Baby Taj, Agra
The tomb chamber of the Baby Taj is decorated with painted and gilded stucco and stalactite designs. Pietra Dura panels are inlaid with coloured stones and this was the first time this technique was used so extensively in Mughal architecture.
The Baby Taj was the first tomb in India to be built of marble. The walls of the tomb are of white marble which are adorned with semi-precious stones in the form of pietra dura which is probably why the tomb is given the nickname of the Baby Taj. This construction is thought to have been the inspiration for the Taj Mahal
Compared to others, Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb is small standing at a height of only 21 metres with a base of only 50m square. The tomb itself is only about 23 metres square and is sometimes called the ‘jewel box’.
The Itmad-Ud-Dalah’s Tomb sits across the River Yamuna from the Taj Mahal. The entrance to Utmad-Ud-Daulah’s tomb is a double storied red sandstone structure intricately decorated in white marble. It stands almost taller than the mausoleum itself.
Itimad-ud-Daulah was the Emperor Jahangir's 'secretary of the treasury.' He was also the father of Jahangir's favorite wife, Nur Jahan -- which is how he warranted such a magnificent tomb.
Nur Jahan, in turn, was the mother of Shah Jehan, builder of the Taj Mahal.
The burial chamber and cenotaphs of Itimad and his wife are more easily viewed -- and photographed -- than the chamber and cenotaphs of Shah Jehan and Mumtaz in the Taj.
Everyone we met referred to Itimad-ud-Daulah's Tomb as 'the baby Taj,' a rather condescending reference.
Begun in 1622 -- nine years before the Taj Mahal itself -- the structure influenced the design of the more famous monument. In fact it stands midway between the great Taj and Hanuman's Tomb, in Delhi, which is also cited as an inspiration for the Taj Mahal's architects.
Though it is squat -- nowhere near so graceful as the Taj -- Itimad's Tomb is still a work of great beauty, well worth seeing and exploring.
The tumb of Mirza Ghiyah Beg, an important member of the Akbar court and then was wazir(prime minister) of the Jahangir. The building is rounded by beautiful gardens, close to Yamuna river. it was designed by the Ghiyath's dauhter.
The entry costed last summer 250 RS
Itimad-ub-Daulah's Tomb is the first of the Mughal building at white marble instead red sandstone. All decorated with incredible well taste, marble screens, precious stones, golden ceilings paints. The difference with the other monuments I saw was its little dimensions. It has also a beautiful garden and a red sandstone part with an incredible beautiful view to the river.
This monument was empty of tourists when I went, only two Indian families where there sitting at the grass and had a little time speaking with them.
Is really a must see at Agra.
The entrance is next to a market. Few children came to us to ask us for money. It was really as they have not seen a tourist there.
This monument is also include at the bonus with Taj Mahal, and other 3 monuments, you have to pay 100 R. more.
The tomb of Itimad-ud-daulah preceeded the Taj and is oten referred to as the 'baby Taj'! It is a beautiful place, set out in nice gardens with less of the crowds you get at the Taj. If I had had the time I would have spent all day in that garden!
The official name of the site is the Itamaid-ud-Daulah, the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his wife Asmat Begum
the site is open from sunrise to sunset and entrance costs 110 rupees
the charge for camcorders is 25 rupees
there is no charge for still cameras
you must remove your shoes to enter the tomb, or wear shoe covers, a tip of 20 rupees for the shoe keeper is expected
This monument was built earlier than the Taj Mahal. It is build also with marble and inlaid stones. The building was so beautiful, that Shah Jahan decided to build the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in a similar way, But of course that had to be much bigger and even more beautiful!!!
The central tomb chamber has two tombs which are made from yellow marble. The ceiling features painted, stucco and gilded stalactite patterns.
There are niches and panels of painted floral vases and bouquets along with designs of wine decanters and fruit, and cypresses, all exquisite in their detail.
Beautiful inlaid panels of geometric and floral motifs adorn every inch of the outer walls of both floors of the building.
The gardens are enclosed within the walls and network across the property. They are interrupted with water courses and walkways.