Shihab al-Din Muhammad Khurram Shah Jahan (Transliterated)
شاه جهان (Variant)
Shah Jahan (Transliterated)
Shah Jahan, Emperor of Hindustan (Translated)
Shah Jehan (Alternate transliteration)
Shahjahan (Alternate transliteration)
Śāhajahām̐ (Alternate transliteration)
شهاب الدين محمد (Alternate)
Shihab al-Din (Transliterated)
Shihabuddin (Alternate transliteration)
Shahab al-Din (Alternate transliteration)
Shahabuddin (Alternate transliteration)
صاحب قران سليمان مكاني (Alternate)
Sahib-Qiran Sulayman-Makani (Transliterated)
Shah Jahan ("King of the World") was the fifth emperor of the Mughal dynasty of India. He was the son of Mughal emperor Jahangir. His given name was Prince Khurram, and he also bore the honorific title Shihab al-Din Muhammad ("Meteor of the Faith"). After his death he was given the epithet Sahib Qiran Sulayman Makani ("lord of the conjunction who occupies Solomon's place").2
Prince Khurram's entrance into the world of Mughal court politics had a bumpy start. In 1623/1032 AH he was compelled to arrange the murder of his older brother Prince Khusraw and then rebel against his father Jahangir when his wife Nur Jahan attempted to secure the succession for her son in law. The rebellion was put down, but after Jahangir's death Khurram prevailed in ascent to the throne with the help of his father in law Asaf Khan, becoming emperor as Shah Jahan in 1628/1037 AH.
As emperor, Shah Jahan is known for his campaigns in the Deccan and in Central Asia, both of which submitted to Mughal sovereignty for periods of time during his reign. He is also responsible for expanding the income of the imperial treasury by enlarging the definition of imperial reserved lands.2
With his wealth Shah Jahan commissioned numerous building projects. His most famous commission was the costly and monumental Taj Mahal, a mausoleum constructed for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Among his other prominent commissions were the Shalimar Gardens at Lahore and the Red Fort Complex at Shahjahanabad, a fortified palace-city built on the outskirts of Delhi that included a market place, great mosque, palaces, and riverfront gardens. He ordered the construction of the famed Takht-i Tawus (Peacock Throne), a gold-encrusted and enameled baldachin throne that was used by the Mughals until it was carried off in the sack of Delhi 1739/1151-2 AH.
Trouble surfaced at court when Shah Jahan's four sons began to fight for succession to the throne. The clashes were especially strong between Awrangzib and Dara Shikuh, the eldest son and crown prince. Awrangzib dethroned his father and imprisoned him in 1658/1068 AH, claiming for himself the succession of Mughal rule. Shah Jahan remained imprisoned at the Red Fort of Agra, dying ten years later in 1666/1076 AH.
Nasim Bagh ("Garden of Breezes," "Garden of Bliss"), located on the western side of Dal Lake, is considered to be the earliest Kashmiri Mughal garden.
In 1589, Akbar was the first of the Mughal emperors to visit Kashmir, where he laid out the Hari Parbat fort and the Nasim Bagh. In 1635, Shah Jahan planted around 1200 trees in the garden, for which the garden was well known.
At the present time, only the ruins of earlier structures and grids of ancient chinar trees remain in the Naseem Bagh. The garden provides camping facilities for visitors, and forms part of the campus of Kashmir University.
Brookes, John. Gardens of Paradise: The History and Design of the Great Islamic Gardens. London: Weidenfield and Nicholson, 1987.
Moore, Charles Willard, William J. Mitchell, and William Turnbull. The Poetics of Gardens. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1988.
Richards, John F. The Mughal Empire. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Sharma, Suresh K., and S. R. Bakshi. Encyclopaedia of Kashmir. New Delhi: Anmol Publications Pvt Ltd, 1995.
Villiers-Stuart, C. M. Gardens of the Great Mughals. London: A. and C. Black, 1913.
Younghusband, Francis. Kashmir. New Delhi: Sagar Publications, 1970.