New Delhi. Diwali is a great festival of lights. A week before this festival, the entire country is illuminated with lamps and lights. From home to market, from school to office, light is seen everywhere. In today’s times, seeing so much fanfare about Diwali, sometimes it must have come to your mind that how festivals were celebrated in history! Was there a similar kind of noise at that time also? Many people might also think that when the Mughals were ruling India, these festivals might not have been celebrated. But it is not so, yes, according to many historical stories and historians, Diwali was celebrated with great enthusiasm even during the Mughal period.
If historians are to be believed, even the Mughals could not keep themselves untouched by the charm of Diwali. Let us tell you that during the Mughal period, Diwali was named Jashn-e-Charagan. Historians also say that earlier there was no trend of celebrating Diwali during the Mughal rule, but the tradition of celebrating Diwali was started during the reign of Akbar, the third emperor of the Mughals. However, some Ulemas had objections to this and called it a non-Muslim practice.
How was the celebration of Diwali during the Mughal era?
The period between 1720 and 1748 was the period when Muhammad Shah was the Mughal emperor. At that time the festival of Diwali was celebrated in a very special way. Diwali was celebrated in big grounds in front of the palaces. The palaces used to glow with the light of lamps. Let us tell you that during the reign of the third Mughal emperor Akbar, the tradition of celebrating Diwali started in Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri, where Emperor Akbar used to live with his Begum Jodha Bai. Let us tell you that Emperor Akbar had married a Rajput princess Jodha Bai as per Hindu customs. Apart from being Akbar’s most prominent wife, Jodha was also Mallika-e-Hindustan and the mother of Akbar’s heir Salim. On the other hand, if we talk about Diwali during the times of Akbar, Salim and Shahjahan, then the most colorful Diwali is said to be during the period of Akbar only.
Confectioners were called from Mathura, Bhopal and Lucknow
During the reign of Akbar, the Red Fort of Delhi was decorated with lights during Diwali. The lamps were sparkling. At that time also, like today, preparations for Diwali used to start a month in advance. Confectioners were called from Agra, Mathura, Bhopal and Lucknow. To make sweets in pure desi ghee, ghee was ordered from nearby villages and on the day of Diwali, there used to be fireworks around the fort. The palace was decorated with lamps, chandeliers and lamp holders.
Chandni Chowk’s Diwali was special
After making Delhi the capital of India during the Mughal period, Shahjahan started the tradition of celebrating Diwali inside the Red Fort. During that time sky lamp was lit. To make Diwali more special, Mughal emperor Shahjahan had got the lamp installed on a 40 yard high pole. Its height was so much that not only the Red Fort but the entire Chandni Chowk glowed in its light.