Akbar’s Tomb - Architecture
Akbar built many monuments in his life time mainly in Delhi and Agra. Besides this he also built a city called Fatehpur Sikri which he later abandoned due to scarcity of water. Akbar built forts, palaces and his tomb. The construction of tomb is based on Hindu, Islamic, Buddhist, and Jain rchitecture. The tomb has domes, balconies, windows with jalis and other structures which depicts Hindu architecture.
Design of Akbar’s Tomb
Akbar’s tomb is a five storey monument which is built in the shape of a pyramid. The main mausoleum was built in the shape of a square. Tourists can enter the tomb through a huge gate which is similar to the Buland Darwaza in Fatehpur Sikri. There is a garden at the entrance which is divided into four portions.
The tomb is situated in the middle of the garden which is divided into four parts. The garden is surrounded by walls on all sides and there is a main gateway through which people can enter the tomb. Each part of the garden has a water channel and has a terrace. There are also footpaths on the side of each quarter.
There are four minarets built on the southern gate and Akbar got this idea from the char minar when he came to Deccan in 1599. There are three storeys in each minaret which are built with marble.
There are four gateways in the tomb but now only southern gate is used to enter. The rest three are built only for decoration and were not used as gateway. This gate was built by using red sandstone and many designs were inlaid using marble.
The roof of the gateway has four kiosks. The magnificence of the gateway is inspired by the Buland Darwaza which was constructed in Fatehpur Sikri. The gateways are raised at a good height from the garden and staircases are there to approach the gateways.
First Floor or Ground Floor
The first floor has cloisters on four sides having arches. There is a hall which has many carvings, paintings and other geometrical structures. The tombstone of Akbar lies in this hall and along with this the tombstones of Shakrul Nisha and Aram Bano is also there. These two ladies were the daughters of Akbar.
The second floor is in the form of a square and is smaller than the first floor. It has a chhatri of eight pillars supported by eight octagonal pillars on each corner. The diameter of each chhatri is 5.18m. There are 23 bays on each arched verandah situated on each side. Third floor is also supported by these bays.
The third floor is smaller than the second floor and is in a form of square and each side measures 31.62m. There are four chhatris, one on each side having the same dimensions as that of the second floor. The cupolas of the chhatris have blue, green, and yellow tiles. The edges of the floor have railings in which jalis are fixed. The jalis have various geometrical designs like star, swastika, triangular and many others.
The fourth floor is square in shape whose one side measures 27.16m. This floor is smaller than the third floor and has arches with pillar support and chhatris on each side. There is one secret storey on this floor where people can go only through a ladder and enter through a narrow opening. In the secret storey, there are five corridors from east to west and five from north to south which cut each other at right angles. Brick masonry is used to make the tombstone which is at the center.
Fifth floor is the smallest and is built by using marble. The side of the square-shaped central court has the dimensions of 21.34m. There are dalans or cloisters on all the four sides of the floor. Each dalan measures 27.16 x 2.74m.