- Jahangir traveled from place to place with a caravan with as many as 700 elephants. He built a palace and elaborate garden in Lahore with "soul-searching places." His courtiers also built palaces and gardens. According to some reports his kingdom was governed by his intelligent and able and very beautiful wife, Nur Jahan.
- Jahangir loved jewels and expensive gifts that his subjects gave him, but he had the obnoxious habit of tallying up the worth of presents given to him. He once recorded that elephants, Persian robes and jeweled vessels given to him were worth 150,000 rupees. Even more obnoxious he kept the best presents for himself and returned the rest.
- Jahangir liked to hunt. He boasted of killing 17,167 animals, including 13,964 birds before he was 50. Scouts were hired to find tigers and round up deer for him to kill. But at the same time he was a great animal lover. He wept inconsolably as the death of a pet deer. He once was so upset to see his elephants spray themselves with cold water on cold days he ordered their water to be heated.
- Jahangir was also a naturalist. He dissected the internal organs of his prey. He wrote that unlike humans "young elephants are born with their feet first." He also wrote about the mating behavior of cranes and noticed pied-crested cuckoos deposited their eggs in the nest of other birds who took care of the eggs.
- Jahangir suffered from asthma. He passed the time dissecting insects and engaging in long conversations with Sufi holymen. When he was angry he could be quite cruel. There are stories of him having victims impaled, flayed alive and ripped into pieces by elephants. Describing the punishment given to men who accidently frightened away the game while he was on a hunting trip, he wrote in memoir: “In a great rage I ordered them to kill the groom on the spot and to hamstring the bearers and mount them on asses and parade them through the camp so that no one should again have the boldness to do such a thing.”
Jahangir and his wives
Jahangir’s First Wife was Amer’s Manbhawati BaiMan Bai aka Manbhawati aka Shah Begum was Jahangir’s first wife. She was Jodha Bai’s niece, Maan Singh’s sister and Salim’s first cousin. Salim married Man Bai at the age of 16 on February 13, 1585. At the time of this marriage, his mansab was raised from 10,000 to 12,000. 2 years later in 1587, this Rajput Begum of Salim gave birth to Salim’s first-born Prince Khusrau Mirza. Manbai committed suicide in the year 1604 (Akbar was alive then) due to the differences between her son and husband. It is said that Akbar wanted Khusrau to become the next Emperor since he was frustrated by Salim’s ill-behaviour. However, Salim became the next heir and later when Khusrau revolted on the basis of Akbar’s will, he was blinded by Jahangir.
Jahangir’s Second Wife was Phul BegumIn the same year, Salim was married to Phul Begum – Rajkumari Rattan Bai Sahiba. She was the daughter of Dhameri (later Nurpur) King – Raja Basu. Their marriage took place in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Nurpur was initially called as ‘Dhameri’ but Nur Jahan (Jahangir’s wife) loved the beauty of the place so much that the people of Dhameri changed the name of the place from Dhameri to Nurpur in her honour (political plan actually!) Nurpur though was founded in 11th century flourished only during 1580 to 1613, the time of Jahangir’s father-in-law Raja Basu Dev. No wonder, he enjoyed a mansab of 1500 under Akbar, which was furher increased to 3500 by Jahangir.
Jahangir’s Third Wife was Marwar’s Jodh Bai
Jahangir Married his 4th and 5th wife in LahoreOn 7th July 1586 Jahangir married a daughter of Maharaja of Bikaner – Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Sri Rai Singhji. In the same month, he married daughter of Kashghar Sultan ‘Abu Said Khan Jagatai. Her name was Malika-i-Shikar Begum Sahiba. She died after 6 years in 1592.
Jahangir’s 6th wife was Shahib-i-Jamal Begum, Mother of his second son – Parviz MirzaShahib-i-Jamal was daughter of Khwaja Hassan of Herat. Khwaja Hassan was a cousin of Zain Khan Koka, son of Atgah Khan (Akbar’s foster father). It is said that Salim fell in love with her and so married her in the same year 1586. A talented Civil Engineer the title of Shahib-i-Jamal (meaning Mistress of beauty) was bestowed on her by Akbar himself. She gave birth to Jahangir’s second son Parviz Mirza in the year 1589. She died in 1599 when Parviz was just 10. She was also the mother of Jahangir’s 5th son – Sultan Shahariyar Mirza who was born within a month of his half-brother Jahandhar. He was married to Nur Jahan’s daughter Ladli Begum from her first husband. Later, he was killed by his own brother Shah Jahan with the help of his father-in-law who was also Nur Jahan’s brother.
