Taj Mahal Agra

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Taj Mahal Agra

Shah Jahan : Taj Mahal Agra

Shah Jahan, earlier named Prince Khurram ascended the throne in 1627 after the death of his father Jahangir at the age of 35. He was a very good administrator and an able successor of the Mughal heritage of justice and fair play. 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.

Although an able administrator, Shah Jahan was quite unsuccessful in his expeditions in the frontier and his extravagant and grand architectural ventures eventually led to a financial bankruptcy of the empire, the brunt of which was solely bore by his son Aurungzeb.

Shah Jahan was an active patron of palaces and mosques. He renovated the fort of Agra to include three major courts: Halls of Public and Private Audience (Diwan-i Khass wa 'Am); an area for treasures and private audience (Machhi Bhavan); and a residential court known as the Garden of Grapes (Anguri Bagh).

In 1638, Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to a city in Delhi called Shahjahanabad. He considerably increased the royal retinue, the state-establishments and the magnificence of the court. The Peacock throne, the Taj Mahal, the Agra Fort and numerous other works of architecture and art testify to his wealth as well as his aesthetic sense. He was an excellent calligraphist. His patronage of men of letters and of artisans and craftsmen was in keeping with the traditions of his family. Poetry, music, painting, dancing, astronomy, mathematics and medicine flourished under the generous and intelligent patronage of the emperor.

In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell ill. The physicians were not hopeful about his recovery. As soon as the news of his illness reached his sons they started making preparations for capturing the throne. In 1658 Aurangzeb took over & imprisoned his father. Ultimately in 1666 he did in captivity.