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Friday, July 10, 2015

Marriage of Maan Bai and Salim / Jahangir


This post describes the marriage of Prince Salim (later Mughal Emperor Jahangir) and his first wife, Maan Bai, the daughter of Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer. She was niece of Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum and the younger sister of Raja Man Singh of Amer. After birth of Khusrau, Jahangir gave her the title of Shah Begum.

I have taken 3 Mughal records & 1 Rajputana account, which describe the marriage of Salim with Maan Bai. I found the accounts of Badayuni(#1) and Nizam-ud-din(#2) better than that of Abul Fazl(#4).

The Munthakhab-ut-Tawarikh of Mulla Abu'l Qadir Badayuni, Ranking Haig Lowe, Volume-2, Pg-341...

Badayuni writes---

"At the beginning of the year 993 H. which was the end of the 30th year of the Emperor's reign, Mirza Shahrukh(he later married Shakr-un-Nissa Begum, daughter of Akbar ; see #10 of this post. Link click here.) and Raja Bhagwan Das arrived near Fatehpur , and having sent the Prince Daniyal with Shaikh Ibrahim Chishti, and a num­ber of the Amirs to meet them, they conducted them to the Court. The Emperor gave him a lac of rupees in ready money, and goods of the wardrobe, and three Persian horses, and five ele­phants, and ever so many camels and mules and servants.

Raja Bhagwan Das and Mirza Shahrukh(later married Shakr-un-Nissa Begum, daughter of Akbar) were coming to the court, after a campaign. 
Prince Daniyal was among those who were sent to welcome and escort them to the Royal Court. Note that Prince Daniyal was brought up in Amer in his childhood, by the wife of Raja Bharmal {see Akbarnama, Vol.2, Pg-543 for details OR #9 of this post. Link click here.}. Also note the favors Akbar bestows on both of them.

Mean while the Emperor, in accordance with his established cus­tom, married the Prince Sultan Salim to the daughter of Raja Bhagwan Das. And going himself to his house the Emperor cele­brated the ceremony of marriage in the presence of the Qazis and nobles. And the sum of two krors of tanqahs was fixed as the marriage settlement. 

Akbar went to Amer along with many of his Amirs(senior officers) to conduct this marriage. The dowry was fixed at a whopping 2 crores silver coins !!. In the marriage of Salim and Jagat Gosain, the dowry was 75 Lacs Silver coins, among other presents. LinK : Jagat Gosain and Nur Jahan

And they performed all the ceremonies, which are customary among the Hindus, such as lighting the fire &c., and "over the litter of the Princess, the Emperor ordered gold to be scat­tered all the way from that house to the palace" :-

    “From the quantity of jewels and gold, that were scattered,
      Peoples hands were weary of picking them up.”

And Raja Bhagwan Das gave as his daughter's dowry, 

-several strings of horses, 
-and a hundred elephants, 
-and boys and girls of Abyssinia, India, and Circassia, {as servants}
-and all sorts of golden vessels set with jewels, 
-and jewels, 
-and utensils of gold, 
-and vessels of silver, 
-and all sorts of stuffs, 
-the quantity of which is beyond all computation. 

And to each one of the Amirs, who were present at his daughter's wedding, according to their station and rank, he gave to them : 
- Persian, 
- Turkish, and
- Arabian horses, 
- All of them with golden saddles, etc..

Badayuni clearly mentions that this marriage was conducted as per Hindu rites and rituals in Amer, after arranging proper fire etc., as per the customs of Hindus. 

He also mentions the enormous dowry given by Raja Bhagwan Das to his daughter, and the presents which he gave to each Amir who came with Akbar in the marriage, which can be read above.

It is specially mentioned that > "Akbar ordered gold to be scattered over the litter(entourage) of that princess from her house(in Amer) to the palace(in Mughal capital of Agra or Lahore), to such an extent that people were tired of picking up the scattered gold."

It is rare for Badayuni to compliment Akbar like this!

Well, history tells us that Akbar was very happy with this alliance, as can be sensed from his gestures mentioned here.

The Tabaqat-i-Akbari, by Nizam-ud-din, Volume-2, Pg-599...

