Sunday, February 28, 2010
Akbar's Tomb......Bihishtabad (The Heavenly Abode)
The Main Gate to the Tomb
Akbar was the son of Humayan..........and the grandson of Babar, the first of the Mughal rulers to occupy India.
Akbar,who is considered by many to be the greatest of the Mughal emperors in India, took the throne at the age of 13, just after the untimely death of his father, Humayan.
Inlaid Marble of the Main Gate
Thirteen years old and ruler of an empire! In addition, Akbar was also illiterate.....he could not read or write.
Despite his age and illiteracy, Akbar, was a "unifier" of his empire....unlike many other Mughal rulers, he was the most tolerant of the diverse religions that exist in India......he did not attempt to convert his subjects to Islam....so interested was he in learning about the various religions, he surrounded himself with the most learned in the subjects.......he later founded his own religion.....based on a mixture of all of them.....
Close up of a Marble Inlay
He also used marriage as a tool to gain favor in those who would naturally oppose his rule.......in addition to a Muslim wife, he also had a Hindu wife, and a Christian wife ......in all, he was quite a ladies man.......his harem is believed to have been 5000 in number.
He also was a lover of art.........and during his reign, many artists were brought from Persia to create masterpieces in the many buildings and palaces he constructed.
The Ceiling just inside the Main door to the Tomb
One such is the palace of Fatehpur Sikri, on the outskirts of Agra. He designed it to be the capital of his empire, but it was soon abandoned due to the poor water supply. He also had a hand in building the Red Fort at Agra.
The Lamp gifted by Lord Curzon during British Rule
By 1605, Akbar's health was poor, so he began construction of his final resting place outside the city of Agra; a very beautiful garden setting along the Yamuna River. His son Jahangir, completed the tomb in 1612 in the city now known as Sikandar.
I learned about Akbar's life while visiting his tomb....and it is truly the "heavenly abode" that he intended it to be. I strongly suggest that while visiting Agra, you make a stop to visit his final resting place......his tomb is less pretentious than his father's (Humayan) in Delhi.......nevertheless, it is an architecturally magnificent structure.
Regarding Jahangir........he is later to be known as Shahjahan, who constructed another tomb, more well known than his father's.........the Taj Mahal, along the same river.
Close up of the ceiling in an Alcove