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Itmad-Ud-Daula, Agra Tours

Mirza Ghiyas Beg was the son of Khawaja Muhammad Sharif who was the wazir (Prime Minister) of Khurasan and then of Yazd under the Safawid Emperors of Persia. After the death of his father, Mirza Ghiyas came to India and was introduced to Akbar who enrolled him in the imperial service. Mirza was an able man and rose high by the sheer dint of his merit. On Jahangir's succession in 1605 he became Wazir and received the title of Itmad-ud-Daula (Pillar of Government). Jahangir fell in love with his daughter Mehrunnissa, better known as Nurjahan, and married her in 1611. It was Nur Jahan who built the tomb for her father in 1628 AD, 6 years after his death.

Entrance

A sandstone pathway leads to the main tomb which stands on a low platform (4m high and 45m square). The tomb is in the centre of a Charbagh, the four-quartered garden, measuring 540 ft and enclosed on all sides by high walls.

The Garden Setting

False gateways, which may be appropriately called water-pavilions, have been constructed in the centre of the north and south sides. The west side has in its middles a multi- storeyed and multi-roomed pavilion. It overhangs the river impressively and is so open and abundantly airy that it could have served the purpose of a pleasure-pavilion during the lifetime of Itmad-ud-Daula . These subsidiary structures magnificently flank the central edifice on all sides. Theshallow water- channels, which originally took water from two overhead tanks situated on the riverside, run on all sides of the garden and around the mausoleum.

The Main TombItmad Ud Daula Tomb Garden, Agra Vacations

The main gateway, and also the side pavilions, are constructed of red sandstone, with inlaid designs in white marble. The main tomb is of white marble but it stands on a plinth of red sandstone, having in the centre, of each side opposite the central arch, a tank with a fountain. The tomb is square in plan, with octagonal towers attached to the corners. The towers attain a circular form above the terrace and are surmounted by circular chhatris. Each façade of the tomb is composed of three arches, the central one providing the entrance, the other two on the sides being closed with beautiful trellis screens. Each side is protected above by a chhjja and a perforated balustrade. The jalies have been carved very delicately and appear more to be made of ivory rather than of white marble.

The Interior of the Tomb

The interior is composed of a central mortuary hall housing the cenotaphs of Nur Jahan's mother Asmat Begum and father Itmad-ud-Daula, four oblong rooms on the sides and four square chambers on the corners-all interconnected through common doorways. The corner rooms contain tombstones of some near relations of Nur Jahan including that of her daughter Ladli Begum from her first husband Sher afghan. Marble screens of geometric lattice work permit soft lightning of the inner chamber. Engraved on the walls of the chamber is the recurring theme of a wine flask with snakes as handles.

Ram Bagh

An old beautiful garden lies abut 2 km. Away on north from ltmad-Ud-Dauia's Tomb, was laid out in 1528 A.D. by Babur - the founder of the Mughal Empire in India. Its previous name was Aram Bagh as Babur used it as a cool resort in the summer season. After the death of Babur his dead body was kept here temporarily before sending it to Kabul for a permanent burial. A chan burji was built where the dead body was kept for peace, empress Noor-Jahan named it as Bagh-Noor Afgan, (light sprang ling garden) as it was her favorite resort.