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the-south-asian.com                         December 2000

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Real Name - Salim

Born – 1569

Died – 28 Oct 1627. Nur Jahan built his tomb in Lahore.


Accession to power – At the age of 36 in 1605

Length of rule in India – 22 years from 1605-1627

Ethnic stock – Half Mughal and half Hindu Rajput

Father – Akbar

Mother – Rajput princess from Amber

Siblings – Two brothers – Murad and Daniyal – both died of alcoholism

Married – Married the sister of Raja Man Singh of Amber – a Hindu Rajput princess. Also married Persian Mehrunissa [Nur Jahan] in May 1611- she was 34 at the time.

Children – 4 sons

Khusrau b 1588 of Hindu Rajput mother – led 2 rebellions against father

Parwiz b 1590 was a nonentity - died 1626 of alcoholism

Khurram b 1592 known as Shah Jahan - born of Hindu Rajput princess

Shahriyar b of a slave-girl – in 1621 Nur Jahan got him married to her daughter from first marriage Ladli Begum – to thwart the growing influence of Shah Jahan

Interests – High quality of paintings in Jahangir’s time. Built Shalamar Bagh in Srinagar. Poetry lover. Naturalist.

Character traits – Aesthetic leanings and political skill but no grand plans. Well read.

As a ruler – Did not follow his father’s politics of reconciliation nor did he initiate any extreme measures. No popular fusion of the two religions. Promoted mass conversion to Islam, persecuted followers of Jainism, executed Guru Arjun Das the 5th Guru - yet wrote in his diary "the need to follow the rule of universal peace with regard to religions".

Weaknesses – His chief weakness – influenced by others. During the last 5 years of his reign Jahangir weakened by alcohol, opium and asthma. Not a soldier or a reformer.

Inherited – a vast, stable empire


Above information  is compiled from various sources, prominent among them ‘India – a Country Study’, ‘Delhi’ by Khushwant Singh, ‘The Great Mughals’ by Bamber Gascoigne, ‘The Mughals – Splendours of the Peacock Throne’, and ‘The City of Djinns’


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