Sikandra In Agra
Four kilometers from Agra is the mausoleum of Akbar known as Sikandra. Construction of this beautiful monument was started by Akbar himself. This structure is a perfect blend of Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist, Jain motifs. But Akbar died before his mausoleum could be completed and his son Jehangir completed it. Jehangir made many modifications in the original plan of the building of Sikandra. The structure gives an excellent idea as to how the Mughal art was developing. From the Humayun's tomb in Delhi to Akbar's Tomb in Sikandra finally to the Taj Mahal.
Architecture of Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra
Sikandra is named after Sikander Lodhi. The tomb has three-storey-minarets on its four corners. These minarets are built in red sandstone with stunning inlay work of marble. And of course langur monkeys wait on the walkways to be fed. The mausoleum is surrounded by a beautiful garden. The Baradi palace in the gardens was built by Sikander Lodhi. On the road from Sikandra to Agra are several tombs and two 'Kos Minars' or mile stones.
Sikandra - The Mausoleum
A broad paved causeaway leads to the tomb, which has five storeys and is in the shape of a truncated pyramid. The main tomb has a unique square design which is unparalleled by all other Mughal buildings.
The ground floor has spacious cloisters on all the four sides except in the middle of the southern side. The cloisters are divided by the numerous bays by massive piers and arches. Each bay measures 22 feet square. A vestibule, which has been ornamented very profusely with exquisite carvings, occupies the centre of the southern side, aritstic paintings and inlay work in geometric and floral designs. the tombstone of Akbar is placed in the middle of this room. Akbar's daughters, Shakrul Nisha Begum and Aram Bano are also entombed in this floor.
Akbar's Tomb, SikandraThe second storey at Sikandra has an arcaded verandah on each side, which is composed of 23 bays. The use of an ornamental arch and square pillar has brought about a unique composition.
Third And Fourth Storeys
These storeys are smaller in size than the ones below it. They have an identical arrangement of arches supported on pillars and chhatris attached on the exterior to each facade.
The fifth storey at Sikandra is entirely in white marble as against the lower storeys, which are finished in red stone.
Timings & Entry Fees
Timings: It is open on all Days. Entry ticket cost is different for Indians and Foreigners.
Entry Fee: For Foreigners fee is Rs 245/- and for Indians fee is Rs 10/-
How to reach Agra Fort
By Air: One can easily reach Agra by air. Agra is connected to all the major cities of India through air ways. The 'Kheria' airport is only 6km away from the city center.
By Rail: There are excellent train services from New Delhi. Shatabdi Express, Taj Express and Inter-city Express from Delhi. Other Mail and Express trains are also available from other states. Agra's railway station is Agra Cantonment.
By Road: Many National Highways connect Agra to all major Indian cities. Express and A/C bus services are available from Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, Gualior and Jhansi. 'Idgah' is the main bus terminal in Agra.