Jodhabai was the most beloved queen of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Jodhabai was given the title of Mariam-uz-Zamani by Akbar when she gave birth to Jahangir, the successor and the only son of Akbar the great. Jodhabai was the daughter of Kachwaha Rajput King of Amer, Bihari Mal of Rajasthan. She was born on 1st October 1542 as Harkhan Champavati and was also known with the names of Harka Bai and Heer Kunwar. Her marriage to Akbar was more a political affair to ensure an alliance between Rajputs and Mughals. Jodhabai was married to Akbar on February 6, 1562, at the age of 20 years.
Jodhabai died on 19th May 1623 at the age of 80 in Agra. After her death, she was buried with full honours in a mausoleum close to that of Emperor Akbar’s. Jodhabai died a natural death due to age-related complications after living a much fulfilling life.
Jodhabai was one of the four senior most people in the Mughal court wielding tremendous authority and power. She was the only lady in the Mughal empire to hold the right to issue royal Mughal farmans of her own. She was the force to reckon with. After Akbar’s marriage to Jodhabai, Akbar’s political and social decisions show humility and sympathy for the people of the Hindu religion. Jodhabai was not only a beautiful princess but also a skilled woman with political, business and religious understanding. Akbar also granted complete freedom to Jodhabai in religious matters and in carrying out Hindu religious practices in the Mughal palace itself. Jodhabai remained a devout Hindu even after her marriage. However, she also imbibed Islamic ideas as she was married to a devout Muslim.
On the other hand, Akbar also played an important role in developing an understanding of Islam in Jodhabai. Jodhabai had built many mosques, gardens and public places throughout the Mughal Empire. It was Jodhabai who had the privilege to hold the title of Mughal Empress for the longest period of time in Mughal history. Mariam-uz-Zamani ruled for 43 years as Queen during Akbar’s reign. After the death of Akbar in 1605, his wife Jodhabai lived 18 more years and died in Agra in 1623.