Dara Shikoh Analysis

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Dara Shikoh, son of famous Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, lived up to the expectations of a great ruler until his downfall in 1659. Known for his intellectual ideas, peaceful pursuits, and political power, Dara Shikoh was expected to take the next role as a leader of the Mughal Empire after his father. Without a doubt, Shah Jahan favored his eldest son, so Dara was given the opportunities needed in order to be next in line. However, Dara’s life would be cut short after contending for the royal throne against his brothers. With the shock of many during the seventeenth century, Dara did not actually take the throne. Rather, his brother Aurangzeb ruled with crude force and authoritarian style. Historians wonder how life in the Mughal empire would have differed if Dara would have taken the throne like his father most likely intended.
Shah Jahan proved to hold more of a liking toward his eldest son, Dara Sikoh. Shah Jahan allowed Dara to partake in the Mughal courts and hold power in assigning advisors while his brothers were sent to the battlefields. The favoritism became clear during the first wedding of Dara; it outshone any other Mughal wedding. Shah Jahan spent 3.2 million rupees on the wedding, which amounted to more than any wedding in Mughal history. The wedding even included an extravagant firework display.
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He stood out for his brilliance, intellect, courtesy, and conduct. Growing up, he studied a princely education, but he outshone his brothers by becoming involved in philosophy. Known for his education, he often partook in cultured conversations with Hindu and Muslim ascetics. More specifically, he conversated with Baba Lal, a Punjabi spiritual leader about philosophical topics. Dara Shikoh devoted time to religion and spiritual pursuits, but what made him different from others rested on the fact that Dara attempted to unite both Hindus and

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