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The Mausoleum, [Sikandra]

The Mausoleum, [Sikandra]

Photographer: Murray, John

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1855

Shelfmark: Photo 101/(19)

Item number: 10119

Genre: Photograph

Photograph showing the mausoleum of the Mughal Emperor Akbar in Sikandra from the Murray Collection: 'Photographic views in Agra and its vicinity', taken by John Murray in the mid-1850s. Akbar (r.1556-1605) was an energetic and innovative ruler who succeeded in being a significant unifying force in India. His syncretism was reflected in the architecture built during his reign, including his tomb which blends Persian and Hindu elements. Dated inscriptions show that it was completed by Akbar's son Jahangir 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 ground-level storey comprises a set of arched recesses with a tall rectangular central gateway topped by a marble kiosk. The cenotaph sits on the top, fifth storey which is open to the sky, exactly above the grave in the chamber below. It is inscribed with the ninety-nine names of Allah and intricate floral motifs.

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