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The eastern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra was, in Mughal days, given over almost completely to gardens: the Ram Bagh, the Zahara Bagh, the Garden of Wazir Khan, and so on. Today, with the alluvial soil of the Yamuna still making the area fertile, this stretch is home mainly to nurseries that produce plants and trees for sale. There are the remains of some Mughal gardens, and there’s the odd old building in between.

Situated on this eastern bank of the Yamuna River is one of most beautiful tombs in India, the Tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah . It is popularly believed to be the “draft” of the Taj Mahal and a perfect example of the Mughal architecture. In the world history, it is described as “Jewel box” and “Baby Taj”.

Less than a hundred metres beyond the tomb, the land slopes away through the riverside gate to the Yamuna below, glittering in the light of the rising sun. This gate is connected to the main tomb by a raised path paved with stone. The gate looks out over the river beyond and (though we can’t find it) has a diminutive exit through which you can actually descend to the river. It’s a red sandstone building, again (like the main gate) all arches and white marble inlay. The sides of the gate are decorated with more inlaid
work in white marble. It looks quite quaint, really: a high wall of red sandstone, divided by strips of marble into arched segments, each segment with its own vase. Some sections have two vases, some three. It looks a little like a medieval advertisement for a Mughal winehouse!

Picture taken early morning when there was still some mist around the river and the tomb.

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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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