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THE

JAHANGIRNAMA

Jahangir Embracing Shah Abbas 1, by Abu'l-Hasan. India, Mughal period, ca. 1618. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. 23.8 X 15.4 cm. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution. Purchase. 45.9

THE

JAHANGIRNAMA

Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India

Translated, edited, and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston

FREER GALLERY OF ART ® ARTHUR M. SACKLER GALLERY

S}nithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

in association witFi

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

New York ® Oxford

.

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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Berlin

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Copyright © Smithsonian Institution, 1999

All rights reserved

Published in 1999 by Oxford University Press, New York,

in association with the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,

Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 19. C.

Edited by Lynne Shaner

I9esigned by Mary Neal Meador

Typeset m Weiss

Weiss Titling capitals by Arthur Fdoener

Photography credits, by folio p. 45, photo by Pierre Abboud, fol. 143, © Michael Brand; foL 160, © Bruce C. Jones,-

fol. 182a, © Philip Pocock, fol. 224b, © R. M. N.

Cover: detail, Jahangir Preferring a Shaykh to Kings, by Bichitir. India, Mughal period,

ca. 1615-18. Opaque watercolor and gold on paper. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution. Purchase, FI942.I5

Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,

without the prior permission of Oxford University Press.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Jahangir, Emperor of FJindustan, 1569-1627.

[JahangTrnama. English]

The Jahangirnama ; memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India /

translated, edited, and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston. cm.

p.

Includes bibliographical references (p.

) and index.

ISBN 0-19-512718-8

1 . Jahangir, Emperor of FJindustan, 1569-1627.

3. Mogul EmpireKings and rulersBiography.

2. Mogul Empire.

I. Thackston, W. M.

(Wheeler McIntosh), 1944- .

II. Title.

DS461.5.J28813

1999

954.02'56'092—dc21

[b]

98-18798

CIP

£

3 Smithsonian

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

1

3

5

7

9

8

6

4

2

The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements for the American National Standard for

Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, z39.48984. 1 Printed m FJong Kong

Contents

Foreword

Milo CleveLviJ Beach

Acknowledgments

Translator's Preface

viii

ix

vi

Preface to the Jahanginuvna

The Jahau^irnama

19

Jahangirnama Chronology

Glossary

463

1

461

Appendix A: Weights and Measures Used by Jahangir

473

Appendix B: Soubas of the Empire and Their Constituent Sarkars,

from the Ain-i-Akhari

475

Appendix C: Translations

Selected References

480

Index of People and Places

476

483

Foreword

T

he Jahanginuvnathe personal memoirs of Jahangir, fourth Mughal emperor of Indiais a work of intensely alert observation and prob-

ing intelligence. Jahangirs great-grandfather, Babur, had written the

Bahunicvna, the first true autobiography in the Islamic world, which described frankly and with immense insight the political turmoil,

actions, and personalities that had brought the Mughals from Central Asia into India.

This literary genre was still fresh and provocative when Jahangir chose to follow his

predecessors initiative, and the result was a vivid chronicle of a wealthy, artistically

sophisticated kingdom at the height of its powers. While the Balnirnama portrays an era of empire building, however, the Jahangirnama

depicts a period when political control was relatively stable and time could be devoted

to life's pleasures. Of all the Mughal emperors, Jahangir was the most observant of the

world around him, and his memoirs leave no doubt about his delight in the unusual

landscapes, animals, flowers, and characters he encountered in India. Visual sensations were especially powerful to him, and consequently the descriptions in his text are

minutely detailed It is not surprising, therefore, that this emperor was the greatest of

all Mughal connoisseurs of the arts. And while his father, Akbar, had consolidated

power through extensive public building projects, Jabangir eschewed the monumen- tality of architecture for more intimate and personally expressive artistic formsman-

uscript illustrations, for example, and finely crafted everyday objects (which in his

world included jade cups shaped like lotus leaves, textiles woven of gold thread, and

rubies inscribed with decorative calligraphy). The illustrations in this volume provide abundant evidence of Jahangir's brilliance as a patron of the arts. There are several references in Jahangir's narrative to artists and to his interest in their work part of the reason this new translation has been supported by the Freer

Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Early in the seventh regnal year

(1612), for example, he describes the return of the courtier Muqarrab Khan from an

embassy to Goa. "He had brought several very strange and unusual animals 1 had not

ordered the artists to draw their likenesses in the Jahangiruama so that the astonishment one has at hearing of them would increase by seeing them." No

illustrated copy of the chronicle was in preparation at this time, however,- Jahangir's text was still a personal diary. Such paintings must therefore have been kept in the

inventory of the kitahkhana (book workshop) pending the eventual assembly of an

official volume, not until the thirteenth regnal year (1618) did Jahangir authorize a

court calligrapher to copy the text for presentation to his family and others.