" At this time, the idea of holding a feast for the wedding of His Highness Shahzada Sultan Salim arose in the noble mind of His Majesty - The Emperor. For this great alliance, the shadow (reflection) of the sun of royal favor shone on Raja Bhagwan Das. His daughter was considered to be the best and most suitable person for this great connection. In accordance with orders, a festive assembly having the grandeur of the high paradise was adorned. For the performance of this act. His Majesty in his own elegant person graced the mansion of Raja Bhagwan Das by his royal presence. The marriage assembly was held there in the presence of qazis & other noble persons. A sum of two krors of tanqahs was fixed as the marriage settlement of the bride, and pearls and gems were scattered all the way from the Raja's mansion to the threshold, as a thanks offering.

" With the quantities of gems and gold that were scattered around,
   Men's hand were aweary of gathering them up.

Raja Bhagwan Das passed so much of vessels of gold and fine fabrics, and rich stuffs, and stablefuls of horses and one hundred elephants and slaves and slave girls, Abyssinian, Circassian, and Hindustani before tbe noble eyes, that the accountants of imagination and thought were unable to take account of them; and grand assemblies and royal festivities were arranged. 

This is from a Rajputana account..

Sharing something interesting about this marriage. This relates to a brief convo exchanged between Akbar and Raja Bhagwan Das, after the conclusion of this marriage. The original speech was in pure Rajasthani language, which i do not have with me right now. I am, therefore, producing the English translation here.

This was mentioned on the blog in an old post last year by Lizzy & others..
Link of that post:
Relations of Akbar with Mariam Uz Zamani and Rajputs of Amer Clan

When Bhagwant Das was seeing off his daughter on her marriage to Prince Salim, he said to Akbar--> " My daughter is the honour of your palace and we are your slaves. "
To which Akbar immediately replied ---> "Your daughter is the queen of our palace and you are our great Lord...!! "

I was simply awestruck by the warmth displayed by both the parties..

The Akbarnama of Abu'l Fazl, Beveridge, Volume-3, Pg-677/678...

It occurred to the holy heart (of the Shahinshah) that he ought to bring a "jewel of chastity (- Maan Bai)"  into the grasp of that "star of the mansion of sovereignty ( —Prince Sultan Salim) " — so that by this present there might be a fresh illumination of the hall of fortune. 

At this time it was represented(made known) to His Majesty - the Shahinshah that, Raja Bhagwan Das Kacchwaha, who held high office, and who had lofty lineage and abili­ties, had "a daughter whose purity adorned her high extraction, and was endowed with beauty and graces". { Among the reasons given for her marriage in Ain-e-Akbari is the fine genetic pool / noble lineage to which she belonged. }

Experienced persons were appointed to make the arrangements, and in a short time the private (Diwan-e-Khaas) and public hall (Daulat-khana / Diwan-e-Aam) was decorated.

There were glorious feasts and assemblies, and there was a daily market of gifts. There were marriage presents and scattering of largesse according to the usages of the great. 

On 5 Isfandarma (about 16th February 1584) the Shahinshah and the principal men of the kingdom visited the abode of Raja Bhagwan Das (in the town of Amer), and the marriage took place. 

On the same day the pure form was conveyed to the chamber of fortune, and the bridal night of joy was celebrated.


    " Hail to State and Church, for this glorious wedding
       Has taken place and given form to realm and religion.
       In dominion's palace they have, for the light of the Shah's eyes (Salim),
       Decked a bridal alcove like beauteous eyelashes. (Maan Bai) "

My spiritually and physically elder brother Faizi produced an ode.

    " Hail to the pearl-scattering marriage of Sultan Salim
       Which gives glory to the year of hope,
       By the fostering care of the sun of Aquarius
       There has come a conjunction of the moon and Venus."

So, this was the short description of the marriage of Prince Salim and Maan Bai. It is interesting to note that this was the only time when Akbar visited the house of the bride of his son, with the groom party all the way from Mughal capital to Amer.

The article had been posted under the Mughals(Akbar) , Jodha Akbar and Mughals(Miscellaneous) section of history_geek's BLOG.

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