Continuation from here ...
From Agra Fort, we crossed Yamuna River to visit Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb, another architectural marvel of Agra.
Located some 2 km away at the left bank of the river, the ride to the tomb was quite hellish. The traffic was bad as cars, tourist vans, auto-rickshaws, trishaws, bull carts, all cramped the roads heading to the narrow bridge. Add that with the fogs of fumes, the non-stop honking of the vehicles and a few times, the traffic stood still as the cows crossed the roads #likeaboss. Man, it really tested everybody's patience driving in this part of the city.
the entrance gate
It was totally a contrasting environment as soon as I walked inside the tomb's compound. It was very calm and peaceful as there were not many visitors around.
This tomb is often called the Baby Taj, due to its resemblance to Agra's most famous monument, the Taj Mahal. It was built a few years before the Taj Mahal though. It was commissioned by Nur Jahan, wife of the Emperor Jahangir, for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Itmad-ud-Daulah name came from the title that was bestowed to him, which means pillar of the state. He was also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, whom the Taj Mahal was built for.
So actually, this Baby Taj and the Taj Mahal really has a family connection. Yeay!!
As the baby, it is small in comparison to the Taj, standing at only 21 m and the minaret at each corner rise to 13 m each.
minaret of the tomb
pietra dura on the wall
What makes the tomb extremely attractive is the pietra dura design on its walls. Pietra dura is the term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, semi precious stones to create images. This technique is popular in Europe in the 16th century.
Also seen here is the geometric lattice work to allow natural lightings into the tomb chamber.
More of the pietra dura.
As there weren't many people around, I had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful workmanship without the crowds and noise.
Inside, it's not just Mirza Ghiyas' tomb that rests here. The cenotaph of Asmat Begum, Nur Jahan's mother is also kept here.
Saw this lady outside, not sure whether she was praying or sleeping.
The Yamuna river flowing at the back of the compound didn't really offer a nice view as it was kinda dirty, but still it was interesting to just watch the kids playing along the river.
This Baby Taj definitely can't be compared to the Taj Mahal, but it is definitely stunning on its own.
Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb is open daily.
Visiting hours are from sunrise to sunset.
Entrance fee is Rs110 for foreigners (you get Rs10 discount when presenting ticket for Taj Mahal) and Rs10 for Indians.
OK so I had visited the Baby.. now Imma go visit the Mama!