Itmad-Ud-Daulah’s Tomb is a Mughal mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh . Often described as ‘jewel box’, sometimes called the Baby Taj , the tomb of Itmad-Ud-Daulah is often regarded as a “draft” of the Taj Mahal.
Along with the main building, the structure consists of numerous outbuildings and gardens. The tomb, built between 1622 and 1628 represents the 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 Taj Mahal.
he mausoleum was commissioned by Nur Jahan , the wife of Jahangir , for her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg , who had been given the title of Itimâd-ud-Daulâ (pillar of the state). Mirza Ghiyas Beg is also the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (originally named Arjumand Bano, daughter of Asaf Khan), the wife of the emperor Shah Jahan , responsible for the building of the Taj Mahal.
Located on the left bank of the Yamuna river, the mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. The mausoleum itself is set on a base about 50 meters square and about 1 meter high. The mausoleum is about 23 meters square. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about 13 meters tall.
The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations – cornelian , jasper , lapis lazuli , onyx , and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light to the interior passes through delicate jali screens of intricately carved white marble.
Many of Nur Jahan’s relatives are interred in the mausoleum. The only asymmetrical element of the entire complex is that the cenotaphs of her father and mother have been set side-by-side, a formation replicated in the Taj Mahal.