Aram Banu Begum

Aram Banu was born on 22nd Dec 1584 and died in 1624. She remained single and with her brother Jehangir. She was the last child born to emperor Akbar from his secondary wife Bibi Daulat Shad. Akbar was 42 years old when she was born and Akbar loved her dearly and called her as Ladli Begum.

Aram Banu was just a year and half elder to Prince Salim her elder brothers first daughter Sultan al Nissa Begum born in 1586. Jehangir describes her as below

“Her disposition was on the whole inclined to excitement and heat. My father was very fond of her, so much so that he described her impolitenesses as politenesses, and in his august sight they, from his great love, did not appear bad.

Repeatedly he honoured me by addressing me, and said :

” Baba ! for my sake be as kind as I am, after me, to this sister, who in Hindi phrase is my darling (that is, dearly cherished). Be affectionate to her and pass over her little impolitenesses and impudences.”

Not much is actually written about Aram Bano in Akbarnama or other mughal literature except for Jehangirnama. She was very forthright and could stand her ground even against Akbar on any topic. She was known as “Butterfly of harem” or Titli. Her father Akbar also called her Ladli.

Aram Banu never married although her two elder sisters had married. One reason could be to avoid any hardship arising from brother in laws turning competitors to the throne. Its a well known fact that Akbar faced lots of hardships from his brother in laws Abul Mali and Sharifuddin who contended for the throne. It also was rumoured that his elder daughter also faced a lot of issues with her husband vying to be an contender for the throne with Akbar’s three sons. Hence since Aram Banu was the youngest Akbar may not have wanted her to face any hardships in case she marry’s and her husband joins in the war for succession.

Aram Banu died in 1624 at age 40 years and was buried in Sikandara in Akbar’s tomb.

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