Baby Taj, Agra
Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as 'jewel box', sometimes called the Baby Taj, the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah is often regarded as a "draft" of the Taj Mahal.
Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. The mausoleum itself is set on a base about 50 meters square and about 1 meter high. The mausoleum is about 23 meters square. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about 13 meters tall.
The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations - cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx, and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light to the interior passes through delicate jali screens of intricately carved white marble.
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 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
This exquisite marble tomb was made by Emperor Jehangir's queen, Nurjahan, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg during 1622 - 1628 A.D.
The first example of a tomb built on a riverbank in India.The marble inlay work or pietra dura style was first used in India at Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb and later in the Taj Mahal. The inlaid designs on the wall of the tomb include flowers, trees, fruit, animals and birds as well as wine jars and even people, which is surprising since Islam does not permit the use of human images as decorative forms.
The richness and variety of artwork on the walls of the tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah's are truly breathtaking and well worth seeing when you travel to Agra.
Open : Sunrise to sunset. Entry Fee Rs 110
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!!!
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 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.
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
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.
Exquisite perforated screens made up of complex ornamental patterns are set into the walls of the tomb. These are made from single slabs of marble and allow the cool breezes and light to penetrate inner chambers and passages.
Centred in the tomb chamber are yellow marble caskets of Empress Nur Jehan’s Mother (Asmat Begum) and father which sit side by side. Compared to the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort, this monument was surprisingly lacking in tourists… which was nice for a change.
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
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 Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah follows a typical Mughal period mausoleum design. It is a square structure placed at the centre of a garden in a charbagh layout, i.e. a square garden divided into four landscaped quadrants separated by paved paths with water channels running through their centre. At the end of each path is a red sandstone monumental gate structure with a high central pointed arch flanked by stacked arches. The gates vary only slightly in design, but all four are of the same size and contain similar geometric and floral designs created using white marble inlaid into the red sandstone of the façade. The east gate is the actual entrance into the mausoleum grounds, but the other three simply provide symmetry. The west gate provides panoramic views over the River Yamuna.
This small tomb, across the Yamuna river from the town of Agra, and its more famous monuments. It is often called 'the Baby Taj', and likened to a jewel box.
The tomb, was built in the 1620s, for the father of Jahangir's wife (and grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal). and illustrates a progression from earlier Mughal mausoleums, built from red sandstone with marble decorations, (such as as Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Akbar's tomb in Sikandra) – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most fully realized in the Tāj Mahal.
As with all of these tombs, the symmetry of the gardens and outbuildings is of key importance, as are the criss-crossing watercourses, which signify the Persian origins of the designers and their clients.
It costs 110 rupees for foreigners to enter (but can be visited with the 520 rupee ticket good for Sikandra, the Red Fort and Fatehpur Sikri)