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Rendered Manifestation of Jahan Ara Begum

Assesment of her built works through lens of optical politics


Women have been shaping the built environment since times immemorial, yet through investigation of the concerned subject remains a domain with the widest research gap. Oftentimes, their contributions are recognized by their patriarch's identity and memories, thus causing a sense of detachment and foreign iconography of the female patron over a considerable amount of time.

This has specifically been the case for Begums of Mughal Empire for they were to follow a system of purdah as a result of their social and religious practice. However, through subtle diplomacy and a lot more rigorous passion, few of them have been able to surpass all the normative belief system and create a legacy of their own, amidst all the odds. One of them was a Jahanara Begum and this thesis is an attempt to decipher her persona as a function of her piety and prodigious architectural patronage.

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