Timeline
1398
Amir Timur (Tamberlane), Babur's ancestor and founder of the Timurid Empire, ransacks Delhi and brings back hordes of treasure to his capital city of Samarkand.
1400s
The tribes of Timur convert to Islam.
1405 Death of Timur.
1483
Babur the Tiger is born in Ferghana, Transoxiana, in Central Asia.
1504
Babur occupies Kabul for a time before moving south into Hindustan.
1526
Babur captures Delhi and founds the Mughal dynasty in India.
1530
Babur dies and his son, Humayun, succeeds him as the second Mughal ruler.
1540 Humayun is defeated by the Afghan Sher Khan and is exiled to Persia.
1555 Humayun returns to Delhi with troops loaned to him by the Persian emperor and reestablishes Mughal rule in India.
1556 Humayun dies unexpectedly and his son Akbar, age thirteen, becomes king under the regent Bairam Khan.
1560s Akbar builds Humayun's tomb
1565
Akbar begins building his famous Red Fort and moves the Mughal seat of power to Agra. He continues to build palaces and forts all over the country, moving his court with him.
1569
Akbar's son Salim (Jahangir) is born.
1592
Jahangir's fifth son is born, named Khurram (Shah Jahan) by his doting grandfather, Akbar.
1593 Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) is born.
1605
Akbar dies, and Prince Salim ascends the throne as Jahangir. He begins building Akbar's tomb at Sikandra which takes seven years.
1607
Prince Khurram is betrothed to Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal). She is Nur Jahan's niece and daughter of Shah Jahan's future Prime Minister, Asaf Kahn.
1611
Jahangir marries Mihr un-Nisa (Nur Jahan), the sister of his Prime Minister, a powerful woman who rules the empire behind-the-scenes.
1612
Shah Jahan marries Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal).
1617
Jahangir awards Prince Khurram the name "Shah Jahan", "King of the World."
1600's
The Mughal empire rivals that of Louis XIV of France in both size and splendor.
1618 Aurangzeb, fifth son of Shah Jahan and Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal), is born.
1622 -1628
Jahangir and his wife, Nur Jahan, build the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah for her parents. Shah Jahan rebels against Jahangir.
1627
Jahangir dies and Shah Jahan ascends the throne as the fifth Mughal emperor. He gives his wife the title "Mumtaz Mahal" ("Chosen one of the Palace") and begins a ten-year-long "remodeling" of the palace in Agra
1631
While accompanying her husband on a military campaign at Burhanpur, Mumtaz Mahal dies giving birth to their fourteenth child. She is buried temporarily in Zainabad garden. Shah Jahan orders the entire court into mourning for two years.
1632 Shah Jahan begins construction of Mumtaz Mahal's tomb, the Taj Mahal, which takes twenty years to complete.
1638
Shah Jahan begins work on his new capitol in Delhi, called Shahjahanabad (now known as Old Delhi), which takes ten years to complete. He continues making changes and additions to the palaces in Agra and Delhi until his death.
1648
Shah Jahan moves the Mughal court to Delhi.
1657
Shah Jahan becomes seriously ill, and his sons begin a power struggle for the throne.
1658
Aurangzeb wins the war for succession to the throne and imprisons Shah Jahan in the Jasmine Tower of the Red Fort at Agra.
1666
Shah Jahan dies and is buried next to Mumtaz Mahal.
1707
Aurangzeb dies and is buried in a small tomb near the side of a road.
1739
The Persian ruler Nadir Shah invades a weakened Hindustan and conquers Delhi.
1700s
The British continue to expand their interests in the ports and trading posts on India's coasts, their seettlements grow to become large cities and their power and contol of land grows steadily until the last of the Mughal emperors are taken under British "protection."
1858
The last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah II, is exiled to Burma for his role in a failed revolt. The Mughal Empire is formally ended and the British Raj takes over.
1861
The Archaeological Survey is created to preserve the monuments of India, and British Viceroy Curzon leads the efforts to restore the Taj Mahal and other Agra buildings.
1947
India gains independence and the new government creates two sovereign states from the former colony based on religious beliefs: India and Pakistan.


young lovers | the Mughal dynasty | Shah Jahan | architectural antecedents
building the Taj | visiting the Taj | fall of an empire | timeline

Mona Lisa
detail from Guernica
Lilies of the Valley Faberge Egg
Hope Diamond
Taj Mahal
scene from Borobudur

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