Akbar’s Tomb- July 2010


Sorry, no Makhdoom Mondays this week, since I was traveling yesterday. My trip to ATL was wonderful, rejuvenating, and I’m so grateful for my comrades here and there. But now I have a shit ton of work to get to this week, and for the next couple of weeks.

Although nothing can replace Makhdoom, here are some pictures from Akbar’s tomb, outside of Agra. If I was to have a crush on any imperialist ruler, it would be Akbar (after Cleopatra, of course.) He was known to be influenced by many religious traditions, and you can see the impacts of that on the design on his tomb. Its definitely not traditional Mughal architecture.

Okay, this is pretty traditional.


But this is a tunnel you have to walk down to where his actual remains are entombed. It is completely bare with plain white walls. There is an empty, dark, high ceilinged room at the end of the tunnel. Its rounded, no sharp corners. There is a man there reading prayers and ringing a bell periodically. Although I havent been many other tombs, it struck me that the particular place of his tomb is very minimalist and not at all ostentatious.

And here, the arches are pretty common, again, but the stupa-like thing on the corner seems rare. Both the stupa and the minimalism above seem reminiscent of Buddhism, so I wonder if Akbar was particularly influenced by that spiritual tradition. (I am too lazy to look it up. Sorry, Mughal history is not really my thing.)
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