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Jodha Bai : Akbar’s Wife or Daughter-in-Law?

Jodha Bai : Akbar’s Wife or Daughter-in-Law?
Who was Jodha Bai (or Jodhaa Bai)? If she existed at all, it was as Akbar’s daughter-in-law (she was married to Jahangir) and not his wife as claimed by rajputs of rajasthan after seeing portrayal of Jodha bai as wife of Akbar in Ashutosh Gowarikar’s upcoming movie – Jodha-Akbar. Hrithik Roshan plays Akbar and Aishwarya Rai plays Jodha Bai in Gowarikar’s Jodhaa – Akbar.
Akbar’s wife
If we go by folktales and K Asif’s classic ‘Mughal-e-Azam’, Jodha bai was Amber ruler Raja Bharmal’s daughter and Akbar’s wife. Here’s what some of the country’s top historians have to say. The historians are divided over name not the person. Most of them agree that Akbar married the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber but differ over her name. She is said to be born on October 1, 1542 as the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amber and aunt of Man Singh, who later on became one of the nine jewels (Navaratnas) in the court of Akbar. In 1562, she married Akbar the Great and was 22 days elder than him. She was among the three ‘chief queens’ of Emperor Akbar. His first queen was the childless, Ruqaiyya Begum and his second wife was Salima Sultan, widow of Bairam Khan, Akbar’s most trusted general.
Jodhabai was allowed to practice Hinduism freely. She is said to have been politically involved in the court until Nur Jahan became empress. According to Thomas Roe, she was involved in active sea trade and owned a ship named Ramiti which carried pilgrims to Mecca.
In 1586, Jodhabai arranged a marriage of her son, Prince Salim (later Jahangir), to Man Singh’s sister Princess Manmati, who was the mother of Prince Khusro. Jodhabai died in 1611. As per her last wishes a vav or step well was constructed by Jahangir.
Abul Fazal’s ‘Ain-e-Akbari’ and ‘Akbarnama’ have no reference to Jodha Bai. The name also doesn’t find mention in Jehangir’s memoirs. Similarly, there is no mention of Jodha Bai in Bada’uni’s ‘Muntakhib-al-Tawarikh’. At Aligarh Muslim university, there has been no reference shown in documents to jodha bai but still there is a mention of Jodha Bai in the works of K.L. Khurana, A.L. Shrivastav and Munni Lal and many other historians. In ‘Kachchawon ka Itihas’ she is mentioned by the name of Harika Bai. In another book she is called Manmati and Shahi Bai.
Jahangir’s wife
Mughal Emperors had many wives, some to consolidate political alliances and others for physical needs. Apart from this, some historians have a conflicting opinion. Historian Jadunath Sarkar says, “Uday Singh of Jaipur married his daughter to Jehangir. Her name was Mira Bai but she was also known as Jodh Bai and not Jodha Bai.” Asserts renowned historian and former chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, Prof Irfan Habib, “There wasn’t any historical character called Jodha Bai. It’s true that Akbar married Amber ruler Raja Bharmal’s eldest daughter but her name isn’t mentioned anywhere. And she was certainly not Jahangir’s mother. Even Jahangir in his memoirs (Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri) doesn’t mention anything about his mother’s side.”
Opinion of other historians
Former President of Indian History Congress and chairman of History Department, Aligarh University, Prof Iqtedar Alam Khan corroborates Habib’s version: “It is only a Punjab historian Sujan Rai Bhandari, who in his book Khulasat-ut-Tawarikh mentions for the first time that the Amber princess whom Akbar married was Jahangir’s mother. But even Rai doesn’t refer to her as Jodha Bai.” Medieval India, an NCERT (National Council for Educational Research and Training) history text book for Class XI by Satish Chandra clearly states on page 165: “To strengthen his position, Udai Singh married his daughter, Jagat Gosain or Jodha Bai as she came to be called, to Akbar’s eldest son Salim (Jahangir).”

NR Farooqi, HoD of Allahabad University’s history department, confirms this when he says, “Jodha was not Akbar’s wife but Jahangir’s and she was Shahjahan’s mother. Bagh-e-Jahan Ara, an 80-acre garden in Agra, used to house her mausoleum till it was sold for Rs 5,000 by the British and subseque

JODHA BAI OR HARKHA BAI (Mariam uz-Zamani)

Artistic depiction of Mariam uz-Zamani alias Harkha Bai
Full nameRajkumari Hira Kunwari
BornOctober 1, 1542
DiedMay 19, 1623 (aged 81)[1]
BuriedMariam’s Tomb
Mariam uz-zamani (Other Names:Rukmavati Sahiba, Rajkumari Hira Kunwari, Harkha Bai). was a Mughal Empress, after her marriage to Mughal Emperor Akbar .

Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, the autobiography of Jahangir, doesn’t mention Jodha Bai .The great Mughal emperor Akbar had three historians during his rule who recorded the history of their time — Abul Fazal wrote the Akbar Nama, Abdul Qadir Badayuni wrote the Mutakhabutawarikh and Nizamuddin Ahmed (also called Nizamuddin Bakshi) wrote the Tabqat-i-Akbari. None of them have mentioned ‘Jodhabhai’ in their books. “These books were written in Persian and there is no mention of Queen Jodhabai. There is no proof of her in history,” says Dr S M Azizuddin Hussain, history teacher at the Department of History, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi . There is no proper evidence that the mariam uz-zamani was the Emperor Akbar’s wife. [2]

Her name as in Mughal chronicles was Mariam-uz-Zamani. This is why the mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum was constructed in The Walled City Of Lahore, present day Pakistan, by her son Jahangir. She was also the sister of Bhagwant Das and the aunt of Man Singh I of Amber.[3]

The Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum was built by her son Nuruddin Salim Jahangir and is situated in the Walled City of Lahore, present day Pakistan, while Mariam’s Tomb is situated 1km away from Tomb of Akbar the Great, at Sikandra, near Agra, present day India.

Kalyug actress Smilie Suri in TV show Jodha Akbar

Actress Smilie Suri, who is all set to make her small screen debut with Jodha Akbar, says her character as the Mughal emperor’s first wife Ruqaiya Begum will help her break the girl-next-door image.
Smilie, who made her Bollywood debut with 2005 film Kalyug, fell ill soon after signing Zee TV’s historical show Jodha Akbar, produced by Ekta Kapoor.
“Over the last few years, I was offered TV shows, but I declined them. This one’s not a saas-bahu show and the role of Ruqaiya is also very different. It helps me break away from the girl-next-door image created by my Kalyug character,” Smilie, who is director Mohit Suri’s sister, said in a statement.
“The commute from Mumbai to Karjat for the shoot can be pretty taxing, so I was in two minds initially, but the character is not only interesting, it has different layers and substance. Ruqaiya is an important part of Akbar’s life. She was his best friend, almost like his mirror. I’m just waiting to get out of the hospital and start shooting,” she added.


Jodha Akbar
A lavish show based on the historical love story of Mughal Emperor Akbar and his wife, Jodha Bai.Producer Ekta Kapoor is expected to add some fictional elements to the tale, apart from making a few dramatic additions to the love story.It’s an epic love saga, from a different era.
Mon-Fri, 8:00 PM IST -ZEE TV.


Jodha Akbar
A lavish show based on the historical love story of Mughal Emperor Akbar and his wife, Jodha Bai.Producer Ekta Kapoor is expected to add some fictional elements to the tale, apart from making a few dramatic additions to the love story.It’s an epic love saga, from a different era.
Mon-Fri, 8:00 PM IST -ZEE TV.