History of Mughal Empire

MUGHAL EMPIRE

Babur

  • Babur was the founder of Mughal Empire in India.
  • His father was a petty chief of 'Fargana' in Central Asia.
  • He was a worthy descendent of Amir Timur, the Turk (male line) and Changiz Khan (female line).
  • His family belonged to the `chagtai' section of the Turkish race and was commonly known as Mughals.
  • He led five punitive expeditions in India from 1519-1525.
  • Taking advantage of the anarchical condition under the Lodhis, Babur marched towards India and defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the first Battle of Panipat in 1526.
  • In this battle he used his famous Tulguma system of warfare to overwhelm his adversary.
  • He defeated Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanwah in 1527.
  • In 1528, he defeated Medini Rai in Chanderi and in 1529 he defeated the Afghans in the Battle of Ghagra.
  • He was buried in Arambagh in Agra but later shifted to Kabul.
  • He wrote his memoir in Turkish called `Tuzuk-i-babri' or Baburnama which was later translated into Persian by Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana.

Humayun

  • Humayun (1530-56) succeeded Babur.
  • His brother Kamran was made Governor of Kabul, Qandhar and Punjab; Hindal was at Alwar and Mewat; Askari at Sambhal; and Mina Sulaiman at Badakshan.
  • He defeated Mohammad Lodhi at Dauraha and laid siege of Chunar Dauraha where Sher Khan (later Sher Shah) offered nominal submission.
  • He built a new city Dinapanah.
  • He was defeated by Sher Shah at Chausa near Buxar in 1539.
  • He again lost to Sher Shah in the Battle of Kannauj.
  • He came back from exile and captured Lahore in 1555 with the help of Bairam Khan. He defeated the Afghans near Sirhind in 1555.
  • He was successful in regaining his crown on 23rd July 1555.
  • He died after falling from the steps of his library in 1556.

Akbar

  • He was born in Amarkot in the palace of Rana Virasaal.
  • He was crowned at Kalanaur at the age of 13 years. Bairam Khan was his regent.
  • He defeated Hemu in the second Battle of Panipat in 1556. Hemu was the commander-in-chief of Mohd. Adil Shah and had adopted the title of 'Vikramaditya'.
  • The period 1556-60 is known as Bairam Khan's regency.
  • Akbar besieged Chunar in 1561. Raja Ramchandra submitted the fort of Kalinga. In 1570, Bikaner and Marwar surrendered to Akbar.
  • In 1576 was fought the famous battle of Haldighati between Akbar and Rana Pratap. Man Singh and Asaf Khan led the Mughal forces in which Mughals won.
  • In 1581, Kabul was taken from Mirza Hakim. Kandhar was incorporated in the Empire in 1595. Khandesh fell in 1593. Despite resistance by Chand Biwi, Ahmadnagar was conquered in 1600. The last campaign of Akbar was against A sirgarh in 1601.
  • Abdur Rahim was given the title of 'Khan-i-Khana' for suppressing the revolt of Gujarat.
  • Birbal died in a campaign against the Yusuf-Zahis.
  • In 1575 he constructed the Ibadat Khana for religious discussions. Purshottam Das (Hindu), Maharaji Rana (Parsi), Harvijaya Sufi (Jain), Monserate an Aquaviva (Christian) participated in the discussions.
  • Akbar read the 'Khutba' composed by Faizi in his own name in 1579.
  • In 1579, the proclamation of `Mazhar' took place. Akbar became the `Imam-i-Adil'. In 1582 the discussions on Ibadat Khana were closed.
  • In 1582 `Din-i-llahr was enunciated.
  • According to Badauni, Akbar wanted to create a new religion. Birbal, Abul Fazl and Faizi joined the Din-i-Ilahi.
  • Abul FazI was murdered by Bir Singh Bundela on the order of Salim.
  • Akbar died after an attack of dysentery. He was buried at Sikandara.

Jahangir 

  • He married Bhagwan Das's daughter Manbai and had a son Khusrau.
  • He revolted against Akbar in 1599. He was crowned at Agra in 1605.
  • In 1611, he married Mehrunissa and gave her the name Nurmahal. Her father Gyas Beg was given the title of 'Itmaduddaulah'.
  • Amar Singh of Mewar submitted in 1615. Malik Ambar was successful in capturing Ahmadnagar from the Mughals. In 1620, Jahangir annexed Kangra.
  • The British visited Machlipatnam during his reign. Captain Hawkins and Throne Roe visited his court.
  • He had a chain of justice hung outside his palace.
  • The fifth Sikh guru Arjun was sentenced to death for his blessing to the rebel Prince Khusrau.
  • Qandhar was occupied from Shah Abbas of Persia in 1622.
  • Jahangir was lover of art, literature and particularly painting.

