|Died||18 April 1619
|Burial||Dahra Bagh, Agra|
|Father||Udai Singh of Marwar|
Bilqis Makani (Urdu: بلقیس مکانی), also known as Jagat Gosaini, Jodh Bai, or Manmati) was the second wife of the Mughal emperor Jahangir and the mother of his successor, the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
Known most popularly as Jodh Bai, the Jodhpur princess, Jagat Gosaini belonged to the Rathore clan of Rajputs and was a daughter of Udai Singh of Marwar; also known by the sobriquet Mota Raja (the fat king). 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.
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.
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."
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) that the still unborn child was destined for imperial greatness. 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. Jagat was consoled with a magnificent gift of rubies and pearls.
Ruqaiya assumed the primary responsibility for Khurram's upbringing and he grew up under her care. Jahangir noted in his memoirs, that Ruqaiya had loved Khurram, "a thousand times more than if he had been her own [son]." 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.
Jagat Gosaini seems to have lost her husband's favour quite early on in their marriage, 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. 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.
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") in all of the official documents.
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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.
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The Hindu Jodh Bai was consoled with a magnificent gift of rubies and pearls
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- Findly, p. 49
- Findly, p. 126
- Findly, p. 94
- Findly, p. 162
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bilqis Makani.|
- Findly, Ellison Banks (1993). Nur Jahan: Empress of Mughal India. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195360608.