Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is a highly ornate structure in Agra and considered to be an imminent precursor of the famous Taj Mahal. It is well-known for delicate artwork with marble lattice screens and fine carvings. The carvings of Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb are said to be even better than that of Taj Mahal. This monument is popularly known as ‘Baby Taj’ as it resembles the Taj Mahal. It is the first tomb to be built on the east bank of River Yamuna and the first Mughal structure made of marble with extensive use of Pietro Dura style of inlay work. Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb resembles a jewel box placed in the centre of a beautiful garden. It is a perfect example of Islamic architecture with waterways and paths laid out in a geometrical pattern and flanked by lush green gardens.
Itimad Ud Daulah's History:
Itimad-ud-Daulah was a Persian noble who visited Akbar's court. Itimad-ud-Daulah story is also as interesting as his tomb. Itimad-ud-Daulah original name was Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din or Ghiyas Beg. He was a poor merchant who lived in Persia and travelled to India for business. On the way his wife gave birth to a baby girl who was named as Mehrunnissa. Ghiyas Beg and his wife wanted to abandon the child due to their pathetic condition but the wails of the baby made them take her with them. Ghiyas Beg was lucky to travel in a caravan which took him straight to Akbar's court and he swiftly worked his way up to become his trusted treasurer. Akbar died in 1605 and Jahangir became the Emperor. He made Ghiyas Beg his Chief Minister. His beautiful daughter Mehrunissa married Jahangir and came to be known as Nur Jahan. She became a powerful personality in Jahangir's court with her father's support. Jahangir honoured Ghiyas Beg with the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah which means ‘Pillar of the State’. Itimad-ud-Daulah died in 1622 and Nur Jahan built a beautiful tomb in the memory of her father. Nur Jahan was a great patron of architecture and the influence of Nur Jahan's Persian heritage on the decorative elements of this tomb is very strong.
Architecture of Itimad Ud Daulah:
The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah architecture is one of the finest example of Islamic architecture. It has beautiful arched entrances, octagonal shaped minarets, exquisitely carved floral patterns and intricate marble screen work. The tomb was built entirely of white marble in the center of a garden. This mausoleum architecture is called Tomb in a Garden. The marble tomb stands majestically on a red sandstone platform. It has four monumental gateways but the main entrance is eastern gate. Each gateway is made of red sandstone with geometric designs. The walls have marble latticework with beautiful geometric design carvings. The main tomb has four turrets which are crowned with small dome shaped cenotaphs. There is an octagonal base in each of the four corners from which the cenotaphs rise. The tomb is geometrically divided into nine chambers. The central chamber has the mortal remains of Itimad-ud-Daulah and his wife Asmat Begum. The garden of the tomb is square shaped and is divided into four parts called Charbagh by water channels. There are four rectangular pools in the garden with fountains.
Features of Itimad Ud Daulah:
Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb has many astonishing features that has made it very popular among tourists. The surface of the tomb is decorated with intricate motifs of geometric structures, flowers and trees. The geometric symmetry is found in all parts of the tomb including the garden. Chine Khana decoration scheme is found in many parts of the gates of Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb. The tomb has unbelievably delicate marble latticework. The cenotaphs and walls contain inscriptions in Persian, the wall inscriptions are from Quran and other holy texts and the cenotaph inscriptions state the name and title of the person. Itimad-ud-Daulah tomb is one of the most beautiful attractions in Agra.
Itimad-Ud-Daulah Tomb Timings:
6 A.M to 6 P.M (open all days)
Itimad-Ud-Daulah Tomb Entry Fee:
- INR 20 per person for Indian nationals
- INR 210 per person for foreigners.