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Itmad Ud Daulah
Itmad-Ud-Daulah – Tomb, India
It is located on the Yamuna river’s left bank
Year of Construction:
1622 - 1628
Twenty three square meters
It is famously known as ‘Jewel Box’ or ‘Baby Taj’
Itmad-Ud-Daulah- Tomb is a very beautiful tomb in the U P state and belongs to the Jahangir age and consists of Asmat Begum & Mirza Ghiyas cenotaphs who were the parents of the most beautiful and powerful Mughal Empress Queen Nur jahan who was the queen of Jahangir. This is a very famous tourist spot and many tourists come here in many numbers everyday throughout the year to have a look at the wonderful and famous Itmad-Ud-Daulah-Tomb. This tomb has a great significance and hence many tourists come year on year to have a look at this amazingly constructed tomb in the memory of Mirza Ghiyas. This tomb is of great historic importance and hence is considered as one of the most prominent tourist attraction.
Construction – Itmad-Ud-Daulah- Tomb
The Itmad-Ud-Daulah- Tomb which is in the city of Agra, in the Uttar Pradesh state is a white Mausoleum and the tomb is considered as the Taj Mahal’s draft. Apart from this there are also many gardens and buildings. It took 6 years to build the tomb and serves as a transition monumental’s first phase of the Mughal architecture which was built and decorated with marbles and constructed with red sandstone like the one of Akbar’s Tomb at Sikandra & Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi to the second phase, which was made up of pietra dura inlay & white marble.
Jahangir’s wife Mumtaz commissioned the mausoleum for Mirza Ghiyas Beg who was her father and was in exile, was given title of I’timad-ud-Daulah.
The Great History
There is a very interesting history behind the building of the great Itmad-Ud-Daulah- Tomb. Ghiyas Beg also known as Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din later famously known as Itmad-Ud-Daulah was living in Persia (now known as Iran). He was very poor and one day when he was on his business tour to India, his wife delivered a baby girl. As they were very poor and were starving for food they abandoned the child but her innocent cries melted their hearts and they took her back with them. And this baby turned out to be very lucky for them as Ghiyas Beg came across a caravan which gave him way straight to Akbar, the great Mughal Emperor’s court. In the mean while Ghiyas Beg became a minister and a treasurer who was reliable in the court of Akbar. After the death of Akbar in the year 1605, Jahangir his son went on to be the Mughal Emperor. He went on to make Ghiyas Beg as his Wazir or chief minister. He was also bestowed with the title as the pillar of the state or Itmad-Ud-Daulah.
Ghiya Beg’s daughter Mehr-un-Nissa meaning sun of womankind grew up and was very beautiful the popularity of her beauty spread everywhere. She got married but her husband died and very soon she became a widow. She came back to her father who was working at Jahangir’s court. She gained a lot of popularity in his court and was named as Nur Mahal meaning light of palace and later on named as Nur Jahan meaning light of world. After the death of Ghiyas Beg in the year 1622 Nur Jahan took up the project of building his mausoleum. Later her husband’s tomb was built in a similar way in Lahore. Nur Jahan’s neice (brother’s daughter) got married to Shahjahan, the son of Jahangir. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal and it was in his wife’s memory that Emperor Shahjahan had built the Taj Mahal which is not only famous but is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Ghiya Beg’s tomb in which he was buried resembled a jewel box and was like a set in the garden. This small and peaceful garden which is situated on the banks of river Yamuna led to the inspiration of construction of Taj Mahal in later years. It was said to be India’s first tomb which was built with white marble entirely. The tomb has gained popularity for its glorious stone inlay decoration which is so amazingly done showing the wind glasses, cypresses and range of geometrical arabesque. The net screens in the archs are just too good and are awesome to see. There are four small minarets at four corners of the tomb structure. The structure as a whole shows an impression as if it is a huge enlarged object which is very precious. The work on the tomb is very beautifully done and people just get mesmerized by the sight of it and the white shining marble just can’t miss an eyeball which has got loads and loads of appreciation to this good work.
