Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb

Weather :

Timings : 8:00 AM - 12:00 AM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : Indian Adults: INR 30
SAARC/BIMSTEC Adults: INR 30
Foreign Adults: INR 310
Children (below 15 years): Free

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, Agra Overview

Often referred to as the "Baby Taj Mahal", the tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah is a Mughal mausoleum and often regarded as a copy of the Taj Mahal. This is theĀ first tomb in India made entirely of marble. It is the tomb of Mir Gheyas Beg (later known as Itimad-ud-daulah), who was a minister in the court of Shah Jahan. Visiting Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb is like taking a step back in time into Agra's history.

The tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah marks the transition from the first phase of the Mughal architecture to the second. This was the first structure to make use of pietra dura and the first to be built on the banks of the Yamuna River. It basically consists of Indo-Islamic architecture, with the use of arched entrances and octagonal shaped towers. If you take a bird's eye of Itimad-ud-daulah Tomb, it looks like a jewel box set in a garden. This magnificent mausoleum, built on the banks of Yamuna, was to inspire the construction of one of the wonders of the world "Taj Mahal" in the later years.

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About Itimad-ud-daulah

Mirza Gheyas Beg, who later came to be known as Itimad-ud-daula, was a poor merchant and lived in Persia. He shifted to India in the hope of changing his fortune. While on the way, he was attacked by robbers and was left penniless. At the same time, his pregnant wife gave birth to a baby girl. They did not have enough money to feed her, so they thought of abandoning her, but on the way, they found a caravan. They joined it and reached the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar, where Gheyas became a courtier. The baby girl changed their fate, hence they named her Mehrunnisa, who later became the wife of Emperor Jahangir. The history remembers her by the name of Noor Jahan. She commissioned the construction of Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb, as a tribute to her father.

Architecture of Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb

The architectural design of the tomb represents Persian influences on Islamic style of architecture. The same style then got adopted by many structures in Agra, even the famous Taj Mahal. 

Tomb: The prime element of the tomb, that is the dome is evident of the grand Persian architecture, with pietra dura style of decoration and usage of semi-precious stones. There are motifs of flora, geometric structures, trees along with inlaid stone works throughout the surface and interior of the structure. The tomb is made of white marble and placed on a large red sandstone platform, which can be accessed by four monumental gateways. The inner space of the tomb is divided among 9 Chambers, with the central chamber being the largest of all and accessible only from the southern side. There are cypress tree and other floral decorations on the wall, that give off an essence of the Persian architecture. The origin of lattice jali is from Gujarat and has been used extensively during the Mughal reign. 

Itimad Ud Daulahs Tomb
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Gates: The Eastern gate is the main entrance, the Western a waterfront pavilion and the Southern and Northern to just maintain symmetry. These gates are made with red sandstone and have geometric designs and chine khana designs on white marbles. 

Chattris: The square-shaped tomb has four turrets which are adorned with small domed kiosks known as Chattris. These Chattris, one on each corner rise from an octagonal base. There are jali works from the arched entrance of the tomb to the centre of the mausoleum. 

Garden: The garden around the tomb is square in shape and divided into 4 quadrants, with the tomb in between. The garden includes walkways and water channels. The garden is also symmetrically maintained and each of its quadrants represents each sea of paradise. The garden also comprises of 4 rectangular pools with fountains, which enhances the beauty of the overall area. 

Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah
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Historical Significance

This Mughal mausoleum is the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife Asmat Begum. Also known as Itimad-ud-Daulah, Mirza Ghiyas Beg hailed from Iran and visited the court of Akbar and served as his Lord treasurer. Akbar's son Jahangir married his daughter, Nur Jahan who was famous for her administrative abilities. Her passion for administration and the way she took responsibilities in the court gained the attention of Jahangir.

When Mirza Ghiyas Beg died in 1622 in Agra, a few months after his wife's death, his daughter, Nur Jahan built this marble mausoleum for her parents. The structure of this tomb resembles a jewel box in the midst of a lush green garden and is also the first building finished in white marble significant of the personality of the Iranian buried in it as well as the ornamental character of the builder, Nur Jahan who ruled the Mughal empire for about 16 years thereon. 

Itimad Ud Daulah's TOmb
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Best Time to Visit

The monument remains open from dawn to dusk and one can visit anytime during the day. However, to catch the monument at its best, it is recommended that you pay it a visit during the sunrise when it looks even grander as it basks in the evening sun. Also, Agra has harsh summers, so during the summer, one can avoid visiting during the afternoon time as it can get too humid and uncomfortable. Chances of dehydration is common, so it is not recommended. 

How To Reach Itimad-ud-daulah's Tomb

Itimad-ud-daulah Tomb is located 4 km from Agra Fort and 2 km from Ram Bagh. It is situated on the road going from Agra Fort to the Ram Bagh. The best way to reach the fort is by taking an auto rickshaw from the Auto stand near Agra Fort.

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