Shahzadi Jahanara Begum Sahib-Facets of her Life

 

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Shahzadi Jahanara Begum Sahib was the eldest daughter of

Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal.

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She was also the older sister of her father’s successor and the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.

Born: April 2, 1614 Died: September 16, 1681

Siblings: Dara Shikoh, Shah Shuja, Murad Baksh, Aurangzeb, Roshnara Begum

Parents: Shah Jahan, Arjumand Banu

Born after Huralnissaa girl born on March 30, 1613. She died when she was only 3, on June 14, 1616.

Her Siblings

Arjumand and Khurram celebrated their first child with Huralnissa, a girl born on March 30, 1613. She died when she was only 3, on June 14, 1616. A year after Huralnissa was born, and two years before she died. The couple celebrated their second child, Jahanara, born on April 2, 1614. Following Jahanara came the beloved first boy, Dara, born on March 30, 1615. Next came Shuja, another son, born on July 3, 1616. Then another girl, Raushanara, born September 3, 1617. Then a boy, Aurangzeb, born November 3, 1618. Afterwards there followed numerous miscarriages by Arjumand.

Other Names of Jahanara

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According to Mundy

–Chamani Begum aka Chimini Begum

Shah Jahan bestowed her with titles like:

–Sahibat al-Zamani (Lady of the Age)

–Padishah Begum (Lady Emperor)

–Begum Sahib (Princess of Princesses)

–Fatima

–She was known to her closest family simply as ‘Janni’.

The Faqirah

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The pilgrims referred to the princess as Faqirah, an ascetic.

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Jahanara Begum stated that she and her brother Dara were the only descendants of Timur to embrace Sufism.

Sufism

However, Aurangzeb was spiritually trained as a follower of Sufism as well.

As a patron of Sufi literature, she commissioned translations of and commentaries on many works of classical literature.

The pursuit of search for spirituality:

Jahanara was initiated into the Qadiriyya order of sufism by Mullah Shah Badakhshi of Lahore. Her book Risālah-i Ṣāḥibīyahwas was based on the life of Mullah Shah, her spiritual mentor.

She was also a follower of the Chishti saints Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi and Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer.

She wrote a biography of Moinuddin Chishti, the founder of the Chishtiyah order, titled:

•Mu’nis al-Arwāḥ

–as well as a biography of Mullah Shah, titled:

•Risālah-i Ṣāḥibīyah

in which she also described her initiation by him.

Her biography of Moinuddin Chishti is highly regarded for its judgment and literary quality.In it she regarded him as having initiated her spiritually four centuries after his death, described her pilgrimage to Ajmer and spoke of herself as a faqīrah to signify her vocation as a Sufi woman.

She was also a follower of the Chishti saints Nizamuddin Auliya of Delhi and Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer.

Poetess-Personal Attributes

She was highly educated and well versed in Persian and Arabic, as well as a writer, painter and poet (of some repute).

 

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Colophon of Muʼnis al-arvāḥ copied by Jahanara who signs herself

“Jahanara, a speck of dust at the feet of the sages of Chisht” (Or. 5637, ff. 122-23)

 

More Knowledgeable than her Father

Jahanara’s writings include two Sufi works: the Ṣāḥibīyah, a biography of her teacher Mulla Shah (d. 1661— a possible autograph of Mulla Shah’s is also included in the exhibition) and this work, primarily about Muʻin al-Din Chishti (1135–1229) who introduced the Chishti order of Sufism into India. Called the Mu’nis al-arvāḥ (a play on the title of one of Muʻin al-Din Chishti’s own works, the Anīs al-arvāḥ), she completed it on 27 Ram. 1049 (21 Jan 1640). She compiled it from a number of sources (including her brother Dara Shikoh’s own treatise Safīnat al-awliyā), proudly boasting a knowledge superior to her father’s:

“It should be known to everyone that the guiding master Khvaja Mu‘inuddin Muhammad [Chishti] (may almighty God protect his secret) was a sayyid, and without doubt was among the offspring of the prophet. There is no disputing this. When the ruler of the age… Shah Jahan (may God preserve his realm), my glorious father, did not have information about the origins of the guiding master, he investigated the matter. I told him repeatedly that the master was a sayyid but he did not believe me until one day he was reading the Akbarnama and his auspicious eyes fell on the part of the where Shaikh Abu al-Fazl describes briefly the reality of the guiding master being a sayyid. From that day on this fact that was clearer than the sun was revealed to the king, shadow of God”.

