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Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan
"Shah Jahan on a globe" from the Smithsonian Institution
NameShah Jahan
5th Mughal Emperor
Reign8 November 1627 - 2 August 1658
( )
Coronation25 January 1628, Agra
Jahanara Begum
Dara Shikoh
Shah Shuja
Roshanara Begum
Murad Baksh
Gauhara Begum
MotherPrincess Manmati
Place of burialTaj Mahal
ReligionSunni Islam

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Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Malik-ul-Sultanat, Ala Hazrat Abu'l-Muzaffar Shahab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I, Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani, Padshah Ghazi Zillu'llah, Firdaus-Ashiyani, Shahanshah-E--Sultanant Ul Hindiya Wal Mughaliya, Emperor of India ) was the emperor of the Mughal Empire in the Indian Subcontinent from 1628 until 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian meaning "King of the World." He was the fifth Mughal emperor after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, and Jahangir. While young, he was favourite of his legendary grandfather Akbar the Great. He is also called Shahjahan the Magnificent. Besides being a descendant of Genghis Khan, Emperor of Mongol Empire and Tamerlane, he is also a descendant of Emperor Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, King of the Lombards and the Emperor of the Romans.

Even while very young, he was chosen as successor to the Mughal throne after the death of Emperor Jahangir. He succeeded to the throne upon his father's death in 1627. He is considered to be one of the greatest Mughals and his reign has been called the Golden Age of the Mughals and one of the most prosperous ages of the Indian civilization. Like Akbar, he too was eager to expand his vast empire. In 1658 he fell ill, and was confined by his son Emperor Aurangzeb in the Citadel of Agra until his death in 1666. On the eve of his death in 1666, he was one of the most powerful personalities on the earth and his Mughal Empire spanned almost 750000000 acre (3035142.3 km2) and he had in his empire the largest and most prosperous capital as well as some of the most delicate architectural masterpieces in the world.

The period of his reign was the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shahanshah Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the legendary Taj Mahal at Agra built as a tomb for his wife, Empress Mumtaz Mahal. The Pearl Mosque and many other buildings in Agra, the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid Mosque in Delhi, mosques in Lahore, extensions to Lahore Fort and a mosque in Thatta also commemorate him. The famous Takht-e-Taus or the Peacock Throne, said to be worth millions of dollars by modern estimates, also dates from his reign. He was also the founder of the new imperial capital called Shahjahanabad, now known as Old Delhi. Other important buildings of Shah Jahan's rule were the Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas in the Red Fort Complex in Delhi and the Pearl Mosque in the Lahore Fort. It is pointed out that the Palace of Delhi is the most magnificent in the East. Shah Jahan is also believed to have the most refined of the tastes in arts and architecture and is credited to have comissioned about 777 gardens in Kashmir, his favourite summer residence. Surprisingly, a few of these gardens survive even till date and attracts thousands of tourists every year.

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