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The presentation of Prince Dara-Shikoh's wedding gifts

December 31, 1662
Mirza Firuz Shah
Aurangzeb 1658–1707




The presentation of Prince Dara-Shikoh's wedding gifts (plate 14) The wedding festivities of Prince Dara Shikoh began with a display of the imperial presents in the Hall of Public Audience at Agra on 4 February 1633. This was organised by Jahanara Begam, Shah-Jahan's eldest daughter, who had assumed the position of first lady at court following the death of her mother Mumtaz Mahal. Prince Dara-Shikoh stands at the left of the jharoka with his youngest brother, Muradbakhsh. In the space below the jharoka the presents are displayed on a white patterned cloth. They included: 'precious gems and jewelled items, gold and silver utensils and various sorts of brocades, various rugs, carpets, canopies, and other things from the workshop suitable to mighty Emperors. All the above mentioned items [were laid out] in an arrangement that astonished jaded world-travellers.' Asaf Khan, Shah-Jahan's Prime Minister and the grandfather of the bridegroom (his daughter was Mumtaz Mahal), stands to left of centre, wearing a cream and gold robe. During the life time of his mother Mumtaz Mahal, Dara Shikoh was betrothed to his half-cousin, Princess Nadira Banu Begum, the daughter of his paternal uncle Sultan Parvez Mirza. He married her on 1 February 1633 at Agra; midst great celebrations, pomp and grandeur.By all accounts, Dara and Nadira were devoted to each other and Dara's love for Nadira was so profound that unlike the usual practice of polygyny prevalent at the time, he never contracted any other marriage. The imperial couple had seven children together, with two sons, Sulaiman Shikoh and Sipihr Shikoh and a daughter Jahanzeb Banu Begum, surviving to play important roles in future events. A great patron of the arts, Dara ordered for the compilation of some refined artwork into an album which is now famous by the name of 'Dara Shikhoh Album.' This album was presented by Dara to his 'dearest intimate friend' Nadira in 1641. Dara had at least two concubines, Gul Safeh (also known as Rana Dil) and Udaipuri Mahal (a Georgian or Armenian slave girl). Udaipuri later became a part of Aurangzeb's harem after her master's defeat. Creator(s) Balchand (illustrator) Measurements 33.8 x 23.3 cm (image) 58.4 x 36.8 cm (page dimensions) To Read More Visit This Book Link


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Ismail Mazari

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Very good information.


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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