Shahjahan 

  • Shahjahan (1627-58) succeeded Jahangir. His mother was Jagat Gosain. His childhood name was Khurram. 
  • In 1607, Jahangir had granted him a mansab of 8000 zat.
  • In 1612, he married Arzamand Banu Begum who became famous as Mumtaz Mahal.
  • He was crowned in Agra in 1628.
  • He had to face instant revolt by Khan Jahan Lodhi and the Bundellas under Jujhar Singh.
  • In 1632, he defeated Portuguese near Hugli.
  • In 1636, he annexed Ahmadnagar.
  • In 1652, he sent his son Aurangzeb as Viceroy of Deccan.
  • Shahjahan's reign is described by French traveller Manucci. Peter Mundy described the famine that occurred during Shahjahan's time & the timely measures, taken by the emperor.
  • In 1638, Ali Mardan Khan, the Persian governor of Qandahar surrendered the fort to the Mughal government of Kabul. However it was again lost to the Persians in 1649. This is called the 'permanent loss' of Qandahar.

Aurangzeb 

  • He had to fight a war of succession to gain the throne.
  • After the rumour of death of Shahjahan, Shuja declared himself the King at Rajmahal. He was defeated by Suleiman Shikoh, son of Dara.
  • Aurangzeb and Murad defeated Jaswant Singh and Qasim Khan at Dhara-mat in 1658. They again defeated Dara at Samugarh.
  • Murad was arrested and executed and Aurangzeb crowned himself at Delhi.
  • In 1659, Shuja was defeated at Khajwah by Aurangzeb. Dara was defeated at Deorai.
  • Shahjahan died in 1666. Aurangzeb took the title of 'Alamgir' in 1659.
  • Shaista Khan chastised the Portuguese pirates and annexed the island of Sonadeep and Chittagong. 
  • Aurangzeb received embassies from Sharif of Mecca, King of Persia, Balkh, Bukhara, Bass, and Constantinople, etc.
  • In the eleventh year he discontinued the system of Jharokha darhan and in the twelfth year, the system of weighing the emperor in gold. He also abolished Nauroz.
  • Aurangzeb was called a Darvesh or Zindapir. He also forbade Sati.
  • In 1679, he re-imposed Jaziya.
  • The first anti-imperial reaction took place in the form of Jat rebellion under Gokla in 1679.
  • In 1685, they rose again under Rajaram who plundered Akbar's tomb at Sikandara. Later Churaman also rose in rebellion.
  • The second armed protest took place under the Bundela Prince Chatrasaal.
  • The Satnamis a sect of Hindu devotees of Narnaul and Mewat rose in revolt in 1672.
  • The immediate cause of the revolt was the murder of a Satnami by a Mughal foot soldier.
  • Aurangzeb's Rajput Policy alienated the Rajputs. On the death of Jaswant Singh. Aurangzeb gave the `tika of Jodhpur' to his nephew Inder Singh instead of his posthumous son Ajit Singh. Durgadas Rathore, Rana Raj Singh, Rani Hadi and Ajit Singh rebelled. Akbar the son of Aurangzeb joined Dur-gadas. In 1698, Ajit Singh was recognised as the ruler of Marwar.
  • Aurangzeb's Deccan policy is divided into four phases. Phase I (1658-68) was led by Jai Singh. The Mughals failed to lay siege on Bijapur in 1665 and Jai Singh died in 1667. However, Sholapur was secured by bribery. 
  • Phase II (1668-84) was unsuccessful because of a tripartite alliance between Golconda, Shivaji and Bijapur, in which Madanna and Akanna played a crucial role.
  • Phase Ill saw the capture of Bijapur (1686) and Golconda (1687).
  • Phase IV saw the capture of Sambhaji at Sangameshwar, where he was executed.
  • Aurangzeb died in 1707 in Aurangabad.

