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 maroc-evasion.info
What distinguishes Babur from other brawling princes is that he is a keen oberver of life and keeps a diary.
In it he vividly describes his triumphs and sorrows, whether riding out with friends at night to attack a walled village or mooning around for unrequited love of a beautiful boy.
Babur's 'throneless times', as he later describes these early years, come to an end in when he captures Kabul. Here, at the age of twenty-one, he is able to establish a settled court and to enjoy the delights of gardening, art and architecture in the Timurid tradition of his family.
With a powerful new Persian dynasty to the west under Ismail I and an aggressive Uzbek presence to the north under Shaibani Khan , Babur's Kabul becomes the main surviving centre of the Timurid tradition. But these same pressures mean that his only chance of expanding is eastwards - into India. Babur feels that he has an inherited claim upon northern India, deriving from Timur's capture of Delhi in , and he makes several profitable raids through the mountain passes into the Punjab.
But his first serious expedition is launched in October Some forty years later but not sooner than that it is evident that Babur's descendants are a new and established dynasty in northern India. 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. Antoni de Montserrat , the Catalan Jesuit who visited his court described him as follows:.
He has broad shoulders, somewhat bandy legs well-suited for horsemanship, and a light brown complexion. He carries his head bent towards the right shoulder.
His forehead is broad and open, his eyes so bright and flashing that they seem like a sea shimmering in the sunlight. His eyelashes are very long. His eyebrows are not strongly marked. His nose is straight and small though not insignificant. His nostrils are widely open as though in derision. Between the left nostril and the upper lip there is a mole.
He shaves his beard but wears a moustache. He limps in his left leg though he has never received an injury there. Akbar was not tall but powerfully built and very agile. He was also noted for various acts of courage. One such incident occurred on his way back from Malwa to Agra when Akbar was 19 years of age.
Akbar rode alone in advance of his escort and was confronted by a tigress who, along with her cubs, came out from the shrubbery across his path. When the tigress charged the emperor, he was alleged to have dispatched the animal with his sword in a solitary blow.
His approaching attendants found the emperor standing quietly by the side of the dead animal. Abul Fazl, and even the hostile critic Badayuni, described him as having a commanding personality. He was notable for his command in battle, and, "like Alexander of Macedon , was always ready to risk his life, regardless of political consequences".
He often plunged on his horse into the flooded river during the rainy seasons and safely crossed it. He rarely indulged in cruelty and is said to have been affectionate towards his relatives. He pardoned his brother Hakim, who was a repented rebel. But on rare occasions, he dealt cruelly with offenders, such as his maternal uncle Muazzam and his foster-brother Adham Khan, who was twice defenestrated for drawing Akbar's wrath.
He is said to have been extremely moderate in his diet. Ain-e-Akbari mentions that during his travels and also while at home, Akbar drank water from the Ganges river, which he called 'the water of immortality'. Special people were stationed at Sorun and later Haridwar to dispatch water, in sealed jars, to wherever he was stationed. Akbar also once visited Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna in the year , and gave permission for four temples to be built by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, which were Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kisore.
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 spoken to, and pointed out that as they grew older, they remained mute. During Akbar's reign, the ongoing process of inter-religious discourse and syncretism resulted in a series of religious attributions to him in terms of positions of assimilation, doubt or uncertainty, which he either assisted himself or left unchallenged.
The diversity of these accounts is attributed to the fact that his reign resulted in the formation of a flexible centralised state accompanied by personal authority and cultural heterogeneity.
It includes vivid and detailed descriptions of his life and times. Navaratnas of Akbar's royal court. It is stated that the book took seven years to be completed and the original manuscripts contained a number of paintings supporting the texts, and all the paintings represented the Mughal school of painting , and work of masters of the imperial workshop, including Basawan , whose use of portraiture in its illustrations was an innovation in Indian art.
Akbar's first wife and chief consort was his cousin, Princess Ruqaiya Sultan Begum ,   the only daughter of his paternal uncle, Prince Hindal Mirza ,  and his wife Sultanam Begum. In , Hindal Mirza died fighting valorously in a battle against Kamran Mirza's forces. She died on 19 January His second wife was the daughter of Abdullah Khan Mughal. Bairam Khan did not approve of this marriage, for Abdullah's sister was married to Akbar's uncle, Prince Kamran Mirza , and so he regarded Abdullah as a partisan of Kamran.
He opposed the match until Nasir-al-mulk made him understand that opposition in such matters was unacceptable.
Nasir-al-mulk arranged an assemblage of pleasure and banquet of joy, and a royal feast was provided. She was at first betrothed to Bairam Khan by Humayun. After Bairam Khan's death in , Akbar married her himself the same year.
She died childless on 2 January The marriage took place when Akbar was on his way back from Ajmer after offering prayers to the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti. Bihari Mal had conveyed to Akbar that he was being harassed by his brother-in-law Sharif-ud-din Mirza the Mughal hakim of Mewat. Akbar insisted that Bihari Mal should submit to him personally, it was also suggested that his daughter should be married to him as a sign of complete submission.
