Jahandar Shah (1712-1713)

 
Reign
1712 - 1713
Born
10 May 1661
Died
February 11, 1713 (agedĀ 51)
Place of death
Delhi
Predecessor
Bahadur Shah I
Successor
Farrukhsiyar
Wife
Lal Kunwar
Dynasty
Timurid
Father
Bahadur Shah I
  8th mughal emperor

Jahandar Shah (1661-1713) was a Mughal Emperor who ruled Hindustan for a brief period in 1712-1713 CE.

Jahandar Shah was born on May 10, 1661, a son of the emperor Bahadur Shah I. Upon the death of their father on 27 February 1712, he and his brother Azim-ush-Shan both declared themselves emperor and conducted a struggle for the succession. Azim-ush-shan was killed on 17 March 1712 and Jahandar Shah was able to rule for a further eleven months. His court was depraved. He was a mere puppet in the hands of his favourite wife, Lal Kunwar,who, before her elevation to the position of Queen Consort was a mere dancing girl. Her children were promoted to the highest offices of the Empire.

He was defeated in the battle at Agra on 10 January 1713 by Farrukhsiyar, his nephew the second son of Azim-ush-shan, with the support of the Sayyid Brothers. He fled to Delhi, from where he was captured and handed over to the new Emperor, who confined him along with Lal Kunwar. He lived in confinement for a month, until 11 February 1713, when professional stranglers were sent to murder him. When the stranglers were admitted into the prison, Lal Kunwar shrieked,"clasped hold of her lover and refused to let go." Violently forcing the two apart, they laid hands on Jahandar Shah and finished him off. His head was severed and presented to Farruksiyar, while his body was taken to Humayun's Tomb and interred there. Lal Kunwar was sent to "suragpura" (Hamlet of Happy Wives), where the widows of previous emperors lived in retirement. Before coming to the throne, Jahandar Shah had sailed around the Indian ocean, and had been a very prosperous trader. He was the father of three sons, including, Aziz-ud-Din, or Alamgir II, who reigned as Mughal emperor between 1754 and 1759.
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He was merely a puppet in the hands of his Chief Minister Zulfikar Khan. The acts of Jahandar Shah brought down the prestige of the Mughal Empire.