Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah in AgraAgra is a land of history itself. It was once the capital of Mughal rulers. Many historic forts, buildings and tombs are built here by various Mughal rulers which are representative of Mughal Architecture. Tomb of I'timad-ud-Daulah is a mausoleum built in Mughal Era in the historic city of Agra. The Tomb resembling Taj Mahal in many ways is often described as a ‘Baby Taj’ or ‘Mini Taj’ or a ‘Jewel Box’. It is also regarded as the basic draft for Taj Mahal.
This mausoleum was constructed by Begum Noor Jahan, the wife and queen of than Emperor Jahangir, in the name of her Father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Mirza Beg was a Persian Amir and was honoured withI’timad-ud-Daulah title, meaning Pillar of the State. He started working in Mughal Darbar as an accountant and later rose to the post of Lord High treasurer. He was the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, queen and wife of Emperor Shah Jahan who later built Taj Mahal.
Situated at the western side of Yamuna River, the mausoleum was built between the years 1622 and 1628. It is set in the Char Bagh, a large cruciform garden that is lined up by water courses and walking alleys in a cris-cross manner. The whole complex consists of main mausoleum, several outbuildings and gardens. The mausoleum is built on a base of fifty square meters and covers an area of 23 square meters.
Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah in Agra ArchitectureThe Mausoleum is broad and squat in appearance and has hexagonal towers in all four corners. It is symmetrical in construction as most of the Islamic structures and has intricate marble inlay work on all four sides. However, the presence of two trees of different size and shape reduces the severity of its symmetry.
There is a red sand stone gateway through which one can enter the tomb complex. The complex is surrounded by walls on all four sides and there is one gateway in the center of every wall, making total of four sandstone gateways. Every wall is intricately decorated with intense inlay work and the main gateway and the wall that faces Yamuna has the most intricate designs carved on them. These designs are carved in a way that they create an illusion of marble jaali, especially at the lower levels. Another striking feature is that there are no inscriptions on any of the gateways. The view from each of the gateway is quite striking and the gateway that faces Yamuna looks like it was built as a place where visitors can relax or sit in tranquility. Its interior has subtle remains of some very badly damaged work.
The white marble for tomb is said to be brought from Rajasthan and each part of it is decorated with semi precious stones such as Lapis Lazuli, Onyx and Topaz. The designs, style and motifs used in this mausoleum are Persian, reflecting the place of origin of Mirza Ghiyas Beg. A striking but recurring theme appears on both exterior as well as interior of the tomb through he use of symbols such as wine cups, flower vases, rose water vessels, fruits and cypress trees. There is also the intricate Jaali work at various spots that is typical in most of the Mughal Architecture. Also the structure represents and architectural transition from the use of red sandstone to white marble.
Begum Noor Jahan’s parents are buried side by side in the central vault of the Mausoleum. There are some other cenotaphs in the different chambers that leads from central chamber. These are believed to be of various relatives of Noor Jahan.
The Tomb of I'timad-ud-Daulah is said to inspire the design of Taj Mahal but is not as famous. There are very less tourist visiting this place in comparison to those that visit Taj Mahal.
The tomb can be visited on any day between 6:00 in the morning and 6:30 in the evening. The entry fee for Indians is Rs 10 per person while for foreigners it is Rs. 110. Entry is free for the children below the age of 15. To reach here an auto or taxi can be hired from the place one is staying.
How to Reach Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah in Agra
To reach this tomb from Agra Cantt railway Station, head towards east side on station road for 97 m and then take 1st left continuing on station road. After driving for 130 m, turn towards right and pass the 1st roundabout. After 160m of distance, turn left towards SH 39. Again turn right after driving for another 650 m, onto SH-39, meanwhile passing Hari Om Tandoor Wala on left side at a distance of 1.1 km. Turn left at Namner Cross so that you stay on SH-39. Pass through the 1st roundabout and drive for another 2.6 km, passing Jeevan Rekha Hospital in between. Then turn left at Goyal Trading Company to Yamuna Kinara Road and drive for 750 m. Continue driving on SH 39 or NH 3 for another 500 m while passing M/S Shanti traders at the left. Then turn right on SH 39 and again turn towards Strand Road. After around 1.2 km, you will reach Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah.