Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram (1592 – 1666), better known by his regnal name, Shah Jahan was the fifth Mughal emperor and reigned from 1628 to 1658. Under his reign, the Mughal Empire reached the peak of its cultural glory. Although an able military commander, Shah Jahan is best remembered for his architectural achievements. His reign ushered in the golden age of Mughal architecture. Thirty years after Shah Jahan inherited the throne, in 1658, his third son, Aurangzeb, captured his father and locked him up in the Agra Fort in the beautiful Jasmine Tower. The story goes that, Shah Jahan was spending too much on architecture and was about to build a mausoleum for himself, similar to the Taj Mahal, but black in color. Shah Jahan requested to be put in this particular prison, so that he can get a view of the Taj Mahal.

This image was shot by Indian photographer Abul Kalam Azad in the year 1985 from the Agra Fort - a remembrance of Shah Jahan's view of Taj Mahal. 

The view from Shah Jahan's Prison, 1985

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  • Abul Kalam Azad is an Indian visual artist and photographer based in Kerala. His works are largely personal explorations and documentation of experiences, and memories of his native land, people, and their culture. They deal with issues of identity, ethics, micro/macro history, and eroticism. His works have exhibited Nationally/Internationally in reputed museums and galleries. He has received Charles Wallace Award in the year 1996 and recognized by the French government through a scholarship grant. He is a recipient of grants from the Government of India and India Foundation for the Arts (IFA). He is the founder of Ekalokam Trust for Photography and Editor-in-chief of PhotoMail Online magazine.