Sikandra ~ Agra’s Best Kept Secret

Agra – The Ultimate Destination hosting The Taj, man made wonder, The Poetry on The Marble is frequented by millions round the year and is indeed a wonder. The Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri comes next in the itinerary. But Agra is much more beyond Taj and Fort, with lesser known monuments strewn around the town. Sikandra is the most serene and beautiful structure among those.

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When 95 people or even more out of 100 heads to the Taj, few will visit or even aware of its existence.It is located on NH2 just a little bit away from the congested town in a sprawling Mughal Garden. It is the mausoleum of the greatest emperor of the Mughal Dynasty, Akbar.As per family tradition, Akbar himself chose this place for his burial and started building a grand tomb for his final resting place.

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Construction started during Akbar’s reign though completed in 1613 during Jahangir’s reign. It is a fascinating blend Hindu and Islamic architectural styles with a central tomb and four gateways with tall minarets around it. A manicured Mughal style garden with sprawling turf and fountains around it.

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The gateways are amazing with four tall minarets and intricate bold calligraphy and colorful glazed mosaic tiles on its walls. Windows are latticed and a notable feature is the use of both white marble and red sandstone together. It influenced certain features later in the design of Taj. Jahangir augmented the tiles with semi precious stones to embolden its glamor.

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As one moves inside the gateway, gets mesmerized by brilliant colorful stucco art adorned it the walls and the curved ceilings. The assortment of colors and floral designs are a sight to cherish.After crossing the gateways, the actual monument lies in the center and one has to get inside a dark chamber lit by only a oil lamp hanging from the ceiling.hou

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The rear of the mausoleum has beautiful sprawling garden where many antelopes, peacocks and other birds can be spotted. The entire garden is serene and very welcoming. Sikandra, is a splendid piece of architecture situated among serenity away from the mad rush of Taj and is a place to visit once more.

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