Atgah Khan as you see in Jodha Akbar, was one among the favorites of Akbar. A trusted officer, he served Akbar till he breath his last. Here are 5 not so known facts about Atgah Khan.
1. Atgah Khan (or Ataga Khan) is a Title, his Real Name was Shamsuddin Muhammad
Akbar besides Maham Anga had yet another foster mother who fed him with milk. She was Ji Ji Anga. Ji Ji Anga was none other than wife of Shamsuddin Muhammad. Now, since Akbar called Ji Ji as Anga (foster mother) he addressed Shamsuddin Muhammad as Atgah or Ataga (Foster father) Khan.
2. Atgah Khan did not Belong to any Warrior Family
Although you can currently see him in a very prominent position (It is still not clear in the serial what is his position) in the royal court of Agra in the ongoing TV serial Jodha Akbar, let me tell you he did not belong to any royal family. Ataga Khan’s journey is as interesting as any of the 70s block buster Hindi movie.
He was actually a son of a simple farmer named Mir Yar Muhammad of Ghazni. Once, when Shamsuddin was only 20 years old, he dreamt that he is holding moon under his arms. Fortunately, his kismet changed as he was appointed as a common soldier in the army of Kamran Mirza, the second son of Babur and half brother of Humayun. Kamran Mirza later rebelled against Humayun.
3. Atgah Khan saved Akbar’s Father and 2nd Mughal Emperor Humayun from Drowning
After losing the Battle of Kanuaj aka Battle of Billgram in the year 1540 against Sher Shah Suri, Humayun had a near death experience. The Second Mughal emperor was crossing the river Ganga on an elephant. All of a sudden, he dismounted from the elephant. At this time, a soldier who escaped death in the battle came to his rescue and assisted his emperor towards the high bank. This soldier was none other than Shamsuddin Muhammad. Humayun rewarded Shamsuddin by taking him in his personal service.
4. Atgah Khan fathered Akbar in Amerkot
After Akbar was born, his father along with his mother Hamida Banu had to rush to Persia to avoid any possible attacks by Sher Shah Suri. However, Shamsuddin along with Bairam Khan remained in Amerkot to look after the young Akbar. While, Bairam Khan fathered Akbar by teaching and training him in various artillery and weapons, Shamsuddin took care of Akbar as a fatherly figure. Perhaps that is why, the moment Akbar was crowned a King, he gave Shamsuddin the title of Ataga Khan.
5. Atgah Khan was also bestowed with the Title of Azam Khan
When Akbar under the influence of Maham Anga ordered Bairam Khan to retire, Bairam Khan rebelled against Akbar. During that time, it was Atgah Khan, the Governor of Punjab who stopped Bairam Khan’s rebel against Akbar. After Atgah Khan’s victory, Akbar bestowed him with the title of Azam Khan. In addition, he became the insignia of Bairam Khan.
6. Atgah Khan was Killed by Adham Khan
After Atgah Khan replaced Munim Khan as Vakil (Prime Minister), both Munim Khan and Maham Anga were annoyed. Munin Khan then instigated Adham Khan to kill Ataga Khan. Adham Khan in the early morning of May 16 1562 murdered Ataga Khan while he was sitting in the Diwan-E-Aam. Minutes within, Akbar ordered his soldiers to kill Adham Khan by throwing him from the top most position of the Agra fort.
By: Deepti Verma
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