From the Hindustan Times:
Princess Jodhabai, often referred to as one of emperor Akbar’s wives and the mother of his son Jahangir, could have been a fictitious character, necessitated by convenient historical narratives during the Moghul era, a new book has claimed.
Goa-based author Luis de Assis Correia in his book “Portuguese India and Mughal Relations 1510-1735” has claimed that Jodhabai was in fact a Portuguese woman, Dona Maria Mascarenhas, who while travelling in a Portuguese armada along the Arabian sea, could have been captured along with her sister Juliana and subsequently offered to a young Emperor Akbar as a gift by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in the mid-1500s.
“When Dona Maria Mascarenhas arrived at Akbar’s Court, he fell in love with her. He was 18-years-old and he was already married. She was 17 and he said, ‘This young lady is for me’ and her sister Juliana, both of them were lodged in Akbar’s harem,” Correia told IANS on the sidelines of the book release function in Panaji.
The 173-page book suggests that Maria Mascarenhas could have been the mother of Jahangir and was often referred to as Maryum-ul-Zamani and at times, as Jodhabai or Harkabai in popular lore.
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