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Mariam-uz-zamani: Biography & History

Mariam-uz-Zamani was the chief wife of Mughal emperor Akbar. Her actual name is not known but she was referred to as Harkhan Champavati in an 18th century genealogy. She lived through 1542 - 19 May 1623. Apart from the title she was given after getting married, she was also referred to as Harkha Bai or Jodha Bai that also shows that she was a princess of Jodhpur (although she is also known to have been a princess of Amber). She was born a Rajput princess and some sources point out that she was the daughter of Raja Bihari Mal of Amber (Jaipur). Some historians insists that she was a princess of Jaipur because her name was also known to be Jodha Bai.

Her marriage to emperor Akbar took place in 1562. She was offered to the emperor by her father, Raja Bihari Mal. The wedding was a completely political one. It meant princess' father's complete submission to the imperial overlord, Akbar. It signified that the empire under her father had accepted the invasion with a set of policies within a growing multi-ethnic and multi-denominational empire.

She received many titles after her marriage as a mark of honor. She was known as wali ni'maat which meant gift of God, Mallika-e-Muazzama and Mallika-e-Hindustan. She became the mother of Akbar's eldest surviving son and successor, Jehangir.

Neha Maheshwari