The Moguls were Muslim warriors that came to India from Asia. In
1519, Prince Babar defeated the North Indian ruler Sultan Ibrahim.
This made him the 1st Mogul emperor. He disliked India and felt as
if it was very disorderly. In an attempt to create order he began
planting beautiful gardens.
word "Mogul" has several spellings. We have chosen this spelling for clarity
and consistencey throughout our site.)
the next several years rulers changed. Some had no interest in military
matters and ended up loosing part of the empire.
After several generations, Akbar came to the throne. He was the next
great Mogul emperor. He was succeeded by his son, Salim, who later
took the name Jahangir. He inherited a vast empire.
In 1592, a prince was born to emperor Jahangir in Lahore, which is
now Pakistan. This young, new
prince was very close to his grandfather, Akbar. In fact, Akbar taught
him how to hunt and use weapons. He also told him stories about warriors,
battles, and how to be a great ruler.
Then, in 1607, Khurram visited a New Year's Fair. While he was there
he stopped to bargain for some gems at the stand of Arjumand Bano.
She was the fifteen year old daughter of a Prime Minister. It was
love at first sight. Five years later he was allowed to marry her.
Even though Prince Khurram had a happy marriage, his life as a prince was
far from happy. People were plotting to destroy him. Realizing
this, he left the court and formed his own army. Many people became
When his father died in 1627, he rushed to Agra
to claim the throne. He had all of his rivals and male relatives
killed. He was crowned in 1628. He became the 5th Mogul emperor.
His name was changed to Shah Jahan and his wife's
name became Mumtaz Mahal.
Mumtaz Mahal was an inseperable companion for her husband. She went
with him on all of his journeys and military expeditions. She was
not only his wife, but also his counselor. She was always giving
food and money to those who flocked at the palace gates. She inspired
Shah Jahan to give to the poor.
With her by his side, he was able to strengthen the empire. He expanded
his territory by conquering nearby lands and became a very wealthy man.
With his fortune, he was able to move the capital to Delhi. He also
declared Islam the state religion.
During all of this time his wife was his loyal companion and stayed close
by his side. In fact, she died giving birth to their fourteenth child
while they were on a military expedition.
Shah Jahan was totally grief stricken. He stayed in a state of melancholy
for two years. Then he started focusing on building projects.
His reign is believed to mark the height of Mogul architecture.
He supervised the contruction of the Red Fort
and the Jami Masjid, a large mosque in India. He also started a project
that dominated the rest of his life, the building of a shrine to honor
his beloved wife. It was his everlasting love that inspired the building
of the Taj Mahal.
Rivalry broke out between his sons. One of his sons finally turned on him
and took the throne from him in 1658. He had his father, Shah Jahan,
imprisoned at the Red Fort in Agra until he died in 1666.
The Red Fort or Fort Agra was directly across from the famous Taj Mahal.
died looking at his most beautiful creation, the image of wife's tomb.