Itimad Ud Daulah Agra, India
Before the Taj Mahal was built, its design was already standing in the form of Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb. Built to represent a silver jewel box in marble, this mausoleum houses the body of Mirza Ghiyas Beg, the father of the Mughal Empress Noor Jahan.
After Noor Jahan married the Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Mirza Ghiyas Beg was appointed the Lord Treasurer of the Empire or Itimad-ud-Daulah.
After her father's death, Noor Jehan built this mausoleum for him from 1622-1625 A.D. The first example of a tomb built on a riverbank in India, Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb situated on the banks of the Yamuna, has many design features that were later used in the Taj Mahal. Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb marks a significant departure from the tombs of the Mughal dynasty built earlier, because this tomb follows the central Asian pattern of a domed structure, set in a formal garden, with waterways and paths laid out in a geometrical pattern, a design followed while constructing the beautiful Taj Mahal.
The marble inlay work or pietra dura style was first used in India at Itmad Ud Daulah's Tomb and later in the Taj Mahal. The inlaid designs on the wall of the tomb include flowers, trees, fruit, animals and birds as well as wine jars and even people, which is surprising since Islam does not permit the use of human images as decorative forms.
The richness and variety of artwork on the walls of the tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah's are truly breathtaking and well worth seeing when you travel to Agra.