Shah Begum

Shah Begum – The first wife of Jahangir

Shah Begum was the first wife or spouse of Jahangir (prince Salim) who later became the 4th Mughal Emperor. The meaning of Shah Begum is the “Royal Lady” who belonged to a rajput family.

Quick Facts

  • Real Name: Rajkumari Man Baisa Sahiba
  • Born: 1570 CE
  • Died: 16th May 1604 (Khusrau Bagh, Allahabad)
  • Dynasty: Kachhwaha by birth | Timurid by marriage
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Spouse: Jahangir
  • Father: Raja Bhagwant Das
  • Famous as: Jahangir’s First Wife

Family

She born as Man Bai was the daughter of the king of Amer city in Rajasthan, Raja Bhagwant Das.

Raja Bharmal was Shah Begum’s grandfather whose daughter was Mariam-Uz-Zamani who married to the mughal emperor Akbar in 1562. She was the mother of the eldest son, Khusrau Mirza of the prince Salim. After the birth of prince Khusrau Mirza, prince Salim gave her the title of Shah Begum.

Marriage

Man Bai engaged to prince Salim at the age of 15 who was his cousin too. Both of them got married on 13th February 1585 in the presence of Akbar with all his nobles, Muslim qazis following some of the hindu ceremonies at Raja’s residence. Shah Begum now became the first wife spouse of future emperor Jahangir (Prince Salim). Shah Begum’s father had donated hundred elephants, horses, jewels, precious stones, gold and silver utensils, a number of servants etc. It was an extremely royal wedding.

Did Shah Jahan loved his first wife, Shah Begum

Shah Begum was a very beautiful woman. She was sincerely devoted to Jahangir and this was the reason, Jahangir had a special place for her in his heart. Jahangir loved her a lot because of her devotion to him and her beauty. Though she had an unstable mind and a dominant queen. As a result she sometimes used to become offensive against any imaginative insults.

Children of Shah Begum with Jahangir

Jahangir and his first spouse (Shah Begum) had their first child, a daughter Sultan-un-Nissa Begum on 25th April 1586. They had the second child, a son Khusrau Mirza on 6th August 1587 after which she received the name of Shah Begum meaning ‘The royal lady’ .

Jahangir loved her a lot because of her devotion to him and her beauty. Though she had an unstable mind and a dominant queen. As a result she sometimes used to become offensive against any imaginative insults.

Death of Shah Begum

Shah Begum died on 16th May 1604. She constantly advised his son Khusrau to be honest to his father Jahangir but he did not obey her. Moreover her brother was also against her husband. Subsequently, all these situations made her mentally disturbed due to which she had once ate a lot of opium and died.

Incidents

Shah Begum had at least two children Jahangir

  • Sultan-un-Nissa born on 25th April 1586 and died on 5th September 1646, buried in Tomb of Akbar, Sikandar, Agra.
  • Khusrau Mirza born on 16th August 1587 and died on 26th January 1622, buried in Mausoleum of Khusrau Mirza, Khusro Bagh, Allahabad.

Popularity of Shah Begum

  • Jyotsna Chandola portrayed the role of Shah Begum in Jodha Akbar serial on Zee TV.
  • Krutika Desai Khan also played her role in tv series Noorjahan, on Doordarshan.
  • Shah Begum’s role has also been played by Neetha Shetty in EPIC channel’s critically acclaimed serial Siyaasat.
  • Heli Daruwala has played her role in Indian tv serial Dastaan-E-Mohabbat Salim Anarkali.

Tomb of Shah Begum

Shah Begum’s tomb is built in Khusrau Bagh in Allahabad. Aqa Reza, an artist at Allahabad court built this tomb. The tomb was completed between 1606 to 1607.

Tomb of Shah Begum
Image credit: Wikimedia