Itimad-ud-Daula’s Tomb garden


Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a “jewel box”, sometimes called the “Baby Tāj”, the tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah is often regarded as a draft of the Tāj Mahal. Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens.

The mausoleum was commissioned by Nūr Jahān, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of I’timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state).

The tomb situated on the eastern bank of Yamuna River, stands in the center of a charbagh, a four-quartered garden, with the usual enclosing walls and side buildings. The main gate is on the eastern side, ornamental gateways are built in the middle of the northern and southern sides. A multi-storey open pleasure pavilion is on the western side, overlooking the river.

Shallow water channels, sunk in the middle of the raised stone pathways, with intermittent tanks and cascades, divide the garden in four equal quarters; they are slightly raised from the parterres which could be converted to flower beds.

Space for large plants and trees was reserved just adjoining the enclosing walls, leaving the mausoleum fully open to view.

The main tomb of white marble is marvellously set in the center of the garden. It stands on the plinth of the red stone having in the middle of each side facing the central arch, a lotus tank with the fountain.

The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents a transition between the first phase of monumental Mughal architecture – primarily built from red sandstone with marble decorations, as in Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and Akbar’s tomb in Sikandra – to its second phase, based on white marble and pietra dura inlay, most elegantly realized in the Tāj Mahal.




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