Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Having been the capital of the Mughal Empire for long years, the city of Agra is full of architectural edifices that glorify the beauty of the place. It started with a small garden on the banks of the Yamuna River and went on till the construction of the masterpiece, Taj Mahal. Mughal Emperors adorned Agra with a number of forts and mausoleums that make the city one of the most attractive tourist destinations in India. While the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal acquired worldly importance, there is one monument that could not gain the level of importance it deserves. It is the Mausoleum of Itmad Ud-Daulah.
Built between 1622 to 1628, the tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah rests on the left bank of the Yamuna River. The Queen of Jahangir, Begum Noor Jahan ordered the construction of the tomb as a memorial to her father Mir Ghiyas Beg, also the Chief Minister in the court of Jahangir. Later, many of her relatives were buried inside the mausoleum. Spreading across 50 meters in area, the Tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah holds special importance in the chronicles of history. It was the first tomb in India to be made entirely out of marble.
The marble structure and intricate Islamic architecture of the tomb makes it popular as the precursor of the Taj Mahal. The mausoleum is set up in the centre of a large garden with water courses and walkways that criss-cross each other. The walls of the tomb are embellished with semi-precious stones like jasper and topaz carved in the form of trees and wine bottles. Marble Jali screens have been diligently placed for the light to pass in. The tomb looks like a “jewel box” placed in a garden when looked upon from a bird’s view.
The exquisite architectural work of the tomb is strikingly similar to that of Taj Mahal which is why the tomb is quite often addressed as “Baby Taj Mahal” or the draft of Taj Mahal. The tomb is like a precious object preserved in the middle of a garden. The splendid grandeur of this monument is amazingly bewitching. So the next time you plan on visiting Taj Mahal, don’t forget to visit this Mini Taj Mahal too!
Timings: 6 am- 5.30 pm
Indians – Rs.10 (Adults); Free for children below the age of 15
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