The Tomb of Jahanara is located towards the southern end of the Shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya’s courtyard. She was known as Begum Sahib or ‘Jahanara’ born to Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the beautiful Begum Mumtaz Mahal. She was also known as ‘Begum Sahib’ to her nobles and members of the Imperial Mughal Court.
Begum Jahanara was one of the favourite daughters of Emperor Shah Jahan. He conferred her with numerous Titles including ‘Sahibat Al-Zamani’ which means ‘Mistress of the Age’ and ‘Padshah Begum’ which means ‘Lady Emperor’. She rose to power as she displayed a mature role in the political world of her Father’s Empire and lesser because of her celibacy status as she was unmarried.
Begum Jahanara would organise marriage arrangements for her brothers with impeccable expertise and was also politically an active member during the ‘War of Succession’ that emerged towards the end of Emperor Shah Jahan’s reign in 1658 AD. This was the period when Aurangzeb, Jahanara’s brother challenged his own father, battled, imprisoned him and seized the Throne. Begum Jahanara implicitly supported her father throughout this conflict and cared for him in prison up till his demise in 1666 AD. She was gifted a good amount of money by her brother, Aurangzeb, after she came out of Agra Fort after her father’s demise.
The Tomb of Jahanara is a simple marble monument with no roof. It holds a eulogy written by her in the Persian language that reads, ‘Let naught but the green grass cover the grave of Jahanara; for grass is the fittest covering for the tomb of the lowly.’ In fact, her grave is topped by a hollow space that is filled with green grass in order to comply with her wish as she wanted only grass to cover her grave. This clearly showcases her absolute simple, humble and modest personality, a true Queen that lived through an age of revolution and greed for the Throne that was nothing but a momentary delight.
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