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Shah Jahan
The Characters

Shah Jahan, 1592-1665 :

Prince Khurram was 35 years old when he ascended the throne as Shah Jahan (King of the World). Endowed with all the qualities required of a medieval Muslim ruler, he was a brave and competent commander; a generous master who treated his servants with respect, dignity and affability; and a far-sighted leader with a strict sense of justice. Shah Jahan had four sons - Dara Shukoh, Shah Shuja, Aurangzeb, and Murad Bakhsh, . and two daughters- Jahanara and Roshanara. In 1657, Shah Jahan became seriously ill. The expectation of an early death provoked the four sons into making a desperate bid for the throne. With his old age and his poor health, Shah Jahan could only helplessly watch the serious outbreak of hostility among his sons. He was a mere spectator at the savage contest. The emergence of Aurangzeb as the undisputed victor led to the father's imprisonment in the Agra fort. Tended by Jahanara, his eldest daughter, Shah Jahan was confined to the fort for eight years. According to legend, when Shah Jahan was on his death-bed, he kept his eyes fixed on the Taj Mahal which was clearly visible from his place of confinement. After his death, Shah Jahan was buried there beside the love of his life, Mumtaz Mahal.

Aurangzeb, 1618-1707 :
Aurangzeb was a well educated person with a strict religious orthodoxy. He had an acute sense of political realism and a fierce appetite for power. In the summer of 1659, Aurangzeb held a coronation durbar in the Red Fort where he assumed the title of Alamgir (World Conqueror). Under Aurangzeb the Mughal empire reached its greatest extent but his harsh treatment of Hindus led to uprisings in the western Deccan plateau, especially by the Marathi rebel Shivaji. In 1675, Aurangzeb publicly executed the ninth Sikh Master, Guru Tegh Bahadur Singh for not converting to Islam. Aurangzeb was, by temperament, an ascetic who avoided all forms of luxury and ostentation; he even refused to wear silk against his body. Aurangzeb limited his reading to works of theology and poetry of a devotional or didactic character. And the emperor found both music and the representational arts to be distasteful. In his final years, his writings express regret about the shape of his life and sorrow at the failings of humanity, and especially his children.

Jahanara, 1618-1707 :
Shahjahan's daughter Jahanara was sensitive, humble and also had a poetic eye. She looked after ShahJahan during his last days at Agra fort. She was a fearless conscience of in the family. Jahanara always supported Dara for the mughal throne.

Dara:
Dara Shukoh, Shah Jahan's favorite and his heir, was a man of broad intellectual interests. He was a Sufi and a religious eclectic who had translated the Upanishads into Persian. Beaten by Aurangzeb in several wars and later killed.

Suja – Shahjahan’s son, responsible for Bengal province. Romantic perso.n

Piara – Suja’s wife, light-hearted but true to her love and very romantic person.

Nadira – Dara’s wife, completely devoted to her husband and family.

Yashowant Singh – Rajput King.

Mahamaya – Wife of Yashowant Sigh, very spirited and nationalist woman.

Morad - Another son of Shahjahan, liked to spend his time good wine, music and women.

Mahammad - Son of Aurangzeb.

Soleman - Elder Son of Dara.

Dildar - The jester of Morad and Aurangzeb.

JaiSingh - Rajput King supporting Aurangzeb.

Shahyesta Khan - Army Commander for Aurangzeb.

Jaharat - Dara's daughter.

Sipar - Dara's son.



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