Nur al-Din Muhammad Salim Jahangir Padishah (Translated)
Jahangir, Emperor of Hindustan (Translated)
Jihangir (Alternate transliteration)
Jehangir (Alternate transliteration)
نور الدين محمد سليم (Alternate)
Nur al-Din (Transliterated)
Nur-ud-Din (Alternate transliteration)
Nuruddin (Alternate transliteration)
سلطان سليم ساه (Formerly known as)
Sultan Salim Shah (Transliterated)
Salim Shah (Transliterated)
Jahangir was the fourth Mughal Emperor of India. The imperial name Jahangir means "World Seizer," and was chosen at the time of his accession to the throne in 1605/1014 AH. His given name was Muhammad Salim and he also took the honorific name (laqab) Nur al-Din, meaning "Light of the Faith."
Jahangir's most significant contributions fell in the patronage of culture. He wrote his own memoir, known as the Tuzuk-i Jahangiri, which includes valuable observations of the people and places he knew. During the period of his rule, art also flourished. Because Jahangir actively commissioned portraits of people as well as studies of the flora and fauna of the northern Indian subcontinent, a rich legacy of painting and drawing has come down to us.
In the political arena Jahangir gradually lost control to his most powerful wife, Nur Jahan, who became a de facto ruler. Not only was she able to influence matters from behind the scenes, but coins were struck in her name and she is even said to have issued firmans. Jahangir's memoir includes several anecdotes pointing to her political ambition and her prowess in regal pastimes like hunting.
Court intrigue was not absent from Jahangir's reign. He had strained relationships with his sons Khusraw and Khurram, both of whom rebelled openly against their father at various points due to fighting over succession to the throne. Khurram would ultimately succeed to the throne as Shah Jahan upon Jahangir's death.
The Tūzuk-I-Jahāngīrī, or Memoirs of Jahāngīr. Translated by Alexander Rogers and edited by Henry Beveridge. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal, 2003.
Jahangir died in Rajauri, as he was leaving Lahore for Kashmir. His body was brought back to Lahore and buried in Nur Jahan's walled garden, the Bagh-i Dilkusha, on the banks of the river Ravi. The grounds of the tomb, which cover 55 acres, are laid out in the classical charbagh pattern, with bisecting perpendicular paths. Entrance is through large northern and southern gates; the southern one is faced in red Sikri sandstone and white marble inlay.
The mausoleum itself is also in red sandstone and floral marble inlay, and consists of an arcaded platform, or takhgah, 84 meters square. On each corner is an octagonal minaret rising in five segments. The shaft is decorated in chevrons of pink and white marble, and a domed kiosk crowns each minaret. Openings on each of the four sides of the platform lead through long corridors to a central, octagonal crypt containing the marble cenotaph resting on a platform, the chabutra. The marble cenotaph is considered one of the finest in India. It is inlaid precious stones set in naturalistic floral patterns, and black calligraphy inscribing the date of Jahangir's death, and the ninety-nine names of God.
Originally, the crypt had a second floor; a platform still exists, built on top of the large square one. Remnants of a marble screen show that it was once enclosed, and traces indicate where a second cenotaph may have stood. It is, however, believed that the second story remained unroofed: before his death, Jahangir, like his ancestor Babur, had requested that his tomb be left open to the sky. To the west of the charbagh tomb garden, there is a related, rectangular enclosure known as the Akbari Seria, which served as the forecourt, or chowk-i jilo khana, for the mausoleum. A small mosque stands at its western wall.
Tillotson, G. H. R. Mughal India, 136. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1990.
Latif, Syad Muhammad. Lahore: Architectural Remains: Its History, Architectural Remains and Antiquities, With an Account of its Modern Institutions, Inhabitants, their Trade, Customs, &c., 104-107. Lahore: New Imperial Press, 1892.
Asher, Catherine. The New Cambridge History of India: Architecture of Mughal India, 172-74. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.