A large number of eunuchs were deployed in the harem of the Mughals. Bringing any person coming from outside and leaving him outside was an important part of his responsibility. Whenever a doctor was called in the royal house, the eunuchs used to cover his head so that he could not see the environment inside. The way to get him out after treatment also remained the same. But when my commuting there became common, their trust in me increased and there were no restrictions.
Italian physician Manucci has written this ordeal in his book ‘Mughal India’. Manuchi has been a doctor and has a good relationship with Dara Shikoh. He writes in his memoirs that once I was going to a harem when Shikoh’s eyes fell on me. At the same time he ordered the eunuch. Said- The clothes covering the eyes should be removed and in future I should be taken to such a harem. The prince had a special idea behind this.
Prince Shikoh believed that Christians do not have that obscenity and filth in their thinking as Muslims do, so she was allowed to freely enter the harem.
Women deliberately used to make excuses for illness
Manuchi writes, women in the harem were not allowed to meet anyone other than their husbands. That’s why she deliberately told herself to be ill, so that a male doctor would come to meet her and touch her on the pretext of groping her pulse and he too could touch her.
This meeting did not take place in an open atmosphere at all. There was a veil between the doctor and the woman. The doctor used to extend his hand inside the screen to see the pulse. During that time many women used to kiss his hand and some also used to bite with love. Not only this, some women used to touch his hand with their chest.
According to Manuchi, this happened to me many times. During that time, I used to behave as if nothing was happening, so that the eunuch sitting nearby would not know about it.
What is the meaning of harem?
This word comes from Arabic language. Which means holy or forbidden. Haram was started in the Mughal Empire during the time of Babur. He ruled for only 4 years and most of his time was spent on the battlefield, so the harem was not developed much during his time.
Akbar did the work of giving a huge form to the Mughal Empire. got it organized. Women from different countries, religions and cultures were kept in his harem. In the harem, along with the wives of the Mughals, their female relatives also lived. However, women had different access to the harem. Some were in the form of wives, some were forcibly brought because the emperor caught sight of them and heart came. At the same time, during the period of some gifts, she used to get from other Sultanate.
Why was there a need to create a harem?
In response to this question, Manuchi writes that the mindset of the Mughals was responsible for the need for a harem. Muslims had a special attachment to women. He found great comfort among them. However, the purpose of creating a harem was not only to get sexual pleasure.
Children were also raised in the harem. There was a hammam, there were also schools and playgrounds. There used to be a kitchen from a bathroom as well. Not only this, royal treasuries, secret documents and royal seals were also kept in the harem. All these waits were done so that the emperor could do all his work from there too without any trouble. The number of women in the harem was so much that there were many such slaves who, even after passing their entire age, could not even look at the emperor.
the luxurious life of the harem
Manuchi writes that the life of the women living in the harem was very luxurious. Every morning, clothes came for the royal women, the clothes they used to wear once, they did not wear them again. That cloth was distributed among the slaves. The royal ladies used to lie near the fountains. Enjoyed the sight of fireworks at night. Was interested in chicken fighting. Apart from this, listening to ghazals, archery and listening to stories used to be an important part of his everyday life.
There were five thousand women in Akbar’s harem.
There were 5000 women in Akbar’s harem. He had arranged the hare so much that he had divided the harem into several parts. To ensure that there is no discord, the appointment of a inspector was also done. Not only this, some women were kept as spies. The rules made by Akbar regarding the harem were followed in the next generation.
Whenever a new boy came to the harem, he was told not to have any relation with the outside world. Even after the death of the emperor, there was a rule not to leave the harem.
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