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The Secular Sikh Maharaja and His Muslim Wife: Rani Gulbahar Begum

Thursday
,
2
December
2021
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This presentation will examine Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s role as a secular ruler through a 19th century tomb in Lahore built by Rani Gulbahar Begum, his Muslim wife. The Maharaja’s religious non-discriminatory policies will be discussed based on information gleaned from his court chronicles and some official documents in the Lahore Museum collection. The tomb’s architectural and ornamental features will also be viewed to understand the tastes and craftsmanship of nineteenth century Punjabi patrons and artists. About The Presenter: Nadhra Khan is Assistant Professor of Art History at Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan. She specializes in the history of art and architectural ornament of nineteenth century Punjab but her research and teaching interests also cover the earlier Mughal and later colonial visual culture of this region. She has held research fellowships at SOAS, London (Charles Wallace Fellowship, 2010-11), Paris (2015), Princeton (Fulbright, 2014-15), and Oxford (Barakat Trust 2014-15). She is currently working with the Aga Khan Cultural Service, Pakistan (AKCSP), as Consultant Historian for their Lahore Fort Picture Wall project. Her monograph entitled Maharaja Ranjit Singh's Samadhi: Understanding Sikh Architectural Ornament will appear in 2017.

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