Director: Ashutosh Gowariker
Jodhaa, the daughter of King Bharmal of Amer, is betrothed to Rajkumar Ratan Singh and her dowry was her father’s crown, which will pass to the Rajput king, after his death. Through this arrangement, Bharmal’s nephew Sujamal, who is deprived of his rightful throne, angrily leaves the kingdom to join rebels. When the Mughal empire plans to attack Amer, King Bharmal reluctantly makes a peace offering, proposing to strengthen relations by his daughter’s marriage to the emperor himself to avoid war. Akbar agrees to the marriage, as it would bring forward a true strong alliance and long lasting peace between the Mughals and Rajputs. Jodhaa completely resents being reduced to a mere political pawn as she wants to marry Ratan Singh. She writes a letter to Sujamal, her brother, entreating him to come rescue her from the marriage, but she doesn’t send it, though. Jodhaa shares all her misery with her mother, who tells her to send a servant girl in her place.
Jodhaa replies that it would deceive Akbar and would be death to their kingdom if he finds out. Her mother gives her a vial of poison and tells her to use it if a need arises. Jodhaa demands a meeting with Akbar and demands to keep her Hindu religion after marriage, and that a temple be built for her to continue her faith, with the intention of having the emperor call off the wedding. To her surprise, Akbar agrees to all her demands. After their marriage, Jodhaa acts reluctant with Akbar and they do not consummate their marriage. He assures Jodhaa that they will let things fall into place. Over time, both Jodhaa and Akbar learn from and gain admiration for each other.
Akbar’s nurse and nanny, Maham Anga, whom he loves like his own mother, despises Jodhaa and conspires to humiliate her in front of Akbar. She finds the letter Jodhaa had written and has it sent, and when Sujamal comes to meet Jodhaa in private, she insinuates to Akbar that Jodhaa went to meet her lover. Akbar sends his men to arrest Sujamal, who thinks Jodhaa has framed him, and immediately flees. Akbar is enraged and banishes Jodhaa from the kingdom. Jodhaa doesn’t give an explanation, indignant at her character being questioned. Later Akbar finds out the truth and goes to her maternal home, apologises to her, and asks her to come back, but she refuses. He also finds out that she is skilled in sword fighting, and engages in a playful duel with Jodhaa, who tells him to investigate the working of his relations and kingdom. Akbar returns and travels through the common folk in disguise to understand the problems of his people better.
Later, Akbar controls the dissents among the Hindus and Muslims by announcing that every religion has its rights in his kingdom. This impresses Jodhaa, who comes back to him. Sujamal, Sharifuddin Hussain, and his allies attack Agra. After Sujamal overhears Sharifuddin plotting a silent attack on the emperor, he quickly leaves to warn Akbar of this conspiracy. Shariffudin’s army chases Sujamal and kills him. He manages to warn the emperor of the attack, however, who then realises what the past misunderstanding was concerning the letter. Then he dies just after apologising to Jodhaa. Akbar defeats Sharifuddin in hand-to-hand combat, and then spares his life for the sake of his half-sister Bakshi Banu Begum, but not before stripping him of his title of Viceroy of Ajmer and Nagaur. Eventually, Akbar proclaims that Hindustan will be a peaceful and prosperous land if people respect and honour each other’s religions. The film ends as the narrator recounts that Jodhaa and Akbar made history through their unconditional and eternal love for each other.