The tomb of Akbar has four gateways facing four different directions, with southern gateway as the main entrance and other three built just for the ornamental purposes. The northern gateway was struck by lightning some years ago and is in ruins now. It was built in red sandstone and was decorated using mosaic and stuccowork, inlaying and painting. The eastern and the western gateways are almost identical in their construction. Both of them are multi-storeyed and have a central iwan (portal) flanked by wings on the sides. These gateways sport two beautiful kiosks onn the top and two miniature chhatris on the turrets. They are also adorned with beautiful carvings, stucco, inlay and mosaic work.
However, it is the southern gateway or the main entrance of the tomb,
which is the most magnificent one. This double-storeyed gateway has a
central archway with wings on the side having two arched recesses one
over the other. The arched roof crowns the central iwan. Like all the
other gateways, it is also built in red sandstone but has richer
ornamentation work on it. Inlay and arabesque work in white marble lend
a unique grand look to this gateway. Four white marble minarets on the
four corners of the southern gateway lend it a royal look. All of these
minarets are built in four tiers that diminish in diameter to the top
and are crowned by chhatri.
Find some interesting information on the Gateways of Akbar's tomb at Sikandra.