7th to 11th Wife of Jahangir
12th to 20th wife of JahangirHis 12th wife was a sister of Abiya Kashmiri. 13th was Kanwal Rani, youngest daughter of ‘Ali Sher Khan from Ladakh, Kashmir. Fourteenth was a daughter of Sayyid Mubaraq Khan Baihaqi of Kashmir. 15th wife of Jahangir was again from Kashmir – a daughter of Husain Chak, of Kashmir. In 1593, Salim married his 16th wife Nur un-nisa Begum Sahiba was a daughter of Ibrahim Husain Mirza while seventeenth was a daughter of Khandesh Raja – Raja ‘Ali Khan Faruqi. Next, 18th was a daughter of ‘Abdu’llah Khan Baluch. Then in June 1596, he married Zain Khan Koka’s daughter Khas Mahal Sahiba, daughter of Zain Khan Koka. Then before 1605 he married his 20th wife at Delhi. She was the daughter of Raja Moman Murad, (before conversion Thakur Man Chand) of Kotaha, in Sirmur.
Marriages After Becoming EmperorIn 1608, Jahangir married his 21st wife Saliha Banu Padshah Begum Sahiba , the principal wife, who was promoted to the rank and title of Padshah Mahal Sahiba and Padshah Banu Begum Sahiba in 1610 She was the daughter of Qasim Khan, a senior member of the Mughal Household. His 22nd wife was Koka Kumari Sahiba, eldest daughter of Yuvraj Shri Jagat Singhji Bahadur of Amber. Jahangir then married daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Ram Chand Ju Deo Bahadur, Raja of Orchha and Chanderi andnthenmarried his 24th wife – a daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Madhukar Shah Ju Deo Bahadur who was Raja of Orchha.
Jahangir then married his 25th wife, Nur Jahan
Jahangir's rebellion against his father
RebellionWhen Akbar was engaged in the Deccan campaign, Prince Salim, who was in charge of the capital, rose up in rebellion against his father (1601). On hearing this, Akbar appointed Prince Daniyal as the Viceroy of Deccan (1601) and hurried to Agra. When he returned to Agra, Salim marched with 30,000 cavalry against Agra. Akbar ordered him to return to Allahabad and also offered him the governorship of Bengal and Orissa. But Salim rejected his father's orders to take the governorship of Bengal and Orissa and returned to Allahabad, where he established his own court. Akbar sent his wazir Abul Fazal (the author of Akbarnama), to Allahabad to bring back the Prince to Agra, but he was murdered by Bir Singh Bundela, on the orders of Salim (1602). "I employed the man who killed Abul Fazal and brought his head to me and for this it was that I incurred my father's deep displeasure", Salim admits. Finally Salima Begum effected a reconciliation between father and son and brought the Prince to Agra (1603). Thereafter Salim returned to Allahabad and again indulged in opium and wine. Meanwhile Prince Daniyal also died due to alcoholism (Apr 1604).
Prince Khusrau as Akbar's successorAkbar was displeased with Salim, when he learned that Salim had murdered his closest companion, Abul Fazal. In addition to that, under the double intoxication of wine and opium, Salim sometimes inflicted severest punishments for slightest offences. On this occasion Akbar declared his grandson (Salim's eldest son) Prince Khusrau his successor instead of Salim. Salim's rebellion had lasted for more than four years. Akbar himself decided to go to Allahabad and bring the Prince to court. Unfortunately he had to leave for Agra hearing that his mother Maryam Makani (Hamida Banu Begum) was seriously ill. She died on 29th Aug, 1604. Salim, now realizing that he is the only surviving son of his father, decided to submit. He returned to Agra, for giving condolences for the death of his grandmother (Nov 1604). This time Akbar put him in prison. But after ten days, he was released. When Akbar fell ill, the royal court was divided into two groups, one favoring Khusrau and the other Salim. His uncle Raja Man Singh and father-in-law Khan-i-Azam Mirza Aziz Koka, supported Khusrau. But Saiyid Khan, one of the great nobles, said that it is contrary to the laws and customs of the Chaghatai Tatars that while the elder Prince was alive, to put his son upon the throne. Finally, on his death bed, Akbar took his turban off his head and placed it on Salim's head. The next day Raja Man Singh brought Khusrau to the Court. Salim treated him with great kindness and kissed his face.
