The Only Mughal Princess Who Ever Visited Mecca — Gulbadan Begam

Being the aunt of the most powerful emperor of the time, Gulbadan Begam’s trip to Mecca was challenging.

Karthick Nambi
Lessons from History


Photo by Ömer F. Arslan on Unsplash

It’s the streets of Mecca where hundreds of people from all across Arabia flock to have a glimpse of a woman. She is in her 50s and was the aunt of the most powerful king on earth at that point.

Even the Islamic caliphate was afraid of her presence in Mecca and warned her five times to leave. The lady was Gulbadan Begum, daughter of the first Mughal Emperor Babur and aunt of Akbar. Her travel to Mecca was a story of intriguing details on the political situation of the times.

Rise Of the Mughals

Photo by Hans Vivek on Unsplash

For a long time, tribes from the crescent region invaded India from its northern borders. The Mongols, Afghan tribes, and even the Iranians have invaded India through the Kyber and Bholan passes.

The Emperor in Delhi was always at the edge of their seat, awaiting an invasion at any time. Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, was a petty king in Afghanistan and ruled from Khandakar. He had…