Shah Jahan Biography
He was born on January 5, 1592, in Lahore and died on January 22, 1666, in Agra at 74. He successfully controlled the empire for 30 years after winning the succession battle following his father’s death, Jahangir. The Mughal Empire flourished under his rule, making it the empire’s golden age.
His mother was Princess Bilqis Makani Behum, daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar. During Shah Jahan’s early years, when he was known as Prince Khurram, he studied many subjects and became a martial arts expert. He astonished everyone by becoming interested in architecture. According to legend, he erected his apartments in the Fort of Kabul and proposed different interior adjustments to the Fort of Agra.
Ascend to Throne
Shah Jahan had a good relationship with his father (Jahangir) . Still, their intense connection was disturbed by court politics. Jahangir’s Afghan wife, named Nur Jahan, had a wish about Shah Jahan’s younger brother Prince Shahryar as Jahangir’s successor. After a war of succession he became the Mughal Emperor in 1627 after the death of his father. .
Ruling Period of Shah Jahan
During the ruling period of Shah Jahan, He imprisoned his stepmother Nur Jahan and also killed his stepbrothers soon after he ascended to the throne. Soon on the borders of his empire, he started to get challenges and upheavals. He overcame the challenges posed by Sikhs and Rajputs based in the north, as well as the Portuguese in Bengal.
Shah-Jahan was heavily relied on his son Aurangzeb, who grew up to be a strong military leader. Aurangzeb was just 18 years old when Shah Jahan named him Governor of Deccan in 1636. Two years later, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb conquered Kandahar from the Safavid Empire. He conquered the stronghold of Daulatabad in Maharashtra and annexed the Rajput confederates of Baglana, Mewar, and Bundelkhand. Shah Jahan was also able to expand the Mughal Empire to the west beyond the Khyber Pass to Ghazna.
But in 1631, the death of his beloved Mumtaz Mahal almost shattered him. Mumtaz died at the age of 38, just a few months after giving birth to her fourteenth child, Gauhara Begum. Mumtaz died during a military compaign in the Deccan with Shah Jahan, despite her sickness. On he name he constructed the the most beautiful mausoleum of the world. Shah Jahan himself planned, constructed, and oversaw the building of the Taj Mahal.
Shah Jahan Architecture
He was well-known for his artistic sense and had good sense related to arts. As a result, the Mughal Empire was a thriving center of arts, crafts, and architecture during his rule. The Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort in Delhi, the Jama Masjid in Jama Masjid in Lahore, and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore are all examples of Mughal/ Shah Jahan architecture that have stood the test of time. Taj Mahal in Agra was the great Shah Jahan architecture.
Monuments of Shah Jahan
Shahjahan founded the city ” Shahjahanabad ” also known as a walled city, in 1639. Old Delhi or purani Delhi is part of it. After this, Shahjahan decided to shift the Mughal capital from Agra to Delhi. Aside from the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan also left India with architectural marvels or monuments such as:
- Moti Masjid ( Lahore, Pakistan),
- Jama Masjid Delhi
- and Red Fort.
The Peacock throne, adorned with gemmed peacocks and a tree of diamonds, rubies, and pearls, was Shah Jahan’s regal seat and regarded as a notable art piece.
For his monuments of dazzling beauty and perfect proportions, Shah Jahan was known as ‘Engineer King.’ The emperor left his imprint on beautiful structures in Agra, Ajmer, Delhi, Lahore, Kashmir, Kabul and some other places.
Shah Jahan had numerous wives, but his favorite was Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal, whom he married in 1612. She was his 3rd wife and was the daughter of Asaf Khan (brother of Nur Jahan). Their marriage was pleasant, with genuine care for one another. Unfortunately, she died of postpartum hemorrhage in 1631 after difficulties with the delivery of their last child.
Death of Shah Jahan
Death-When Shah Jahan became ill in 1658, his eldest son, Dara Shukoh, became regent due to Shah Jahan’s incapacity to administer the court. It infuriated Shah Jahan’s other sons, who revolted against him. Finally, Aurangzeb, the emperor’s third son, defeated his siblings and imprisoned Shah Jahan in Agra Fort.
Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s eldest daughter, joined her father and cared for him in his old age. Shahjahan lived in Agra Fort for the next eight years. Death- On January 22, 1666, Shah Jahan died and was buried with his loving wife, Mumtaz Mahal, at the Taj Mahal.