The Reign of Jahangir
Man of conquestsJahangir has remained in history as a man of conquests. He opened several fronts, including that of Mewar, a province in the south of the Empire whose ruler, Amar Singh, ended up surrendering in 1613 to Prince Khurram. In the North there are two other fronts, one concerning the fight against the râja of Kângrâ, the other against the âhoms, which poses more problems to the Mughals than other peoples. The Deccan is also the subject of a conquest. The Deccan is the central area of India, rather to the South. It is a vast plateau whose peoples submit to Jahangir in 1615. Moreover, local peoples were not the only ones who could pose problems to the sovereign. Indeed, Europeans had the ability to move around the globe and wanted to set up trading posts on India, gateway to Asia. The Portuguese, the first to arrive, clashed with the Mughals, fighting raged in 1613. Shortly after the British surrendered themselves more oppressive, wishing to obtain permanent trade agreements. It was also at this time that a great of the Kingdom of England was sent to the Mughal course to establish these links. In this situation, the Empire is at its territorial peak, with a territory ranging from Afghanistan to Bengal and the Himalayas in southern India.
Two Important eventsIt was at this moment that two events occurred.
- First, an epidemic of plague broke out and ravaged part of the population of Northern India. To avoid being touched Jahangir went to Fatehpur-Sikri, the city built by his father to welcome his new capital, but abandoned soon after due to lack of water.
- The second event is more tragic: Jahangir shows signs of weakness. Fearing his death and therefore his removal from power, the Empress Nûr Jahân intrigues to ensure an heir who is favorable to him. She married her daughter to Shâhryâr, one of Jahangir's sons, whom he had with a concubine, hoping to have a son who could win against Khurram, who had become all-powerful and designated successor. These intrigues weaken the Empire and it is this moment that the Persians choose to seize Kandahâr. In front of this attack, Nûr Jahân demands from Khurram that he goes on the spot to take again the city but this one refuses, formalizing in fact his rupture with her. With his own troops he attacked the forces of his father, directed by Nûr Jahân, but he lost and was forced to return to the Mughal court under the conditions of the Empress, his daughter and son-in-law. Jahangir falls sick again. Khurram, seeing the end of his close father, rebels again. Jahangir, feeling threatened, fled to Kashmir. He died on the road, in Lahore, where he is buried.
Victory over Mewar (1615):
Conquest of AhmednagarDuring Jahangir's reign, the power of Ahmednagar was considerably increased under the prime minister-ship of Malik Ambar (1600-1626). He used guerrilla warfare to defy the Mughals. In 1617, Jahangir dispatched Prince Khurram to Deccan with a large force and a treaty was signed between the Mughals and Malik Ambar. The territory of Balghat and the fort of Ahmednagar were surrendered to the Mughals. It was on this occasion that Prince Khurram was given the title of Shah Jahan by his father (1617). Later Malik Ambar entered into an agreement with Bijapur and Golconda, and besieged the fort of Ahmednagar in 1620. Since Malik Ambar failed to adhere to the terms of the treaty, Prince Khurram was again sent to Deccan and and a similar peace treaty was followed in 1621. As per the treaty Malik Ambar accepted Mughal sovereignty and a large part of Ahmednagar was surrendered to the Mughals. Malik Amber died in 1626.
Jahangir, the Arts, Cruelty and Drugs
- Mughal painting reached it greatest heights under Jahangir. Artists arrived from Persia at a rapid clip. The works included pages from the Koran illuminated and decorated with tiny flowers and geometric designs, miniature battle scenes from manuscripts and "paintings by rare artists" from Jahangir's place. Under Jahangir, Lahore attracted craftsmen from all over Asia: tilemakers weavers, carvers and miniaturists.
- Jahangir enjoyed gardens and spent his summers in relatively cool Kashmir. He built the Gardens of Shalimar ("Abode of Love") in Kashmir. He once wrote, "The flowers of Kashmir are beyond counting and calculation...The breeze in that place scented one's brain." Jahangir loved Kashmir. He treasured the time he spent with his father there.
- Jahangir loved opium and alcohol. He drank his opium in liquid form. In Tuzuk-I-Jahangiri, he wrote, "The entertainment of Thursday was arranged for use in that flower-land, and I was delighted at drinking my usual cups." Jahangir become so subdued by opium and alcohol that his wife, foreign-born Queen Nur Jahan (Light of the World), ran his empire during most of his reign. She was adept at business and enjoyed hunting tigers and elephants. From what can be surmised she ran the Mughal better than her husband.
- Edward Terry wrote in 1618 during the reign of Jahangir: "For his cruelties, he put one of his women to a miserable death; one of his women he had formerly touched, and kept company with, but now she was superannuated: for neither himself nor his nobles (ast they say) come near their wives or women after they exceed the age of thirty years. The failure of that woman was this, the Mughal came upon her and one of her eunuchs kissing one another."
- "And for this very thing the King presently gave a command that a round hole should be made in the earth, and that her body should be put in that hole, where she would stand with her head only above ground, and the earth to be put in against unto her close around about her, and so she might stand in the parching sun until the extreme hot beams therefore did kill her; in which torment she lived one whole day, and the night following, and almost until the next noon, crying out the most lamentably....The eunuch by the command of the said King, was brought out near the palace where this poor creature was thus buried alive, and there in his sight cut all to pieces."
