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JAHANGIR (Mughal Emperor Of India) essay

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JAHANGIR (Mughal emperor of India)


Jahangir (Mughal emperor of India) (1569-1627), was the fourth Mughal Emperor of India who ruled for 22 years. Jahangir was a friendly and a moderate Muslim. Jahangir loved architecture, fine arts and was very fond of paintings. Besides being a successful ruler, he was kind to his Indian subjects whether they be Hinduís or Muslimís. Jahangir was a ruler with many military ambitions, the foremost being to conquer the seat of the government of Timurids, the Transoxiana.

Jahangir was the son of one of the most notable rulers in the Islamic history, Akbar and his wife Jodha Bai. He was brought in the best possible manner and given the best education at the new capital of India; Fatehpur-Sikri. He was taught Persian, Arabic, Hindi, History, Arithmetic, Geography and Turki by different expert teachers. The teacher who influenced Jahangir the most was Abdul Rahim Khan, a genius in every aspects of life. Under his influence, Jahangir mastered the art of composing verses.

Anxious For the Throne

Jahangir was given training in the civil and military department. He was placed in charge of the Kabul expedition in the year 1581, where he conducted military expeditions. Four years later he was given the rank of an Army officer with command over 12000 soldiers. At an early life he was familiar with wine and became addicted to the life. Besides being a master in different parts of life, he was very much impatient. His ambition to become the new ruler without the traditional death of his father was the reason he became annoyed with his father. When Akbar was convinced by one his favorite companions Abul fazl to make a committee of seekers who think of him as a divinely inspired person and gave him the phrase of Allah Akbar, thinking that Abul Fazl was going to be the next successor because of his close relationship with his father, Abul Fazl was murdered by the prince in the year 1602. This really depressed Akbar and he did not show his face in public for 3 days. Finally in the year 1605 a dying King Akbar unwillingly placed his turban on his Eldest son and hence Prince Salim was hailed as the new King.

He was given the throne at the age of 36 and assumed the name of Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir. But Jahangir soon too was disturbed by his eldest son Prince Khusrau. Soon after Prince Khusrauís army was defeated at the hands of the imperial forces near Jallandar, the prince was faced with total humiliation. Jahangir had his own son walk in a street with the pierced bodies of his supporters. This demoralized his son so much that he could organize a revolt and was given any moral support from the people who didnít wanted him to be the next ruler. Later Jahangir had his eyes on the Sikh ruler Guru Arjun, who had given money to Prince Khusrau. The Sikh leader was fined for this offence and tortured till he breathed his last breath. Studies show that Sikhís suffered only when they were involved in political matter otherwise Jahangir did not mistreated with them. Jahangir was so determined to give justice, that he ordered a chain of justice made purely from gold to be hung outside the Agra fort and who ever thinks he is not given justice can ring it to draw the attention of the ruler and he may be given a fair chance to rectify his injustice.

Disturbances in India later on provoked the Shah of Persia to buy the Fortress of Kandahar which had a very strategic and commercial importance as it was the reason of argument among India and Persia in the Middle Ages. After the death of Humayun, it was handed to Shah Hussain by a Persian ruler, which was later captured by Akbar but than again passed to the Persians. There were unsuccessful attempts made to capture the fort, but each and every time the Mughalís failed. These failed attempts reduced the status of the Mughal Empire.

Jahangir increases Territories and Builds Statues and Mosques

Jahangir main aim now was to conquest the whole of India. He sent his second son to conquer the great fort of Chittor which was under the hands of a Hindu ruler by the name of Rana Amar Singh. The first attempt was unsuccessful in 1605, in 1608 another army was sent to conquer the fort but instead in 1615 a peace treaty was signed among the Hindu ruler and Jahangirís second son. No one in history had managed to end a long conflict into a peace treaty and this treaty is a landmark. Jahangir ordered for two life size marbles to be placed in the Palace of Agra, one of his son and other of the Hindu Ruler. Jahangir got the Loyalty of the Mewarís which lasted till his grandson Emperor Aurangzeb who divided the two kingdoms.