(Mu’nis al-arvāḥ, unpublished translation courtesy of Sunil Sharma)

The suggestion that this manuscript might have been copied by Jahanara herself was first mentioned by William Irvine in a footnote on p. 423 of the 4th volume of his translation of N. Manucci’s Storia do Mogor (London: Murray, 1907-8), where he writes “I have since given to the British Museum what I believe to be a holograph exemplar.” I read this quite by chance and immediately tried to locate the volume which was only summarily listed in G.M. Meredith-Owens Handlist of Persian manuscripts 1895-1966(London: British Museum, 1968). Besides the colophon saying that it was copied by Jahanara, this copy ends differently from others (The British Library has two: Or.250 and Add.16733). Comparison with known examples of Jahanara’s handwriting also suggested that it was in fact genuine.

Education

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She was taught by many tutors, including Mumtaz’s secretary, Sati-un Nissa, nicknamed Sati.

The children were schooled, Jahanara included. They were taught by many tutors. Many lessons were based on the Koran, which captivated Aurangzeb and led him into even more small mindedness towards other minorities and peoples and ideas.

After 300 Years……..

“The story behind the book, The Life of a Mogul Princess: Jahanara Begum (daughter of Shahjahan), is in itself interesting.

Andrea Butenschon found a unique handwritten copy in Persian of Jahanara’s book by accident. While she was visiting the Jasmine Tower of the Agra Fort, the manuscript fell into her hands from behind a marble slab which was on the verge of breaking.

Andrea Butenschon translated the manuscript into English and the book was finally published in 1931, almost 300 years after Jahanara had written it.”

Life of Jahanara

No formally attributed likeness of her is known to exist. She had lived in Agra, Dilli, Burhanpur, Lahore, Kashmir etc.

Jahanara grew up among splendour in the middle of nowhere. She and her family lived in huge tents, ate and drank from plates and goblets of gold, and wore the most expensive chadors and kameez. The family had relocated to the Nizamshahi Territory in the Deccan, a wasteland and breeding ground for rebels, traitors, and criminals.

However, on October 28, 1627, Emperor Jahangir died. Khurram took advantage of this opportunity and he and his family and their enormous entourage made their way to the royal compounds in Rajasthan, Fatehpur Sikri.

Worried Daughter

A legend goes that Khurram faked his own death by drinking goat’s blood and spitting it up very graphically to not attract attention and fear by other competitors to the throne. Only his closest accomplices, including Arjumand, knew he still lived.

Jahanara had to live in despair for a few days thinking that the father she loved was dead.

However, when the entourage reached Rajasthan, Khurram lifted himself out of his prye and became the Emperor of the Moghul Empire.

Favourite Daughter

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Jahanara was Shahjahan’s preferred child.

French traveler François Bernier, who visited India in that period, wrote:

–“Shahjahan reposed unbounded confidence in this his favorite child”. “she watched over his safety, and was so cautiously observant, that no dish was permitted to appear upon the royal table which had not been prepared under her superintendence.”

Italian traveler Niccolao Manucci, another witness of those times, wrote:

-“Jahanara was loved by all, and lived in a state of magnificence.”

Shah Jahan set about to first restore Fatehpur Sikri. He re-did the entire harem apartments, which in itself was its own palace.

Jahanara’s rooms can still be seen today, though not in the splendor they were fitted to at the time. Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and diamonds were scattered across the walls of her apartments, creating flowers designs. Various jewels were set into the floors and even into her large swimming pool. Niches were carved, setting candles across her rooms. Her rooms would have truly been a wonder, with candlelight shimmering among the rubies and diamonds and emeralds and sapphires, shimmering on the cool pool waters, and across the vast marble and jeweled floors.

Jahanara spent her days in the royal harem, the most protected and secluded places in the land. She spent her nights with her father and mother, painting, writing poems, and helping her father plan reconstructions of other palaces and monuments. Jahanara truly was a gifted young woman. She spent her days with all the women of the court, from the lowest concubines to her step-mothers. She had a very good relationship with her brother Dara, who shared her love of the arts, but was hostile towards Raushanara and Aurangzeb, both said to be in league with each other and very devious and disrespectful towards their mother, their father, and even other minorities in the harem, such as the Hindu wife and Christian wife of Jahan.

