She loved and died for son of Aurangzeb Alamgeer

Jahanzeb Bano (Jani) daughter

Banu Begum
Banu Begum

Jahanzeb Bano was also known as Jani Begum, and after the issues of the war of succession, when Dara Shikoh was deposed, she was adopted as a daughter by her aunt Jahan Ara Begum. Jahanzeb Bano had a charming personality, and enamoured everyone. Aurangzeb Alamgeer liked her so much that he proposed the hand of his favourite son Muhammed Azam for her and the marriage was celebrated with great pomp. She used to accompany her husband everywhere and used to be with him even in the battlefield. She gave a birth to a son, and Aurangzeb Alamgeer himself named him ‘Bidar-Bakht’, along with valuable presents. And all his life Bidar-Bakht remained the favourite grandson of Aurangzeb Alamgeer.

Banu Begum Aurangabad
Banu Begum Aurangabad

Prince Muhammed Azam did become an Emperor on 14th March, 1707 AD, but Jahanzeb Bano daughter of Dara Shikoh died on 13th March, 1705 AD due to breast cancer. She could have been treated as a French lady surgeon was present to do the same, but she refused to let someone who took wine to mess up with the private parts of her body. She preferred death over being shamed by a foreign lady. Her life is a record of vicissitudes of the times.

If one looks dispassionately at the whole affair, one is kept wondering at the way of the Mughals. It is hard to understand them. But one thing is clear. These children of Dara Shikoh held their father in guilt, and the biggest guilt was his apostasy from Islam itself. But that is another story for another time.


  1. Open knowledge always hidden to paint people not in their own light but differently as one wants it, a wrong projection of things.

  2. Her mausoleum is a beautiful monument of the times, and tells us how lavish her life was in the household of Aurangzeb Alamgeer. The father in law was alive at that time and took interest in the construction of the last resting place of his daughter in law.

  3. Hello Arif Rehan Chughtai-
    I must say that I truly appreciate these articles/excerpts on history.
    I thoroughly enjoy them.
    ( I am married to Makiya Chughtai and we live in Minnesota, USA with our three children)

  4. Of course Azhar I remember your visit to us as well as your wife’s. You must have framed the print you have.

  5. “These children of Dara Shikoh held their father in guilt…”

    you think Suleiman and Sipihr Shikoh “held their father in guilt” ?!!!!

    1. Sipihr Shikoh was married to daughter of Aurangzeb, and held with great love. Married to Zubdat un nisa in 1673 and died in 1708. So in all ways he reconciled with his uncle and father in law. Sulaiman Shikoh died in Gwalior and buried there. I have tried to find his inscriptions there, although a lot of others are available. If Dara had won, he would have been even more cruel than his uncle. Even Annemarie Schimmel the scholar got fooled with wrong information. Mughals are difficult to undertstand. My book on Dara Shikoh is a treat to read.

  6. Hundreds comment India obsessed with Dara Shikoh and Deval Rani and nothing else minds short circuited twisted versions

  7. Hello,

    Can you please name the sources, it would be of great help to me? As the article is quite interesting and I want to further research for my Ph.D. thesis.
    thank you

    shivangi naithani devrani

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