Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula

Set in a garden on the eastern bank of Yamuna, is a beautiful elaborately carved tomb of Nur Jahan’s father, Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg.

Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg was a poor Persian merchant who just happened to catch a caravan on way to the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court.

Beg was employed as a courtier in the Emperor’s court and gradually became an integral part of it. Such was his contribution to the running of the court that he was later appointed as the Lord of the Treasury and honoured with the title of ‘Itmad-ud-Daula’ or The Pillar of the Government’.

Unlike the Emperor himself, Mughal Emperor Jahangir’s queen Nur Jahan worked wonders at designing and executing architectural marvels.

After her parents’ demise, Nur Jahan decided to build a marvellous tomb for them. The empress first envisioned the tomb to be in silver but anticipating theft, she chose marble instead.

The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula was first tomb in India to be made out of marble. The tomb bears beautiful elaborate carvings and sits pretty like a precious jewel case set in a garden on the bank of river Yamuna.


Nur Jahan and Itmad-ud-Daula

Itmad-ud-Daula, originally Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg, was a Persian merchant who almost abandoned her newborn daughter because he had no money to feed her. It’s said that the baby wailed so loudly and bitterly that the parents’ heart melted and they had to go back to get her.

Seems the daughter proved lucky for the parents who happened to catch a caravan leaving for Mughal Emperor Akbar’s court. Once there, Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg was employed in Akbar’s court.

Later, Akbar’s son Jahangir, originally Salim, married Beg’s widowed daughter Mehr-un-Nisaa, who was later given the title ‘Nur Jahan’ which means The Light of the World.

Nur Jahan is said to be one of the most wise, powerful and prettiest Mughal empresses. While Jahangir remained intoxicated most of the time, his queen Nur Jahan ruled the kingdom in his stead.

Nur Jahan made meticulous moves and ruled the kingdom with the help of her family. Her father, Mirza Ghiyas-ud-Din Beg, was appointed as the Lord of the Treasury and was honoured the title of Itmad-ud-Daula (Pillar of the Government).

Her brother, Asaf Khan, was made the prime Minister who further strengthened his position by marrying off his daughter Arjumand Bano Begum, popularly known as Mumtaz Mahal, to the designate successor Prince Khurram alias Shah Jahan.


Nur Jahan also appointed her uncle, her father’s brother, Mirza Ismail Beg Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Nur Jahan’s decline began in 1621 AD after she lost both her parents one after another and Shah Jahan revolted with full might.

After her parents’ death, Nur Jahan channelized her energy into building a magnificent mausoleum for them. Her opulent taste in architecture can be clearly seen in the beauty of the Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daula.


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