Jealous father-Shah Jahan

Throughout her life she remained devoted to her father and cared for him after his imprisonment in 1658 until his death eight years later.

However she was also the subject of scurrilous rumours, no doubt arising from jealousy. The French physician François Bernier, who was employed at court for several years from 1659, describes how Shah Jahan, realising that a suitor was hiding in Jahanara’s bath-tub, ordered the cauldron to be lit underneath and only left the room when he was sure the victim was dead. On another occasion he is reputed to have poisoned Jahanara’s steward who had been suggested as a potential husband.

Her life?

Manucci wrote that Jahanara had incestuous relationship with her father, a claim rejected by Bernier.

Both agreed that the princess had many lovers, who would be nightly smuggled into her apartment. They also claimed that she indulged in singing, dancing, and acting. Sometimes she was so drunk that she was unable to stand.

Travelling with her Father and Family

Jahanara spent her teenage years travelling all over the empire, visiting her father’s many splendors with the court. The family visited the beautiful palace at Srinagar in Kashmir, where the harem often went for picnics on Silver Island on Lake Dal and they also toured Jahan’s masterpiece, the Red Fort, an ostentatious palace that rivaled any palace they had ever seen.

The Nine Days Bazaar, which had simply died in Jahangir’s later reign, even made a come back in Jahan’s reign, which Jahanara took a part in.

Influence at court

Her father frequently took her advice and entrusted her with charge of the Imperial Seal.

Hence she became one of the most powerful women at court at the age of 14. Shah Jahan’s fondness for his daughter was reflected in the multiple titles that he bestowed upon her.

Her power was such that, unlike the other royal princesses, she was allowed to live in her own palace, outside the confines of the Agra Fort.

Death of Mumtaz Begum

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Arjumand Banu Begum, Empress Mumtaz died from complications of giving birth to her fourteenth child-Guahara Begum, some time after the birth.

(Guahara Begum incidentally lived till she was 71 years of age).

Contemporary historians note that Princess Jahanara, aged 17, was so distressed by her mother’s pain that she started distributing gems to the poor, hoping for divine intervention.

First Lady

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Upon the death of Mumtaz in 1631, Jahanara, aged 17, took the place of her mother as First Lady of the Empire, despite her father having three other wives. As well as caring for her younger brothers and sisters, she is also credited with bringing her father out of mourning and restoring normality to a court darkened by her mother’s death and her father’s grief.

Aftermath of Death of Mumtaz Mahal Begum

One of her tasks after the death of her mother was to oversee the betrothal and wedding of her brother, Dara Shikoh to Begum Nadira Banu, which had been originally planned by Mumtaz Mahal, but postponed by the death of Jahanara’s mother, Arjumand Banu Begum, Empress Mumtaz Mahal.

Inheritance

Mumtaz Mahal’s personal fortune valued at 10,000,000 rupees, was divided by Shah Jahan between Jahanara Begum (who received half) and the rest of her surviving children.

After her mother’s death, Shahjahan bestowed upon Jahanara, then 17, with half of Mumtaz Mahal’s property worth Rs ten million. Her annual stipend was raised from Rs 600,000 to Rs one million. The royal seal was entrusted to her.

Jahanara Begum Sahib-Accident

Fire

In 1644, two days after her birthday, Jahanara Begum was in her Wardrobe when her garments – perfumed with fragrant oils – caught fire and she was seriously burned.

She was cured by a mendicant named Hanum, who was richly rewarded by Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan, so concerned for the welfare of his favorite daughter, nursed her back to health himself. Within a year of the accident, she had completely recovered. After her recovery, Shah Jahan gave her rare gems and jewelry and bestowed upon her the revenues of the port of Surat.

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Begum Dalaan

(Outer courtyard in Ajmer Dargah

The disfigured princess – her body still hurting – went on a pilgrimage to Moinuddin Chishti’s shrine in Ajmer.

In gratitude, Jahanara built the shrine’s marble pavilion, now known as:

–Begumi Dalan

and

–wrote Mu’nis al-Arwā, Moinuddin Chishti’s biography that is acclaimed for its literary craftsmanship.

A Kind Forgiving Princes

Legend says that once when Aurangzeb was severely sick, Jahanara took care of him. Later when he asked her whether she would support him for the throne, she said that he would not be emperor due to which Aurangzeb became very angry with her.

When Aurangzeb fell out of favour with his father during the time of Jahanara’s convalescence, she is credited with using the celebrations of her recovery to encourage her father to restore Aurangzeb to his former positions.

