Sunday, December 4, 2016


Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur (1526 – 1530):
·         Defeated Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal Empire in India.
·         He was a descendant of Timur on his father’s side and of Chengiz Khan on the side of his mother.
·         On the death of his father Umar Shaikh Mirza, Babur inherited the ancestral kingdom of Farghana in 1494 and invaded India five times. The first real expedition took place in 1519 when he captured Bhera, and he fifth was the defeat of Ibrahim Lodi the first battle of Panopat in April 1526.
·         He defeated Raja of Mewar, Sangram Singh or Rana Sanga, in battle that took place 1527 at Khanwa.
·         In 1528, he captured Chanderi from a Rajput Chief Medini Rai and a year later he defeated the Afghan chiefs under Mahmud Lodi in the battle of Ghaghra in Bihar.
·         In 1530, he died at Agra. His tomb is at Lahore (The tomb of only two Mughal emperors are outside India i.e. Babur and Bahadur Shah Zafar).
·         His autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Baburi or Baburnamah, which he wrote in his mother-tongue Turki gave detail account of his reign.

·         Babur’s eldest son Humayun ascended the throne in 1530. His succession was challenged by his brothers Kamran, Hindal and Askari along with the Afghans.
·         In 1532 he established Tabl-e-adl at Agra.
·         Sher Khan, also known as Sher Shah Suri, proved to be the most formidable enemy of Humayun, and after defeating the latter at Chausa and Kanauj in 1540, completely shattered his prospects. He escaped to Iran where he passed 12 years of his life in exile.
·         The Mughal Empire in India was temporarily eclipsed and Humayun had to pass nearly fifteen years (1540-55) in exile.
·         After Sher Shah‘s death Humayun invaded India in 1555 and once again became the ruler of India.
·         He built Din Panah at Delhi as his second capital.
·         He died while climbing down the stairs of his library (at Din Panah) in 1556 and was buried in Delhi.
·         His sister, Gulbadan Begum wrote his biography Humayunama.

Mughal exile period - Sur Empire (1540-1556 AD)
Sher Shah Suri (1540-1545):
·         His original name was Farid. He was born in Hoshiarpur, Punjab
·         Mohammad Shah Nuhani, independent ruler of Bihar, gave him that Title “Sher Shah Suri”.
·         In 1539, in the battle of Chausa near Buxar, Mughals were defeated by Suri.
·         As an emperor, he conquested Malwa (1542), Ranthambhor (1542), Rajputana annexation of Marwar (1542), Chittor (1544) & Kalinjar (1545).
·         He died in 1545 while conquesting Kalinjar.
·         He build sarai(inn) at a distance of two kos (8km).
·         He built the Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), which runs from Chhittagong to Kabul.
·         He issued the coin called Rupiah and fixed standard weights and measures all over the empire.
·         Land was measured using Gaz-i-shikandari.
·         According to Abul Fazal the empire of Sher Shah was divided into 63 sarkars or districts
·         Abbas Khan Sarwani wrote Tarik-e-Sher-shahi.
·         His hindu minister Hemu became powerful and adopted the title of “Vikramditya”, who was defeated by Akbar in the 2nd battle of Panipat.

Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (1556-1605):
·         At the time of his father Humayun's death Akbar was merely 14 years old and was under the guardianship of Bairam Khan who, on hearing of Humayun’s death, coroneted Akbar at Kalanaur.
·         Within a few months of Akbar’s accession, Hemu, the energetic wazir of Muhammad Adil Shah of Bihar, occupied the country from Bayana to Delhi, including Agra, and assumed the title of Vikramaditya.
·         In November 1556, the Mughal army under Bairam Khan moved towards Delhi and defeated Hemu in the second battle of Paniput.
·         During the next four years, Bairam Khan crushed the Afghan power in different parts of India.
·         Tulsidas (author of Ramcharitmanas) also lived during Akbar‘s period.
·         When Akbar died, he was buried at Sikandara near Agra.

