Dara Shikoh (1615-1659) was the eldest and favourite son of Shah Jahan, who ultimately was defeated in the wars of succession by his brother Aurangzeb. Dara Shikoh was intensely interested in spiritual matters of both Hindu and Islamic origins. Eventually he was executed as a heretic by Aurangzeb. (E. Kostioukovitch (ed.), The St. Petersburg Muraqqa', Milan, 1996, pl. 49-50). Dara Shikoh remained a popular figure for many years after his death. This miniature, though much later, shares many qualities with a miniature in the St. Petersburg Muraqqa', which also features a representation of Dara Shikoh,(op. cit., pl. 4, Fl. 16 recto).