. They cut down exposure time and thus allowed for some movement in the image without blurring as subjects were not required to sit for long periods to produce sharp results.

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