The name Chand Begum flashed right in front of us after Jodha Bai got a letter from her in the Maha episode of Jodha Akbar. While, she along with Akbar is wondering who is Chand Begum, Akbar’s aunt Gulbadam Begum who is also the author of Humayun Nama recalls that Chand Begum is none other than Humayun’s wife whose name is also mentioned in Humayun Nama.
Let us now look into the story as well as mystery surrounding Chand Begum, the not so familiar name in Mughal Dynasty:
Chand Begum was One Among Many Wives of Humayun
Like Babur, Humayun too had more than four wives. While, Bega Begum aka Haji Begum was his chief consort, Chand Begum was one of his early Begums along with Shaad Begum. His other begums were Gulbarg Begum, Banu Begum, Miveh Jan, Gunwar Bibi (Bakshi Bano’s mother), Hamida Banu Begum (Akbar’s mother), and Mah Chuchak Begum (Mirza Hakim‘s mother and Abdul Maali’s mother in law).
Hamida Begum (born in 1527) was one among the youngest wives of Humayun, 19 years younger to him. She was in fact, only a year elder to Al-Aman Mirza, Humayun’s first born who although was born in 1528, unfortunately died in his childhood.
Chand Begum along with Shaad Begum were Presumed to be Drowned during the Battle of Chausa
Battle of Chausa took place on the fateful night of June 26th, 1539 when Sher Shah Suri (then Sher Khan) encircled the Mughal forces of Humayun only to break the backbone of Mughals at Chausa, a place in between the boundaries of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
After winning Bengal, Humayun was heading towards Agra from Bihar. However, Sher Khan had blocked his way in Bihar and so Humayun took the Grand Trunk road which was completely under the control of Sher Shah Suri. Humayun after crossing the river Ganga reached Chausa and Sher Shah too came there with his own troops.
For 3 months, Sher Shah waited to attack the vulnerable Mughal troops who were camping in between the river Ganga and Karmanasa. Sher Shah was actually waiting for the rains and so he falsely delayed his plans in the name of negotiations for peace.
On June 25th Sher Khan illusioned the Mughal army with an impression that he is going to attack a tribal chief of Bihar, and the moment Mughal troop relaxed at that night, he attacked them from all three sides. The entire Mughal army was killed. Sher Shah Suri captured Bega Begum while Humayun somehow saved his life by plunging himself into the Ganga river.
His eight year old daughter Aqiqa Sultan from Bega Begum was lost in the whole mess at Chausa while, his other two Begums – Shaad Begum and Chand Begum were presumed to be drowned. Perhaps, this is the same Chaand Begum who is the mystery element in the current track of Jodha Akbar.
What is Chand Begum aka Chand Bibi doing in Jodha Akbar Serial?
Although the assumption is Chand Bibi drowned in the famous Battle of Chausa, here in the serial it is said that she along with other wives of Humayun – Bega Begum (the chief consort) and Shaad Begum was safely escorted back at Humayun’s harem from Sher Shah Suri’s captivity by Todermal himself.
(According to little known facts available, it is said that Bega Begum was handed back to Humayun with honor, but by Khwas Khan and not by Todermal. In addition, we see Atgah Khan in the serial is said to have seen Chand Bibi. Again, Atgah Khan was introduced to Himayun in the year 1540 after the Battle of Kannauj that is exactly a year later after the Battle of Chausa when Chand Begum had disappeared. Then how come Atgah Khan saw Chand Bibi?)
However, as far as the serial is concerned the entry of Chand Begum will not only be interesting but also captivating. She may or may not be the one kept in captivity of Maham Anga because Chaand Begum being married to Humayun before the Battle of Chausa clearly indicates that she was elder to Hamida Begum.
And if she was elder to Hamida Begum, she obviously cannot have a small baby with her like it is shown in the serial. This makes one wonder, if Chand Begum is indeed the victim of Maham Anga, the serial is yet again playing with dates and chronology.
Besides, now that even Chand Begum is being the focus of the show, I have a question to the writers – Why is Bega Begum (Humayun’s first wife and chief consort) missing in the show when she was alive during all this phase?
By: Deepti Verma
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