Star Motifs Abound at the Baby Taj

AGRA, India — Beyond the majestic entrance to the Baby Taj and the wealth of semiprecious stonework at the tomb’s main archway, the varied designs carved by hand line nearly all the vertical surfaces within.

In addition to the six-pointed stars on the carved marble screens, similar geometric patterns — which keep changing from one panel to the next — provide visual incentive to keep moving throughout the Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, as the Baby Taj is formally known.

Agra’s official website writes of the tomb:

Itmad-ud-daula is a pure white and elaborately carved tomb that conforms to the Islamic style of architecture. The Indo-Islamic architecture becomes prominent because of the fusion that this tomb displays. While the use of arched entrances and octagonal shaped towers signify the Persian influence, the absence of a dome and the presence of a closed kiosk on top of this building and the use of canopies talks about the possible Indian influence. From out side, when you take a bird eye view, Itmad-ud-daula looks like a jewel box set in a garden. This tranquil, small, garden located on the banks of the Yamuna was to inspire the construction of the Taj Mahal in the later years.


Six-pointed stars and hexagons comprise one panel.


A floral motif sits in the center of this eight-pointed star motif. At top, a six-pointed star motif with a floral pattern. (Photos by Bruno J. Navarro)


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