This somewhat ridiculous nickname - the 'Baby Taj' - really does not describe the beauty of this exquisite little mausoleum on the eastern bank of the Yamuna. The first Mughal tomb to be built of white marble, this beautiful tomb was constructed by the Empress Noorjehan between 1622-28 CE, for her father Ghiyas Begh 'Itmad-ud-Daulah' (a title meaning 'pillar of the state'). It is believed that, along with the Tomb of Humayun in Delhi, this was one of the precursors of the Taj Mahal.
Tickets for Itmad-ud-Daulah cost Rs 20 per adult (Indian); children up to twelve go free. You buy tickets at the gate, then walk up to the main gate of the monument, a magnificent structure of red sandstone covered with white marble pietra dura inlay. Through this gate, and you enter a typical Mughal charbagh, a square garden bisected by water channels (currently dry), with the mausoleum sitting in the middle, where the channels meet. Like the gate through which you entered, there are similar gates in the centre of each of the walls forming the boundary of the charbagh. The fourth gate, beyond the tomb, is the river gate, a pavilion offering a great view of the Yamuna.
You have to take off your shoes (there's a rack in one corner) to climb up to the platform (there are steps, but also a ramp, so it's wheelchair accessible). The tomb is stunning, lots of lovely inlay work, paintings, and even some carved white marble.