The fourth king of the Mughal, Jahangir, was a successor to the legendary Akbar the Great. Jahangir was renowned for his ambiguous attitude between religion and artistic love. However, just like many Mughal kings, Jahangir gave India a few of the most emblematic monuments.
He was also known as the patron of the arts. His real name was Nur-ud-din Mohammad Salim. He was born on August 31, 1569, in Fatehpur and died on October 28, 1627, near Lahore. He was raised with the greatest attention and affection, then sent to the new capital, Fatehpur-Sikri, for his education when he was old enough. As a result of Abdur Rahim Khan’s teachings, he became fluent in various languages, including Persian, Turki, Arabic, and Hindi. Moreover, his teachings helped Prince Salim (Jahangir) to learn the art of poetry writing.
Jahangir remained as the fourth Mughal Emperor of India for 22 years. He was a kind, liberal Muslim—a painting, architectural and art-loving monarch.
He improved the socioeconomic circumstances with no interference in customs and treasured the well-being of his Indian peoples. He did not have any military ambitions. He was regarded as a fair king who gave particular attention to his people’s concerns instead of capturing other territories.
Ascend the Throne/Rise to Power
He led the military as commander of a regiment during the Kabul campaign in 1581. However, he was introduced to wine at a young age and got a taste for the luxuries in life. He got addicted to wine, and it made him impatient, too.
Jahangir had the cunning desire to become a king by replacing his father Akbar. He was too passionate about it that he killed a favorite courtier of Akbar “Abul Fazl” who tried to him to create brotherhood. Jahangir killed Abul Fazl with his hand. After listening to this news, Akbar was so unhappy that he didn’t come out in public for three days. In 1599 Akbar another son Murad Mirza who was governor of Bengal died. It made more chances for Jahangir to make the next Emperor. But, in 1602, Jahangir declared himself king and minted a currency with emblems of a kingdom’s independence. Akbar didn’t have any other option of the successor, so in 1605, he unwillingly put his imperial turban placed on his son’s head, who was supposed to be the heir to the empire.
At the age of 36, Salim assumed the title of Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir and succeeded to the throne of Agra. But his son, Khusru Mirza, revolted against him because Akbar wished his grandson ( Khusru Mirza) would succeed him. Instantly Jahangir’s army defeated Prince Khusrau’s soldiers in Jullunder and captured him. Prince was humiliated to the extreme. People didn’t support Khusrau because he was incapable of organizing a successful uprising and had no moral support from any significant group in the realm. Jahangir handed Khusru to his younger brother, Prince Khurram (Shahjahan), who made him blind and later murdered him. Jahangir also punished Sikh Guru “Arjun” who donated money to Khusrau for rebellion.
Jahangir, on the other hand, was determined to provide justice. In one of his early instructions, he instructed a “golden chain of justice.” Any individual who could not get justice just came outside the Agra Fort and pulled the golden chain of justice to get the attention of the Emperor. war of succession Mughal empire.
Jahangir, while being universally seen as harsh, was a patron of the arts. He was primarily interested in painting, music, and architecture. Even compared to Western European miniatures, his miniature art was highly sophisticated to the culture of that period.
Jahangir protected artists from the start of his reign and built a workshop in his capital that welcomed artists of his choice. The paintings were not static in form, with the painters depicting a complex landscape and an intimate scenario or allegorical. There was also a lot of floral and animal art during his reign.
Under him, the Mughal painting style achieved its pinnacle (high peak). However, due to less intention towards agriculture, agricultural output began to fall under his rule due to rising corruption inside the jagir system.
Mewar and Ahmadnagar Campaigns
In 1605, he dispatched his son to bring Rana Amar Singh, a Hindu king of Chittor, to submission. As a result, it was not possible to conquer the vast fort of Chittor so, in 1608, the Jahangir dispatched another troop.
In 1615, the Chittor was conquered and Rana Amar acknowledged the sovereign control of Jahangir. His aim was for Ahmednagar to be annexed together with Bijapur and Golconda, the only two autonomous kingdoms that remained at the time. Prince Khurram attacked the sultanates of Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, and Golkonda. However, the Mughal army could not achieve total victory over the Ahmadnagar because the Deccan kingdom was strong. Ahmednagar army was led by an experienced former slave, Malik Ambar, who prepared for battle by teaching guerilla tactics to Maharashtra’s soldiers (Hindu ruler Shivaji also later adopted these tactics against Emperor Aurangzeb). When the Mughals achieved a partial victory in 1616, Jahangir bestowed the title of Shah Jahan on Prince Khurram (“King of the World”).
