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Photographer's Note

One of the lesser-known monuments of Agra, the Tomb of Itimad ud Daulah is sometimes called the 'Baby Taj' because of its resemblance to Agra's most famous monument. However Itmad ud Daulah's Tomb was built before the Taj Mahal. A number of its stylistic features, such as a tomb in white marble surrounded by a formal garden and the use of inlaywork in marble to create floral or geometric designs, inspired similar features of the Taj Mahal.

The tomb is located about 1½ Kilometers from the Taj Mahal. The marble building contains the tombs of Mirza Ghiyas Beg & his wife Asmat Begum. They were the parents of Queen Nur Jahan, the wife of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir (Jahangir was the father of Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal). Mirza Ghiyas Beg rose to the rank of Prime Minister of the Mughal Empire during the reign of Jahangir and was granted the title Itmad-ud-Daulah, which means 'Treasurer of the Empire'.

After Mirza Ghiyas Beg's death in 1622, the Empress Nur Jahan, completed this beautiful mausoleum to house his grave. The tomb had already been planned by her father before his death. Situated on the left bank of river Yamuna, the tomb is only overshadowed by Taj in beauty. This beautiful mausolem was the first one to be built on a riverbank, which was normally used only to build pleasure gardens till then. The marble mausoleum is designed like a silver jewel box with stunning and delicate inlay work. Facing river Yamuna, this quadrangular tomb stretches across 550 sq. feet with four gateways facing the four main directions. It follows the charbagh pattern and is a white marble structure surrounded by green lawns. The tomb is 21 meters high and there are 4 minarets that are 12 meters tall, at each of the 4 corners of the marble platform. A similar pattern is reproduced in the Taj Mahal on a much larger scale. The marble inlay work at the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah, known as pietra dura, depicts a wine flask with snakes in place of handles on the inner walls of the tomb. Marble lattice screens let sunlight into the central chamber containing the tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah.

Pretty much a postcard type of photo, one which I did not think of posting here. But I could not resist sharing this one with you, because of the golden hue the marble mausoleum had taken, as the first rays of the sun piercing the morning mist fell on the white marble.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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