HISTORY. The Mughal Period Akbar the Mughal Emperor. (Ruling: ) . The Beginning of Mughal Rule in India. Such was the .. official language). Background: Stories of Akbar and Birbal are extremely popular in India. The several instances when Birbal uses his wit and intelligence to calm the ire of. Akbar was the third and the greatest Mughal Emperor. Let's have a look at his life history, reign, administration, contribution, achievements and timeline.
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Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar ابو الفتح جلال الدين محمد اكبر popularly known as Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. To defend his stance that speech arose from hearing, he carried out a language deprivation experiment, and had children raised in isolation, not allowed to be. by Gunwar Bibi. 'Abd al-Fath Jalal al-Dīn. Muḥammad. Akbar. "Arsh- ashyāni". r. "Aqiqah Begam by Bigah Begam d at age 8. Learn how Akbar the Great expanded the Mughal Empire and united the and Hindu peoples of India with his policy of religious cooperation, at usaascvb.info
Babur thinks of himself as a Turk, but he is descended from Genghis Khan as well as from Timur. The Persians refer to his dynasty as mughal, meaning Mongol. And it is as the Moghul emperors of India that they become known to history. Babur in India: By the early 16th century the Muslim sultans of Delhi an Afghan dynasty known as Lodi are much weakened by threats from rebel Muslim principalities and from a Hindu coalition of Rajput rulers.
When Babur leads an army through the mountain passes, from his stronghold at Kabul , he at first meets little opposition in the plains of north India. The decisive battle against Ibrahim, the Lodi sultan, comes on the plain of Panipat in April Babur is heavily outnumbered with perhaps 25, troops in the field against , men and elephants , but his tactics win the day.
Babur digs into a prepared position, copied he says from the Turks - from whom the use of guns has spread to the Persians and now to Babur. As yet the Indians of Delhi have no artillery or muskets. Babur has only a few, but he uses them to great advantage. He collects carts to form a barricade a device pioneered by the Hussites of Bohemia a century earlier. Sheltered behind the carts, Babur's gunners can go through the laborious business of firing their matchlocks - but only at an enemy charging their position.
It takes Babur some days to tempt the Indians into doing this. When they do so, they succumb to slow gunfire from the front and to a hail of arrows from Babur's cavalry charging on each flank. Victory at Panipat brings Babur the cities of Delhi and Agra, with much booty in treasure and jewels.
But he faces a stronger challenge from the confederation of Rajputs who had themselves been on the verge of attacking Ibrahim Lodi.
The armies meet at Khanua in March and again, using similar tactics, Babur wins. For the next three years Babur roams around with his army, extending his territory to cover most of north India - and all the while recording in his diary his fascination with this exotic world which he has conquered.
Humayun: Babur's control is still superficial when he dies in , after just three years in India. His son Humayun keeps a tentative hold on the family's new possessions. But in he is driven west into Afghanistan by a forceful Muslim rebel, Sher Shah. Twelve years later, renewed civil war within India gives Humayun a chance to slip back almost unopposed. One victory, at Sirhind in , is enough to recover him his throne.
But six months later Humayun is killed in an accidental fall down a stone staircase. His year-old son Akbar, inheriting in , would seem to have little chance of holding on to India.
Yet it is he who establishes the mighty Moghul empire. Akbar: In the early years of Akbar's reign, his fragile inheritance is skilfully held together by an able chief minister, Bairam Khan. But from the year-old emperor is very much his own man. An early act demonstrates that he intends to rule the two religious communities of India, Muslim and Hindu, in a new way - by consensus and cooperation, rather than alienation of the Hindu majority.
In he marries a Rajput princess, daughter of the Raja of Amber now Jaipur. She becomes one of his senior wives and the mother of his heir, Jahangir. Her male relations in Amber join Akbar's council and merge their armies with his. This policy is very far from conventional Muslim hostility to worshippers of idols. And Akbar carries it further, down to a level affecting every Hindu.
In he abolishes a tax levied on pilgrims to Hindu shrines. In he puts an end to a much more hallowed source of revenue - the jizya, or annual tax on unbelievers which the Qur'an stipulates shall be levied in return for Muslim protection. At the same time Akbar steadily extends the boundaries of the territory which he has inherited. Akbar's normal way of life is to move around with a large army, holding court in a splendid camp laid out like a capital city but composed entirely of tents.
