Modern Indian History-Events and Personalities

Who was Dara Shikoh (1615-1659)?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Dara Shikhoh and his legacy

Mains level: Secular polity in Medieval India

The final resting place of Mughal prince Dara Shikoh remains a mystery, with the Archaeological Survey of India saying it has not located the grave within the Humayun’s Tomb complex.

Dara Shikoh

  • Dara Shikoh, who was Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s son and expected heir, was killed on the orders of his brother Aurangzeb in 1659 after losing the war of succession.
  • He was the eldest son and heir-apparent of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
  • Dara was designated with the title Padshahzada-i-Buzurg Martaba (Prince of High Rank) and was favored as a successor by his father and his older sister, Princess Jahanara Begum.
  • In the war of succession which ensued after Shah Jahan’s illness in 1657, Dara was defeated by his younger brother Prince Muhiuddin (Aurangzeb).
  • He was executed in 1659 on Aurangzeb’s orders in a bitter struggle for the imperial throne.

His legacy

  • Dara was a liberal-minded unorthodox Muslim as opposed to the orthodox Aurangzeb.
  • He authored the work The Confluence of the Two Seas, which argues for the harmony of Sufi philosophy in Islam and Vedanta philosophy in Hinduism.
  • It was Dara Shikoh who was responsible for making the Upanishads available to the West as he had them translated.
  • He had commissioned a translation of Yoga Vasistha.
  • A great patron of the arts, he was also more inclined towards philosophy and mysticism rather than military pursuits.
  • The course of the history of the Indian subcontinent, had Dara Shikoh prevailed over Aurangzeb, has been a matter of some conjecture among historians.

Q.Who among the following Mughal Emperors shifted emphasis from illustrated manuscripts to album and individual portrait?

(a) Humayun

(b) Akbar

(c) Jahangir

(d) Shah Jahan

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2 years ago
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C jahangir

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(C) Jahangir

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Jahangir (C)

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