Services (Prelims) Examination Special
Quick Revision Notes
Empire - II (Indian History)
A week after Akbarâ€™s death, Salim succeeded
to the throne of Agra and assumed the title of Nur-ud-din
Mohammed Jahangir Padshah (Emperor) Ghazi
Five months after his accession to the throne,
Jahangir faced rebellion by his son Khusrav.
The Prince and his
troops were defeated by the Mughal army near Jalandhar
and Khusrav was captured alongwith his principal
followers, Husain Beg and
The fifth Sikh Guru, Arjan
Dev was sentenced to death
by Jahangir for helping Prince Khusrav with a sum of money.
The execution of Guru Arjan Dev estranged the Sikhs,
till then a peace-loving community, and turned them into
foes of the Mughal Empire.
In May 1611, Jahangir married Noor
Jahan, originally known
as Mihir-ul-nisa. The
emperor, who styled himself Nor-ud-din, conferred
on his new wife the title of Noor Mahal (Light of
the palace), which was soon changed to Noor Jahan
(Light of the world). She was the daughter of Mirza
Ghiyas Beg, a Persian adventurer.
Jahangir was known to have had several secret
love affairs with the ladies of the court. One
famous love of Jahangir was Anarkali,
for whom he raised a beautiful marble
tomb at Lahore.
The most distinguished triumph of Mughal
imperialism during the reign of Jahangir was its victory
over the Rajputs of Mewar.
In the Deccan, war dragged on throughout his
reign against the kingdom of Ahmadnagar. The
kingdom of Ahmadnagar was then served by its
Abyssinian minister Malik Ambar, one of the
greatest statesmen that Medieval India produced.
A partial success was gained by Mughals in
1616, when Prince
Khurram captured Ahmadnagar and some other
strongholds. For this victory Khurram was rewarded by
his father with the title of Shah Jehan (King
of the world).
The first serious disaster of the Mughal empire
during the reign of Jahangir was loss of Kandhar.
Deceiving the Mughal officers by gifts, Shah
Abbas, one of the greatest rulers
of Asia in his time, besieged Kandhar in 1621, and finally
took it in June 1622.
Shah Jehan revolted against Jahangir with help
of Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan, an officer in
the Mughal court. He was, however, defeated by
Mughal forces led by Mahabat Khan, at
Balochpur, near Delhi, in 1623. Shah Jehan was then
chased from province to province and finally, in
1625, he reconciled with his father and retired to Nasik with
his wife Noor Jahan, a niece of Mumtaz Mahal, and youngest
son Murad. His other sons, Dara Shikoh and
Aurangzeb, were sent to the imperial court,
probably to serve as hostages to ensure his good
The success of Mahtab
Khan excited the jealousy of Noor
Jahan and this hostility drove him to rebellion. Mahtab Khan
took Jahangir as prisoner on the banks of Jhelum, while
the emperor was on his way to Kabul. However, Jahangir
managed to escape from prison and went to Rohtas
where troops loyal to him had collected in a large force.
Mahtab Khan ultimately made peace with Jahangir, but this
triumph remained short-lived as Jahangir died on October
27, 1627. His body was buried in a beautiful tomb at Shahdara,
near Lahore, on the banks of Ravi.
Jahangir had a Chain
of Justice, bearing sixty bells,fastened
between the Shah Bhurj in
the Agra fort and a post on the road, near the bank
of Yamuna. The chain could be shaken by the
humblest of his subjects to bring their grievances
to his notice.
(Memoirs of Jahangir) is a brilliant
proof of his literary attainments.
Himself a painter, Jahangir was a patron of art
and literature and a lover of nature.
Jahangir made no departure from his fatherâ€™s
policy of admitting Hindus to the higher public
service. Man Singh, Kalyan Singh, son of Todar Mal,
and Vikramadit were three Hindu
governors during his reign.
Jahangir also tried to control the practice of sati
among Hindus. He passed orders that Hindu widows should
not be compelled to become sati
without his governmentâ€™s permission.
He also tried to put a stop to female infanticide.
Jahangir was fond of the company of the
Vaishnava leader Jadurup
and held many discussions with him at Ujjain
and Mathura, as a result of which he came to the conclusion that
Hindu Vedanta and Muslim sufism were almost identical.
Jahangir was usually liberal and tolerant
towards all religions, but at times sanctioned
repressive measures against Muslim heretics. Shaikh
Rahim of Lahore, who was a
religious leader of a sect, was imprisoned in the fortress of Chunar.
Qazi Nurullah was put to death on account of being
a notable Shia writer. Shaikh Ahmad Sarhindi was
imprisoned in the fortress of Gwalior, but was released
later and sent back to Sarhind with gifts.