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Illustration of an Indian woman holding a flower
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

The ‘Padshahnama’ (‘Book of Emperors’) of Abd al-Hamid Lahori


The Padshahnama (‘Book of Emperors’) is a chronicle commissioned by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah-Jahan (r. 1628–58). The text is a propagandist celebration of his reign and his dynasty. Several copies of the Padshahnama were written during Shah-Jahan’s lifetime but this manuscript is unique, being the only contemporary illustrated imperial Padshahnama volume to survive.

Much of the Mughal imperial library was dispersed in the late eighteenth century and its contents sold off to provincial rulers. The Padshahnama was sent with five other volumes (including the Khamsa and Gulistan) as gifts from the ruler of Awadh to George III in 1799.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.