Shah Jehan

Who was the best among the Mughal rulers? Opinions differ. Akbar was an extra-ordinary ruler of universal acceptance, and the one who quashed the sectarian, partisan and wrong policies of his Muslim forerunners. 

Akbar removed the imposition of certain taxes like Jussiah on non-Muslims and canceled the prohibition for the Hindus to the construction of temples and pilgrimage to holy places. He kept the landlords of the Afghan-Turkish gang out of administration by canceling the extra powers being enjoyed by them so far and assumed all powers of running the empire. 

The establishing of the new religious order of Din Ilahi in 1580 also aimed at keeping the Afghan-Turkish elements at their proper places.  At the same time he gave due importance to Hinduism and the Shiites of Islam. During Akbar’s reign, the Mughal Empire was one of the richest empires in the whole world. 

Prince Khurram, who succeeded Akbar’s son Jehangir after a bloody succession war, assumed an honorific name, Shah Jehan (which meant the ruler of the whole world) and became the emperor. 

Shah Jehan, himself a connoisseur of arts, used the fabulous riches he inherited from his grandfather’s empire, creatively too. The black marble pavilion in the Shalimar Gardens of Srinagar, the white marble palace of Ajmer, the memorial he constructed for his father in Lahore, and the Shah Jehanabad town in modern Delhi, and to crown all these the very Taj Mahal on the bank of the river Jumna, one of the wonders of the world – all are reflections of Shah Jehan’s creative instinct. He constructed fortresses in Agra and Delhi

Shah Jehan's son Aurangazeb imprisoned him in the Agra fort from where he breathed his last, in 1666, trying to catch a glimpse of the far away Taj Mahal where his wife Mumtaz was buried. Shah Jehan too was buried by the side of his wife.