After a lengthy military campaign and siege Prince Khurram conquered all these areas in 1629.. He built mosques there since it was the most noteworthy military success at that time.
Monuments Construction by Jahangir
The period of Jahangir is attributed to the creation of structures such as Tomb Itimad-ud-Daulah ( father of Jahangir’s wife Nur-Jahan ) in 1622. It’s also called “Jewel Box.” It was constructed on the order of Nur Jahan.
- Jahangir created the renowned Shalimar Bagh in Srinagar to replicate the splendor of Kashmir was the best Jahangir Architecture.
These are all the examples of Jahangir Architecture and his Achievements.
Main Difficulties of Jahangir Era
The empire is at its territorial apex, with territories stretching from Afghanistan to Bengal and the Himalayas in southern India. But three difficult things happened in his reign at the same time,
A plague outbreak erupted and devastated a portion of Northern India’s population. Jahangir left Agra and came to Fatehpur-Sikri to escape being sick.
European Trade in Jahangir Reign
European countries gained footholds throughout the subcontinent during the Mughal Empire. However, the Portuguese were there first to come and battle with the Mughals in 1613. Shortly after getting defeated, the British became more repressive to establish lasting trade deals. At the same time, a mission of the Kingdom of England was dispatched to the Mughal court to create these ties.
Jahangir Signs of Weakness
Jahangir’s addiction to alcohol was wreaking havoc on his health. On another hand, Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan was also very active in states matters. She desired Jahangir’s youngest son, Prince Shahriyar, to replace Jahangir because he would be the easiest to manage, and in this way, she can control the Empire. It created a rift between Shah Jahan and Nur Jahan.
Achievements of Jahangir
- He introduced regulations dealing with matters such as the banning of the manufacture of drugs and wine, and the maintenance of public buildings.
- He extended the Mughal empire which is the one of main Achievements of Jahangir.
- In 1615 he signed a commercial treaty with the British.
- A gold chain of justice served as a link between the ruler and his people.
Jahangir Wives and Children
Jahangir had 800 concubines in his Harem and had 20 wives.
- Princess Manmati (Taj Bibi, Bilqis Makani) was the daughter of the king of Jodhpur (Marwar). She gave birth to Khurram, the prince who succeeded Jahangir as Shah Jahan.
- Nur Jahan, also known as Mehr-un-Nisa, was Jahangir’s 20th wife. She was the widow of an Afghan General called Sher Afghan Quli Khan, assassinated in the war. At the end of Jahangir’s reign, Nur Jahan became heavily engaged in governance, and she appointed her politically minded brother, Asaf Khan, as premier of the realm. In 1626, brother and sister decided to attack the great Mahabat Khan ( A Mughal General). Mahabat Khan, an Afghan by birth, saw the dangerous position and proceeded towards the imperial camp on the Jhelum’s bank with 5,000 warriors. While Jahangir and Nur Jahan were on their way to Kabul, Mahabat Khan kidnapped Jahangir. Jahangir was able to escape because of a brilliant plan devised by Nur Jahan. Mahabat Khan later joined forces with Shah Jahan in the war of succession.
Jahangir had ten daughters and five sons. His youngest son Shahryar Mirza was from a concubine.
Death of Jahangir
Death-Jahangir became ill as he was not too well due to alcohol addiction. Khurram rebels once again after witnessing the death of his father. Jahangir went to Kashmir because he felt threatened. Death-Jahangir died on the road on October 28, 1627, in Lahore and was also buried there.
War of Succession Mughal Empire
When Jahangir dies, he left behind a pretty volatile/unstable situation for his succession. War of Succession Mughal empire started. Shahryar proclaimed himself Emperor immediately after his death, supported by Nur Jahan. But because Khurram was in Lahore with the Emperor, he returned to Agra.
The forces of Khurram and Shahryar battled for the empire. Khurram was victorious in the fight. Thus he immediately ascended to the throne with the name of Shah Jahan.