Bilqis Makani

Mughal empress
  (Redirected from Taj Bibi Bilqis Makani)
Bilqis Makani
بلقیس مکانی
Died 18 April 1619
Agra, India
Burial Dahra Bagh, Agra
Spouse Jahangir
Issue Shah Jahan
Dynasty Rathore
Father Udai Singh of Marwar
Religion Hinduism

Bilqis Makani (Urdu: بلقیس مکانی), also known as Jagat Gosaini,[1] Jodh Bai,[2] or Manmati[3]) was the second wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and the mother of his successor, the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.[4][5]



Known most popularly as Jodh Bai, the Jodhpur princess,[6] Jagat Gosaini belonged to the Rathore clan of Rajputs and was a daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar;[7] also known by the sobriquet Mota Raja (the fat king).[8] After the death of her grandfather, Maldeo Rathore on 7 November 1562, a fratricidal war for succession started and her uncle, Rao Chandra Sen, crowned himself in the capital Jodhpur. But his reign was short lived as Emperor Akbar's army occupied Merta in the same year and the capital in 1563.[9]

After the death of Rao Chandrasen in January, 1581, Marwar was brought under direct Mughal administration. In August 1583, Akbar restored the throne of Marwar to Udai Singh, who submitted to the Mughals and subsequently joined the Mughal service.[9]

Marriage to JahangirEdit

Jagat Gosaini married Prince Salim (the future emperor Jahangir) on 26 June 1586, in a marriage of political alliance and became his second wife. On 5 January 1592, she gave birth to Salim's third son, who was named 'Khurram' ("joyous") by his grandfather, the Emperor Akbar. The prince, who was to become the future emperor Shah Jahan, was Akbar's favourite grandson and in the words of Jahangir "was more attentive to my father [Akbar] than all [my] children... He recognized him as his own child."[10]

Just prior to Khurram's birth, a soothsayer had reportedly predicted to the childless Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum (Akbar's first wife and chief consort)[11][12] that the still unborn child was destined for imperial greatness.[13] So, when Khurram was only six days old, Akbar ordered that the prince be taken away from Jagat Gosaini and handed him over to Ruqaiya so that he could grow up under her care and Akbar could fulfill his wife's wish, to raise a Mughal emperor.[13][14] Jagat was consoled with a magnificent gift of rubies and pearls.[15]

Ruqaiya assumed the primary responsibility for Khurram's upbringing and he grew up under her care.[16] Jahangir noted in his memoirs, that Ruqaiya had loved Khurram, "a thousand times more than if he had been her own [son]."[14] Khurram remained with her until he had turned 13. After the death of Akbar, the young prince was allowed to return to his father's household, and thus, be closer to his biological mother.[13]

Jagat Gosaini seems to have lost her husband's favour quite early on in their marriage,[17] more so after the arrival of her arch-rival in the imperial harem, Nur Jahaṇ, of whom Jagat was scornful. Jahangir had married her in 1611 and from the time of their marriage until his death, Nur Jahan was indisputably his most favourite wife.[18] Even prior to his marriage with Nur Jahan, Jahangir's chief consort and Padshah Begum was his wife, Saliha Banu Begum, who held this position from the time of his accession in 1605 till her death in 1620, after which these honorable titles were passed on to Nur Jahan.[10]


Jagat Gosaini died in 1619 in Agra, and was buried in Dahra Bagh as was her wish. Jahangir noted the death briefly, saying simply that she had "attained the mercy of God." After her death, Jahangir ordered that she be called Bilqis Makani ("the Lady of Pure Abode")[19] in all of the official documents.[20]


  1. ^ Mubārak, Abū al-Faz̤l ibn (1873). The Ain i Akbari. Rouse. p. 310. 
  2. ^ Findly, p. 396
  3. ^ transl.; ed.,; Thackston, annot. by Wheeler M. (1999). The Jahangirnama : memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India. New York [u.a.]: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 13. ISBN 9780195127188. 
  4. ^ Manuel, edited by Paul Christopher; Lyon,, Alynna; Wilcox, Clyde (2012). Religion and Politics in a Global Society Comparative Perspectives from the Portuguese-Speaking World. Lanham: Lexington Books. p. 68. ISBN 9780739176818. 
  5. ^ Eraly, Abraham (2007). Emperors of the Peacock Throne, The Saga of the Great Mughals. Penguin Books India. p. 299. ISBN 0141001437. 
  6. ^ Tillotson, Giles (2008). Taj Mahal. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press. p. 28. ISBN 9780674063655. 
  7. ^ Chandra, Satish (2005). Medieval India : from Sultanat to the Mughals (Revised ed. ed.). New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. p. 116. ISBN 9788124110669. 
  8. ^ Mehta, Jaswant Lal (1986). Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. p. 418. ISBN 9788120710153. 
  9. ^ a b Sarkar, Jadunath (1994). A history of Jaipur : c. 1503-1938 (Rev. and ed. ed.). Hyderabad: Orient Longman. p. 41. ISBN 81-250-0333-9. 
  10. ^ a b Findly, p. 125
  11. ^ Burke, S. M. (1989). Akbar, the greatest Mogul. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 142. 
  12. ^ Jahangir, Emperor of Hindustan (1999). The Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India. Translated by Thackston, Wheeler M. Oxford University Press. p. 437. ISBN 978-0-19-512718-8. Ruqayya-Sultan Begam, the daughter of Mirza Hindal and wife of [Akbar], had passed away in Akbarabad. She was [his] chief wife. Since she did not have children, when Shahjahan was born [Akbar] entrusted [him] to the begam's care ... She departed this life at the age of eighty-four. 
  13. ^ a b c Faruqui, Munis D. Princes of the Mughal Empire, 1504–1719. Cambridge University Press. p. 71. ISBN 978-1-107-02217-1. 
  14. ^ a b Jahangir (1968). Henry Beveridge, ed. The Tūzuk-i-Jahāngīrī: or, Memoirs of Jāhāngīr, Volumes 1–2. Munshiram Manoharlal. p. 48. 
  15. ^ Diana; Preston, Michael (2008). A teardrop on the cheek of time : the story of the Taj Mahal. London: Corgi. ISBN 0552154156. The Hindu Jodh Bai was consoled with a magnificent gift of rubies and pearls 
  16. ^ Eraly, Abraham (2000). Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals. Penguin Books India. p. 299. ISBN 978-0-14-100143-2. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  17. ^ Findly, p. 49
  18. ^ Findly, p. 126
  19. ^ Findly, p. 94
  20. ^ Findly, p. 162

External linksEdit


  • Findly, Ellison Banks (1993). Nur Jahan: Empress of Mughal India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195360608.