Meet the Royals

Meet Jahangir and Shah Jahan -- two of the greatest Mughal emperors, a line that ruled most of South Asia from 1526-1857.

The Mughals declared descent from both Timur (Tamurlaine) and the Mongols. The Mughals were contemporaries of the Safavids in Iran, the Ottomans in the eastern Mediterranean/Turkeyand the Ming emperors of China. Therefore, they felt it was their birthright to claim vast parts of the Indian sub-continent.

Jahangir’s son, the emperor Shah Jahan was famous for building the Taj Mahal, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. This monument still stands as the finest example of Mughal architecture in India today. It is important to note that Jahangir’s previous name was Prince Salim while his son Prince Khurram became Shah Jahan. Similar to other rulers, their names changed upon accepting the thrown.

Both Jahangir and Shah Jahan had an eye for beauty. They hired the best artists to work at court, and were often represented by artists in sumptuous textiles adorned with precious jewelry.

Transition of Power

Transition of Power

“Seizer of the World”

Seizer of the World

 “King of the World”

Shah Jahan, also known as “King of the World,” ruled from 1627 to 1658. His early years as Prince Khurram, were filled with military successes benefitting the reign of his father Jahangir.

Illuminating the Eye of Hope

Shah Jahan and the Taj Mahal

Shah Jahan ascended the throne with the help of Asaf Khan, the father of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Even though he had several wives he remained devoted to Mumtaz, who bore him fourteen children. During her last pregnancy, the Queen died . Grief stricken, Shah Jahan renounced his love of jewels, music, and banquets for two years. Over a decade later, Mumtaz’s magnificent tomb –the Taj Mahal—was completed. Sheathed in marble inlaid with calligraphy, the monument’s color subtly changes as the sun rises and falls each day.

A Tragic Twist
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