Jahangir vs Shahjahan: Difference and Comparison

The Mughal empire was the initial modern empire of South Asia. It covered most of northern and central India, and entire Pakistan had great emperors from 1526 to 1857.

The two greatest emperors from this Mughal period are Jahangir and Shahjahan. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Jahangir prioritized arts, literature, and religious tolerance, while Shahjahan focused on architecture and infrastructure development.
  2. The reign of Jahangir saw the flourishing of painting and the establishment of the Mughal School of Painting. In contrast, Shahjahan’s era witnessed the construction of famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal and Red Fort.
  3. Jahangir’s administration relied on his intelligent wife, Nur Jahan, but Shahjahan centralized power and maintained strict control over his empire.

Jahangir vs Shahjahan  

Jahangir was the fourth Mughal Emperor, in India, who ruled from 1605 to 1627. He is known for his love for art and culture. Shahjahan was the fifth Mughal Emperor who ruled from 1628 to 1658. He is known for the construction of the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

Jahangir vs Shahjahan

Jahangir was born Nur-ud-din Muhammad Selim, on September 9, 1569 CE, in a place called Fatehpur-Sikri in what is today India. He was the son of Akbar the Great, one of the most powerful of the Mughal emperors to ever reign.

As a youth, he repeatedly attempted to wrest the throne from his father. Eventually, they reconciled, and his father named him his successor.

Prince Selim gave himself the name Jahangir, which translates to ”world seizer.” 

Shahjahan was the fifth Mughal emperor. Shahjahan was born on 5th January 1592 and died on 22nd January 1666.

During his reign, the Mughal empire achieved maximum cultural glory. He is known as a builder king due to his architectural and monumental achievements. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison Jahangir Shahjahan 
Length of Reign 22 years 30 years 
Order of Succession 4th Mughal Emperor 5th Mughal emperor 
Relationship Father of Shah Jhan Youngest on of Jahangir 
Life Span 1569-1627  1592-1666 
Major landmark Annexed Kangra and flourished arts, especially paintings Ushered in the golden age of Mughal architecture as he commissioned many monuments 

What is Jahangir? 

Jahāngīr (31 August 1569 – 28 October 1627) was the fourth Mughal Emperor, ruling from 1605 to 1627. His imperial name (in Persian) means ‘world conqueror,’ ‘world-conqueror,’ or ‘world-seizer.’

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His love story with the Mughal courtesan Anarkali has been frequently reinterpreted in Indian literature, art, and cinema. He grew up speaking Persian and premodern Hindi, as well as “respectable” Turkic, the Mughal ancestral language. 

Jahangir inherited a secure and prosperous empire, allowing him to devote his time to other pursuits. His sponsorship of the arts was unmatched, and his palace workshops created some of the finest Mughal miniature paintings.

He also drank a lot of wine and smoked a lot of opium, to the point where he had to hire a special servant merely to keep track of his supply of intoxicating substances. 

Jahangir carried on his father’s traditions. In 1614, a war with the Rajput principality of Mewar was resolved on favorable terms. Campaigns against Ahmadnagar, begun under Akbar’s rule, were carried on in fits and starts, with Mughal weapons and diplomacy being rebuffed by its able leader Malik Ambar (Anbar), a once enslaved Abyssinian (absh) who had gained high military status. 

However, in 1617 and 1621, Prince Khurram (after Shah Jahn) signed what appeared to be successful peace deals. Jahangir, like his father, was not a devout Sunni Muslim; he permitted the Jesuits, for example, to debate publicly with Muslim Ulam (theologians) and converts. 

Jahangir died in 1627 on his route from Kashmir to Lahore, near Sarai Saadabad in Bhimber. The entrails were removed from his body and embalmed and preserved before being interred inside Baghsar Fort near Bhimber in Kashmir. 

jahangir 1

What is Shahjahan? 

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram was known as Shahjahan. ” Shahjahan” means King of the World in Persian. He reigned the Mughal empire from 1628 to 1658.

He was the son of Jahangir and Jagat Gosain. Shahjahan’s chief minister and treasurer were Sheikh Farid, who founded the Faridabad city. 

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Though a powerful military general, Shahjahan is known for his architectural achievements. His famous monuments include the Taj Mahal (which took twenty years to complete), Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid, Shalimar Gardens, Mahabat Khan Mosque, and large sections of Agra Fort and Lahore Fort.

He had also built a peacock throne which was called Takht-e-Taus. 

Apart from the monuments, he even owned the royal treasure and the precious Kohinoor stone. Shahjahan’s army had a huge infantry, artillerymen, musketeers, cannons, battleships, fortified walls, Marwari horses, Sowars, and other instruments of war.

During his reign, the Mughal empire multiplied in revenue and attained stability. Shahjahan followed centralized administration and systematic court affairs. 

The Mughal empire’s GDP (gross domestic product) grew from 22.7% to 24.4%. During his reign, a famine broke out in the Deccan, and the subcontinent faced a huge crisis. Shahjahan was not quite tolerant towards other religions and had over 76 temples demolished. 

Main Differences Between Jahangir and Shahjahan 

  1. The length of reign of Jahangir was 22 years, and the length of reign of Shahjahan was 30 years. 
  2. Jahangir was the fourth Mughal emperor, and Shahjahan was the fifth Mughal emperor. 
  3. Jahangir was the father of Shahjahan, and Shahjahan was his youngest son. 
  4. Jahangir was born in 1569 and died in 1627, whereas Shahjahan was born in 1592 and died in 1666. 
  5. Jahangir was best known for the annexation of Kangra and flourishing arts during his reign, whereas Shahjahan was best known for this architectural quests. 


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44148393 
  2. https://brill.com/view/journals/muqj/31/1/article-p123_6.xml 

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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