The Mughal – Rajput Marriages !

The Mughal Rajput alliance that we observe was developed owing to the political needs and interests of the two ruling elites of India. These friendly politicalrelations soon grew into marital alliances which proved extremely successful for the stability of the Mughal Empire. It was indeed a diplomatic move of Akbar to strengthen his hold over the large country and that actually changed the outlook and state policy of Akbar. The Rajputs were loyal military race and proved their mettle in protecting the rule for Akbar and the honour of the Mughal throne. Akbar reciprocated with rewards and mansabs. Rajputs were taken into the Mughal service. Many were created Mansabdars. The Jizya was abolished. Pilgrimage tax was also abolished It was this policy of reconciliation towards the Hindus in general and the Rajputs in particular which enabled Akbar to conquer the whole of Northern India and a part of the Deccan.

Rajputs became not only friends but partners in the Mughal Empire. Ain-i-Akbari lists names of 24 Rajput mansabdars. Raja Todarmal was made the head of revenue department.3 .Bharmal was made a high grandee. His son, Bhagwan Das, rose to rank of 5000 and his grandson, Man Singh to rank of 7000. Akbar emphasized his special relation-ship with the Kachhawaha ruler in other ways as well. The rulers of Jaisalmer and Bikaner also came forward


The first Rajput girl who entered the Mughal zenana was a daughter of Raja Bihari Mal (Bharmal) of Amber, known variously as Hira Kunwai or Harkha Bai, who was married to Emperor Akbar. Akbar gave complete religious freedom to his Hindu wives and gave an honoured place to their parents and relations in the nobility.3

Rao Kalyanmal of Bikaner then offered two nieces, Raj Kanwar daughter of his brother Kanha and Bhanumati,daughter of other brother Bhimraj in marriage to Akbar. At the same time Hari Raj of Jaisalmer also submitted to Akbar and offered a daughter, Rajkumari Nathi Bai, as a wife for the Padshah while his son, Kunwar Sultan Singh, was accepted as a nobleman at the Mughal court.

Jahangir continued the marital alliances with the Rajputs by entering into matrimonial relation with them. He had already a Kachchwaha princess, Mani bai, the daughter of Raja Bhagwant Das. After his accession, he married a number of Rajput princess including one with the daughter of ram Chandra Bundela and another with the daughter of Jagat Singh Kachchawaha, the eldest son of Raja Man Singh.

When the alliance with the Rajput had attained a measure of stability, matrimonial alliances between the Mughals and the Leading Rajput states became less frequent.5

Here is a list of marriages of Mughal Kings & princes taken from the Mughal and Rajput records.

Akbar

In 1562, married Rajkumari Hira Kunwari Sahiba, alias Harkha Bai, eldest daughter of Raja Bihari Mal, Raja of Amber, Given the title Wali Nimat, Hamida Banu Mariam uz-Zamani Begum  

In 1562, married Maharajkumari Shri Nathi Bai Sahiba, daughter of Maharajadhiraj Shri Maharawal Hariraj Singh Dev Bahadur, Yadukul Chandrawhal, Maharaja of Jaisalmer.

In 1570, married Baiji Lal Raj Kanwari Sahiba, daughter of Kunwar Shri Kanho [Kanhaji], of Bikaner, and niece of Rao Shri Kalyan Mal, Rao of Bikaner.

In 1570, married Baiji Lal Bhanumati Kanwari Sahiba, daughter of Kanwar Sri Bhim Rajji, Gai Bhum ra Bahru, of Bikaner. 

In 1573, married a daughter of Raja Shri Jai Chand, of Nagaur. 

In 1577, married a daughter of Maharawal Shri AskaranSahib Bahadur, Maharawal of Dungarpur. 18

In 1581, married Rajkumari Shri Rukmawati Baiji LalSahiba [Jodh Bibi] daughter of Rao Shri Mal Deoji, Rao of Marwar

In 1581, married a daughter of Raja Shri Kesho Das Rathore, of Merta

In 1597, married a daughter of Sri Sri Maharaja LakshmiNarayan Bhup Bahadur, Raja of Cooch Behar. 

In total he married 12 Rajput princess.

Shahzada Sultan Murad Mirza had two Rajput princesses as wives

Shahzada Sultan Danial Mirza

In 1595 married a granddaughter of Rao Mal Deoji Sahib, Rao of Marwar, and daughter of Kanwar Rai Mal Sahib. 

Jahangir

In 1585  he married Rajkumari Shri Manbhavati Baiji Kunwari Sahiba [Man Bai], daughter of Amir ul-Umara, Raja Bhagwan Das, Raja of Amber.  Titled Shah Begum buried at Khusro Bagh Allahabad.

In 1584 married Rajkumari Rattan Bai Sahiba, daughter of Raja Basu, Raja of Nurpur, in Kangra

In 1586 he married Jagat Gosain Manavati Baiji LallSahiba, who received the prothumous title of BilqisMakani, daughter of Raja Shri Udai Singhji Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Jodhpur,

In 1586 married a daughter of Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Sri Rai Singhji, Maharaja of Bikaner. 

In 1587 married MalikaiJahan Begum Sahiba ( daughter of Rukn ud-Daula, Maharajadhiraj Raj RajeshwarMaharawal Bhim Singh Dev Bahadur, Maharaja of Jaisalmer. 

