Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, Agra

Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah
Points of Interest & Landmarks • Architectural Buildings
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
5:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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2,355 reviews
Very good

shitiz b
New Delhi, India23 contributions
Dec. 2021
nothing great about it. just that it is very vacant and a place for romantic couples or idle college boys.
Written 7 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Akshay Mehta
New Delhi, India11 contributions
Jan. 2021 • Couples
Nothing much here but monument is clean and well maintained. Do visit here its close to mehtab bagh.
Written 18 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Anuradha Manjul
Lucknow, India367 contributions
Dec. 2020
Ghias Beg, father of Emperor Nur Jahan, was awarded the title of Itimad-ud-Daula or Pillar of the State. On his death Mehr-un-Nissa (or Empress Nur Jahan, 20th and the last and favourite wife of Emperor Jahangir) built a mausoleum for her father on the left bank of the River Yamuna. It is said that the place where the mausoleum stands today was under control of Ghias Beg and there was a garden with Baradari in this location.

The tomb is referred as the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula and it’s not only Ghias Beg (died in 1622) who is buried here but also his wife Asmat Begum (died in 1621). Along with these two one would find graves of some other family members of Nur Jahan. (Some people, even ASI and self-styled guides would inform that there are graves of Nur Jahan’s daughter Ladli Begum and her brother Asaf Khan and his wife Diwanji Begum (parents of Mumtaz Mahal), but many historians point out that this is incorrect- one can find a grave of Ladli Begum in Lahore next to Nur Jehan’s grave (if she is buried there how can Ladli Begum be buried in Agra, Nur Jehan had only one child with the name of Ladli Begum or Mihr-un-nissa Begum who was married to Emperor Jehangir’s son Shahryar and was widowed when she was 22 year old, she spent rest of her life with her mother in Lahore) and Asaf Khan is also buried in Lahore in a tomb close to Nur Jahan and Jahangir’s tombs).

The tomb is under Archaeological Survey of India, Agra Circle and there is entry ticket. The entry ticket can be purchased online or from the counter at the tomb.

It is located in Moti Bagh area of Agra. The tomb has 4 entrances (similar to entrances at most of the Mughal mausoleums). The entry is through the east gate located right next to the main road. Please note that there is no proper dedicated parking space available, one has to park vehicle on both sides of the road, the parking here is on chargeable basis. There is small gate to enter, on the left hand side one would the ticket counter and visitor centre, on the right side are toilets and drinking water facilities.

Walk through the small garden area and reach the East Entrance Gate of the tomb. The main mausoleum is enclosed inside a Persian style wall with gateways at 4 side. The entry is through the east gate. This is not a simple gate but a gateway in red sandstone (similar to the gateways in Sikandara and Taj Mahal) decorated beautifully with marble inlays.

There are 3 more gateways in the around the wall, two of the gateways on the north and south are dummy gateways (don’t open up anywhere, similar to ones in Sikandara). Then there is the western gateway which some refer as the Baradari (but please don’t expect an open or traditional Baradari like one at Amer, Ajmer etc.); this gateway is not square shaped (more on rectangular side) Doorways are of unequal size. It is a red sandstone gateway having 2 levels, inlaid with white marble. It is spacious and interiors are decorated beautifully. One gets a beautiful view of the river Yamuna from this gateway.

The mausoleum is a small 2 storied structure made in marble on a red sandstone platform in the centre of a garden (or char bagh). On each of its 4 corners, there is octagonal minaret or tower each, made in marble and 40 meters in height. They have 3 arched openings on each side. Using eaves or Chajjas, the towers have been divided in 3 sections, the upper section is like a Chattri (open pavilion).

The tomb follows the Hasht-Bihist plan (or the 9 fold plan). The interior of the ground floor of the tomb is divided in 9 bays. A central chamber surrounded by 4 rooms and 4 axial forehalls. In the central chamber (the largest one) one would find the cenotaphs of Ghias Beg and his wife Asmat Begum. There are 7 graves in total (2 in the central chamber, 2 in the right most room and 1 each in other room). According to the Persian tradition the main crypt is underground, then there is cenotaph replica on the ground floor and on the first floor another replica inside a delicate screened pavilion with jaali work. All the cenotaph other than the ones in the central chamber are made of marble. The central cenotaph are made of porphyry stone. There are inscriptions on the walls and on the cenotaphs, mainly the surahs and ayahs from Quran.

The tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula reminds (in terms of décor) of the mosques and mausoleum in Turkey, Iran etc. The Persian influence can be seen everywhere. Be it designs of stucco work done on roofs, frescos on roofs and walls or the tile mosaic work done on the floor, Persian designs can be seen everywhere. Frescoes of Cypress trees, grape vine, grapes, wine vessels, flowers, flowers vase, rose water vessel, fruits (common Persian images) can be seen on the walls (thankfully they are still in decent condition and are being restored by ASI), the floor has tile mosaic work.

This is the first time European Pietra Dura (pictorial mosaic work using semi-precious stones) is incorporated in a Mughal structure. The pietra dura technique was developed in Florence in the 16th century and traditionally it uses pictures, jewellery and metal-works. But in Itmad-ud-Daula one cannot see any European motif, the Mughals mastered this technique and gave it a Mughal touch. The peak of this technique can be seen in Taj Mahal. The semi-precious stones have all gone long ago but ASI has been able to restore the beauty of the place.