Discord with Aurangzeb and Roshnara (Her siblings)

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Raushnara

There is record of disagreements between Jahanara and her younger brother Aurangzeb whom she had referred to as the “white serpent” (presumably due to Aurangzeb’s fair complexion) also referring to him as a tiger and panther.

There also seemed to be some sort of tension with her younger sister, Roshanara Begum, three years her junior who seemingly, resented her elder sister’s position as First Lady of the Empire.

Jahanara took the side of Dara Shikoh in the struggle for the throne (Whilst Roshanara sided with Aurangzeb). Dara had promised her to lift the ban on marriage for Mughal princesses, which Akbar had introduced. (This is debatable). Had he triumphed, her power would likely have continued.

Looking after Jani Begum aka Jahanzeb Banu Begum (d. 1705)

Jahan Ara had intervened and asked Aurangzeb to let her take charge of the child. Aurangzeb was unable to deny his elder sister’s request, and agreed reluctantly.

Jani, loved by her grandfather Shah Jahan and once adored by father Dara Shikoh, was eventually brought up by Jahan Ara aka Begam-Sahib after Aurangzeb had demolished the rest of her family. Under the tutelage of Jahan Ara Jani grew up to be a remarkably beautiful and cultured princess. She bequeathed her finest gems to Jani begum.

Daughter and Father

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On Aurangzeb’s ascent to the throne, Jahanara joined her father in imprisonment at the Agra Fort, where she devoted herself to his care until his death.

After almost 30 years as the lead woman in the empire, Jahanara took on another duty: to tend to her dying father.

Death of Shah Jahan

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At his bedside, were his loving daughter-princes Jahanara who had looked after her father for eight years and his faithful wives Akbarabadi Begum and Fatehpuri Begum. They were all praying for his life. But the end was near, with a sigh and a last glance towards Taj Mahal, his eyes glazed over.

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Princes Jahanara looked on at the sad spectacle from a window of the palace. She had pleaded to Khoja Phul (the eunuch) not to take the body for burial in the night without waiting for the daybreak. “I have orders from the Emperor (Aurangzeb) to carry the coffin this very night”, he had replied and hurried to lead the cortege out of the fort.

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Jahanara had wished to distribute gold coins, to the people on the streets, as the cortege of Shah Jahan passed, as would be done for an emperor, but this wish of hers was not granted.

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Reconciliation with Aurangzeb

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Jahanara returned to court life after her father’s death, despite that the court now belonged to the new emperor, her brother Aurangzeb. After the death of their father, Jahanara and Aurangzeb were reconciled. He gave her the title, Empress of Princesses and she replaced Roshanara as First Lady.

Jahanara was soon secure enough in her position to occasionally argue with Aurangzeb and have certain special privileges which other women did not possess. She argued against Aurangzeb’s strict regulation of public life in accordance with his conservative religious beliefs and his decision in 1679 to restore the poll tax on non-Muslims, which she said would alienate his Hindu subjects.

After their father’s death, Aurangzeb appointed Jahanara as the first lady of his court. Her annual allowance was raised from Rs 1 million rupees to Rs 1.7 million and she was given a grand mansion in Delhi where Aurangzeb would spend hours conversing with her.

Builder-Personal Attributes-Chandni Chowk

She also made a significant impact on the landscape of the capital city of Shahjahanabad. Of the eighteen buildings in the city of Shahjahanabad commissioned by women, Jahanara commissioned five of them. All of Jahanara’s building projects were completed around the year 1650, inside the city walls of Shahjahanabad.

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The best known of her projects is Chandni Chowk, the central bazaar. Some of these bazaars found their incarnation in Delhi and their names are still there as a reminder. For that matter even Chandni Chowk was originally in the Agra Fort, until Jahanara Begum built a more magnificent and spacious version of it in Delhi.

Designed by the princess, the bazaar had a 40 yards wide and 1520 yards long street. The Shops were all oriented in an actuate fashion. A tree-lined canal flowed along its length.

Not just the Chadni Chowak was built in Shahjahanbad. In 1650, Jahanara built a public bath south of her bazaar at 180 feet long and 60 feet wide.

Jahanara was known for her active part in looking after the poor and financing the building of mosques and wise.

