- Akbar’s eldest son Salim assumed the title of Nur-ud-din-Muhammad Jahangir and ascended the throne.
- He mostly lived in Lahore which he adorned with gardens and buildings.
- But soon, his eldest son Khusro revolted, which was suppressed.
- The fifth SIkh guru, Guru Arjun Dev, had helped Khusro. So he was also executed after 5 days of torture.
- Rana Amar Singh ( son of Maharana Pratap ) of Mewar submitted befofre Jahangir in 1615. Rana’s son Karan Singh was made a mansabdar in the Mughal court.
- Faced a formidable opponent in Malik Amber in his expedition oto Ahmednagar.
- His greatest failure was the loss of Kandahar to Persia in 1622.
- The most important event in Jahangir’s life was his marriage to Mehr-un-Nisa, the widow of Sher Afghani in 1611. The title of Nur Jahan was conferred on her.
- She had great influence on Jahangir’s life, as she was given the status of Padshah Begum, coins were struck in her name and all royal farmans beared her name.
- She got high positions for her father (Itmad-ud-daulah), and her brother ( Asaf Khan). She married Asaf’s daughter, Mumtaz Mahal to Khurram (later, Shahjahan). This cemented the alliance between Nurjahan, her father, Asaf Khan and Khurram. This alliance practically ruled the empire for 10 years. Problem arose when Nur Jahan married her daughter by Sher Afghani to Jahangir’s youngest son, Shahryar. Now Nur Jahan supported him for the heir-apparent.
- All these events hampered the military events for the recovery of Kandhar.
- Had a chain of justice outside his palace in Agra (called Zanzir-i-Adil). He also laid a number of gardens, such as the Shalimar and Nishat gardens in Kashmir.
- Captain Hawkins (1608-11) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619) visited his court. Due to the efforts of Sir Thomas Roe English factories were established at Surat and some other places.
- Pietra valle, famous Italian traveler came during his reign.
- Tobacco growing started during his reign. It was brought by the Portuguese.
- Able general and administrator.
- Had to face revolts in Bundelkhand (Jujjhar Singh Bundela of Orchcha) and in the Deccan (Khan-i-Jahan Lodi) in the initial years.
- Shahjahan’s policy of annexing the Deccan was quite successful. Ahmednagar was annexed while Bijapur and Golconda accepted his over lordship.
- Shahjahan also expelled the Portuguese from Hughli, as they were abusing their trading privileges.
- In 1639, Shahjahan secured Kandahar and immediately fortified it. But Persia wrested Kandahar from the Mughals in 1649. Shahjahan sent three expeditions to recover Kandahar, but all failed.
- Made his son, Aurangzeb the Viceroy of Deccan in 1636. Aurangzeb first tenure was till 1644.
- Aurangzeb’s second term as Viceroy in Deccan began in 1653 and continued till 1658. Aurangzeb built an effective Revenue System there (Murshid Kuli Khan was his dewan there).
- Last 8 years of his life were very painful, as there was a brutal war of succession among his four sons- Dara, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad.
- Dara was his favorite but Aurangzeb was the ablest.
- Ultimately, Aurangzeb took control and he was made the prisoner in the Agra Fort, being looked after by his daughter, Jahan Ara, till his death in 1666.
- His reign is considered the ‘Golden Age’ of the Mughal Empire.
- 2 Frenchmen, Bernier and Tavernier, and an Italian adventurer Manucci, visited during his reign.
Taj Mahal, the eternal love monument, is located in Agra. Shah Jahan commissioned its construction as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Arjumand Bano Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal, in 1631. It was constructed in 22 years (1631-1653) by a workforce of 22,000. It is generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture. The Taj Mahal was not designed by a single person. The project demanded talent from many quarters. Ustad Isa and Isa Muhammad Effendi are credited with a key role in the architectural design of the complex. The main dome was designed by Ismail Khan. Qazim Khan cast the solid gold finial that crowned the Turkish master’s dome. Chiranjilal was chosen as the chief sculptor and mosaicist. Amanat Khan was the chief calligrapher. Muhammad Hanif was the supervisor of masons. Mir Abdul Karim and Mukkarimat Khan handled finances and the management of daily production.
The Taj rises on a high red sandstone base topped by a huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the queen. The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the casket of the emperor which was built beside the queen’s as an afterthought. It is often described as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.