Thursday, March 17, 2011

Agra (Uttar Pradesh) – Part 3 I’timad and Akbar Tombs

On the opposite bank of the Yamuna to the Red Fort is the tomb of I’timad ud Daulah who was Akbar’s Prime Minister and Mumtaz Begum’s grandfather.

The compound is approached though a traditional sandstone gatehouse.
Built in 1629 the mausoleum is unusual being built of marble in two storeys and with no dome and is adorned with fine geometric patterns.

The main building sits on a red sandstone plinth in the centre of a four-quartered garden. And has a minaret at each corner.

The central chamber has a mix of filigree panels and walls painted with flowers and fruits and a finely decorated ceiling.

The other chambers are similarly but not so grandly decorated.

There is a further unusual feature in the form of a “Pleasure Pavilion” that sits at one end of the compound on the banks of the river.

I’timad photo collection:
More on I’timad:

Some 10 kilometres outside Agra at Sikandra is the tomb of Akbar. Building had commenced in 1600 several years before his death in 1605 and is thought to have finished in 1613.
The compound here has an especially large and grand gatehouse that even has its own four minarets.

The inlaid calligraphy here is in Persian praising Akbar and describing the tomb gardens as a symbol of heavenly paradise on earth.

The tomb sits in a huge square compound laid out in classic four quartered style but had the sense more of a park with the amount of deer, monkeys and other wildlife in evidence.
From the gateway there is a broad paved walkway with water channels leading to the tomb that is unusual being of five storeys and square rather than rectangular. There is no dome but Chhatris at each level giving something of a pyramid effect to the appearance of the building.

The other walls of the compound have large (but unused) gateways of a similar height to the main entrance.

There is an entrance hall that is decorated with floral and geometric patterns together with a band of Persian calligraphy.

From the hallway a narrow corridor runs into the centre of the mausoleum,

The tomb chamber is of paved stone and plain white walls.

Akbar Tomb photo collection:
More on Akbar’s tomb:

No comments:

Post a Comment