The Bahunuvna and the Akbanuwm, the biography of Jahangir's father Akbar, had

seen

I

been illustrated by paintings of past events made late in the rule of Akbar when those

texts were written out in official copies. Jahangir's own words, however, indicate that

pictures intended for the Jahangirnama were made as events happened or in response to the emperor's current enthusiasms, even if there was no volume for which they were

Foreword

vii

immediately intended. Under Jahangir's direction, painters provided a documentation

of imperial interests as timely and valid as the emperor's own words. No illustrated vol-

ume of the text made for Jahangir himself has survived,- dispersed paintings intended for the Jahangirnama are known, however, and the majority have been reproduced

within this new publication, as have many related works of the period: the astonish- ingly powerful portrait of the dying opium eater Inayat Khan (page 280), is one exam-

ple,- another is the actual knife (page 363) that he ordered made from the iron in a

meteor, the fall of which he vividly described. The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are once again immensely grateful to Wheeler M. Thackston, who has so quickly followed his recent

translation The Baburnama.- Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor with this new version of

the Jahangirnama. Drawing on an unparalleled knowledge both of language and of the historical and artistic character of the period, Professor Thackston has restored the

sense of immediate contact with the emperor's private thoughts and interests found in

the original text but absent from previous translations. As a result, Mughal India comes

vividly to life in these pages.

Milo Gleveland Beach

Director, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Smithsonian Institution

Acknowledgments

I

gratefully acknowledge Milo C. Beach and Tom Lentz for unfailing encour-

agement throughout this project,- Ebba Koch for expert guidance in architec-

tural terminology, Ali Reza Korangy for invaluable help in the laborious task of

checking the final proofs,- Terence Mclnerney, John Seyller, Ellen Smart, and

Stuart Cary Welch for gracious assistance with illustrations,- Susan Nemazee for

common-sense editorial suggestions and general hospitality,- Ted Proferes for help in

Sanskrit, Lynne Shaner for tireless and cheerful editorial work,- Abolala Soudavar for

unstinting generosity.

Translator's Preface

he fourth emperor of Tiimirid India, Sultan Salim, who ruled under the

name Nuruddin Muhammad and the title Jahangir (1569-1627), kept a

personal record of his reign much as his great-grandfather Babur had

1605 with his accession to the

done. Jahangir's memoirs begin in

T

throne. In 1622, five years before his death, Jahangir was compelled by

illness to have his personal secretary, Mu'tamad Khan, actually write the memoirs and submit them for editing and correction (page 386). Their collaboration continued until

1624, when the memoirs end abruptly. In the eighteenth century a historian named

Muhammad-Hadi added a continuation from the point at which the memoirs end

through Jahangir's death in 1627 and Shahjahan's succession the following year,- he

also added a preface containing a brief account of Jahangir's life until his accession to the throne.

The memoirs have been commonly known under the title Tiizuk-i-Jabcm^iii

Clahangir's regulations). The Persian word tuzuk comes from the Turkish tiiziik, which

means "regulation," "order," "arrangement," and was used specifically for a ruler's or

officer's disciplined and orderly maintenance and deployment of his troops and staff.

Since the memoirs were considered to be the emperor's own guidelines for the mainte-

nance of the empirealthough in fact they contain few such, despite his claim that he had multiple copies made "to award to particular servants and to be sent to other coun-

tries to be used by the rulers as a manual for ruling" (page 271 ) they were given the

auxiliary title of tuzuk, which term had also become a common generic title for biogra-

phies of rulers. Nowhere does Jahangir himself use tuzuk as a title. Rather, in several

places, particularly at the end of the twelfth year, when he has the memoirs of the first

twelve years of his reign copied and bound as a presentation volume (page 255), he

refers to the memoirs specifically as the Jahan^inuvna (Jahangir's book), and so will we.

