Shah Jahan was India’s fifth Mughal Emperor and is regarded as one of the Mughals’ greatest. He was the grandson of Akbar the Great and the son of Emperor Jahangir. He had a close relationship with his grandfather, and after rising to the throne, he continued Akbar’s legacy by launching multiple military expeditions to expand his large kingdom. As Emperor Jahangir’s third son, it appeared improbable that he would be picked as the heir to succeed his father. However, a soothsayer predicted that he would become Emperor one day before his birth. Even after Akbar’s death, he stayed away from court politics, especially when his father and siblings were fighting for the throne. However, as his ambition for the throne grew, he began to eliminate all of his brothers and nephews whom he deemed to be dangers. After Jahangir’s death, he drew closer to his father and was named Emperor. He was known for his passion of building and concentrated on developing the enormous Mughal Empire as Emperor. India became the richest hub of the arts, crafts, and architecture under his reign. Shah Jahan is well renowned for building the Taj Mahal, which he dedicated to his wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
Childhood and Adolescence
On January 5, 1592, in Lahore, Punjab, Shah ab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram was born to Emperor Jahangir and his bride, the Rajput princess Bilquis Makani (Princess Manmati) (now in Pakistan). He was the third son of Jahangir.
He was reared mostly by Akbar’s first wife, the childless Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, as a young kid, and was only returned to his birth mother when he was 13 years old.
He was raised in the manner of a Mughal royal, with superb martial training and exposure to a wide range of cultural skills, including poetry and music.
In 1605, Emperor Akbar died and was succeeded by Jahangir. Khurram’s older brother attempted to overthrow their father, but he was beaten. Khurram was unconcerned about his father’s and brother’s political feuds, preferring to concentrate on his education and training.
He eventually grew closer to his father, and in 1607 Jahangir gave him the jagir of Hissar-Feroza, which had previously been the fief of the heir apparent.
In 1614, he had his first chance to show off his military ability during the Mughal assault against the Rajput state of Mewar. The youthful prince led an army of roughly 200,000 men in an offensive that eventually forced Maharana Amar Singh II, the opposing ruler, to surrender to the Mughals.
Khurram was dispatched to the Deccan by his father with the goal of expanding the Mughal Empire, and he was successful. This pleased Jahangir, who bestowed the title of Shah Jahan upon him and provided him with an unique throne in his Durbar.
In 1622, Shah Jahan got dissatisfied with the throne and rebelled against his father with the help of Mahabat Khan. Jahangir’s army, on the other hand, put down the uprising.
Reign & Accession
Shah Jahan ascended to the throne in early 1628, after Jahangir died in late 1627. Following his ascension to the throne, he set about killing his main opponents, including his stepmother Nur Jahan, a strong political figure in the Mughal court. He assassinated his own brothers and nephews so that he could rule without being challenged.
During his reign, he was able to significantly extend the empire. He dispatched his sons with vast armies to capture lands on many fronts. He conquered the citadel of Daulatabad in Maharashtra and annexed the Rajput confederates of Baglana, Mewar, and Bundelkhand. Aurangzeb, his son, expanded the Mughal Empire by acquiring several new provinces.
Shah Jahan and his sons continued their military assaults effectively and took Kandahar from the Safavids in 1638. The Persians, headed by Abbas II of Persia, retaliated by reclaiming the territory within a few years. Even though Shah Jahan was unable to retake it from the Persians, he was able to expand the Mughal Empire westward to Ghazna and Kandahar beyond the Khyber Pass.
Shah Jahan was a patron of the arts and was known for his aesthetics. The Mughal Empire was a thriving center of arts, crafts, and architecture during his reign. The emperor’s passion for architecture is legendary; during his reign, some of the country’s most well-known architectural and artistic achievements were completed. Mughal architecture may be seen today in the Taj Mahal, the Red Fort, and the Jama Masjid in Delhi, as well as the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore.
Major Projects of Shah Jahan
Emperor Shah Jahan is most known as a patron of Mughal architecture and for the magnificent architectural structures he built throughout his reign. The Taj Mahal is the most famous of them all, as it was erected in remembrance of his favorite wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal. It took 20 years to complete the magnificent structure, which was made of white marble and brick. The Taj Mahal continues to be one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.
Personal History and Legacy
Shah Jahan had multiple wives, but his favorite was Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal, whom he married in 1612. Theirs was a joyful marriage defined by true affection for one another. Mumtaz had 14 children with him. She died of a postpartum hemorrhage in 1631 after problems with the birth of their last child. Following her death, Shah Jahan was bereft. Shah Jahan had children with his other wives as well.
Due to Shah Jahan’s inability to rule the court, his eldest son, Dara Shukoh, acquired the job of regent in 1658. This infuriated Shah Jahan’s other sons, who turned against him. The emperor’s third son, Aurangzeb, defeated all of his siblings and imprisoned Shah Jahan in Agra Fort.
Jahanara Begum, Shah Jahan’s eldest daughter, voluntarily accompanied her father and cared for him in his old age. On January 22, 1666, Shah Jahan died. His body was laid to rest next to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal at the Taj Mahal.
Estimated Net Worth
Shah Jahan’s estimated net worth is $ USD 8 million, according to online sources (Wikipedia, Google Search, Yahoo Search). His primary source of income is the monarchy.