Applause Entertainment and Contiloe Pictures are producing an Indian period drama series tracing key years of the Mughal Empire, they announced on Thursday. Taj – A Monument of Blood will comprise five seasons of 12 episodes each.
Founded in 1526, the Mughal Empire was the second largest to have existed in the Indian subcontinent after the Mauryan Empire. It was at its most powerful from 1556-1605, under the reigns of Kings Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.
Taj – A Monument of Blood will begin with the birth of Shahjahan (1592-1666), the fifth Mughal emperor, under whose reign the Agra monument was built, and conclude with his death. The series “delves deep into the Mongol origins, bloodlines mixing with Persian and Rajput royalty, the court and palace intrigues, the repeated and horrific purging of aspirants to the throne, the regional kings and satraps who paid tribute to Mughal suzerainty and amidst all this, the arrival of the British and Portuguese,” a press release said.
Applause Entertainment CEO Sameer Nair said he is a “big fan” of revisionist historical accounts. “Our history books have been written by victors and often paint very two-dimensional pictures about past empires,” he said. Nair added that when the idea was first discussed, the makers “immediately moved away from a typical historical to a darker and edgier version of the Mughal Empire, a version in which symbolically the Taj is more a monument of blood than a monument of love.”
Contiloe Pictures’ Abhimanyu Singh said that the series “will take viewers on a historic journey showing them an unseen perspective of this illustrious dynasty which lead to their rise as the greatest empire in medieval times and the quest for power, within it, that finally lead to its downfall.”
Production on the series is yet to begin.