The iconoclastic Jahanara Begum, daughter of Emperor Shahjahan, designed Chandni Chowk in 1600. The market gets its name from the moonlight reflected in the many canals laid out by her, which ran through the market. It was also her idea to construct all shops in it, in the shape of a half-moon. The pattern, the artistry and the shimmering waters of the canal are now non-existent today. There is no trace of any of her enterprises. Evidences of her sizeable contribution are to be found only in ancient history books written in Urdu, some rare surviving anecdote penned down by some one or some piece of memory that has managed to slip through the generations.

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Jahanara Sarai in Begumabad aka Shahjahanabad

Jahanara designed a caravan serai. A two-story building, the caravanserai housed Persian and Uzbek merchants in 90 lavishly decorated rooms. A large courtyard dominated the center of the hotel-like building, complete with canals and gardens.

In 1650, Jahanara Begum commissioned the construction of a massive structure of stone and marble, surrounded by an Edenic garden lined with huge green trees, dotted by magnificent fountains, and the abode of numerous chirping birds for whom water and grains were laid out in the lawn. There was also a prayer hall attached to the Sarai. Once a week, Shahzadi Jahanara would come with her retinue and meet the tourists herself- a privilege denied to all other women of the court.

As about everything else in Chandni Chowk, anecdotes abound about the enigmatic princess, stories you can glean from every hawker, every faqir, every Maulvi, every resident. The story goes that the idea of setting up a Sarai was conceived when she was strolling through the glittering silver streets of Dariba Kalan- in disguise, with one of her lovers. Before that, most travellers would find boarding and lodging at the guest houses owned by noblemen. But they were both small, and exclusive.

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Town Hall (Chandni Chowk Delhi)-stands where Jahanara’s Sarai used to be.

This Sarai came to be called as “Begumabad”and the gardens as “Begum ka Baag”.

All these accounts are found in Sir Syed Ahmad Khan’s “Asar-us-Sanadid”, documenting monuments and other antiquities of ancient and medieval Delhi. Again, these books, other yellowed, moth-eaten parchments and the collective memory of the enthused residents of Chandni Chowk, are the only testimonies to this pristine history. Not a wall, not a gate lives to tell its story and the Town Hall now stands where the Sarai used to be.

The Town Hall was built by the British, and now houses the various important government offices. It is heavily barricaded, and entry can be gained only through much coaxing and cajoling. The well-cemented ceilings, damp air, dusty office files, grimy cubicles, loud and slothful government officers again make it difficult to imagine a magnificent Sarai at this very spot in the erstwhile Shahjahanabad.

Chandni Chowk-Begum ka Bagh aka Shiba Abad Garden

Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter on whom he had conferred the title of Begum Sahib, who had laid out Chandni Chowk, the main market square, and the garden known as Begum ka Bagh.’

The latter, was well recorded by historians and accounts describe the enclosed garden, into which only women and children were allowed, as having ‘pools and channels for running water. There were fountains and canopies supported on 12 pillars of red stone (called bara dari). These provided cool resting places for the people who came to the garden. The water in the channels came from a special canal system and helped irrigate the trees and grass and plants within. There were plenty of flowering trees and fruit trees‘

Begum ka Bagh remained a garden for royal ladies until the reign of Shah Alam II before becoming Company Bagh early during India’s rule by the British East India Company. In 1876 it was renamed again to the Queen’s Garden following Queen Victoria’s elevation to Empress of India. Sadly, the Begum Samro’s Palace which was built in the garden during the reign of Shah Alam II is now one of the main markets for electrical goods in Delhi and of the gardens, the only surviving part is now the Mahatma Gandhi Park.

Mahatma Gandhi park is located on the main Church road, near by the Old Delhi railways station.

Shiba Abad Garden

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Jahanara’s most ambitious project was the Shiba Abad Garden, a large enclosed space of 50 acres designed especially for the royal family. The Paradise Canal flowed into the Shiba Abad Garden, watering countless trees, flowers, and fruit trees. A tower stood at each corner and ponds and summerhouses stood in the center beside the canal. Connected to Jahanara’s other accomplished buildings, the Shiba Abad was reserved especially for the royal family and the harem.

Begum Sahib, who had laid out Chandni Chowk, the main market square, and the garden known as Begum ka Bagh.

