The Superstructure [of Akbar's tomb, Sikandra]
Photographer: Murray, John
Medium: Photographic print
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. Dr Murray is sitting in the bottom left in this photograph. Architecture built during the reign of Akbar (r.1556-1605), including his tomb, blends Persian and Hindu elements. Dated inscriptions show that his tomb 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 ontaining 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.