Jahangir's record of his life and reign attracted the attention of Western scholars

early in the exploration of source material for Mughal history. Extracts were first trans-

lated by James Anderson in Asiatic Miscellany (Calcutta, 1786) and by Francis Gladwin in his History of Hiiniostan (Calcutta, 1788). A section comprising the first nine years was translated by William Erskine,^ who also translated the Bahuniania in 1826. A

translation was begun by W. F3. Lowe for the Bibliotheca Indica in Calcutta in 1889,

but only one fascicle was printed. A full translation was first made by Alexander Rogers

and edited by FJenry Beveridge. This version appeared in two volumes for the Oriental

Translation Fund (London: Royal Asiatic Society, 1909-14), and it has served as the

standardin fact,

the onlyEnglish translation ever since.

Because it has now been almost ninety years since the appearance of the Hrst part

of the last translation, many felt it was time for a new one. There is little to criticize in

Rogers and Beveridge's exceptionally precise and correct translation, except for the

1 . The memoirs exist in two ver-

sions. The "authentic” memoirs,

the version here translated, begin

dZ iHiiyat-i be'ghiiyat-i ilii'/n', repre-

sentative early manuscripts

include one in Lahore, Puniab

Llniversity Library (with seals ot

Jahangir and Shahiahan),- London,

India Olfice Library No, 305 (be-

fore A. H. 1040 [1630]), London, British Library, Add. 26,215 (17th

century), Manchester, Bibliotheca

Lmdesiana (John Rylands Library)

no. 938 (circa 1700), Oxford,

Bodleian 2 1 9, dated A, H. 1118

( 1706), Cambridge, Browne 94,

dated 1139(1 726), Paris, Biblio-

theque Nationale, Blochet 579,

dated A.H. 1 1 96 ( I 78 1 ), Royal

Asiatic Society, Morley 120, dated

1231 (1815). An edition, Toozuk-i-

lelhinyeree, was made by Sir Syed

Ahmad Khan on the basis ot ten

good manuscripts in Bahadur

Shah's libraries and printed m

Aligarh in 1863-64. The latest

printed edition, from which this

translation has been made, was

done by Muhammad Hashim and

printed at Tehran: Chapkhana-i

Zar, A.H. I 359 ( 1980). The manu-

X

Translator's Preface

Raja

Raja

Bihari Mai

Rachhwaha

of Amber

^

"Maryamuz-

I'timaduddawla

Raja

Mai Deo

of Marwar

1

 

Raja

Bhagwan Das

 

Zanutni"

=j= Akbar

 

Udai Singh

 

Prince

"Mota Raja"

Salim,

'

 

1

 

1

1

 

^

1

 

"Shiih

Bfijam"

Jahangir

Mirza

Mibninnisa,

Nurjahan

Sherafgan

Khan

Asaf

Khan

=

Jagat

Gosain,

Raja

Suraj

Raja

Man Sin^

d. <605

I

jani Tarkhan

of Thatta

Begam

Manmati

d. 1619

Singh

d, 1614

unnamed

 

Sultan nmiisa

Prince

,

, unnamed

Mirza

concubine

Beg am

Khusraw

daughter

Ghazi

Arjumand

Prince

Jagat

Singh

I

Maha

Singh

Raja

Bhao Singh

"Mirza Raja"

d, 1621

Prince

Shahryar

Ladli

Begam

Jahangir's Wives and Children

(double lines indicate marriages)

Banu,

Mum taz

Mahall

= Khurram,

Shahjahan

Raja

 

Keshav Da

Khwaja Khwaja

Hasan Maqsud

Rathor

= Sahib-

Zayn

Jamal

Khan

d^ 1599

Koka

Prince

Bahar

Parvez

Banu

Begam

scripts used for this edition are

India Ofhce Library No. 305, dat-

able to before A.H. 1040 ( 1630)

(the folio numbers of this manu-

script have been retained in

Muhammad Hashim's edition, and

I have retained them within

square brackets in the translation

for easy reference to the Persian

edition), Oxford, Bodleian No,

221, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's own

manuscript edition, dated Septem-

ber 1846, India Office Library No.

