Nur Jahan, 1577–1645, empress (1611–27) of Mughal India. Born Mehrunnisa in Kandahar (now in Afghanistan), she was the daughter of Persian nobility and had been widowed before she became the favorite wife of Mughal emperor Jahangir. A skilled politician and military strategist, she exerted influence in Mughal diplomacy and trade as well as in women's affairs. She issued royal decrees and had coinage struck in her name, actions that were unprecedented for the time. She also oversaw a flourishing of the arts and the melding of Persian and Indian styles in architecture and garden design. After Jahangir's death (1627) she was confined to her home and gardens in Lahore by Jahangir's son Shah Jahan.
See E. B. Findly, Nur Jahan (1993); R. Lai, Empress (2018).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: South Asian History: Biographies