Inside Akbar’s Mughal Mausoleum in Agra, India

In India of the late 1500s, Akbar the Great* commissioned three magnificent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture: the walled city of Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, his father Humayun’s tomb in Delhi and finally this, his own tomb in Agra.

Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaThe exterior and interior walls of Akbar’s tomb were intricately covered with designs that, according to Islamic tradition, only used geometric patterns, plant-life motifs and Arabic script.Geometric Islamic pattern on a wall at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaGeometric pattern of niches at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaPainted decorative ceiling at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaThe ceilings were often richly painted over every surface of their complex structure.Painted ceiling at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaPainted walls and ceiling at Akbar's Tomb in Agra, IndiaA few of places were left unadorned and showed off their beautiful bones.Walking through the halls of Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaA tomb within Akbar’s Mausoleum in Agra, India. A tomb in Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaAkbar’s actual tomb is deep inside his Mausoleum, lit by a single lamp.A lantern above the tomb of Akbar at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaThe gardens were quite beautiful with antelope wandering through the grounds. Gardens at at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaAn antelope looks up at us at Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaThis was also where we captured many Indian women who were willing to pose for us.Woman posing in front of Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaWoman posing in front of Akbar's Mausoleum in Agra, IndiaWomen in India: Akbar's tombWomen at Akbar's Tomb in AgraMost of these masterpieces of Mughal architecture in Agra are UNESCO World Heritage sites:

*Note: Two names keep coming up when viewing architectural objects of beauty this area of India: Akbar and Shah Jahan, two of the greatest Mughal Emperors. They were Muslim kings from the Middle East who ruled over an area corresponding to modern-day northern India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh starting in the early 16th century and ending in 1857 when they were deposed by the British Raj.

The empire was founded by Babar, a descendant of Tamerlane (father) and Genghis Khan (mother). Babar’s son won and lost territory, but his grandson Akbar the Great consolidated power. In turn Akbar’s son was problematic but when his grandson, Shah Jahan, came into power he began to build so many monuments (including the masterpiece of architecture, the Taj Mahal) that he bankrupted the empire. After a few more power plays Shah Jahan’s youngest son Aurangzeb, a devout Muslim, rose in the ranks and imprisoned his rather more tolerant father for incompetence and extravagance. This was the beginning of the end which arrived with the British in 1857.

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5 responses to “Inside Akbar’s Mughal Mausoleum in Agra, India

  1. So beautiful – India is! Love the shots of the intricate patterns and the vaults. Some beautiful women too! Nature’s architecture in those horns of the antelope are impressive.

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