The white marble tomb of Ghiya Beg’s is purely built according to the Islamic style, like the entrances which have an arch, the minarets or towers which are octagon in shape, a delicate screen like with very delicate work on it and the inlay work representing the Islamic type of architecture. This is the first tomb which is built on the banks of a river.
Rules and Regulations
The tourism department is very particular about maintaining the beauty of the Tomb and hence has laid certain rules & regulations for the tourists to follow so as to maintain the beauty of the Tomb. Few of the rules which you are asked to follow are:
- Damaging the Tomb by writing or scribbling is not allowed.
- Spitting is not allowed.
- Eating inside the tomb is not allowed.
- You are supposed to keep the surrounding neat and clean by not littering the place.
- Every tourist has to abide by the laws.
How to reach Itmad-Ud-Daulah-Tomb
You can reach Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb by air as the airport is very nearby to this place hence the ease in reaching and it is also faster means of transport.
You can also reach this place by railways as the place is well connected to the railway station as well. One can board the train to Agra Cantonment in order to reach this city. You can also get prepaid taxis and autos from the station.
You can alternately reach this place by taxi or cycle rickshaw or auto or tempo. Even bicycles are hired per hour basis to commute in this place. But, the prepaid autos or taxis are the most sought after ones as they prove to be reasonable.
In all the city is well connected to all the modes of transport and hence you never face any problem in terms of commuting.
October to March - the Best time to visit:
The tomb is so good that you can visit this place at anytime as the beauty of the shinning glossy marble is not dependent on the weather conditions it continues to spread its beauty in all seasons. But, the rainy season would spoil the trip as you will not be able to go out and the summers are too hot to bear the heat and so the best time to visit is from the months of October to March as the weather is pleasant and you will enjoy your trip for sure.
Tourist spots nearby to Itmad-Ud-Daulah-Tomb
What to talk about the beauty of Taj Mahal, it is world famous and people from all over the world come here to have a look at the beautiful Taj Mahal which was built by the Mughal Emperor in honor of his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal and depicts about their everlasting love which existed between them. Built beautifully on the banks of the river Yamuna speaks a lot about the beauty of Taj Mahal. This is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The Taj Mahal’s beauty is at its peak during the dawn and the dusk where the Mahal just shines very brightly catching the attention of the people and hence mesmerizing the viewers with its beauty.
The Agra Fort or Lal Qila is a monument which is just 4.7kms away from the tomb. The fort was built using red sandstone by Akbar when he was the king in the year 1654. This was considered as both for point of military strategic and also royal residence. There were many more added later on Shah Jahan and Jahangir the Mughal Emperors.
The Jahangir Mahal was built by Akbar for his son Jahangir and this is situated very nearby to the Amar Singh Gate. The outer walls are well decorated and this is built with stones. The highlight of the building is its ornamental stone brackets. The huge bowl which is made up of stone and which is placed in the front might have been used to contain the rose water. The ornamental Persian verses which are carved on the exterior of the rim is said to have been constructed in 1611 A.D.
Allama Afzal Khan Mullah’s mausoleum is called Chini-ka-Rauza. He was not only a poet and a great scholar but was also Shah Jahan, the Mughal Emperor’s Prime Minister. This is the first in India to have the Indo-Persian kind of architecture and it has been decorated by exclusively using the glazed tile work. The feature that distinguishes the tomb is the colorful tiles that are used to decorate it, hence giving it a wonderful look. The tomb has got its name from these tiles. It is rectangle in shape and is made up of brown stone.
Another attraction is the museum which the tourists like a lot. There are two museums which are very famous and are worth seeing and they are The Taj Museum & Spiritual Museum. The Spiritual Museum built recently highlights more on the tradition, culture and history of the city. This museum has many ancient specimens, historical relics and artifacts.
This is one of the most sought after destinations by tourists in Agra and is in the same area of Taj Mahal. This museum came up in 1982 and has many drawings, gems and precious stones which are worth seeing. It is worth visiting this place.
