The Peacock Throne and today’s date….


Did you know that close to four centuries ago, on 22nd March 1635 AD, the Peacock Throne was inaugurated by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and unveiled to the world?

Did you know that the Peacock Throne took seven years to build and cost twice as much as the world-famous Taj Mahal, made as it was of solid gold, diamonds and pearls? Kohinoor, one of the largest cut diamonds in the world weighing more than one hundred and five carats, today takes pride of place in the British crown jewels but was originally part of the Peacock Throne. In some ways, the inauguration of the Peacock Throne represented the zenith of the Mughal empire.

The Peacock Throne remains a masterpiece of Moghul creation, unsurpassed in opulence and extravagance before or after. The throne creator and master goldsmith Said Gilani wrote this couplet on the occasion of the throne’s inauguration.

Towards India he turned his reins quickly and went in all glory,

Driving like the blowing wind, dapple-grey steed swift as lightning.
With bounty and liberality, he returned to the capital;
Round his stirrups were the heavens and angels round his reins.
A thousand thanks! The beauty of the world has revived

With the early glory of the throne of multi-coloured gems

A century later in 1739, the Mughal Empire’s decline was precipitated by its defeat at the hands of the Iranian ruler Nader Shah. What had attracted Nader Shah were stories of the Peacock Throne and the wealth of the Mughal empire. Interestingly, it was again on 22nd March 1739 AD that the Mughal capital of Delhi witnessed one of its worst mass killings and slaughter. As the invader Nader Shah ordered Qatl-e-Aam, an estimated twenty thousand men, women and children were butchered in a spell of six hours- the single bloodiest massacre in the shortest time in recorded history. In many ways this sacking of the much-venerated capital city represented the demise of the Mughal empire.

And what happened to the magnificent Peacock Throne? Well, it along with other treasures was taken away by Nader Shah and his army as they went back to Iran. The total wealth carried in today’s value terms was a stupendous eleven billion dollars.

The throne then disappeared! It is rumoured of being dismantled and literally destroyed after Nader Shah’s assassination in 1747, most of the gold and precious stones looted. It is also said that parts of the Peacock throne were used in the construction of the Persian emperor’s Sun throne.

Fascinating is it not that the zenith and the demise of the Mughal Empire in India are linked to the Peacock Throne and the date 22nd March.

In Learning………Shakti Ghosal

Author: Shakti Ghosal

* A PCC Credentialed Executive Coach mentor and trainer for leaders & performance. * A qualified engineer and a PGDM (Faculty Gold medalist) from IIM Bangalore. * Four decades of industry experience spanning Engineering, Maintenance, Projects, Consumer durables, Supply Chains, Aviation and Tourism. * Top level management positions to drive business development, strategy, alliances all around the globe. * A visiting faculty at the IIMs. *A passion to envision trends & disseminate Leadership incubation globally. www.empathinko.in , * www.linkedin.com/in/Shaktighosal. shakti.ghosal@gmail.com . +91 - 9051787576

15 thoughts on “The Peacock Throne and today’s date….”

  1. Interesting reading Shaktida. You continue to look at the curse such symbols of vanity bring to the owners…..the theme you touched upon in your book.

    Like

    1. Hi Sushil,

      To be frank I had not thought of this post in the manner you mention. But when I see it from your perspective, I tend to agree 🙂 So yes, symbols of vanity do bring grief in the end.

      Thank you for your presence here.

      Regards

      Shakti

      Like

    1. Hi Wasim,

      Thank you for your kind comment. Delighted you liked the post. Coming from an excellent writer that you yourself are, it means a lot, my friend.

      Incidentally, I read the ‘About Me’ section on your Blogsite and was enthralled at the way you have articulated who you are and what you stand for.

      God bless.

      Shakti Ghosal

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very informative article written in his usual lucid style. The author has obviously done appreciable research on Shahjehan’s Peacock throne and has come out with several interesting revelations including the monumental cost of the throne.
    Kudos to Mr Shakti Ghosal.

    Like

    1. Hi Suranjan, thank you for your kind acknowledgment which I truly appreciate. Fascinating is it not that the zenith and the demise of the Mughal Empire in India is linked to the date 22nd March.

      Like

  3. Author’s cv is as gorgeous as the peacock throne itself.
    There is always a lesson learnt from history.
    Nadir shah invaded Delhi only to grab the throne.if he did not hear about the giant collection of gold and diamond.hr would have not come to Delhi .20k lives of Shahjahan’s subjects would have been spared.
    Lesso
    NEVER EVER DISPLAY YOUR OPULENT OR VULGAR RICHESS
    It will certainly attract vultures even from another far placed country

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Dr. Bhattacharya,

      Thank you for your considered comment. Indeed the flaunting of one’s riches usually leads to a bad outcome and the Peacock throne is a testimony to that.

      Regards

      Like

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