Rules imposed by Jahangir
- Prohibition of Cesses ( Zakat )
- Regulations about Highway Robbery and Theft
- Free Inheritance of Property of Deceased persons
- Prohibition of Wine and all kinds of Intoxicating Liquors
- Prohibition of the Taking Possession of the Houses and cutting the Noses and Ears of the criminals.
- Prohibition of Ghasbi
- Building of Hospitals and Appointment of Physicians to attend the Sick
- Prohibiting Slaughter of Animals
- Respect paid to Sunday
- General Confirmation of Mnsabs and Jagirs
- Confirmation of aima Lands
- Amnesty for all Prisoners
Jahangir and AnarkaliThe love story of Salim and Anarkali is a story that every lover knows. The Mughal prince Salim falling for a courtesan Anarkali is the stuff that legends are made of. The relationship of Salim and Anarkali outraged the Mughal emperor Akbar so much that both father and son decided to go on war. According to legend, Salim, the son of the great Mughal emperor Akbar, fell in love with a beautiful courtesan named Anarkali as a young prince. Anarkali, whose title means "pomegranate blossom" (a title bestowed for her beauty) was famed for her dancing skills as well as her great beauty.
Original NameIt is believed that her original name was Nadira or Sharf-un-Nisa.He was mesmerized by her beauty and fell in love as soon as he saw her. But Anarkali was a mere dancing girl, and dancing girls were not of noble birth. They were considered to be low-born and keeping any relation with them were looed dow and strictly prohibited by the society. Anarkali knew that their romance was forbidden in the eyes of the prince's father, Mughal Emperor Akbar. So she tried to keep away from Salim. But how could she hold herself back from the prince's charms for long? Love knows no rules, and soon Anarkali too was deeply in love with Salim. But such an intense love can't be concealed forever. The emperor could not digest the fact that his son was in love with an ordinary courtesan.
Two Sides of his character.
Bright side of his character.Jahangir possessed a very amiable personality. He always showed great respect to his mother and other elders of his family. Though he rebelled against his father, yet he showed very much repentance over his folly. He always cherished the memory of Akbar and used to pay his homage to the departed soul. Jahangir was highly educated man.He had aquired sufficient knowledge of Arabic, Hindi and Persian languages. His own memoirs called Tuzak_i_ Jahangiri is a proof of his excellent composition. He was very much interested in the fine arts like music,architecture, painting and others. Jahangir had a great passion for justice, allowing all men to approach him with complaints which he himself heard. With a view to make him accessible to all the seekers of justice, he caused gold chain with bells to be hung between the Shah Burj an the Agra fort and a post on the road near the bank of the river Jumna so as to enable the suitors to ring the bell of justice.
Dark Side of His Character.Jahangir had many good qualities in his character, but he had certain shortcomings too which eclipsed the good qualities in him. He was a notorious drunkard but punished other drunkards very severely. He had formed such a strong habit of wine that wine failed to intoxicate him. Thus he became more and more engrossed in pleasure and ease, till he became a figure head in the State, and real powers being thus enjoyed by Nur Jahan, he never interfered with the work of Nur Jahan. The health of Jahangir was completely shattered on account of excessive drinking. He was trying to restore it by visiting Kashmir and Kabul. On his way from Kabul to Kashmir he returned to Lahore on account of severe cold and died on the way in October 1627, probably in the vicinity of Murree and Abbottabad, according to one account , his body was brought to Lahore and was ultimately interred in the tomb near Shahdara, Lahore.
Notable ArchitectureJahangir's reign was noted for architectural works. When his chief minister Itimad-ud-daulah died in 1622, his daughter, the powerful Nur Jahan, commissioned the construction in white marble of his exquisite tomb at Agra which was finished in 1628. Unlike the much larger Taj Mahal, with which it ranked in quality, the appeal of the tomb depended on its decoration. It looked like a brilliant casket, bejewelled with various styles of inlay. Its two major innovations—the extensive use of white marble as a material and inlay as a decorative motif—were to become the distinguishing features of the greatest period of Mughal architecture.
A renovatorWhile some European historians consider Jahangir as a fickle-minded tyrant, Indian authors regard him as a just and noble ruler. Most writers now agree that he was a highly educated and cultured man. His autobiography is a testimony of his interest in subjects like botany and zoology. Among the notable buildings renovated by him, Akbar's tomb at Sikandra is the most remarkable. He altered its design and partly rebuilt it. Under his patronage, a great mosque was built in Lahore; it rivals the grand mosque in Delhi, built by his son, Shah Jahan.
Tuzk-i Jahangiri(تزک جهانگیری)
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