Maham Anaga

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Maham Anaga was the governess of Emperor Akbar. As the word ‘Anaga’ means nurse, Maham Anaga seems to be a title rather than original name. She is not mentioned in the list of nurses during Akbar’s infancy. However, she is inferred as his foster mother. She had a son little older than Akbar by the name of Adham Khan. Maham Anga was a patron of education and endowed a college at Delhi. She had great influence over Akbar and was the major character behind the overthrow of Bairam Khan whose regency she did not approve. After the demise of Bairam Khan the Mughal Empire came under the spell of Maham Anaga who became supreme for some years. Due to her influence, Adham Khan had also become overbearing. When he and his companions murdered Akbar’s principal minister, Akbar flew into rage and threw him down the palace stairs. Akbar still had a great respect for Maham Anaga but she was too shocked at their son’s death to survive. After her death, Akbar became the sole master of his state affairs.

This article was last updated on Wednesday, Jan 04, 2006