Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan

"Shah Jahan on a globe" from the Smithsonian Institution
Reign
1628 - 1658
Full name
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan
Born
1 May 1592(1592-05-01)
Birthplace
Lahore
Died
22 January 1666 (aged 74)
Place of death
Agra
Buried
Taj Mahal
Predecessor
Jahangir
Successor
Aurangazeb
Wives
Akbarabadi Mahal (d. 1677) , Kandahari Mahal (b. 1594, m. 1609) , Mumtaz Mahal (b. 1593, m. 1612, d. 1631) , Hasina Begum Sahiba (m. 1617) , Muti Begum Sahiba , Qudsia Begum Sahiba , Fatehpuri Mahal Sahiba (d. after 1666) , Sarhindi Begum Sahiba (d. after 1650), Shrimati Manbhavathi Baiji Lal Sahiba (m. 1626)
Offspring
Jahanara Begum, Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja, Roshanara Begum, Aurangzeb, Murad Baksh, Gauhara Begum
Dynasty
Mughal
Father
Jahangir
Mother
Princess Manmati
Religious beliefs
Islam

Prince Khurram was 35 years old when he ascended the throne as Shah Jahan (King of the World). Succeeding Jahangir in 1627, Shah Jahan enjoyed the support of experienced administrators and advisors -- like his father-in-law Asaf Khan -- who were holdovers from the previous reign.

During the early years of his reign, Shah Jahan preferred Agra to Delhi as a place of residence. This preference is reflected in his selection of Agra as the site for a number of building ventures including the world's most famous and beautiful mausoleum, Taj Mahal.Shah Jahan is in the first rank of Indian rulers.

In 1638, Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to a city in Delhi. Known as Shahjahanabad, the new capital city was laid out under the emperor's auspices from 1639-1648.

 

From Shah Jahan to the end of the Mughal line the famous Red Fort was heart of the empire and the principal residence of the emperors. Hambly writes that in the 17th century, at the height of the Mughals' power, the Red Fort constituted not only the esidence of the emperor and his court but also housed the central dministrative machinery of the empire, a military garrison, an arsenal, the imperial treasury, factories (karkhaneh) for the manufacture of luxury commodities, and much more.

Shah Jahan, like his father Jahangir, was a notable patron of gardens.Lahore is also another site of the greatest of the Mughal water gardens known as Shalimar (Abode of Bliss), Brend (1991) notes. The garden was constructed in 1642

During Shah Jahan's reign, the Mughals penetrated deeper into the Deccan and the successful campaign in 1636 forced the state ruled by Adil Shah to acknowledge Mughal dominance. Shah Jahan returned north to concentrate on his new capital at Shahjahanabad, while his son, the young prince Aurangzeb, was appointed viceroy and commander-in-chief of Mughal forces in the Deccan.From an early age, Shah Jahan's four sons, Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja, Aurangzeb, and Murad Bakhsh, grew up in an atmosphere of bitter rivalry.Dara Shukoh, Shah Jahan's favorite and his heir, was a man of broad intellectual interests

Historical Date Of India
Babur defeats an army of Rajputs at the battle of Kanua using artillery
1527 ad
Babur dies and his son Humayun succeeds him
1530 ad
Afghan warlord Sher Khan Sur invades Bengal
1537 ad
Viswanatha founds the Nayak dynasty with capital in Madurai (south India)
1539 ad
Babur's son Humayun loses the empire to Afghan Leader Sher Shah Sur and goes into exile to Lahore
1540 ad
Sher Shah Sur dies and is succeeded by Islam Shah Sur
1545 ad
Islam Shah Sur dies and the Sur empire is divided among his relatives (Punjab, Delhi/Agra, Bihar, Bengal)
1553 ad
Humayun reconquers Delhi from the Sur ruler
1555 ad
the Mogul emperor Humayun dies and is succeeded by his 12-year old son Akbar under the tutelage of the Persian Shia noble Bairam Khan
1556 ad
Akbar fires Bairam Khan and assumes sole power
1560 ad
Akbar marries Padmini, a Hindu princess of the Rajaputana kingdom
1562 ad
The Mughul conquer the kingdom of Gondwana/ Garha-Katanga
1564 ad
Next History Date  
Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal
Tomb as to be “as beautiful as she was beautiful”
Took 22 years and 20,000 workers to build
Made of marble, sapphires, bloodstones, rubies, and lapis lazuli
Shah  Jahan tried to turn his empire into an Islamic state
Ordered the destruction of Hindu temples, taxed non-Muslims more heavily than Muslims, removed Hindus from high gov’t offices
Mughal empire reached its peak, but the religious intolerance weakened the gov’t
•Shah Jehan succeeded his father in 1627.
•Better ruler than Jehangir.
Restored the efficiency of government.
Recovered  territories.
Maintained peace
–Foreign traders were allowed into India and trade increased considerably.
•The empire was expanded.
•Shah Jehan was a patron of the arts
–Built many great architecture buildings including the Taj Mahal and the Peacock Throne, a brilliant gold throne encased in hundreds of precious gems.
–Built in honor of his wife who died during childbirth.
–Took over a decade to build and it nearly bankrupted the empire.
•1657 - Shah Jehan became seriously ill and a dispute over the succession of the throne ensued between his three sons.

Aurangzeb deposed Shah Jehan in a coup d’etat in 1658.  Shah Jehan was imprisoned in the Octagonal Tower of the Agra Fort from which he could see the Taj Mahal.  He died in 1666 and was buried next to his wife in the Taj Mahal.