In 1591 married Rajkumari Shri Karamsi Baiji Lal Sahiba [Karamnasi], daughter of Raja Shri Kesho Das Rathore, of Mertia

He further married Koka Kumari Sahiba, eldest daughter of Yuvraj Shri Jagat Singhji Bahadur, Yuvraj of Amber,

In 1610 n.s., a daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Ram Chand JuDeo Bahadur, Raja of Orchha and Chanderi. 

In 1610, a daughter of Sawai Raja Shri Madhukar Shah JuDeo Bahadur, Raja of Orchha. 

In 1611 married a daughter of Raja Purushottam Das, Raja of Jagannathpuri

In 1614 married the youngest daughter of Maharajadhiraja Maharaja Sri Dalpat Singhji Bahadur, Raja of Bikaner.

Sultan Khusrau Mirza.  Rebelled in 1606. Blinded by his father and buried at Khushru Bagh, Allahabad. 

His secondly married – with Jodh Bai (buried Sultan KhusrauBagh, Allahabad), a Rajput princess from Jodhpur. 

Sultan Muhammad Parvez Mirza. 

In 1624 He married Raj Kumari Shri Manbhavathi Baiji Lall Sahiba, younger daughter of Sawai Raja Sur Singhji[Suraj Mal], Raja of Jodhpur

Shah Jahan

Married Raj Kumari Shri Manbhavati Baiji Lal Sahiba, widow of his elder brother, Sultan Muhammad ParvezMirza, and younger daughter of Sawai Raja Sur Singhji[Suraj Mal], Raja of Jodhpur. 

In 1627 married Kumari Lilavati Baiji Lal Sahiba, daughter of Rao Shri Sakat Singh [Shakti], of Kharwar, Grand-daugther of Raja Gaj Singh. 17

 Shahzada Sultan Sulaiman Shikoh. Son of Dara Shukoh

In 1654 married Anoop Kunwar Bai Sahiba, daughter of Rao Shri Amar Singh of Nagaur, Niece of Jai Singh of Jaipur 16

In 1658, married a daughter of Amir ul-Umara, Raja Prithvi Pat Shah, Raja of Garhwal (14-15)

Aurangzeb

In (1639) married Rajkumari Anuradha Bai Sahiba daughter of the Raja Raju Maharaj of Rajauri, in Kashmir. 11

In 1667 Aurangzeb married Udaipuri Mahal , may have been a daughter of a Rajput – mother of Kambaksh – According ot Manucci and James Todd

Shahzada Muhammad Sultan Mirza. 

In 1676 Married – Bai Bhut Devi [Phup devi], daughter of the Raja of Kishtwar 11

Azam Shah

In 1668 married Rajkumari Ramani Gabharu nee NawabRahmat Banu Begum Sahiba daughter of Ahom King Sri Sri Swargadeva Sri Raja Jayadhwaj Simha, Raja of Assam 12

Mu’azzam Shah

In 1661 married- Maharajkumari Amrita Bai Sahiba, daughter of Maharaja Shri Rup Singh Sahib Bahadur, Raja of Kishangarh

Sultan Azim us-Shan Bahadur. 

In 1687 married Rajkumari Bai Jas Kunwar Sahiba daughter of Raja Shri Kirat Singhji Bahadur, Raja of Kama.

Farrukh-siyar. 

In 1715 Farrukh Married Maharajkumari Shri IndiraKanwar Baiji Lal Sahiba) but after she left the harem after her husband’s death, purified herself 17th July 1719 and returned to her father’s household. She was the eldest daughter of Raj Rajeshwar Maharaja Shri Ajit SinghjiSahib, Raja of Jodhpur. 

References

1. Sources for the Study of Persian and Indian Royal Genealogies”, The Genealogist, M.L. Bierbrier. 1982.
2. Maharaja of Jaipur. Michael Joseph Ltd.,, 1985.
3. Ain-i-Akbari translation Abul Fazl Allami, (Calcutta, 1872),
4. Fall.of the Mughal Empire, Volumes I, II, III and IV –Sir Jadunath Sarkar. London, 1988.
5. Annal and Antiquities of Rajasthan  –J. Tods, , Vol II, (Oxford, 1920)
6. Tuzuk-i– Jahangir (tr.),  –Nurud-din Muhammad Jehangir, (New Delhi, 1989), V
7. Royal Mughal Ladies and their Contributions –Soma Mukherjee, , (New Delhi 2001)
8. Afzal Husain Proceedings of the Indian History Congress Vol. 33 (1971),
9. Khyat of Bankidas Jodhpur
10. Mini Mughals – Muni Lal – 1989 – KonarkPublishers
11. Among the Luminaries in Assam: A Study of Assamese Biography By Anjali Sarma – Page 188
12. MAHAL: Power and Pageantry in the Mughal Harem by Subhadra SEn Gupta
13. Studies in Indian Painting: Nanalal ChamanlalMehta – Page 47
14. Aurangzeb – Muni Lal · 1988 · Pag 123
15. Captive Princess: Zebunissa, Daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb  Page 205 by Annie Krieger-Krynicki
16. Mughal Religious Policies, the Rajputs & the Deccan – Page 75 by Satish Chandra · 1993
17. History of Shekhawats – Page 22  Ranbir Sinh · 2001 · page 22

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Khalid Bin Umar

Khalid Bin Umar is a history buff, a voracious reader of history and literature with an interest in heritage, Sufism and biographies. Endowed with command over languages he loves to explore and write primarily on the micro historical accounts.

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