3112, copied for Muhammad

Khan, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's

brother, in October 1843, and

Tehran Llniversity Central Library

No. 4010, which contains the first

six years of the reign only and

may possibly be Jahangir's own

copy. A shorter version of the

memoirs, known as the "garbled,"

or "spurious," memoirs, begins

hamd-i be'ghdyat u shukr-i benihdyat

mubdn'rd; representative manu-

scripts are in Bankipur, Oriental

Public Library, No. 557, dated

A.H. 1020 (1611), Munich, Hof-

und Staatsbibliothek, Aumer 259

fl), dated A.H. 1 138 (1627);

London, India Office Library,

Ethe 309, dated A.H. 1194(1 780),-

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, Pertsch

tone. Jahangir wrote in a very fluid, colloquial style that is totally devoid of the rhetor-

ical prolixity that characterizes "professional" Mughal historiography. Like many ear-

lier translators of Asian works, however, Rogers and Beveridge refused to let the

immediacy of Jahangir's prose come through and tended to render his words in stilted

and sometimes awkward English. This impulse represents a school of translation that

seems to have held that people long ago and far away had to speak in "thee's" and

"thou's" and sound, at best, as Shakespearean characters sound to us now or, at worst,

like Edwardian narrators of fairy tales. Such an approach is more justifiable for translat-

ing a rhetorically complex work of artful prose, but Jahangir's writing is anything but

that. If Jahangir spoke in the second person singular, he did so because it was normal,

everyday colloquial Persian for him to do so, not because he wanted to sound like a

character in an old play ("These few words from my mouth thou wilt represent

.").

The memoirs are refreshingly candid and frank, and nowhere is his Persian stilted,

archaic, or pompous. Jahangir wrote in his native Persian, a language that is grammat-

ically very simple but particularly rich in idiomatic expression,- however, the literal ren-

derings of Persian idiom translators have given us convey little or nothing to the reader of Englishsuch idiom must be converted into an equivalent English idiom, if there is

one, or captured somehow in modern English. Jahangir naturally mentions many

things peculiar to the subcontinent, and these often lack equivalents in English, but he

does not express feelings that cannot be conveyed by our modern language. There is

one stylistic feature I have not tried to capture in English, and that is his rambling syn-

tax, which even lapses altogether on occasion,- but 1 have striven to keep the tone of

the English as close as possible to that of the Persian and to stay as near as 1 could to

the original while rendering an idiomatic English. A translator of a work written in the seventeenth-century Persian language of the Indian subcontinent can transform linguistic content into something a modern audi-

ence can understand, but he cannot eliminate the cultural difficulties. The memoirs are

strewn with unfamiliar terminology and, more problematically, brimful of unfamiliar

Translator's Preface

XI

Llmav-Shaykh

Qutiugh-Nigar

Sultan-Abusa'id

Mirza

1424-1469

I

Yunus Ivhan

of Moghulistan

1416-1487

i

Sultmt-Nigar

S'n-Mahmud

Mirza

Khani'm

Khanim

Mirza

1456-1494

d. 1505

d. 1528

1453-1495

Nasir

Mirza

1486-1515

1

I

Zahiruddin

Babur

"Firdaws-Makam"

1487-1530

SultaivUways Mirza

"Khan Mirza"

d. 1521

1

Yadgar

Humayun

Askari

Hindal

Gul riikh

Kamran

Mirza Sulayman

Mirza

annat-Ashyani"

Mirza

Mirza

Begam

Mirza

of Badakhshan

1508-1556

^

1 1

1

1518--1551

d. 1557

lalaluddin

Muhammad-

Biikhltw-

Rugc yya-

Sal mij-

Mirza

Akbar

Hakim

nisa Begam

Sultan

SultcVl

Ibrahim

Chiyas Beg,

"Arsh-Ashyani"

1554-1585

d, 1608

I'timaduddawla

1542-1605

d

1622

r 1556-1605

Abu'l-

Mihrunnisa

I

Sultan Salim,

I

Shahziida

^

Shah-

1544 -1626

1552 -1613

Danyal

Aram Banu

Shakarunnisa

Mirza

Hasan,

Nurjahan

Nuruddin

Khanim

Murad

1572-1604

Begam

Begam

Shahrukh

Asaf Khan

Begam

Jahangir

b 1569

1570-1598

d

1624

d, 1653

d, 1607

d. 1641

d, 1645

"jannat-Makani"

