Emperor, soldier and master builder
Shah Jahan was the fifth of the Great Mughals. He was courageous, ambitious, quick-witted and intelligent. He was the favourite of Akbar. It was Jahangir who called him 'in all respects the first of my sons'. Jahangir's reign was noted for a series of brilliant victories in Mewar, the Deccan and Kangra, won mainly by Shah Jahan (who was then known as Prince Khurram). Shah Jahan had a passion for splendour and display. Adorned by the Peacock Throne, his court was the epitome of pomp and magnificence, attracting awed travellers from all over the world.
Shah Jahan was a lover and a patron of the arts. Painting, music, literature flourished in his reign. But his fame rested mainly on the architectural wonders he created. He laid the foundation of the Red Fort in Delhi in 1638. When, after ten years of sustained work, the construction was completed, he marched into the city in a triumphant procession. Shah Jahan's life was a study in contrasts. It touches the heights of happiness and success - and the depths of loss and suffering.