The walls have intricately carved screens (or jaalis) similar to the ones found at the tomb of Shaikh Salim Chishti form part of the walls.

This was the first structure of the Mughal era where one sees a complete transition from the style of Akbar to that of Shah Jahan – from red sandstone structure to marble structure.

This tomb is worth spending time, especially for lovers of architecture, photographers, history lovers.
Written 7 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paramjeet Singh
New Delhi, India362 contributions
Nov. 2020 • Couples
This beautiful marble tomb is dedicated to Mirza Ghias Beg, the father of Mughal empress Nur Jahan. He was accorded the title of Itimad-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state) during his time at the Mughal court. A must place to Visit. Highly recommended..
Written 19 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mumbai, India16 contributions
Nov. 2020
Mausoleum of Noor Jehan's parents, Inspiration for the architecture of the Taj since its was built before the Taj, Cute fruit trees, beautiful architecture and design on the monuments
Written 11 November 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

The Stunning Highlands43,060 contributions
Mar. 2020
I had thought of missing the Baby Taj due to time as there were more things we wanted to see in Jaipur and I even said why get a burger when you could have a steak as we were seeing the Taj Mahal properly the following day. Well how wrong was I as the Tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah was absolutely fantastic, mesmorising, fascinating and full of history, architecture and intricate artwork, From the minute was walked up to it we were in absolute awe and again just pinching ourselves as it was hard to believe we were actually there. For once I was almost speechless (okay this also happened quite a few times during this part of the trip and Mrs Jock has never enjoyed such peace and quiet from me haha) just uttering the odd wow. Our guide Arif was absolutely brilliant as he gave the full history of the tomb when and why it was built as well as the background in to the Mughal dynasty. The tomb was actually built before the Taj Mahal and is what Shah Jahan based the Taj Mahal on. He also pointed out some of the intricate artwork that we wouldn't have noticed or appreciated without his input as he also told us of the techniques used in creating the artwork. Even though he will have done these tours many.many times before his passion and love for the art. architecture and history was clear as well as infectious (not that we needed much to totally hooked on the whole history and beauty of the gardens, tomb and surrounding buildings. I was also in my element as there were so many photo opportunities so I was snapping away. Just a word on people or children asking you to take their photos. If they ask you just to take their photo's they are likely after money but of they ask if they can take a photo with you (and this will be locals as well as visitors to the sites rather than travelers) then it is because they are proud that someone with our skin colour (as well as being fascinated by western culture) is visiting their country and city and want to have their photos taken standing beside us to show their friends. Once we knew this we were happy to oblige and would smile and let them stand next to us for a photo, sometimes each friend would wait to take their turn. Mrs Jock had the most requests and felt like quite the film star haha.

We spent quite a while (I am not sure how long as I was too busy just enjoying and soaking it all in) walking round the gardens, buildings, looking at the river scenes behind the tomb as Arif would tell us the history as we walked or just stood and admired. He also had a good balance between informing and letting us just enjoy what we were seeing in peace whilst taking photos.

We completed the full circle and reluctantly made our way to the exit although not before glancing back every so often to take yet another look. It was certainly a steak in it's own right and definitely not a burger :-)) As we approached the exit Arif phoned Michael our driver and within seconds of leaving he appeared with the car which we got in to just as sellers were trying to get us to buy their trinkets, postcards, books etc.
Written 27 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

shireesh s
Portland, OR24 contributions
Oct. 2019
Many architectural Gurus have said that the design and construction of Itmad-ud-daullah is far superior to the Tajmahal. In my numerous visits, and stripped of an architectural degree in my hand, I am inclined to agree and believe the pundits. The megastructure of Tajmahal, the strategic location are you mesmerizing that people forget this Tomb. If you visit Agra, please do not forget to include Itmad-uid-daullah. If you do, it would be like going to Paris and skipping the (now under renovation) Notre Dam!
Written 7 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Avoca Beach, Australia850 contributions
Feb. 2020
We were very excited to visit the Taj Mahal and to be honest did not know much about this so-called Mini Taj – the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah. It is not that far away from the major Taj and well worth a visit to see the architecture and beautiful use of stone and inlays. We had a guide who was very helpful in explaining the history and pointing out the building’s features. Many of the family are interred within the mausoleum and the building is a mix of marble and semi-precious stones. The gardens are lovely and the whole place has a certain peace and beauty. Well worth a visit for at least an hour or so.
Written 3 May 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Surbiton, UK575 contributions
Feb. 2020
This is a must see when you are in Agra. It was completed in the early 1600's in a peaceful and beautiful area.
It was built before the Taj and houses the mausoleum of Mirza Ghiyas Beg and his family. There is also a family connection with the woman who inspired the Taj Mahal.
Written 29 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Mesa, AZ1,794 contributions
Nov. 2019
The Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah was designed by the same person who also designed the Taj Mahal so you can see some similarities as you walk up the long walkway and see this tomb in the background - very similar to the Taj Mahal layout. On either side of the Tomb, there are matching structures - also like the Taj Mahal. Both the Tomb and the Taj Mahal have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites because of their historical significance.

When comparing the Tomb to the Taj Mahal, the Tomb has much more detail in the hand-carved marble that covers virtually the entire exterior walls - very nice! The Tomb and the Taj Mahal are both very stunning structures to visit and look at and both of these beautiful monuments are located in the city of Agra. Both of these Monuments are must see places to visit in India.
Written 24 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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