She died on 19 May Akbar had fallen in love with her, and ordered Abdul Wasi to divorced her. Their dynasty was called Din Laqab and had been living for a long time in Chandwar and Jalesar near Agra. She was Akbar's chief wife. His next marriage took place in to the daughter of Miran Mubrak Shah, the ruler of Khandesh. In , he sent presents to the court with a request that his daughter be married by Akbar. Miran's request was acceded and an order was issued. Itimad Khan was sent with Miran's ambassadors, and when he came near the fort of Asir, which was Miran's residence.
Miran welcomed Itimad with honor, and despatched his daughter with Itimad. A large number of nobles accompanied her. The marriage took place in , when Akbar came to this part of the country. Kalyan made a homage to Akbar, and requested that his brother's daughter be married by him. Akbar accepted his proposal, and the marriage was arranged. He also married the daughter of Rawal Har Rai, the ruler of Jaisalmer in The proposal was accepted by Akbar.
Raja Bahgwan Das was despatched on this service. The marriage ceremony took place after Akbar's return from Nagor. I'timad Khan brought with him for Sultan Mahmud an elegant dress of honour, a bejewelled scimitar-belt, a horse with a saddle and reins and four elephants.
Mahmud celebrated the occasion by holding extravagant feasts for fifteen days. On the day of wedding, the festivities reached their zenith and the ulema, saints and nobles were adequately honoured with rewards. Mahmud offered 30, rupees in cash and kind to I'timad Khan and farewelled his daughter with a grand dowry and an impressive entourage.
The gifts of Sultan Mahmud, carried by the delegation were presented to the ladies of the imperial harem. The marriage took place in A great feast was given, and the high officers, and other pillars of the state were present. Akbar had regard to his loyalty and granted his request. The two delivered the lady at Akbar's court where the marriage took place on 12 July His eleventh wife was Bibi Daulat Shad. The marriage took place on 3 November Shams belonged to the great men of the country, and had long cherished this wish.
Najib told Akbar that his uncle had made his daughter a present for him. Akbar accepted his representation and on 3 July he visited Najib Khan's house and married Qazi Isa's daughter. On 3 October , Akbar fell ill with an attack of dysentery possibly from drinking contaminated water from the Ganges river ,  from which he never recovered.
He is believed to have died on or about 27 October , after which his body was buried at a mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra. Seventy-six years later, in , Akbar's great-grandson, Aurangzeb , pursued oppressive policies and gave orders to demolish Hindu temples. They took control of Agra shortly, and ransacked Akbar's tomb.
They plundered and looted all the gold, jewels, silver and carpets. Akbar left a rich legacy both for the Mughal Empire as well as the Indian subcontinent in general. He firmly entrenched the authority of the Mughal Empire in India and beyond, after it had been threatened by the Afghans during his father's reign,  establishing its military and diplomatic superiority. He also introduced several far-sighted social reforms, including prohibiting sati , legalising widow remarriage and raising the age of marriage.
Folk tales revolving around him and Birbal, one of his navratnas , are popular in India. Bhavishya Purana is a minor Purana that depicts the various Hindu holy days and includes a section devoted to the various dynasties that ruled India, dating its oldest portion to CE and newest to the 18th century.
It contains a story about Akbar in which he is compared to the other Mughal rulers. The section called "Akbar Bahshaha Varnan", written in Sanskrit, describes his birth as a " reincarnation " of a sage who immolated himself on seeing the first Mughal ruler Babur, who is described as the "cruel king of Mlecchas Muslims ".
In this text it is stated that Akbar "was a miraculous child" and that he would not follow the previous "violent ways" of the Mughals. Citing Akbar's melding of the disparate 'fiefdoms' of India into the Mughal Empire as well as the lasting legacy of "pluralism and tolerance" that "underlies the values of the modern republic of India", Time magazine included his name in its list of top 25 world leaders.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 16 April This article is about the Mughal emperor. For other uses, see Akbar disambiguation. Akbar practising falconry. Sikandra, Agra.
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Find sources: Ancestors of Akbar 8. Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur, Mughal Emperor  9. Qutlugh Nigar Khanum of Moghulistan  2. Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun, Mughal Emperor  5. Maham Begum  1. Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar, Mughal Emperor 6. Shaikh Ali Akbar Jami  3. Hamida Banu Begum  7. Mah Afroz Begum . However, based on recollections of Humayun's personal attendant Jauhar, historian Vincent Arthur Smith holds that Akbar was born on November 23, the fourteenth day of Sha'aban , which had a full moon and was originally named Badr ud-din "The full moon of religion".
According to Smith, the recorded date of birth was changed at the time of Akbar's circumcision ceremony in March in order to throw off astrologers and sorcerers, and the name accordingly changed to Jalal ud-din "Splendour of Religion" . The Mughal Throne: The Saga of India's Great Emperors. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Retrieved Medieval India: New Delhi: Har-Anand Publications. The Jahangirnama: Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India. Translated by Thackston, Wheeler M. Oxford University Press. She was His Majesty's chief wife. Since she did not have children, when Shahjahan was born His Majesty Arsh-Ashyani entrusted that "unique pearl of the caliphate" to the begam's care, and she undertook to raise the prince. She departed this life at the age of eighty-four. Domesticity and power in the early Mughal world.