Taj Mahal Garden
This is one of the Islamic types of architecture and stands for spirituality. After the entrance gate you will be led by a wonderful garden which is spread on an area of 300m by 300m out of an area of total of 580m by 300m. There are 64 flower beds in total which had about 400 plants per flower bed. All these trees be it the fruit trees, which signifies life or the cypress which signifies death were planted to as to maintain the symmetry.
Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
The Keoladeo Ghana National Park or the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is just 55 kms from Agra and in the year 1985 got recognition as the World Heritage Site. This is probably the only one where the maharaja’s have created the habitat. Earlier the floods used to lash the Bharatpur town, later in the year 1760 a dam was constructed for safety purpose. This Sanctuary is very famous and is worth seeing and is a famous tourist spot. The tourists can visit this place at anytime but the best time to go there is winter. One can find birds of around 380 species like the Pipits, Larks, Buntings, Flycatchers, Wheatears, Warblers, Wagtails, Stints, Shanks, Hawks, Eagles, Ducks, Geese, Pelicans, Cranes, etc.
Mankamehswar Mandir is Lord Shiva’s temple and the shivalinga has silver metal covering and has many idols of Lord Shiva. And one strictly has to follow the ritual of the temple and hence should not wear salwaar suits, pants, leather items or pyjamas but should be dressed only in sari & dhoti. Another place worth visiting is the Mehtab Bagh which means the Moon Light Garden and very near to the Itmad-Ud-Daulah Tomb and was once known for the shaded pavilions, reflecting pools, fountain jets and sweet smelling flowers. And also the St. George’s Church which is very beautiful is worth visiting, there are many worshippers and tourists who come here every year. The other religious places which is nearby and is worth seeing are The Bageshwarnath Temple, Jain Muni Samadhi and Mankameshwar Mandir.
Year of Construction: 1622
Completed In: 1628
Time Taken: 6 years
Built By: Nur Jahan
Dedicated to : Nur Jahan’s father Mirza Ghiyas Beg
Location : In the Uttar Pradesh state in the city of Agra, India
Building Type : Islamic Tomb
Architecture: Islamic type of architecture.
Highlights : Highlight of the building is its ornamental stone brackets.
Fee : For Indian citizens Rs. 5/ per person ( ASI ) & Rs. 10/ Toll tax per person ( Agra Development Authority) for others US $ 2, Free entry on Fridays, ADA’s Rs. 500/ ticket for monuments of Itmad-ud-daulah, Fatehpur Sikri, Sikandara, Akbar’s Tomb and Agra Fort. Free entry for children of 15 years and below.
Timings : It is open from dawn to dusk
- Nur Jahan was from a very poor family & her parents literary starved before she was born but her birth gave good luck to her father and he got entry into the court of Akbar.
- She was very beautiful and her beauty spread everywhere and she got married early in life but soon became a widow. Later after she returned back to her father she joined the court and the Mughal Emperor, Akbar’s son Jahangir fell in love with her and married her.
- She went on to become a very prominent and powerful personality and she built the famous Itmad-Ud-Daulah-Tomb in honor of her father and this tomb is very popular.
- This is built in the Islamic style and has wonderful delicate carvings on this.
- The ornamental stone brackets are the highlights of the place and one will just get carried away with the glossy marble with which the tomb is made.
- The Tomb is as beautiful as the Taj Mahal itself and hence it is also called as ‘Baby Taj’.
- The mosaics, gilding, inlays are very impressive and one just can’t stop appreciating the beauty and the interest with which it is very delicately done.
You can also go in for the packages which they organize for the convenience of the people and hence the benefit of doing the booking through the packages is that you have a guide who will take you through the tour and will not only show you the places in and around the tomb but also will tell you in detail about the history, the existence, the importance, highlights of the place. And also you feel that this is very organized and structured very well as they cover all of the important places which are of historic importance.