Bishwa Nath Singh
The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is widely known as the first of its kind to be built in marble in Agra of India This mausoleum is home to the tomb of Ghiyas Beg (Itimad-Ud-Daulah) who had died in 1622 A.D. The inlaid wonderful work along with intricate carvings on marble by Nurjahan have been the special features of this mausoleum which best describes it as a forerunner of the Taj Mahal The intricate carvings on the wall of the tomb include flowers, trees, fruit, animals and birds as well as wine jars and even people hold it in thrill with reverence.
(Photo of the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah located at Agra in India)
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Bishwa Nath Singh:
The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah is widely known as the first of its kind to be built in marble in Agra of India This mausoleum is home to the tomb of Mirza Ghiyas Beg who was later known as Itimad-ud-Daulah. This enchanting piece of architec...ture is said to be the forerunner of the Taj Mahal. Many of the patterns and designs of the mausoleum are said to be used while constructing the Taj Mahal. The tomb marks a break with the style of Mughal architecture. Its purely white ornate carvings adhere to the Islamic style of architecture. The story of Itimad-Ud-Daulah is the saga of a poor merchant from Persia, named Ghiyas-Ud-din or Ghiyas Beg, who later rose to prominence as the Chief Minister of Emperor Jehangir’s court and received the title Itimad-Ud-Daulah. He was the father of Nur Jahan who was married to Emperor Jehangir. When Ghiyas Beg (Itimad-Ud-Daulah) died in 1622, Nur Jahan undertook the project to build his mausoleum. The mortal remains of Itimad-Ud-Daulah was laid to rest in a tomb that had semblance to a large jewel box set in a garden. The first tomb in India built entirely in white marble, is a nonesuch of the glorious pietra dura decoration depicting cypresses, wine glasses, and an amazing variety of geometrical arabesque. Tall minarets rise at the four corners of the small tomb structureThe tomb of Itimad-ud- Daulah resembles a silver jewel box in marble. Mirza Ghiyas Beg or Itimad-ud- Daulah was the lord treasurer in the court of Jahangir. It was after his daughter Nur Jahan married Jahangir that Mirza Ghiyas Beg was made the lord treasurer of Jahangir's empire. Nur Jahan had developed a coterie of men around her. She had assumed responsibility in the court. The network of loyal men helped to strengthen her position in administrative affairs. Nur Jahan took advantage of the intoxication and extravagance of the aged king and she gradually became more powerful. Mirza Ghiyas Beg played a significant role in the Nur Jahan Junta as the treasurer. Mirza Ghiyas Beg was a poor merchant who lived in Persia. He was the trusted treasurer in Akbar's court. He rose to become the chief minister during Jahangir's reign. He was given the epithet Itimad-ud-Daula, or the pillar of the state. His daughter Meherun-nisa was a peerless beauty. She later came to be known as Nur Jahan. The Mughal emperor Jahangir was enslaved by her beauty. Nur Jahan played a significant role in Jahangir's court with her father's support. When Itimad-ud-Daulah died in 1622, Nur Jahan decided to build a mausoleum in the loving memory of her father. Itimad-ud-Daulah was buried in a tomb that resembles a jewel box and set in a garden. This p4eaceful and serene garden located on the banks of the Yamuna was to be a precursor to the Taj Mahal built later extensively. The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah marked a significant departure from the Mughal style of architecture. It best exemplifies Islamic style of architecture. It is one of the first tombs to be built in marble. Built on the banks of River Yamuna, the designs and patterns of the mausoleum were later used in building the Taj Mahal. The Tomb has a Central Asian dome structure. The waterways and paths are laid out in a geometrical pattern- a feature also found in the Taj Mahal. Its paved pathways are flanked by lush green gardens. Inlaid semi-precious stones in pietra dura style were first used in the construction of the tomb, which is later used in the design of the Taj. The intricate carvings on the wall of the tomb include flowers, trees, fruit, animals and birds as well as wine jars and even people. The jali screens set in arched recesses and the four small minarets rise at the four corners of the small tomb structure are splendid. Due to the intricate carvings on the marble and marble screen work its gives an impression of a majestic and gallant object. The inlaid pietra-dura work along with intricate carvings on marble are the special features of this mausoleum which best describes it as a forerunner of the Taj. The intricate carvings on the wall of the tomb include flowers, trees, fruit, animals and birds as well as wine jars and even people will hold people in thrall. The city of Agra is a museum showcasing the architectural legacies of the Mughals. One of such architectural wonders is the Itimad-ud-Daulah’s tomb- considered by many as the model on which Shahjahan based his Taj Mahal. The tomb is a significant detour from the conventional tombs built by the Mughals. The pure white and elaborately carved tomb is a perfect embodiment of the Islamic style of architecture. Arched entrances, octagonal shaped towers, exquisitely carved floral patterns, intricate marble-screen work and inlay work – all add up to make it an elegant work in its own right. The tomb is marked by the presence of a closed kiosk on top instead of a dome, and the use of small domed canopies, supported by pillars atop the four towers.Let us join to visit it and enjoy its sight-seeing and pay our reverence to the mausoleum!