142 THE MUGHAL DYNASTY. chain hung down from the citadel to the ground, and communi- cated with a cluster of golden bells in his own chamber, so that every suitor might apprise the emperor of his demand for justice, without the intervention of the courtiers. Many European adventurers repaired to his court, and Jab&ngfr patronized alike their arts and their religion. In his earlier years he had accepted the new religion, or ' Divine Faith' of his father Akbar. It is said that on his accession he had even permitted the divine honours paid to Akbar to be continued to himself. Jah&ngfr's first wife was a Hindu princess. Figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary adorned his rosary; and two of his nephews embraced Christianity with his approval. Shah Jahan, Emperor, 1628-1658. — On the news of his father's death, Shah Jahan hurried north from the Deccan, and proclaimed himself emperor at Agra in January 1628. He put down for ever the court faction of the Empress Nur Jahan, by confining her to private life upon a liberal allowance ; and by murdering his brother Shahriydr, with all the other members of the house of Akbar who might become rivals to the throne. But he was just to his people, blameless in his habits, a good financier, and as economical as a magnificent court, splendid public works, and distant military expeditions could permit. Under Shdh Jahan the Mughal Empire was finally shorn of its Afghan Province of KandaMr ; but it extended its conquests in Southern India or the Deccan, and raised the magnificent build- ings in Northern India which now form the most splendid memorials of the Mughal dynasty. After a temporary occupa- tion of Balkh, and the actual reconquest of Kandahar by the Delhi troops in 1637, Shah Jahan lost much of his Afghan territories, and the Province of Kandahar was severed from the Mughal Empire by the Persians in 1653. On the other hand, in the Deccan, the kingdom of Ahmadnagar (to which Ellichpur had been united in 1572) was at last annexed to the Mughal Empire in 1636; Bfdar fort was taken in 1657; while the two other of the five kingdoms, namely Bijapur and Golconda, were forced to pay tribute, although not finally reduced until the succeeding reign of Aurangzeb. But the Mardthas now appear on the scene, and commenced, unsuccess-
Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/146
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