Shah Jahan and His Architectural Contribution to India

5907 Words Oct 14th, 2012 24 Pages
Contents Introduction 3 Chapter 1 7 Taj Mahal: Shah Jahan’s symbolism of his eternal love 7 1.1 Who Built It? 9 1.2 Features 10 1.3 The Judgment Day 11 1.4 Conclusion 12 Chapter 2 13 Shah Jahan and his Empire 13 2.1 Religious Changes 14 2.2 Political Changes 15 Conclusion 17 Bibliography 18

Introduction
Shahanshah Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I, Shah Jahan was the 5th emperor of the Mughal Empire after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, and Jahangir. He reigned from 8th November 1627 to 2nd August 1658 (30 years, 267 days). Shah Jahan was the favorite of Akbar the great.He is also called Shahjahan the Magnificent. He is a descendant of Genghis Khan, Emperor of Mongol Empire and Tamerlane, Emperor Charlemagne, the King of the Franks,
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Hence, it is not correct to arrive at a conclusion that Shah Jahan was a women seeking man only by Niccolao’s writings. He was rather a romantic lover of Mumtaz Mahal as the great Taj Mahal proves it.
Several European chroniclers suggested that Shah Jahan had an incestuous relationship with his own daughter Jahanara Begum.
The European traveller Francois Bernier wrote, "Begum Sahib, the elder daughter of Shah Jahan was very beautiful... Rumor has it that his attachment reached a point which it is difficult to believe, the justification of which he rested on the decision of the Mullahs, or doctors of their law. According to them it would have been unjust to deny the king the privilege of gathering fruit from the tree he himself had planted."
Bernier’s writing on Shah Jahan’s relationship with his daughter Jahanara is not conclusive. Since it was based on prevailing rumor, it is merely a theory that Bernier put forward to the history. However, there was conflicting views too. As I have earlier mentioned about Niccolao Manucci’s findings, He only focused on what he saw and underwent. According to Manucci, he said
“It was from this cause (Shahjahan’s great affection for Jahanara) that the common people hinted that she had intercourse with her father, and this has given occasion to Monsieur Bernier to write many things about this princess, founded entirely on the talk of low people. Therefore it is incumbent on me, begging