Sunday, January 14, 2018

Juliana: The Mughal ‘Princess’ from Portugal

Medieval Indian history has stories and anecdotes of illustrious women such as Razia Sultana, Noor Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal and Jahan Ara, some of whom have also been featured stunningly so on celluloid. However, very little is known about Juliana, a Portuguese lady who played a sensational stellar role in the Mughal Court and witnessed from close quarters the unfolding of history, as well as history being made on account of the mystifying sway she had over this era.

Juliana Nama is a book that narrates the fascinating story akin to a fairy-tale of the alluring and charismatic Dona Juliana Dias da Costa—the favoured and beloved companion of Shah Alam, also known as Bahadur Shah-I—who succeeded his father, the controversial Monarch, Aurungzeb to the Peacock Throne. She not only left an enduring and unfading stamp on that period but perhaps, emphatically so, refashioned and altered the course of events to an exceptional degree.

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