His biographer, Abul Fazl, describes this royal progress as being 'for political reasons, and for subduing oppressors, under the veil of indulging in hunting'. A great deal of hunting does occur a favourite version uses trained cheetahs to pursue deer while the underlying political purpose - of warfare, treaties, marriages - is carried on. Warfare brings its own booty. Signing a treaty with Akbar, or presenting a wife to his harem his collection eventually numbers about - see Harems , involves a contribution to the exchequer.
As his realm increases, so does his revenue. And Akbar proves himself an inspired adminstrator. The empire's growing number of provinces are governed by officials appointed only for a limited term, thus avoiding the emergence of regional warlords.
And steps are taken to ensure that the tax on peasants varies with local circumstances, instead of a fixed proportion of their produce being automatically levied. At the end of Akbar's reign of nearly half a century, his empire is larger than any in India since the time of Asoka.
Its outer limits are Kandahar in the west, Kashmir in the north, Bengal in the east and in the south a line across the subcontinent at the level of Aurangabad. Yet this ruler who achieves so much is illiterate. An idle schoolboy, Akbar finds in later life no need for reading. He prefers to listen to the arguments before taking his decisions perhaps a factor in his skill as a leader. Akbar is original, quirky, wilful.
His complex character is vividly suggested in the strange palace which he builds, and almost immediately abandons, at Fatehpur Sikri. Fatehpur Sikri: In Akbar decides to build a new palace and town at Sikri, close to the shrine of a Sufi saint who has impressed him by foretelling the birth of three sons.
When two boys have duly appeared, Akbar's masons start work on what is to be called Fatehpur 'Victory' Sikri. A third boy is born in Akbar's palace, typically, is unlike anyone else's.
It resembles a small town, made up of courtyards and exotic free-standing buildings. They are built in a linear Hindu style, instead of the gentler curves of Islam.
Beams and lintels and even floorboards are cut from red sandstone and are elaborately carved, much as if the material were oak rather than stone. The palace and mosque occupy the hill top, while a sprawling town develops below. The site is only used for some fourteen years, partly because Akbar has overlooked problems of water supply. Yet this is where his many and varied interests are given practical expression. Here Akbar employs translators to turn Hindu classics into Persian, scribes to produce a library of exquisite manuscripts, artists to illustrate them the illiterate emperor loves to be read to and takes a keen interest in painting.
Here there is a department of history under Abul Fazl; an order is sent out that anyone with personal knowledge of Babur and Humayun is to be interviewed so that valuable information is not lost. The building most characteristic of Akbar in Fatehpur Sikri is his famous diwan-i-khas, or hall of private audience. It consists of a single very high room, furnished only with a central pillar. The top of the pillar, on which Akbar sits, is joined by four narrow bridges to a balcony running round the wall.
On the balcony are those having an audience with the emperor. If required, someone can cross one of the bridges - in a respectfully crouched position - to join Akbar in the centre. Meanwhile, on the floor below, courtiers not involved in the discussion can listen unseen. In the diwan-i-khas Akbar deals mainly with affairs of state. To satisfy another personal interest, in comparative religion, he builds a special ibabat-khana 'house of worship'. The ferocity with which they all attack each other prompts him to devise a generalized religion of his own in which a certain aura of divinity rubs off on himself.
The Christians involved in these debates are three Jesuits who arrive from Goa in As the first Europeans at the Moghul court, they are a portent for the future. Jahangir: Akbar is succeeded in by his eldest and only surviving son, Jahangir. Two other sons have died of drink, and Jahangir's effectiveness as a ruler is limited by his own addiction to both alcohol and opium.
But the empire is now stable enough for him to preside over it for twenty-two years without much danger of upheaval. Instead he is able to indulge his curiosity about the natural world which he records in a diary as vivid as that of his great-grandfather Babur and his love of painting. Under his keen eye the imperial studio brings the Moghul miniature to a peak of perfection, maintained also during the reign of his son Shah Jahan. Moghul miniatures: 16th - 17th century When Humayun wins his way back into India, in , he brings with him two Persian artists from the school of Bihzad.
Humayun and the young Akbar take lessons in drawing. Professional Indian artists learn too from these Persian masters. From this blend of traditions there emerges the very distinctive Moghul school of painting. Full-bodied and realistic compared to the more fanciful and decorative Persian school, it develops in the workshops which Akbar establishes in the s at Fatehpur Sikri.
