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Portrait of Azam Shah c. 1670

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December 31, 1669
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Mirza Firuz Shah
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People
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Aurangzeb 1658–1707

Portrait of Azam Shah c. 1670

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Qutb-ud-Din Muhammad Azam was born on 28 June 1653 in Burhanpur to Prince Muhi-ud-Din (later known as 'Aurangzeb' upon his accession) and his first wife and chief consort Dilras Banu Begum. His mother, who died four years after giving birth to him, was the daughter of Mirza Badi-uz-Zaman Safavi (titled Shah Nawaz Khan) and a princess of the prominent Safavid dynasty of Persia. Therefore, Azam was not only a Timurid from his father's side, but also had in him the royal blood of the Safavid dynasty, a fact which Azam was extremely proud of and after the death of his younger brother, Prince Muhammad Akbar, the only son of Aurangzeb who could boast of being of the purest blood. Azam's other half-brothers, Shah Alam (later Bahadur Shah I) and Muhammad Kam Bakhsh being the sons of inferior and Hindu wives of Aurangzeb. According to Niccolao Manucci, the courtiers were very impressed by Azam's royal Persian ancestry and the fact that he was the grandson of Shah Nawaz Khan Safavi. As Azam grew up, he was distinguished for his wisdom, excellence, and chivalry. Aurangzeb used to be extremely delighted with his son's noble character and excellent manners, and thought of him as his comrade rather than his son. He often used to say, "between this pair of matchless friends, a separation is imminent." Azam's siblings included his older sisters, the princesses: Zeb-un-Nissa, Zinat-un-Nissa, Zubdat-un-Nissa and his younger brother, Prince Muhammad Akbar. Personal life Azam was first married on 13 May 1668 to an Ahom princess, Ramani Gabharu, whose name was changed to Rahmat Bano Begum. She was the daughter of the Ahom king, Swargadeo Jayadhwaj Singh, and the marriage was a political one. On 3 January 1669, Azam married his cousin, Princess Jahanzeb Bano Begum, the daughter of his eldest uncle Crown Prince Dara Shikoh and his beloved wife Nadira Bano Begum. Jahanzeb was his chief wife and his favorite wife, whom he loved dearly. She gave birth to her eldest son on 4 August 1670. His grandfather Aurangzeb named him 'Bidar Bakht'. Aurangzeb, throughout his life, always loved the three of Azam and Jahanzeb (who is his favorite daughter-in-law) and Prince Bidar Bakht, a brave and successful general. Bidar Bakht was also Aurangzeb's favorite grandson. Azam's third marriage was fixed with Iran Dukhat Rahmat Bano (Pari Bibi), daughter of Aurangzeb's maternal uncle Shaista Khan. However, the marriage could not take place due to the sudden death of Pari Bibi in Dhaka in 1678. In his memory Azamshah has built Lala Bagh Fort in Dhaka. As part of a political alliance, Azam later married his third (and last) wife, Shahar Bano Begum (Padshah Bibi), in 1681. She was a princess of the Adil Shahi dynasty and the daughter of the ruler Ali Adil Shah II. Despite Bijapur and his other marriages, Azam's love for Jahanzeb remained unchanged. Because when he died in 1705, he was filled with great sadness and despair which darkened the rest of his life.


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.

MUGHAL IMAGES

The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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