Who was King Jahangir

India is a country whose history goes back thousands of years. Many different peoples and ethnic groups lived and still live in the country, in which different religions coexist ................

Mughals in India - Jahangir


Salim ascended the throne on October 24, 1605. He called himself the Emperor Jahangir (Conqueror of the World), but he did not have the size and harshness of his father. His nature was unbalanced, he wavered between exaggerated mildness and extreme cruelty.

His drunkenness prevented him from vigorously attending to the affairs of the state. The administration, which had worked properly and under Akbar's watchful eye, fell into disrepair and gave the high officials in the provinces yet another opportunity to enrich themselves and advance their own interests.

The country's economy was centered on the court, the luxury of which far exceeded the expense Akbar had allowed. The salaries of courtiers and dignitaries became more and more extravagant, there was no money left for the country. The major tasks of the central authority, e.g. building and maintaining roads and canals, were neglected. The arts and sciences given were encouraged.

Jahangir's weakness allowed his wife Nurjahan, one of the great women of India, to wield true power. Nurjahan, the daughter of a Persian adventurer, was first married to Sher Afghan, who was enfeoffed by Jahangir with the area of ​​Burdwan in Bengal.

Sher Afghan, believed to have supported rebel princes, fell from grace and was killed trying to bring him to the imperial court. Instead, Nur Jahan was brought to Delhi. She lived there as a lady-in-waiting until Jahangir married her. She quickly gained full power over the emperor and used it to promote the interests of her clan. The reputation she earned her father is reflected in the mausoleum built for him on the banks of the Jamuna in Agra, known as Itimad-ud-Daulah, made of fine marble and arguably the most beautiful, albeit the most beautiful not the greatest mausoleum in India.

Her brother Asaf Khan became the most influential man at court. With the marriage of his daughter to Jahangir's son Khurram, who later ascended the throne as Shahjahan, the fortunes of the two families were completely intertwined. The power of Nur Jahan also became visible to the outside world when she began holding audiences and minting coins with her name on it.

With perfect taste, Nurjahan also designed gardens, gold jewelry and interior decorations for the palaces. She arranged large celebrations and wrote poetry in the Persian language. But she was also skilled as a hunter.

To prevent delays and injustices in the judiciary, Jahangir had a chain of justice invented. It was thirty meters long, made of pure gold, and decorated with sixty bells. The precious piece hung down from the Jharokha balcony, on which grandfather Jahangier (Akbar) showed up every morning at sunrise, and then went back to rest for two hours. This chain should be rung by anyone who feels they have been treated unfairly. Actually, appearing in the morning was supposed to give every subject the opportunity to sue, but in practice it was not so easy. Even then, corrupt officials knew how to prevent complaints masterfully, especially since it is part of the Asian tradition to only communicate pleasant things to higher authorities. In theory, every subject had access to the durbar (court), the morning public audience at the Diwan -i-Am. But it was almost impossible to get the emperor's attention. Jahangir tells of a group of supplicants who disguised themselves as jugglers to bring their concerns forward.

Jahangir could not display Akbar's great military or organizational talents. Because of his moodiness and cruelty, his penchant for luxury, his sentimentality and generosity, criticism was loud.

Under Jahangir, Agra became the imperial capital again. While the emperor did not begin any major new architectural projects, he was responsible for creating a number of new gardens, notably Shalimar Bagh and Nishat Bagh in Kashmir. There is a wealth of evidence to support Jahangir's botanical knowledge. Downright lavishly, he also promoted the arts, especially painting. Artists who work for him and other nobles painted many of the most beautiful Mughal miniatures. Some of them projected the political ideology of the ruling dynasty - the emperor's association with light, the court rituals - or gave the imperial political standpoint a graphic form. But naturalistic tendencies in Mughal painting also reached their peak during these years. Jahangir was famous for his close observation of nature, and his reign made many excellent studies of animals and plants.

One event that marked the great distress of India during Jahangir's reign was the first and inexplicable appearance of the bubonic plague. This plague raged for years and depopulated entire areas. Several severe famines are also reported. There have always been famines in India due to the failure of the monsoon rain. The fact that entire districts were now depopulated was due to tax policy. Farmers were no longer allowed to accumulate reserves as the needs of the farm were more important. The splendor of the court, the magnificent palaces, mosques and mausoleums must be countered by the often desperate misery of the subjects in order to get a complete picture of life at that time.

Jahangir, who had risen against his father Akbar in order to gain power, had to tolerate the same fate happening to him through his son Khurram. Using all his might, he succeeded in suppressing the rebellion, but had to forego regaining the Kandhar province in southern Afghanistan, which Shah Abbas, King of Persia, had conquered in 1622. Jahangir's mausoleum is located in Lahore (Pakistan).