Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Baby Taj - the tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah, Agra

In the case of Indian cities, Delhi, Agra and near-by Fatehpur Sikiri are well known for impressive structures built in Indo- Mogul architectural style  because way back in the past centuries ago, they were seats of power and influence. Among the Mogul  buildings of grandeur and beauty, no other structures  have gained as much  importance as those of the Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, the Taj and others. There are countless historical Muslim buildings across India that are impressive and amazingly artstic. They are not well-known as those in and around Delhi. Gol Gumbaz - the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah of Bijapur and Bibi Ka Maqbara - mausoleum of Emperor Aurangzeb's wife, Dilras Banu Begum of Aurangabad are simple and unique and are not as popular as those in the Delhi region. Surprisingly, there is a Mogul monument in Agra itself that has not been given due attention that it deserves. It is the Mausoleum of Itmad Ud-Daulah that needs better  treatment and publicity. 

Agra: - a Prototype for Taj MahalTripAdvisor

In the chronicles of Mogul history, it was the first tomb in India to be made entirely  of marble. 

Agra:Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah: Baby TajTripAdvisor
Agra: Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah: Baby Taj TripAdviso

Built on the left bank of the Yamuna River between 1622 to 1628, the tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah was commissioned by Queen of Jahangir, Begum Noor Jahan. It waa a memorial to her father Mir Ghiyas Beg, also the Chief Minister in the court of Jahangir. Later, many of her relatives were buried inside the mausoleum. Spreading across 50 meters in area, the tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah looks like a jewel box
surrounded by a lush green garden, when it is looked down from way up. Earlier, ordinary stones were used for building mausoleums. For example  red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and Akbar's tomb in Sikandra need to be mentioned here.

Located in the middle of a lush garden with water ways, walkways, architecturally it is similar to the Taj and one may call it a  precursor  to the Taj Mahal. Amazingly, the tomb walls  are embellished with semi-precious stones like jasper and topaz. These stones are beautifully shaped like  trees and wine bottles. Marble Jali screens  are deligently  fixed in such a way, inside the tomb we get enough light.

In terms of design and  architectural work, the tomb seems to resemble Taj Mahal, hence it is referred to as “Baby Taj Mahal” or the draft of Taj Mahal.

tombs. Baby Taj,tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah,Agra.alamy.com

tombs. Baby Taj,tomb of Itmad Ud-Daulah,Agra alamy.com

Tit-Bits:

01. Begum Noor Jehan also built the tomb for Jehangir at Lahore. 

02. Noor Jehan's mother was also buried here. 

03. Unlike, the Taj or any other Mausoleums, non- muslims are not allowed inside the tomb. Here, the tomb is open to  public.

04.Inside the tomb, unlike other tombs, it is fairly well-lit because of the location of jali screen - windows at vantage points. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_I%27tim%C4%81d-ud-Daulah