The “Little Taj” and Agra Fort
This is the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula, a white marble tomb of of a Moghul noble; it is sometimes called the “Baby Taj” because the pattern and construction material – white marble with inlays – was similar to the later Taj Mahal. The grounds themselves and the long reflecting ponds are similar to the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s tomb complex – but not yet ready to re-fill with water.
The mausoleum was commissioned by Nūr Jahān, the wife of Jahangir, for her father Mirzā Ghiyās Beg, originally a Persian Amir in exile, who had been given the title of I’timād-ud-Daulah (pillar of the state). Mirzā Ghiyās Beg was also the grandfather of Mumtāz Mahāl (originally named Arjūmand Bāno, daughter of Asaf Khān), the wife of the emperor Shāh Jahān, responsible for the construction of the Tāj Mahal.
The wine bottle motif figures prominently in the decorations – supposedly Nur’s father was a drunk and she supervised building this tomb, and wanted everyone to remember his weakness for wine.
For many years during the 1600’s, Agra was the center of the Moghul Empire; the fort was contained a palace complex where the emperor lived.