city of Agra is a museum showcasing the architectural legacies of the
Mughals. One of such achitectural wonders is the Itimad-ud-Daulah's tomb-
considered by many as the model on which Shahjahan based his Taj Mahal. The
tomb is a significant detour from the conventional tombs built by the
On its Architecture
The pure white and elaborately carved tomb is a perfect embodiment of the
Islamic style of architecture. Arched entrances, octagonal shaped towers,
exquisitely carved floral patterns, intricate marble-screen work and inlay
work - all add up to make it an elegant work in its own right. The tomb is
marked by the presence of a closed kiosk on top instead of a dome, and the
use of small domed canopies, supported by pillars atop the four towers.
The story of Itimad-Ud-Daulah is the saga of a poor merchant from Persia,
named Ghiyas-Ud-din or Ghiyas Beg, who later rose to prominence as the Chief
Minister of Emperor Jehangir's court and received the title
Itimad-Ud-Daulah. He was the father of Nur Jahan who was married to Emperor
Jehangir. When Ghiyas Beg (Itimad-Ud-Daulah) died in 1622, Nur Jahan
undertook the project to build his mausoleum. The mortal remains of
Itimad-Ud-Daulah was laid to rest in a tomb that had semblance to a large
jewel box set in a garden. The first tomb in India built entirely in white
marble, is a nonesuch of the glorious pietra dura decoration depicting
cypresses, wine glasses, and an amazing variety of geometrical arabesque.
Tall minarets rise at the four corners of the small tomb structure.
Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
How to Reach :
Agra has excellent airlinks with Delhi, Khajuraho
and Varanasi. There is also a good rail and bus network connecting it with
major Indian cities. For visiting the tomb you can hire taxi, tempo,
auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw from anywhere in Agra. Prepaid taxis and
autos from the railway station are available. You can also hire bicycles on
an hourly basis from different parts of the city.
Indian Citizens :
Staying facilities in Agra are quite
comfortable. Apart from hotels, there's the UPSTDC's tourist complex, Taj
Khema near the Taj Mahal. It offers accommodation in tents and deluxe rooms.
There's a UPSTDC Tourist Bungalow too.