Conquests under Akbar:
·         Malwa was conqueror in 1561 from the musician Sultan Baz Bahadur.
·         In 1562, when Akbar visited the shrine of Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti at Ajmer, Raja Bharmal of Amber proposed his eldest daughter’s marriage with the emperor.
·         Chandrasen, the ruler of Marwar, submitted to Akbar in 1563.
·         Rulers of Bikaner and of Jaisalmer also made their submission to Akbar and entered into matrimonial alliances with the Mughals.
·         By the end of 1570 all prominent princes of Rajasthan, except the Rana of Mewar, submitted to Akbar.
·         Rana Udai Singh of Mewar refused to accept the Mughal Rajput alliance and further offended Akbar by giving shelter to Baz Bahadur of Malwa. In 1567 Akbar himself conducted the siege of the fort of Chittor which fell next year (1568) after a desperate resistance.
·         But the Mughal-Mewar struggle did not end with the fail of Chittor. After Rana Udai Singh’s death in 1572, his son Rana Pratap Singh continued it further, culminating in the famous battle of Haldighat in 1576.
·         The Mughal army which was led by Raja Man Singh of Amber won this battle, but Mewar was not subjugated. Rana Pratap, till his death in 1597, continued the struggle and except Chittor and Mandalgarh he was virtually the master of the whole of Mewar.
·         Akbar himself led an expedition to Gujarat in 1572 and completed it by the siege of Surat in 1573.
·         In 1574-75 Bihar and Bengal were conquered from the Afghan Chief Daud. Raja Man Singh of Amber, who as Governor of Bihar conquered Orissa in 1592, was rewarded for his success by being appointed subahdar of Bengal as well.
·         In 1581, Akbar's half brother Muhammad Hakim, the ruler of Kabul, advanced to Lahore. Akbar proceeded to Kabul and forced his half brother to submit, but reinstated him. After the death of Muhammad Hakim in 1586, Kabul was annexed to the Mughal.
·         In 1586, Kashmir too was annexed to the empire, and in 1593, as a preclude to the conquest of Kandahar, the whole of Sindh was annexed.
·         In 1594, Kandahar was conquered from Persian.
·         Of the five offshoots of the Bahmani Empire, Akbar was concerned about Ahmadanagar, Bijpur and Golconda only. In 1591, four Mughal embassies were sent to the Sultans of Khandesh, Bijpur, Golcunda and Ahmadnagar to accept Mughal suzerainty. Of these only Sultan Raja Ali Khan of Khandesh agreed to submit.
·         Ultimately Khandesh, Berar and the annexed portion of Ahmadnagar were combined as the viceroyalty of the Deccan and placed under prince Daniyal.
·         Asirgarh proved to be the last conquest of Akbar’s life. He intended to deal with the kingdoms of Bijapur, Golconda and Bidar, but he had to leave the Deccan for the North where prince Salim had revolted.

Akbar’s Administration:
·         In 1563, he abolished the pilgrim tax and in 1564, he abolished jezyah (tax on non-muslims). The use of beef was forbidden.
·         His Hindu official like Todarmal, Birbal and Man Singh, scholars like Faizi and Abul Fazi and the Bhakti movement of the sixteenth century helped in molding his religious thought.
·         In 1575-76, the empire was divided into twelve subahs (subas) or provinces, whose number increased to fifteen after the conquest of the Deccan. Each subha was subdivided into sarkars and each sarkar into parganas or mahals.
·         After the conquest of Gujarat in 1573-74, the officers were classified into different ranks or mansabs, which led to the growth of the mansabdari system.
·         Foundation of the Ibadat-khana(Hall of Worship) at Fatehpur Sikri. In 1578, he converted the Ibadat-khana into a ‘Parliament of Religious’ and threw it open to Hindus, Jains, Zoroastrias and Christians.
·         The comparative study of different religions of the age led Akbar to formulate an order known as Din-i-Ilahi (Divine Monotheism) in 1582. The basic purpose of the formulation of Din-i-Ilahi was Sul-i-kul or universal harmony which governed all public policies of Akbar.
·         Akbar gave the Mughal India one official language (Persian).
·         In 1582, the whole revenue system was overhauled under the supervision of Todarmal, the revenue minister. The revenue system introduced by him, known as Todarmal bondobust or zabti system, based on classification, measurement of land etc, was a pioneering measure.
·         The same year (1582), Dastur-a-amal or Code of Rules was issued for revenue officials.
·         After his eldest son Salim’s rebellion in 1602, Mughal court got divided into two groups, one favoring the succession of Salim and the other of Salim’s son Khusrau, who was also Akbar’s choice.

·         But shortly before his death in 1605, Akbar himself nominated Salim as his successor who ascended the throne with the title of Jahangir.

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