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Prince Khurram (Original name of Shah Jahan)

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Prince Khuram, later known as Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, was the third son of Jahangir. The original name of Shah Jahan was Khurram.

Prince Khurram was born on January 5 , 1592 at Lahore. His mother was the famous Rajput princess, Jagat Gosain, daughter of Mota Raja Udai Singh. In his childhood, Prince Khurram was the favorite of his grandfather Akbar who loved him more than any other of his grand children.

Prince Khurram was extraordinarily intelligent and smart and gave evidence of his future greatness. His early education was planned and supervised by Akbar who spared no pains to bring Khurram up as worthy member of the great Mughal ruling family. The prince displayed eagerness to learn the Persian language and literature, but did not make progress in Turki. He must have acquainted himself with spoken Hindi. Although he did not write his autobiography like his father, he acquired mastery over Persian language and literature. Besides, he learnt history, politics, geography, theology and medicine. Military training formed an important part of the prince’s education, and he became in due course a good soldier, adept in the use of weapons of offence and defense, and equipped with knowledge of theory and practice of military science. While yet on the verge of manhood, he established his reputation for being one of the greatest commanders in the empire.

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Early during his father’s reign, Prince Khurram was marked out for the throne. His eldest brother Khusrav lost favor with Jahangir on account of his unfilial conduct, which gave a chance to Khurram of gaining the royal patronage. In 1608 the jagir of Hisar Firoza, which was usually meant for the heir-apparent, was bestowed on him. In 1610 he was married to the daughter of Muzaffar Husain Safawi. In 1612, when he had completed his 20th year, he was married to Arjumand Banu Begum, daughter of Asaf Khan.

Prince Khurram was employed in a series of important expeditions and his father’s reign was mainly a record of brilliant victories won by this prince. One of his early exploits was his success over Mewar. In 1614 he was sent with a powerful contingent of troops against the Rana. The campaign terminated successfully and Rana Amar Singh submitted and was granted honorable terms. This victory enhanced the prestige of Prince Khurram and he was regarded as a rising star in the empire. Thereafter, he was appointed governor of the Dakhin and was given the title of Shah. The prince was able to persuade Malik Ambar to return Balaghat and surrender Ahmednagar and other forts with the result that Khurram’s successful diplomacy became an acknowledged fact in the eye of the Mughal court. Jahangir was highly pleased and showered gifts on Shah Khurram. In recognition of his success the province of Gujarat was added to his charge.

Nur Jahan supported the claims of her another step-son Shahryar to succession and began to entertain a dislike for Prince Khurram and drove him into rebellion. The prince was hunted from place to place and was reduced to great misery. Eventually, he submitted to his father in 1626 and was restored to favor.

After the death of Jahangir, Prince Khurram ascended to the throne in 1627 and was named Shah Jahan.

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