Every sight has a story to tell

The triumphs and tragedies of Shah Jahan | Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal succession wars were brutal; princes killed their own siblings, and family ties were broken in a mad scramble for the throne. The mighty emperor Shah Jahan was no exception. This is the story of an unforgiving system that catapulted Shah Jahan to the throne of the richest kingdom in the world, but reduced his personal life to a terribly tragic one.

“The king is dead, long live the king”. This is the traditional way of announcing the death of the previous king, and proclaiming his eldest son as the next new king. But among the Mughal kings of India, such a proclamation was unusual. Succession was always a fraught affair, and the mighty emperor Shah Jahan was no exception. This is the agonising story of the Mughal succession wars; when princes fought and killed their own siblings; when princesses had to remain spinsters because there were no worthy suitors; and when close family ties were broken in a mad scramble for the throne. It was an unforgiving system that ultimately made the dynasty itself collapse under its own weight. Watch this video to know of the circumstances that catapulted Shah Jahan to the throne of the richest kingdom in the world, but reduced his personal life to a terribly tragic one.

This video is brought to you by Tata Consultancy Services, an IT services, consulting and business solutions organization. Over the last 50 years, it has been a partner to some of the largest businesses in the world. It has also been closely associated with projects to restore and showcase India’s heritage to the world. And Storytrails is proud to partner with Tata Consultancy Services to bring these lesser known stories of India’s culture and heritage to you.

1. Taj Mahal video – By Videvo, http://www.videvo.net

2. Taj Mahal images – By Hritik Sirsat (@_wander_frame31), By Arjun Singh (@bahramjiphotography), By Kevin Samson (@_awaken_soul_), By Monjil (@_monjil_), By Akash Pratap Singh (@sanskaari_kalakaar)

3. Shah Jahan seated on a minor throne – By Govardhan(?), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19251183

4. Shah Jahan – Gift of J. H. Wade, https://www.clevelandart.org/art/1920.1969

5. Taj Mahal – By https://www.pxfuel.com/en/free-photo-xwgxc

6. Red Fort – By Mahesh Bhanupanth – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21117221

7. Jama Masjid – By Bikashrd – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51210343

8. Jahangir being served by his two sons Khusrau and Parviz – By Manohar – https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/W_1920-0917-0-2, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4171513

9. Khusrau is captured and presented to Jahangir – By Unknown author – http://warfare.tk/Moghul/17thC/Moghul_17thC.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22568174

10. Shahryar – By Indian School of the 17th century (AD) (Mughal) – The Walters Art Museum, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19125990

11. Battle between Mongols & Chinese – By Sayf al-Vâhidî. Hérât. Afghanistan – Bibliothèque nationale de France. Département des Manuscrits. Division orientale. Supplément persan 1113, fol. 49, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10010647

12. Dara Shikoh with his army – By Unknown author – http://warfare.tk/Moghul/17thC/Moghul_17thC.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22568151

13. Shah Jahan – Gift in honor of Madeline Neves Clapp; Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon by exchange; Bequest of Louise T. Cooper; Leonard C. Hanna Jr. Fund; From the Catherine and Ralph Benkaim Collection, https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2013.328

14. Shah Jahan accepts a falcon from Dara Shikoh – Edwin Binney 3rd Collection, https://www.flickr.com/photos/thesandiegomuseumofartcollection/6125040002

15. Aurangzeb – By Unknown author – Four miscellaneous miniatures of Mughal emperors and an unidentified ruler., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24528912

16. The Battle of Samugarh – By Payag – http://www.harvardartmuseums.org/art/216542, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22271968

17. The Passing of Shah Jahan – By https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/obf_images/25/d1/9974fb1b91df5b66bc1b6d9ee82f.jpgGallery: https://wellcomeimages.org/indexplus/image/V0046338.html, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36662589

18. Tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan – By The original uploader was Donelson at English Wikipedia. – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by quickiebites., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4028131

19. Aurangzeb – By Nicolas de Larmessin – This file comes from Gallica Digital Library and is available under the digital ID btv1b84543563, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84601409

20. A blindfolded suitor is brought before a princess – By Fayzullah – https://clevelandart.org/art/2013.343.a, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=76144724

21. Last Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar – By Unknown author – 1 2, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37223925

22. Ashoka’s visit to the Ramagrama stupa – By Photo Dharma from Sadao, Thailand – Detail of:., CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61783990

23. Group portrait of Mughal rulers – By Khalili Collections / CC-BY-SA 3.0 IGO, CC BY-SA 3.0 igo, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=107979757




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