Six miles north of Agra, is a glorious introduction to the city
of Mughal wonders, Sikandra. The site of Akbar's mausoleum, Sikandra
was begun by Akbar and completed by his son Jahangir in 1613 AD.
It reflects the fusion of Hindu and Muslim art and architecture
which characterised the era. The tomb is situated in the centre
of a large garden and four identical red sandstone gates lead
to the tomb complex. The building, with three-storey minarets
at each corner, is built of red sandstone with white marble polygonal
patterns inlaid. Sikandra is named after Sikandra Lodi, the Delhi
ruler who was in power from 1488 to 1517.
This magnificent fortified ghost city was the capital of the
Mughal emperor Akbar between 1571 and 1585. The downfall of this
once magnificent capital of the Mughals started with the rise
of the Jats when Emperor Aurangazeb left this place never to return
again. The credit for preserving the ancient monuments situated
here goes to Lord Curzon. Since then , these protected monuments
and the environs of the city have been well maintained by the
Archaeological Survey of India. The city is rectangular in shape
with nine huge gates - Delhi Darwaza, Lal Darwaza, Agra Gate,
Suraj and Chandra Darwaza, Tehra Gate and Ajmeri Darwaza.
of Jodha Bai
North-east of the mosque is the ticket office and entrance to
the old city. The first building inside the gate is a palace,
commonly but wrongly ascribed to Jodh Bai, Jahangir's Hindu mother
and daughter of the maharaja of Amber. The architecture is a blend
of style with Hindu columns and Muslim cupols. The Hawa Mahal
(Palace of winds) is a projecting room whose walls are made entirely
of stone lattice work.
Panch Mahal, a five storey structure is an architectural marvel.
It was Akbar's personal citadel for pleasure and relaxation. Each
storey is pillared and is smaller than the other. The buildings
resembles a Buddhist temple. It tapers from the ground floor with
84 columns to its domed top supported by only four columns.
The Buland Darwaja
The Buland Darwaja or the gate of victory, was built by Akbar
in 1601 in commemoration of his victory over Khandesh and Ahmednagar
in Southern India. Marble and sandstone have been freely used in
the construction of this structure. Various other buildings situated
here are all worth a visit not only for their historical importance,
but also for the fine architectural work of the Mughal period.
House of Birbal
It is double-storeyed building and is believed to be constructed
by Birbal, a famous wit and a close associate of Akbar.
This is a red stone structure which houses the tomb of Sheikh
Islam Khan, The grandson of Sheikh Salim Chisti. Many other tomb
of the descendants of the Sufi saint lie scattered around the