Shah Jahans true love – GulAra Begum

GulAra Mahal

Bhuranpur is not only famous for its palaces and forts but for many love stories of mughal emperors took place in this region. Aurangzeb fell in love with Hira Bai aka Zainabi Mahal in this same place. Mumtaz Mahal died after giving birth to her daughter Gauhara Bano in Bhuranpur.

But the most famous love story of Bhuranpur is of Gulara Begum and Shah Jahan.  Gulara Begum was a wife of Shah Jahan and he loved her immensely.  Prince Khurram was a young governor when he fell in love with Gulara Begum(a Hindu), a dancer and singer. He loved her so immensely he married her and gave her title Gul-ARA. He built her two palaces one at her native village in Karara and one at Bhuranpur fort.

He used to visit Bhuranpur and stay for long periods in company of Gulara Begum. He built her palaces called Gulara Mahal and huge gardens for her sake.  This after he had become an emperor and a father of many of Mumtazs children. This created fear in Mumtazs heart and her father Asaf Khan became scared that his daughter Mumtazs place in Shah Jahan’s heart had reduced and Gulara Begum or Gulara Mahal as he called her would take his daughters place.

Asaf Khan wanted only his family, his daughter and sons  and grandchildren to have prominence in Shah Jahans mind and in mughal empire especially the court. If Gulara Begum had kids in future, Shah Jahan may make her the Empress of Mughal Empire and her children heirs, he loved her so immensely. When he saw that Gulara Begum an ordinary dancer singer was getting so much love and attention of Shah Jahan with each passing year he hatched a plan to kill her.

Gulara Begum loved to take boat rides in Tapti river in nights and on one such night when Shah Jahan was not in town, Asaf Khan went to the place where Gulara Begum was enjoying her boat ride. Gulara Begum saw Asaf Khan, the Prime Minister of Mughals and Shah Jahan’s father in law coming towards her in boat at mid night and thought he was getting some important messagefrom Shah Jahan and told her boatman to move towards him. Asaf Khan shifted from his boat to her on pretext of giving an important message and while talking to her pushed her into the river and drowned her in the river. He threatened the maids and soldiers with her to silence or that he will kill them. Thus ended the love story of Gulara Begum and Shah Jahan.

Who knows history may have been different had Gau Har Begum not been killed and Shah Jahan may have built a Taj Mahal for Gau Har rather than Mumtaz? And Aurangzeb may not have ascended the throne and instead Gulara’s kids may have become the future emperors.

Mumtaz had wanted Shah Jahan to have kids only from her so that her blood heirs will ascend mughal throne and not any other emperors wives kids.  But in case any of Shah Jahans wife or mistress got pregnant it is believed(as per chronicles) that Mumtaz would not allow any of Shah Jahan’s other wives to give birth and kill the baby in womb by giving them a juice that would cause miscarriage. So only Shah Jahan’s wives before he married Mumtaz had kids and not other wives whom he married after her did not have any children.

Shah Jahan fell in love and married Gulara Begum many years after Mumtaz. So Asaf Khan devised this plan to kill her. According to some tales Gulara was pregnant when Asaf got to know of it and killed her before Shah Jahan knew of her pregnancy.

 

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