Location of Itmad Ud Daula
Very near to the old city of Agra just around 2 kms from the Ram bagh gardens on the eastern side of the river Yamuna is the famous monument of Itmad ud daula , it’s also just 5 kms from famous Taj Mahal.
How to Reach Itmad Ud Daula
Itmad Ud Daula Tomb can be accessed by car or by the public transport from Agra hotels or the railways stations easily. It is hardly 3 kms far from the Taj Mahal and 2 kms from the Agra fort. You can hire cycle rickshaw or walk up to this place. This monument is open for the tourist from sunrise to sunset.
Who built Itmad Ud Daula?
Noorjahan was a powerful queen and a very beautiful one she had a very intelligent mind under the skin. This beautiful intelligent lady built the monument of Itmad ud daula for her father, later her mother Asmat begum was buried alongside the father.
Itmad Ud Daula the brain child of Noorjahan
Not very far from the Taj Mahal lies a splendid monument which tells a story of a women her love, her passion, this monument is the only one in Agra designed and perfected by none other than the queen herself. Noorjahan the all powerful wife of king Jahangir was born to Mirja Ghiyas beg who hailed from Persia (Iran) he rose to the post of Itmad ud daula (The finance minister) in the royal court of the mughals. Mirza Ghiyas Beg held an office of immense respect and power not only he was father of meherunissa (Noorjahan) he was grandfather of the famous Mumtaj Mahal (the queen for whom the Taj Mahal was built).
Itmad Ud Daula also called Baby Taj why?
The monument itmad ud daula is precursor to the famous Taj Mahal. The monument has been designed as a jewel box, the feminine touch is very evident, Noorjahan envisaged and executed a never before work of art which motivated Sahjahan to make a much bigger structure in memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal. Since the monument depicts similar pietra dura and is made in white marble it being much smaller in size is called Baby Taj or the Bachha Taj.
Architecture of Itmad Ud Daula
Situated on the eastern bank of river Yamuna the monument is based on the char bagh pattern. There are respective four gates pointing to the four directions. The gate towards east is the main entrance gate it bears resemblance to the gate of Akbar’s tomb at Sikandra. The two storied structure has a grand gate with an arch out laid by artwork of marble inlay in the background of red sand stone. The dummy arches on either sides with decorative chatries on the either side lend the gate a very attractive appearance.
As you step in, the monument or the tomb is visible situated right at the centre with red sand stone pathways having a floral fountain moving to all respective four sides. The gardens are a little deeper than the pathways. On the north and the south are the dummy gates made to balance the symmetry.
Itmad Ud Daula Mausoleum plan and design
The central monument rises on a square red sand stone platform, on the extreme corners are the cylindrical two storied towers with chatries (Canopies) on the top. The absence of dome is a conspicuous architectural aspect. In places of a dome is a Rajasthani chattri, the same has been perfected with marble lattice screens in four respective sides. The red sand stone path ways leading to respective four sides have a shallow water channels coupled with abshar (cascade) and fountains on all four sides, The most important aspect of baby Taj is the inlay work depicted on the outer walls and inner arches or the gates of the main monument.
Mural Decorations in the Tomb of Itmad Ud Daula
The inlay work has been finely executed by the deft handed artisans depicting floral and other motifs such as a wine casket and the wine glasses; apart from floral motifs some depiction of birds has also been done. The entrance to the interior grave chamber is from south. The inner chamber has walls plastered with lime and mortar and an extensive paint work has been executed. The grave chamber has a small dome which is painted in excellent geometric pattern, the color still appears quite vibrant. There are two graves of the father of Noorjahan- Mirza Ghyas beg and the mother on the floor of the central chamber, the flooring is displaying the acumen of the marble craftsmen. Underneath the cylindrical towers of five respective sides are four discreet chambers where some more graves belonging to the family of the queen are situated.
On the first floor the short parapet has been executed in white marble lattice, it’s a showdown of the expertise. The western face of the monument is in shape of a multistoried structure. While the storey parallel to the structure was used to enjoy the view of the river yamuna and the cool river breeze the storey underneath was used to tie the boats and to assist in the transportation by the river mode. The structure has the ceiling painted to resemble a Persian carpet, though the same has lost most of its sheen but it still is visible and the fineness in execution is displayed.