Itimad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) in Agra, India

This is the paradox of India, buildings so beautiful, and shit everywhere.”

I am quoting a conversation I had with a woman who came into the washroom of the Baby Taj and saw me rinsing green parrot shit* out of my hair.

The Baby Taj is a mausoleum built almost entirely from marble, and contains the tomb of the Persian nobleman Mizra Ghiyas Beg. It could certainly be classed as one of India’s ‘buildings so beautiful’.
A photographer at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian noblemanThe exterior tower at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian noblemanA bird on a temple of the Baby Taj in Agra, IndiaThe inside walls are an exquisite mix of geometric tile work and painted floral motifs.Painted room at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian noblemanDetail of one of the floral arrangements. In the background are small swirling objects that look like Chinese clouds.A decorative flower painting on a wall at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian noblemanOne of the elaborately detailed painted ceilings.The elaborately painted ceiling at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian noblemanA pigeon on the patterned marble floors.A pigeon on the patterned marble floors of the Baby Taj in Agra, IndiaThe tomb of the Persian nobleman Mizra Ghiyas Beg. The Persians that arrived in India in the 1500s combined their ideals of Islamic architecture together with the native Hindu styles resulting in a unique Mughal architecture, also defined as India-Islamic.
The tomb in the mausoleum of the 'Baby Taj' in Agra, IndiaMuslim man out walking in the gardens of the Baby Taj in Agra, IndiaThere are signs ‘Thank you for not scratching on the monument’ but any out of the way spots are covered with graffiti.Names scratched into the walls of the Baby Taj in Agra, IndiaGeometric tile patterns and three niches.Geometric tile patterns and three niches at the Baby Taj, aka Itimad-ud-Daulah, a Mughal structure built completely from marble containing the tomb of the Persian nobleman

*The Story of the Green Parrot Shit.

Green parrots in a palm tree at Agra Fort, IndiaAt some point I discovered that the beautiful green parrots of Rajasthan had matching green shit, and lots of it, running down my hair. My horror was somewhat mitigated when I discovered a washroom near the back of the Baby Taj complex; it was the most beautiful modern immaculate washroom that I was to see in my six weeks in India, and even had squeeze soap and paper towels.

While I was soaping and rinsing my hair two women came in.

Seeing the green slime in my hair one burst out with, “This is the paradox of India, buildings so beautiful and shit everywhere.”

The other added, “When I saw the Taj I cried it was so beautiful. But when I went into the bathroom there and locked the door I turned and saw a rat so big, it was horrible, I was so scared!”

They talked some more, telling me they were Russian Seventh Day Adventists and that they spoke English, Hindi and Russian perfectly. And their English was so quotable too!

More of our trip to Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan in 2010.

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3 responses to “Itimad-ud-Daulah (Baby Taj) in Agra, India

    • There were so many interesting people in India – the Indians love to discuss things and these two Russian women had obviously spent a lot of time involved in Indian discussions. Certainly they improved my limited impressions of Russians!

  1. Pingback: Inside Akbar’s Mughal Mausoleum in Agra, India | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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