Cambridge University Press. Akbar, the greatest Mogul. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 17 July The History of Islamic Political Thought: From the Prophet to the Present. Edinburgh University Press. Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals. Penguin books. Encyclopaedia Iranica. Oxford Reference.
Akbar the Great". Retrieved 4 July Retrieved 5 July Amaryllis Books and Lannoo Dutch. Smith 13 July Akbar, the Great Mogul. Forgotten Books. The library: Humayun Badshah. Akbarnama Volume I. Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans. Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India. Sterling Publishers Pvt.
The empire of the Great Mughals: Sang-E-Meel Pub. Government of Punjab. Archived from the original on Domesticity and Power in the Early Mughal World.
A history of India. The Empire of the Great Mughals: History, Art, and Culture. Reaktion Books. The Mughal Empire. Firearms of the Islamic World. Mughal Warfare: Indian Frontiers and High Roads to Empire, — Penguin Books India. From Sultanat to the Mughals Part I. Tod's Annals of Rajasthan: The Annals of Mewar. Asian Educational Services. The Mughal World. Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics Part Kessinger Publishing.
The Rosen Publishing Group. History of Civilizations of Central Asia: Development in Contrast: From the Sixteenth to the Mid-Nineteenth Century.
A History of Modern India: Anthem Press. Sterling Publishers. Brill's First Encyclopaedia of Islam, —, Volume 4. Iran and the World in the Safavid Age. Bigha was the unit of land measurement and land revenue was paid either in cash or in kind. Akbar on the advice of his Finance Minister Todar Mall, introduced loans against small interest to the farmers and he also granted remission of revenues in case of natural calamities like draughts or floods.
He also issued special instruction to the revenue collectors to be friendly with the farmers. All these reforms greatly increased productivity and revenue of the Mughal Empire, leading to prosperous subjects with abundance of food.
Akbar introduced reforms in judicial system as well and for the first time, Hindu customs and laws were referred to in case of Hindu subjects. The Emperor was the highest authority in Law and the power to give capital punishment rested solely with him.
The major social reform introduced by Akbar was the abolition of the Pilgrimage Tax for Hindus in as well as the Jazia tax imposed on the Hindu subjects.
He discouraged child marriage and encouraged widow remarriage. Akbar was probably the first Islamic ruler in India who sought stable political alliances through matrimony. He strengthened the alliances by welcoming male relatives of his wives as part of his court and bestowing them with important roles in his administration.
Political significance of these alliances was far-reaching for the Mughal Empire in securing strong loyalty of these dynasties. This practice brought the Hindu and Muslim nobilities in close contact securing a better secular environment for the empire.
Akbar and the Uzbeks of Central Asia entered into a treaty of mutual respect under which the Mughals were not to interfere in Badakshan and Balkh regions and the Uzbeks would stay away from Kandahar and Kabul.
His attempt to make alliance with the newly arrived Portuguese tradesman proved futile with the Portuguese refuting his friendly advances. He was in regular correspondence with Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. His contingent of pilgrims to Mecca and Medina were warmly welcomed by the Ottoman Sultan and the Mughal Ottoman trade flourished during his rule. Akber was profoundly religious himself, yet he never sought to enforce his own religious views on anyone; be it prisoners of war, or Hindu wives or the common people in his kingdom.
He gave great importance to choice and abolished discriminatory taxes based on religion. He encouraged building of temples and even churches his empire. Out of reverence for the Hindu members of the Royal Family he banned the cooking of beef in the kitchens. Akbar became a follower of the great Sufi mystic Sheikh Moinuddin Chishti and made several pilgrimages to his shrine at Ajmer. He craved religious unity of his people and with that vision founded the sect Din-i-Ilahi Faith of the Divine.
Din-i-Ilahi was in essence an ethical system that dictated the preferred way of life discarding qualities like lust, slander and pride.
It borrowed heavily from existing religions extracting the best philosophies and forming an amalgamation of virtues to live by. Akbar commissioned the building of several forts and mausoleums during his reign and established a distinct architectural style that has been dubbed as Mughal architecture by connoisseurs.
Akbar was a great patron of art and culture. Although he himself could not read and write, he would appoint people who read to him various topics of art, history, philosophy and religion.
He appreciated intellectual discourse and offered his patronage to several extraordinarily talented people whom he invited to his court.
Together these individuals were referred to as the Nava Ratnas or the Nine Gems. They came from various backgrounds and were revered by the emperor for their special talents.
In , at the age of 63, Akbar fell ill with a serious case of dysentery. He never recovered from it and after three weeks of suffering, he passed away on October 27, at Fatehpur Sikri.
He was buried at Sikandra, Agra. Toggle navigation.