Jahanara Begum

Jahanara Begum was the eldest daughter born to the couple Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in the year 1614. At the age of 14 she became the most powerful woman of the Mughal court and was titled as Begum Sahiba which means Princess of Princesses. Eventhough she was unmarried and had no children, she was considered as the most respectable lady because of her status.

Shah Jahan was very fond of his daughter and bestowed on her many titles. Jahanara was well educated and wrote many poems. She also wrote the biography of a Muslim Saint Mu'in al-Din, in 1671. At the age of 17 her mother, Mumtaz Mahal, passed away and she took the place of her mother. She played an important role in the politics of the empire.

The princess suffered imprisonment along with her father at the Agra Fort, when Aurangzeb seized the throne by power. She was very active in helping the poor and donated money for the construction of buildings and gardens. The most well known monument, Chandni Chowk, was the project carried out by Jahanara.

Jahanara Begum took her last breath in September, 1681. Her tomb is at New Delhi.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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