Thursday 6 September 2012

Sikandra, Akbar's Mausoleum

Sikandra is the place where Akbar is buried. Akbar was a great and most successful emperor among all the Mughal kings.

Akbar was raised in the rugged country of Afghanistan rather than amongst the splendor of the Delhi court. He spent his youth learning to hunt, run, and fight and never found time to read or write. He was the only great Mughal ruler who was illiterate. Despite this, he had a great desire for knowledge. This led him not only to maintain an extensive library but also to learn. Akbar had his books read out to him by his courtiers. Therefore, even though unable to read, Akbar was as knowledgeable as the most learned of scholars.

Akbar came to throne in 1556, after the death of his father, Humayun. At that time, Akbar was only 13 years old. Akbar was the only Mughal king to ascend to the throne without the customary war of succession; as his brother Muhammad Hakim was too feeble to offer any resistance.

During the first five years of his rule, Akbar was assisted and advised by Bahram Khan in running the affairs of the country. Bahram Khan was, however, removed and for a few years Akbar ruled under the influence of his nurse Maham Anga. After 1562, Akbar freed himself from external influences and ruled supreme.

Akbar was a great patron of architecture, art, and literature. His court was rich in culture as well as wealth. In fact, his court was so splendid that the British monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, once even sent out her ambassador, Sir Thomas Roe, to meet the king! Many of Akbar's buildings still survive, including the Red Fort at Agra, and the city of Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra, which has a 10-km long wall encircling it.

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