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[Akbar's tomb at Sikandra, viewed from the top of the gateway.]

[Akbar's tomb at Sikandra, viewed from the top of the gateway.]

Photographer: Unknown

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(32)

Item number: 50232

Genre: Photograph

This photograph was taken by an unknown photographer in the 1880s. It shows the view of the Mughal emperor Akbar's tomb and surrounding gardens from the top of the southern gateway. The bottom left hand corner of the print is missing. The tomb of Akbar (r. 1556-1605) is located at Sikandra some distance outside the former Mughal capital of Agra. It is sited at the heart of a four-part garden layout, known as a 'chahar bagh' design, in which four waterways running from central gateways to the tomb at the centre divide the square garden into four parts. The four water channels represent the four rivers of Paradise as described in the Quran, with the heavenly gardens in which the tomb is placed creating fitting surroundings for the last resting place of a famed emperor. The tomb is constructed using a fusion of local trabeate and imported arcuate methods. It comprises a number of tiered pavilions culminating in a white marble edifice at the top which shelters the cenotaph inside from the elements. The actual grave of Akbar is in the crypt deep inside the mausoleum.

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