You are here
Home > Indians > HUNTING STORIES: MUGHAL RULERS WERE PASSIONATE ABOUT LION HUNTING

HUNTING STORIES: MUGHAL RULERS WERE PASSIONATE ABOUT LION HUNTING

Mughal hunting stories

There was a time when Lions roamed across the Asian continent – especially from Palestine to Palamau. These animals, over the past decades, have progressively wiped out their range. They have eventually being narrowed their numbers to a relict population in the Gir Forest and its surrounding areas in Saurashtra. It has been a home of the only lion population outside Africa for five consecutive decades. Due to the political chaos in central Asia, many Timurid princes, including Babar, fought for their inheritance. Zahiruddin Mohammad Babar, who was known for his inexhaustible energy to conquer, did it even though the illustrations lineage from Timur was on the paternal side.

Mughal Hunting stories

Babur

Zahiruddin Mohammad Babar was born in 1483; he was living in Central Asia until 1526. He found Hindustan different from the lands he had known; i.e., northern fastness of Central Asia and Afghanistan. A keen hunter, Babar describes the country he had conquered. As per his descriptions, he described Indian fauna and avifauna are unique creatures because these were not available in his homeland. He described that the peacock, the rhinoceros, and other animals or birds he saw are hard to beat.

Mughal Empire

Humayun

Humayun’s irregular schedule was fraught with many a calamity and was finally cut short by an untimely accident. The chronicles of his times were committed to paper years after his death by his daughter and also his ewer-bearer, at the command of Akbar. Such things throw no light on his interactions with lions.

Akbar

Akbar

Apart from the consolidation of his domains, Sultan Akbar was known for his passion of hunting. A variation of this method was the Shakhbandh which was an enclosure. In these methods of hunting the objects of the pursuit would usually be ungulates and lesser carnivores. In one such, a fence at Lahore, Akbar hunted for five days in 1567, and the bag included nilgai, chital, jackal, hare, hyena, and blackbuck run down by trained cheetahs – as can be seen from the paintings commemorating the event. Among the favorite forms of sport at the time were coursing with trained cheetas and hawking, both of these being pursued by the Mughals till the end of the dynasty’s rule. Later, Birbal’s advice inspired him to leave hunting.

Shah Jahan

Thomas Roe, an English diplomat of the Elizabethan and Jacobean periods, reports that the imperial standard sported a couchant lion and the rising sun. A painting by Payag from the Padshahnama, the chronicle of Shah Jahan’s reign by Abdul Hamid Lahawri preserved in the Royal Library, Windsor Castle, depicts the siege of Qandahar in the Deccan in 1631 by Shah Jahan’s army led by Nasiri Khan.

Aurangzeb

When the Mughal emperors moved with such large entourage, their pleasure spots had to be easily accessible from their camps, so it was natural that the imperial hunting grounds were located in the plains. Irfan Habib lists sixteen such locations, including Bari and Rupbas near Agra, Sunam and Bhatinda in Punjab, and Merta and Jodhpur in Rajasthan. This meant that the Mughals were moving about in or near the most preferred habitat of the lion, the vast grasslands, and scrublands on North India.

Aurangjeb hunting stories

Jahangir

In the eleventh year of Jahangir’s reign, he records that in 39 years, as many as 28,532 animals and birds were hunted in his presence of which he himself accounted for 17,167. Lions take pride of place for they appear at the top of the list of the tally and the records that he had shot 86 of them. Not surprisingly, one of the finest studies of an animal in the Mughal painting is a painting of Jahangir period; ”lion drinking water after devouring its skill” attributed to Nanha circa 1618, preserved at the Sawai Man II Museum, Jaipur.

One thought on “HUNTING STORIES: MUGHAL RULERS WERE PASSIONATE ABOUT LION HUNTING

  1. I just wondered if you’ve planned any marketing yet for the new year for you’re site. I am self-employed doing this for various businesses for a number of years now, I feed my family doing it so I won’t complain. I have a way of getting immediate interested traffic and buyers to your site through social media channels and email. As well as getting more likes, followers for all of your social accounts. I have a new program that has just been completed that listens to all tweets being made, if a certain word or phrase is detected, we instantly send back to them a tweet that they should visit our site. We can use as many search terms as we want, 100’s of targeted visits a day. I can even help you make a site, fix site errors add updates etc. if you might need it.

    In addition to that, I’d also like to find out what your competitors have done that we havn’t done yet and address those issues asap. I’d also like to make a video or 2 about your site and get them to rank high pretty quickly. Lastly I have a large database of opt in customers that are interested in what it is you do, so if you’d like to expand your current newsletter list let me know, I can get you these records whenever you’d like them. They would get you instant leads by supplying you with a list of people or businesses that are looking for exactly what it is you’re offering.

    I use tools that a lot of people dont know about or don’t have time to use for themselves and would like to use them for your site. If your to busy with current clients I get it, I was just wondering was all. Let me know if youd like more information or references, I have more than I know what to do with.

    Winston
    1.319.423.9473

Leave a Reply

Top