Akbar puts his artists to work illustrating the manuscripts written out by scribes for his library. New work is brought to the emperor at the end of each week.
He makes his criticisms, and distributes rewards to those who meet with his approval. Detailed scenes are what Akbar likes, showing court celebrations, gardens being laid out, cheetahs released for the hunt, forts being stormed and endless battles. The resulting images are a treasure trove of historical detail.
But as paintings they are slightly busy. Akbar's son Jahangir takes a special interest in painting, and his requirements differ from his father's. He is more likely to want an accurate depiction of a bird which has caught his interest, or a political portrait showing himself with a rival potentate. In either case the image requires clarity and conviction as well as finely detailed realism. The artists rise superbly to this challenge. In Jahangir 's reign, and that of his son Shah Jahan , the Moghul imperial studio produces work of exceptional beauty.
In Shah Jahan's time even the crowded narrative scenes, so popular with Akbar, are peopled by finely observed and convincing characters.
Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb: During the reigns of Shah Jahan and his son Aurangzeb, the policy of religious toleration introduced by Akbar is gradually abandoned.
It has been largely followed by Shah Jahan's father, Jahangir - though at the very start of his reign he provides the Sikhs with their first martyr when the guru Arjan is arrested, in , and dies under torture. In Shah Jahan signals an abrupt return to a stricter interpretation of Islam when he orders that all recently built Hindu temples shall be destroyed.
A Muslim tradition states that unbelievers may keep the shrines which they have when Islam arrives, but not add to their number. Direct provocation of this kind is untypical of Shah Jahan, but it becomes standard policy during the reign of his son Aurangzeb. His determination to impose strict Islamic rule on India undoes much of what was achieved by Akbar. An attack on Rajput territories in makes enemies of the Hindu princes; the reimposition of the jizya in the same year ensures resentment among Hindu merchants and peasants.
At the same time Aurangzeb is obsessed with extending Moghul rule into the difficult terrain of southern India. He leaves the empire larger but weaker than he finds it. Known as much for his inclusive leadership style as for his war mongering, Akbar ushered in an era of religious tolerance and appreciation for the arts.
Akbar the Great died in The conditions of Akbar's birth in Umarkot, Sindh, India on October 15, , gave no indication that he would be a great leader. Though Akbar was a direct descendent of Ghengis Khan, and his grandfather Babur was the first emperor of the Mughal dynasty, his father, Humayun, had been driven from the throne by Sher Shah Suri. He was impoverished and in exile when Akbar was born. Humayun managed to regain power in , but ruled only a few months before he died, leaving Akbar to succeed him at just 14 years old.
The kingdom Akbar inherited was little more than a collection of frail fiefs. Under the regency of Bairam Khan, however, Akbar achieved relative stability in the region. Most notably, Khan won control of northern India from the Afghans and successfully led the army against the Hindu king Hemu at the Second Battle of Panipat.
In spite of this loyal service, when Akbar came of age in March of , he dismissed Bairam Khan and took full control of the government. Akbar was a cunning general, and he continued his military expansion throughout his reign. By the time he died, his empire extended to Afghanistan in the north, Sindh in the west, Bengal in the east, and the Godavari River in the south.
Akbar was known for rewarding talent, loyalty, and intellect, regardless of ethnic background or religious practice. In addition to compiling an able administration, this practice brought stability to his dynasty by establishing a base of loyalty to Akbar that was greater than that of any one religion.
Beyond military conciliation, he appealed to the Rajput people by ruling in a spirit of cooperation and tolerance. Akbar also formed powerful matrimonial alliances. When he married Hindu princesses—including Jodha Bai, the eldest daughter of the house of Jaipur, as well princesses of Bikaner and Jaisalmer—their fathers and brothers became members of his court and were elevated to the same status as his Muslim fathers- and brothers-in-law.
While marrying off the daughters of conquered Hindu leaders to Muslim royalty was not a new practice, it had always been viewed as a humiliation. In Akbar revised his tax system, separating revenue collection from military administration.
Each subah , or governor, was responsible for maintaining order in his region, while a separate tax collector collected property taxes and sent them to the capital. This created checks and balances in each region, since the individuals with the money had no troops, and the troops had no money, and all were dependent on the central government. The central government then doled out fixed salaries to both military and civilian personnel according to rank. Akbar was religiously curious.