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Tomb of I'timād-ud-Daulah
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThe famous mausoleum of Itmad-ud-Daula is located in the city of Agra, at the bank of the Yamuna River . Often referred as ‘Baby Taj’, this monument has a strong resemblance with the Taj Mahal in terms of its design. The architectural splendor and meticulous work in the body of the building made with precious stones is simply stunning to look out for.
HistoryThis monumental architecture was built to house the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg , who was later known as Itmad-ud-Daula.
Mirza Beg, who was originally from Persia, was a merchant by profession. His meager income and constant struggle to survive against poverty had forced him and his wife to abandon their newborn child. But the constant wailing of the child left Ghiyas Beg with no other alternative, but to pick up the child once again.
However, when Ghiyas Beg got a chance to relocate to India and it was with the help of Malik Masud, a merchant who took the family to the court of the Mughal Empire. During that time, Emperor Akbar was the king of the empire and he subsequently appointed Ghiyas Beg as the treasurer (Diwan) of Kabul, Afghanistan. Ghiyas Beg had left no stone unturned to prove his mettle as a successful treasurer and was later awarded the title, Itmad-ud-daula (Pillar of the State) for his work.
It was believed that the little child whom the family thought to have abandoned bought good omen and was named as Mehrunissa (also known as Nur Jahan). This little child slowly grew up well versed in literature, art and music. Moreover, her stunning beauty attracted King Jahangir (Son of Emperor Akbar) and they got married in 1611.
Nevertheless, after the death of Ghiyas Beg in 1622, his daughter, Nur Jahan, ordered to have a tomb built for her father by the banks of the River Yamuna which has been since known as the tomb of Itmad-ud-daula.
ArchitectureThe construction of this mausoleum started taking shape from 1622-1628 under the supervision of Nur Jahan. The tomb lies in the center of the premise with sprawling gardens around in the form of Charbagh style. The architecture of the tomb conforms to the Islamic pattern. However, the Indo-Islamic form is very much prominent mainly because of the design of the tomb. The arches and the towers show strong inspiration from the Persian architecture and the use of canopies shows the influence of Indian architecture in this famous Mughal edifice.
The actual structure rests over a terrace, made of red sandstone, which is around 3–4 inches in height. Inside the mausoleum lies the tomb of Ghiyas Beg and his consort. There are also supplementary small chambers inside the mausoleum where the other family members of the Beg family were put to rest after their death. On each of the corners of the mausoleum is marked by gorgeously designed hexagonal minarets and all of them are around 43 feet tall.
The white marble of the mausoleum is designed with various decorative works made of precious and semi-precious stones like Topaz, Jasper, Cornelia and Onyx.
LocationThe tomb of Itmad-ud-daula is located in the old city of Agra.
How to ReachThe tomb of Itmad-ud-daula is very well known as a tourist spot. You may hire a Tanga (horse-drawn carriage), taxi or auto from anywhere in Agra to reach this location.
Where to StayThe city of Agra is one of the most important historical locations in India and many tourists visit to see the splendor of the Mughal rule in this city, irrespective of any time of the year. Owing to such a large tourist influx, Agra has a sizable number of accommodations available, from budget hotels to absolutely expensive stays.
Best Time to VisitYou can visit any time of the year. However, the favorable time would be from October till the end of March as the weather remains cool and is pleasant to travel during that time.
Entry and Fee and Visiting HoursThe tomb of Itmad-ud-daula remains open from 6 AM–6 PM. As a foreigner, you need to pay ₨ 110 ($1.76) to visit this mausoleum.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Feb 23, 2015