1569-1627

r. 1605-1627

Tahmuras

d. 1628

Baysunghur

Hoshang

d. 1628

Mirza

Sultan

Mirza

Badi'uz-

zaman

d. 1623

 

^ 1

 

1

1

1

\

I 1

1

1

Sultan unnisa

Khusraw

Parvez

Jahan

Bahar

Khurram

Ariumami

Shahryar

Nurjahan's

lahandar

Begam

1587--1622 1589-1626 7

Biwu

Banu

Shihabuddin

Banu,

1605-1628

daughter by

b. 1605

1 586-1646

Begam

Begam

Shahjahan

Miimlaz

Sherafgan

 

1590-1653

Sahib-Qiran II

Mahall

Khan

1

1

1

1

1

1

1592-1666

r. 1627-1659

1

1592-1631

Dawar

Buland-

Hoshang

Durandesh

Ham i dll

Data-

Shah-

lahanara

Ramshanara

Awrangzeb

Murad-

bakhsh

Akhtar

Belli H

1615-1619

Banu

Shikoh

Shuja'

Begam

Begam

1618-1707

baksh

"Bulaqi"

d. 1609

Begam

Begam

1615-1655 1615-1659 1614-1681

b. 1617

r. 1659-1707

1 6 1 9— 1 66

d, 1628

names and titles, and these need some explanation for the benefit of readers who are

not specialists in Mughal India.

® Names and Titles

Those with whom the emperor naturally had the greatest interaction and those who

feature most prominently in the memoirs are the nobles of the empire. They had not

486, dated A.H. I 1 99 ( 1 784),

Oxford, Bodleian 222, dated

A.H. 1225 (1810), London, British

Library, Or. 1708, dated A.H. 1 239

( 1 824). A translation of the "gar-

bled” memoirs was made by

Major David Price (London;

Oriental Translation Fund, 1829)

and reprinted in Calcutta: Editions

xii

Translator's Preface

only given names but also titles ending in kbanf and as they acquired new, loftier

Indian, 1972. Muhammad-Hadi

prelace begins Inviut it saiui-yi

hehiniit u sipds ii sitdyisb-i hitiihsd u

hUti'iidd mar ya^iina piidishahi'ra

sazdst In the Tehran edition

Muhammad-Hadi's additions have

been printed after the memoirs

proper (pp, 441-515), but here I

have split Muhammad-Hadi's sec-

tion to fall chronologicallythus

his summary of events before the memoirs is first, followed by the

memoirs, followed by

Muhammad-Hadi's narration of

the end of lahangir's reign. Little

IS known of Muhammad-Hadi

except that he lived dtiring the

reign of Muhammad Shah

(1719-1748)

2. An unpublished manuscript of

his translation is kept in the

British Library (Add. 26,61 1).

3. The word khan is a loan to

Persian from Turco-Mongollan.

Two alternative forms of the

word, khan and khiitjhan, both of

great antiquity, passed into

Turkish and Mongolian and

thence into Persian as two sepa-

rate words: khadhanand its vari-

ant (ja'anbecame the title of the

supreme Mongol emperor and

later a generic term for emperor,

and khan became a title of honor

m all lands dominated or influ- enced by Turks, which is to say

almost the entire Islamic world.

4. I'tiqad Khan means something

like Lord Confidence, and his sec-

ond title, Asaf Khan, is a reference to Asaf ibn Barakya, the

Arabicized form of Asaph ben

Berachiah, a character who

appears many times in the Old

Testament and was appointed by

Solomon to temple service,- see,

e.g., I Chronicles 6:39 and, for

the Islamic version, al-Kisa'i, Tales

of the Prophets (1978,- reprint,

Chicago-. Great Books of the

Islamic World, Inc., 1997),

titles the old ones fell into abeyance and were sometimes later given to others. As an

example, Ghiyas Beg I'timaduddawla's son Abu'l-Hasan first held the title I'tiqad Khan,-

then, in 1614, he was given the title Asaf Khan,"^ and his old title of I'tiqad Khan was

later given to his brother Mirza Shapur. More common is the case of Ibrahim Kakar,

who was first granted a khan title added to his own name, so he became Ibrahim Khan, later he was awarded a military title, Dilawar Khan (Lord Valiant), by which he was

known for he rest of his