We find descriptions of Begum ka Bagh in many history books and in the accounts of travellers who saw it then. All of them agree that it was indeed a thing of beauty. Enclosed within a high stone wall on all sides, it had pools and channels for running water. There were fountains and canopies supported on 12 pillars of red stone (called bara dari). These provided cool resting places for the people who came to the garden. The water in the channels came from a special canal system and helped irrigate the trees and grass and plants within. There were plenty of flowering trees and fruit trees.

Some of them were set up with swings. It was the favourite resting place of the princesses and the ladies of the palace. It was also visited by the wives and daughters of the nobles.

An interesting story about Begum ka Bagh

There is an interesting story about Begum ka Bagh, where only ladies and children were allowed to enter. There was a Persian poet in the court of Shah Jahan, who was very curious about the place and wanted to see it. He was equally keen to catch a glimpse of the princess who had set out this garden and the beautiful Chandni Chowk. The poet wore a burkha over his clothes and sneaked into the garden one day. He saw the royal ladies laughing and joking with each other. Some were on the swings.

The poet was dazzled by Jahanara’s beauty and dignity. He composed a poem about her on the spot. He was just writing it down when Princess Jahanara caught sight of him. She walked up to the poet and asked him what he was doing. While she threatened to punish him, he pleaded with her to hear his poem first. As he recited his poetry, Jahanara and the other ladies in the garden were enchanted by his words. With a little encouragement from the ladies to present the poet with an award instead of punishment, Jahanara handed him a purse filled with coins, and added: “Please don’t stay here another moment. Run as fast as you can! You should never have come here, you know.”

The poet saluted her and left the garden immediately. But once Emperor Shah Jahan got word of the incident, he banished the poet from his kingdom forever.

Pankhon ka Mela

Many festivals were celebrated within the Begum ka Bagh. The most important among them was called Pankhon ka mela. It was a fair meant exclusively for ladies and was celebrated for a whole week. There were stalls for lovely embroidered kurtas and dupattas, colourful bangles and other jewellery, toys and all kinds of goodies to eat, gleaming utensils and sparkling crockery, paintings, clay figures and every kind of beautiful objects that you can think of. There were songs, poetry readings, other festivities and games as well. Everyone had a wonderful time.

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In Agra she is best known for sponsoring the building of the Jami Masjid in 1648

in the heart of the old city

 Jahanara’s Ship-Sahibi

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When the Sahibi (a ship constructed by herself), was going to set sail for its first journey (on 29 October 1643), she ordered that the ship make its voyage to Mecca and Medina and “… that every year fifty koni (One Koni was 4 Muns or 151 pounds) of rice should be sent by the ship for distribution among the destitute and needy of Mecca.”

 Death of Jahanara

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Jahanara died on Setpember 6, 1681, at the age of 67
(Jahanara’s grave in 1903)

Upon her death, Aurangzeb gave her the posthumous title: Sahibat-uz-Zamani (Mistress of the Age).

Jahanara Begum’s Tomb

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Jahanara is buried in a tomb in the Nizamuddin Dargah complex in New Delhi, which is considered “remarkable for its simplicity”.

Jahanara Begum’s Grave

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Rose petals are offered daily on Jahanara’s simple grave in Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah. Enclosed with screens of marble latticework, it looks to the sky.

The epitaph inscribed on a marble slab is in Persian.

He is the Living, the Sustaining.

Let no one cover my grave except with greenery,

for this very grass suffices as a tomb cover for the poor.

The annihilated fakeera Lady Jahanara,

Disciple of the lords of Chishti,

Daughter of Shah Jahan the Warrior

(may God illuminate his proof).

Comments on Jahan Ara’s Final Years

Jahanara’s final years are mysterious. She did leave the royal palaces and lived in her father’s city of Delhi for the rest of her life and commissioned numerous structures, including the Chandni Chowk, a large and ornate marketplace. Jahanara composed many poems, painted, and honored her father and mothers’ love of the arts. In a away she continued what her father had started.

Raushanara was still living with Aurangzeb at the time. Being the jealous type, she asked Aurangzeb if she could be permitted the freedoms Jahanara had. Aurangzeb responding by saying no, that he needed his sister to care for his children (Aurangzeb had married 5 wives and fathered 4 daughters and 6 sons).

Jahanara never married, and knew she never would all her life, as it was forbidden for Moghul princesses to wed. Jahanara is rumoured to have asked her father to lift this law, but it never happened and Aurangzeb would certainly never let the law be sanctioned, even if Jahanara was the Empress of Princesses.

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 (Text compiled from various sources and cited)

 

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