One of the most notable achievements in the Jahangir regime was the successful capture of Kanga. Jahangirís desire to seize Ahmadnagar and the two independent states of Bijapur and Golkunda were assigned to his third son Prince Khurram. The seizing of Kanga prompted the Emperor to go to the place and built mosques there. However Ahmadnagar was not conquered due to the opposition coming from a former slave who trained soldiers of Maharasthra in guerilla combat. Prince Khurram was rewarded for his partial success by been given a title of Shah Jahan meaning King of the World.

Wife and Son strive For Power

The most important in the first half of Jahangirís regime was the rise of his most favorite wife Nur Jahan meaning Light of the World and his son Prince Khurram. A lady having a great amount of energy and many talents, Nur Jahan became an effective leader in Politics. Many Persian poets, architects, musicians and artists came to Agra just because of her. Shah Jahan was the next in line for his Father throne which made Nur jahan disliking him.

The first step Nur Jahan took was to persuade Jahangir to make Shah Jahan return to the military which will automatically make him go away from the political affairs. Shah Jahan accepted and along with his Brother Khusrau went against rival kings in Deccan. Later hearing that Jahangirís health was worsening, he planned on killing his brother who would become a rival in his way to the throne. In the year 1623 Shah Jahan had an open march towards Agra which prompted Nur Jahan to order find the forces of Shah Jahan and kill him. Being at a military disadvantage Shah Jahan avoided the forces and was chased around India for continuously three years and than agreeing to return to his father.

Jahangir was very fond of religious dialogues. Sir Thomas of England held a dialogue with the emperor to allow Christians, Muslims and Hindus to be treated as equal and should celebrate their religious festivals. He allowed all the religions to hold their festivals without any problems.

Problems between his wife and son Shah Jahan were disastrous for the Mughal Empire. Jahangirís situation was serious after facing pressure from the Persian Empire and continued problems between his wife and son.

Reign an Era of Family Strife And Notable Architecture

Jahangir was famous for his architectural works. His magnificent tomb at Agra was finished in the year 1628 by his chief ministerís daughter, Nur Jahan. It was brilliant art with different styles of inlay. It features included the use of white marble and inlay as a decorative item. The quality of paintings and coins during the regime of Jahangir was the result of the Emperorís own interest. He was a student keen in paintings and knew had the ability to tell as to who painted the eye and the eyebrow in the face and who painted the rest of the picture.

Towards the end of his era, his wife Nur Jahan took an active role in the government affairs and she appointed her skillful brother Asaf Khan to be a chief in the kingdom. Later both Brother and sister decided to attack the powerful afghan by birth name Mahabat Khan. When Mahabat khan realized the delicate situation, with the help of 5000 troops, he marched towards the bank of river Jhelum. As Jahangir and Nur Jahan were traveling to Kabul, the emperor was taken prisoner the Afghan. Jahangir managed to escape with the help of her clever wife, Nur Jahan. Later Shah Jahan joined forces with Mahabat Khan to become more powerful than ever.

The emperor turned towards Kashmir, where he found comfort and made regular journeys there. There he found natural paradise, which he along with his court had tried to make an artificial one. The Mughal gardens in Srinagar are one of the results of his interest. Shalimar garden in Lahore, Pakistan was also a beautiful place with carved pillars, pools which can be reached only by stepping stones.

Jahangir died in October of 1927 at the bottom of the Kashmir Hills; Nur Jahan was betrayed by her brother Asaf Khan who joined Shah Jahan. When Shah Jahan came to know about his fatherís death his rushed to Agra to claim his fatherís throne. Nur Jahan was sentenced to live her life in solitude in Lahore where she died in 1645.

Some historianís think Jahangir was a changeable dictator where as the Indian authors regard him as a noble and kind ruler. Most people agree that he was an educated and a cultural man. The most notable building renovated by him is his fatherís tomb in Sikandra. A great mosque is also built in Lahore under his guidance, which rivals a mosque built by his son in New Delhi.


Jahangir was a successful ruler and during his era people were very well off. Many industries flourished during his time mainly Agriculture. His main idea was to promote social justice and an administrative efficiency, and in most cases he tried to follow his fatherís footstep but was less successful in putting them into effect. Jahangir was one of the most successful Emperors of the Mughal Empire.


ē Wheeler M Thackston, 1999 the Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, USA.

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