He was chosen as successor to the throne after the death of his father in 1627. He was considered one of the greatest Mughals of the Timur family. Like his grandfather, Akbar, he was eager to expand his vast empire. In 1658, he fell ill and was confined by his son and successor Aurangzeb in Agra Fort until his death in 1666.
The period of his reign was considered the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, built in 1632–1654 as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Born in January 1592, Shah ab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram was the third son born to Emperor Jahangir; his mother was a Rajput princess from Marwar called Princess Jagat Gosaini (her official name in Mughal chronicles was Bilquis Makani). The name “Khurram” was chosen for the young prince by his grandfather, Emperor Akbar, with whom the young prince shared a close relationship.
In 1607, Khurram became engaged to Arjumand Banu Begum (1593–1631), who is also known as Mumtaz Mahal. They met in their youth. They were about 14 and 15 when they engaged, and five years later they got married. The young girl belonged to an illustrious Persian noble family which had been serving Mughal Emperors since the reign of Akbar, the family’s patriarch was Mirza Ghiyas Beg, who was also known by his title I’timād-ud-Daulah or “Pillar of the State”. He had been Jahangir’s finance minister and his son; Asaf Khan – Arjumand Banu’s father – played an important role in the Mughal court, eventually serving as Chief Minister. Her aunt was the Empress Nur Jahan and is thought to have played matchmaker in arranging the marriage.
The first occasion for Khurram to test out his military prowess was during the Mughal campaign against the Rajput state of Mewar, which had been a hostile force to the Mughals since Akbar’s reign. In 1614, commanding an army numbering around 200,000, Khurram began the offensive against the Rajput kingdom. After a year of the harsh war of attrition, Maharana Amar Singh II surrendered to the Mughal forces with the condition that Ruler of Mewar is not required to attend Mughal Durbar and became a vassal state of the Mughal Empire.
When Shah Jahan became ill in 1658, Dara Shikoh (Mumtaz Mahal’s eldest son) assumed the role of regent in his father’s stead, which swiftly incurred the animosity of his brothers. Upon learning of his assumption of the regency, his younger brothers, Shuja, Viceroy of Bengal, and Murad Baksh, Viceroy of Gujarat, declared their independence, and marched upon Agra in order to claim their riches. Aurangzeb, the third son, and ablest of the brothers, gathered a well trained army and became its chief commander. He faced Dara’s army near Agra and defeated him during the Battle of Samugarh. Although Shah Jahan fully recovered from his illness, Aurangzeb declared him incompetent to rule and put him under house arrest in Agra Fort.
Shah Jahan Continued striking coins in three metals i.e Gold(mohur), Silver(rupee) and Copper(dam). His pre accession coins bear the name Khurram.
Shahanshah Al-Sultan al-‘Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Malik-ul-Sultanat Ala Hazrat Abu’l-Muzaffar Shahab ud-din Muhammad Shah Jahan I Sahib-i-Qiran-i-Sani Padshah Ghazi Zillu’llah Firdaus-Ashiyani Shahanshah—E—Sultanant Ul Hindiya Wal Mughaliya