Shah Jahan (January 5, 1592–January 22, 1666) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire in India from 1627 until 1658.
Born Shehzaada Khurram, he was the third son of the Mughal Emperor Jahangir and captured power after a fratricidal war.
He commissioned the building of the Taj Mahal in Agra, as a burial place for his first wife Empress Mumtaz Mahal (meaning 'the first lady of the palace').
But for the last five years of his life he was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in a room of Agra Fort, tended only by his eldest daughter Jahanara Begum, with a direct view of the Taj Mahal. This was punishment for his endorsing Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb's older brother, in the fight for succession. Aurangazeb later killed his brother Dara and sent his head to his imprisoned father. It is rumored that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with an excellent view of the Taj Mahal. The conditions of Shah Jahan's imprisonment are controversial, with some claiming he was not held in particularly onerous conditions, as the Muasamman Burj is luxurious, while others cite the fact that only his daughter was allowed access to the imprisoned and dethroned Emperor.
Shah Jahan is buried in the Taj Mahal, next to his first wife. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian شاهجهان Shah Jahan meaning "The Ruler of the World").
Shah Jahan had seven surviving children: Dara Shikoh, Murad Baksh , Shah Shuja , Aurangzeb, Jahanara Begum, Roshanara Begum and Gauharara Begum .
Last updated: 05-17-2005 17:19:46