Mirza Nur-ud-din Beig Mohammad Khan Salim, known by his imperial name Jahangir (Persian for conqueror of the world (31 August 1569 – 28 October 1627)), was the fourth Mughal Emperor who ruled from 1605 until his death in 1627. Much romance has gathered around his name (Jahangir means conqueror of the world, world-conqueror or world-seizer (Jahan = world, gir the root of the Persian verb gereftan, gireftan = to seize, to grab)), and the tale of his illicit relationship with the Mughal courtesan, Anarkali, has been widely adapted into the literature, art and cinema of India.Jahangir was the eldest surviving son of Mughal Emperor Akbar. Impatient for power, he revolted in 1599 while Akbar was engaged in the Deccan. Jahangir was defeated, but ultimately succeeded his father as Emperor in 1605 because of the immense support and efforts of his step-mothers, Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, Salima Sultan Begum and his grandmother, Hamida Banu Begum. These women wielded considerable influence over Akbar and favoured Jahangir as his successor. The first year of Jahangirs reign saw a rebellion organised by his eldest son Khusrau. The rebellion was soon put down; Khusrau was brought before his father in chains. After subduing and executing nearly 2000 members of the rebellion, Jahangir blinded his renegade son.Jahangir built on his fathers foundations of excellent administration and his reign was characterised by political stability, a strong economy and impressive cultural achievements. The imperial frontiers continued to move forward—in Bengal, Mewar, Ahmadnagar and the Deccan. Later during his rule, Jahangir was battling his rebellious son Khurram in Hindustan. The rebellion of Khurram absorbed Jahangirs attention, so in the spring of 1623 he negotiated a diplomatic end to the conflict. Much of India was politically pacified; Jahangirs dealings with the Hindu rulers of Rajputana were particularly successful, and he settled the conflicts inherited from his father. The Hindu rulers all accepted Mughal supremacy and in return were given high ranks in the Mughal aristocracy.Jahangir was fascinated with art, science and architecture. From a young age he showed a leaning towards painting and had an atelier of his own. His interest in portraiture led to much development in this artform. The art of Mughal painting reached great heights under Jahangirs reign. His interest in painting also served his scientific interests in nature. The painter Ustad Mansur became one of the best artists to document the animals and plants which Jahangir either encountered on his military exhibitions or received as donations from emissaries of other countries. Jahangir maintained a huge aviary and a large zoo, kept a record of every specimen and organised experiments. Jahangir patronised the European and Persian arts. He promoted Persian culture throughout his empire. This was especially so during the period when he came under the influence of his Persian Empress, Nur Jahan and her relatives, who from 1611 had dominated Mughal politics. Amongst the most highly regarded Mughal architecture dating from Jahangirs reign is the famous Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir. The worlds first seamless celestial globe was built by Mughal scientists under the patronage of Jahangir.Jahangir was not without his vices. He set the precedent for sons rebelling against their emperor fathers and was much criticised for his addiction to alcohol, opium, and women. He was thought to allow his wife Nur Jahan too much power, and her continuous plotting at court is considered to have destabilised the empire in the final years of his rule. The situation developed into open crisis when Jahangirs son, Khurram, fearing he would be excluded from the throne, rebelled in 1622. Jahangirs forces chased Khurram and his troops from Fatehpur Sikri to the Deccan, to Bengal and back to the Deccan, until Khurram surrendered unconditionally in 1626. The rebellion and court intrigues that followed took a heavy toll on Jahangirs health.He died in 1627 and was succeeded by Khurram, who took the imperial throne of Hindustan as the Emperor Shah Jahan.
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