Now that Jodha Akbar is having Salim (Jahangir) track, almost every viewer is keen to know about his personal life, especially his wives. No wonder, our history text books focused only on his favourite wife Nur Jahan, and Bollywood talked only about his love for Anarkali.
So, let’s dig into Jahangir’s Personal Life and know more about his 30 chief wives and 7 sons.
Jahangir’s First Wife was Amer’s Manbhawati Bai
Man Bai aka Manbhawati aka Shah Begum was Jahangir’s first wife. She was Jodha Bai’s niece, Maan Singh’s sister and Salim’s first cousin. Salim married Man Bai at the age of 16 on February 13, 1585. At the time of this marriage, his mansab was raised from 10,000 to 12,000. 2 years later in 1587, this Rajput Begum of Salim gave birth to Salim’s first-born Prince Khusrau Mirza.
Manbai committed suicide in the year 1604 (Akbar was alive then) due to the differences between her son and husband. It is said that Akbar wanted Khusrau to become the next Emperor since he was frustrated by Salim’s ill-behaviour. However, Salim became the next heir and later when Khusrau revolted on the basis of Akbar’s will, he was blinded by Jahangir.
Jahangir’s Second Wife was Phul Begum
In the same year, Salim was married to Phul Begum – Rajkumari Rattan Bai Sahiba. She was the daughter of Dhameri (later Nurpur) King – Raja Basu. Their marriage took place in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh. Nurpur was initially called as ‘Dhameri’ but Nur Jahan (Jahangir’s wife) loved the beauty of the place so much that the people of Dhameri changed the name of the place from Dhameri to Nurpur in her honour (political plan actually!)
Nurpur though was founded in 11th century flourished only during 1580 to 1613, the time of Jahangir’s father-in-law Raja Basu Dev. No wonder, he enjoyed a mansab of 1500 under Akbar, which was furher increased to 3500 by Jahangir.
Jahangir’s Third Wife was Marwar’s Jodh Bai
Jodh Bai aka Jagat Gosain aka Manavati Baiji Lal Sahiba (later Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani) was Jahangir’s third wife. Daughter of Raja Udai Singh Rathor of Marwar, she married Salim in 1586 and gave birth to Jahangir’s third son Khurram (later Shah Jahan) in the year 1594. Jodh Bai’s marriage took place in her father’s place in Fathepur Sikri. She is also known as Taj Bibi. It is said that she was Salim’s favorite wife, and he loved her the most.
Some people also believe that Jodha (Akbar’s wife) is James Todd’s mistake who wrongly addressed Heer Kunwar as Jodha Bai. This in a way can be true because Jodha Bai (lady of Jodhpur) was Jodh Bai, Salim’s wife and Akbar’s daughter-in-law, not Akbar’s wife. Jodha (Akbar’s wife) was from Amer (Jaipur) and not Jodhpur.
Jahangir Married his 4th and 5th wife in Lahore
On 7th July 1586 Jahangir married a daughter of Maharaja of Bikaner – Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Sri Rai Singhji. In the same month, he married daughter of Kashghar Sultan ‘Abu Said Khan Jagatai. Her name was Malika-i-Shikar Begum Sahiba. She died after 6 years in 1592.
Jahangir’s 6th wife was Shahib-i-Jamal Begum, Mother of his second son – Parviz Mirza
Shahib-i-Jamal was daughter of Khwaja Hassan of Herat. Khwaja Hassan was a cousin of Zain Khan Koka, son of Atgah Khan (Akbar’s foster father). It is said that Salim fell in love with her and so married her in the same year 1586. A talented Civil Engineer the title of Shahib-i-Jamal (meaning Mistress of beauty) was bestowed on her by Akbar himself. She gave birth to Jahangir’s second son Parviz Mirza in the year 1589. She died in 1599 when Parviz was just 10.
She was also the mother of Jahangir’s 5th son – Sultan Shahariyar Mirza who was born within a month of his half-brother Jahandhar. He was married to Nur Jahan’s daughter Ladli Begum from her first husband. Later, he was killed by his own brother Shah Jahan with the help of his father-in-law who was also Nur Jahan’s brother.
7th to 11th Wife of Jahangir
In the year 1587, Jahangir married daughter of Rukn-ud-Daula, Malika-i-Jahan Begum Sahiba. She was the mother of his 4th son Shahzada Jahandar Mirza who was born in 1596. His eight wife was a daughter of Raja Darya Malbhas.
In October 1590, he married his ninth wife Zohra Begum Sahiba, a daughter of Mirza Sanjar Hazara. A year later in 1591, Jahangir married another Rajput princess, a daughter of Raja Shri Kesho Das Rathore of Mertia. Her nane was Rajkumari Shri Karamsi Baiji Lall Sahiba. In the same year, Jahangir married his 11th wife, a daughter of Dost Muhammad Khwaja Jahan-i-Kabuli.
12th to 20th wife of Jahangir
His 12th wife was a sister of Abiya Kashmiri. 13th was Kanwal Rani, youngest daughter of ‘Ali Sher Khan from Ladakh, Kashmir. Fourteenth was a daughter of Sayyid Mubaraq Khan Baihaqi of Kashmir. 15th wife of Jahangir was again from Kashmir – a daughter of Husain Chak, of Kashmir.
In 1593, Salim married his 16th wife Nur un-nisa Begum Sahiba was a daughter of Ibrahim Husain Mirza while seventeenth was a daughter of Khandesh Raja – Raja ‘Ali Khan Faruqi. Next, 18th was a daughter of ‘Abdu’llah Khan Baluch. Then in June 1596, he married Zain Khan Koka’s daughter Khas Mahal Sahiba, daughter of Zain Khan Koka. Then before 1605 he married his 20th wife at Delhi. She was the daughter of Raja Moman Murad, (before conversion Thakur Man Chand) of Kotaha, in Sirmur.
Marriages After Becoming Emperor
In 1608, Jahangir married his 21st wife Saliha Banu Padshah Begum Sahiba , the principal wife, who was promoted to the rank and title of Padshah Mahal Sahiba and Padshah Banu Begum Sahiba in 1610 She was the daughter of Qasim Khan, a senior member of the Mughal Household. His 22nd wife was Koka Kumari Sahiba, eldest daughter of Yuvraj Shri Jagat Singhji Bahadur of Amber.
Jahangir then married daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Ram Chand Ju Deo Bahadur, Raja of Orchha and Chanderi andnthenmarried his 24th wife – a daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Madhukar Shah Ju Deo Bahadur who was Raja of Orchha.
Jahangir then married his 25th wife, Nur Jahan
In May 1611, Jahangir married Mehr-un-Nissa, a widow of Persian soldier Sher Afghan who died in 1607. It is said that Jahangir and Mehr-un-Nissa loved each other in their early days. (I wonder, how come none of our film makers noticed this angle). However, since Jahangir was married to Shah Begum then (Mariam-uz-Zamani’s relative) Akbar didn’t agree with this relationship. So, he himself married off Mehr-un-Nissa to Sher Afghan.
Later when Sher Afghan died, Jahangir decided to marry Mehr-un-Nissa and give her the title of Nur Mahal (Light of the Palace) and Nur Jahan (Light of the World). She had a great influence on Jahangir. In order to make sure her influence continues she married off her step daughter to one prince and her niece Mumtaz Mahal to another prince of Jahangir.
After Nur Jahan he married 5 more princess, and bore 7 sons and 14 daughters (out of which 10 died in infancy) in all.
By: Deepti Verma
Christopher Buyers, Timurid Genealogy
Eraly, Abraham (2007). Emperors of the Peacock Throne, The Saga of the Great Mughals. Penguin Books India