Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 26 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London- 6-56 am



Post No. 4548

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks



Moghul emperor Aurangazeb and his elder brother Dara Shukoh fought for their father Shah Jehan’s throne. There was a heavy fighting. At the end a messenger brought the news that Dara was defeated outside the walls of the city, but had escaped. The vengeful usurper made a vow that he would catch his brother Dara and cut off his head and send it to his old father Shah Jehan in his prison in Agra. Aurangazeb was lucky to capture Dara alive. He took him hand cuffed in a procession and then ordered the soldiers to cut his head off.


Niccolao Manucci, an Italian traveller, who worked for several Moghul kings and Hindu kings wrote some interesting stories about Dara Sukoh’s last days. When Aurangazeb received Dara’s head he gave it three thrust with his sword and shouted, ‘Take it out of my sight’. Manucci added that the head was sent to Shah Jehan at Agra prison at the instigation of Aurangazeb’s sister Roshanara Begum. She gave a banquet the same evening to celebrate the event.


Shah Jehan was at the dinner when Dara’s head arrived and on seeing it he cried loud and fell on the dinner table in a swoon. Another story says that the head laughed Ha! ha! Ha! when it was struck by Auranazeb.


Francois Bernier, French traveller and physician, also wrote about the incident. One version says that Aurangazeb instructed to his officials to say that it was a present from him to Shah Jehan. When the officials told him so Shah Jehan was very happy and remarked, ‘At last my son remembered me’ and opened the box. As soon as he saw the blood stained head of his eldest and favourite son Dara Sukoh he fainted.

There are conflicting stories about his burial as well. According to Manucci, the head was sent by Aurangazeb’s order to be buried in the sepulchre of Taj Mahal in Agra. Bernier says that the head, after being struck off by Aurangazeb’s executioners in the garden of Khijirabad in Old Delhi, was taken to Aurangazeb, who ordered it to be buried in Humayun’s tomb a few miles off.


Many ballads were current in the bazars at that time; and a popular ballad was sung about Dara’s tragic fate, which Aurangazeb vainly tried to suppress.


Dara Sukoh’s death was a great loss to intellectuals. He was a great scholar and a friend of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Dayal. Dara translated the Hindu Upanishads into Persian. Aurangzeb was a quite different man. He was a religious bigot and gave lot of troubles to the Hindus. He was against all forms of art.



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