Mughal Administration 

  • The Mansabdari system introduced in 1570 was meant to organise the nobility and the army. The Mansabdars were classified into 66 grades but in practice only 33 grades were constituted.
  • Mansabdar meant 'holder of a rank'. There were two ranks. `Zat' fixed the status and standing in the administrative hierarchy while 'Sawa!' fixed the number of troopers held by the Mansabdar.
  • There was three-fold classification of the Mansabdar. A Mansabdar whose zat and sawar rank was equal formed the first class. One whose sawar rank was less than the zat rank but more than half of the latter formed the second class. An officer whose sawar rank was less than half his zat rank formed the third class of Mansabdar.
  • In another form of classification an official who had a zat rank of 500 and below was called a Mansabdar. An official whose zat rank was between 500 and 2500 was called an Amin One whose zat rank was more than 2500 was called Amir-i-umda.
  • Ahadis were gentlemen troopers.
  • Jahangir introduced the Duaspa Sih Aspa system. He reduced the average salary of a sawar.
  • Shahjahan introduced the mouth scale.
  • The `Badshah' or the King was all powerful but he took the advice of his advisers.
  • Wakil: He was the Prime Minister but his power was stripped off by Akbar and he was replaced by Diwan who was the principal revenue advisor.
  • Mir Bakshi: He was the head of the military and intelligence department. He was the head of the military pay and accounts office.
  • Khan-i-Saman: Head of the Imperial household
  • Chief Qazi: Head of the judiciary department
  • Sadr-us-Sadr: He looked after the religious endowments and charities de-partment
  • Muhtasib: He looked into censorship of public morals
  • Mir Atish or Daroga- i-Topkhana: Head of artillery
  • Daroga-i-Dak-Chowki: Head of correspondence department
  • Mir Maal: Lord privy seal
  • Mustaufi : Auditor general
  • Nasir-i-Bayutat: Superintendent of imperial workshop
  • Mushriff: Revenue secretary
  • Mir Bahari : Lord of admirality
  • Mir Barr: Superintendent of forests
  • Waqa-i-Navis: News reporters
  • Mir Arz : In-charge of petitions
  • Mir Manzil: Quartermaster general
  • Mir Tozak: Master of ceremonies
  • Kotwal: He looked after public order and decency in towns
  • Faujdar: In the districts or Sarkar, he maintained law and order
  • Muftis: Expounded Muslim law
  • Mir Adl: Drew up and pronounced judgments
  • Amalguzar: Head of revenue administration in paraganas
  • Bitakchi: Writer or record keeper
  • Khazandhar : Treasurer
  • Shikdar: In-charge of law and order in paraganas
  • Amil: Judicial officer in civil and revenue disputes

Land Revenues

  • At the time of Akbar there were three kinds of land in the country (i) Khalisa or crown land, (ii) Jagir land or one which was enjoyed by nobles who collected land revenue and sent a part to the centre and, (iii) Sayurghal lands which were granted on free tenure.
  • The Mughal land revenue was a tax on crop and not a rent or a land tax.
  • Nasq or Kankut was a system of land revenue collection wherein an esti-mate was made of the produce by the government officials.
  • Muqtai system: It was a fixed revenue demand leased in cash.
  • Todarmal and Muzzaffar Khan Turbti were important revenue officials.
  • Dahsala system: It is also known as Zabti system. This system was adopted by the East India Company in the Ryotwari system. In this system, average produce per bigha of each category of land was ascertained based on past ten years' produce. One third of the average produce per bigha of land in respect of various crops in various categories of land was fixed as state demand. The land revenue was assessed in kind but it was converted to cash based on schedule of prices.
  • Polaj land was one in which two crops were raised every year.
  • Parauti land had to be left fallow for one year.
  • Chachar land was cultivated over every three or four years.
  • Nankar: One tenth of the produce was given as allowance to the zamindar which was called Nankar.
  • Malikana: It was a compensation for imports.

Sher Shah 

  • Childhood name of Sher Shah was Farid.
  • He entered the service of Bahar Khan Lohani, the Afghan Governor of south Bihar, from whom he received the title of Sher Khan.
  • He defeated Humayun in the Battle of Chausa. He adopted the title of Sher Shah and proclaimed himself the emperor of Hindustan.
  • He again defeated Humayun in the Battle of Kannauj or Bilgram.
  • Sher Shah's last campaign was against Kalinjar. He succeeded but died from an explosion in 1545.
  • He was succeeded by his son Islam Shah.
  • Humayun defeated Sikandar Suri and occupied Delhi in 1555.
  • Sher Shah established a highly centralised government. 
  • He divided his empire into 47 Sarkars (districts) which were divided into several Parganas (sub-districts). 
  • He built many Sarais. 
  • He built the Grand Trunk Road from Sonargaon to Attock. 
  • He improved the land revenue system by adopting Zabti-i-har-sal (assessment every year) method of revenue collection, land was measured using `gaz-i-sikandar. A jarib of rope was the standard unit of measurement. 
  • He introduced two documents called patta (the amount each peasant had to pay) and qabuliyat (deed of agreements). 
  • He was the first ruler to introduce silver Rupiya (one rupiya was equal to  64 dams) and gold coin ashrafi. 
  • He built the Purana Qua and his own mausoleum at Sasaram. 
  • Malik Mohammad Jaysi completed his tadmavar during his reign.

Mughal Architecture 

  • Babur had no time to build monuments. However, he built two mosques; one at Sambhal in Rohilkhand; and the other at Kabulikhand in Panipat. A third mosque in the old Lodhi Fort at Agra has also survived.
  • Humayun built his palace Dinpanah and Jamil Masjid.
  • Humayun's tomb was built by his widow Haji Begum. It is the prototype of Taj Mahal with it bulbous double dome.
  • About Akbar, Abul FazI has remarked that he planned splendid edifices and dressed the work of his mind and heart in the garment of stone and day.
  • Fergussan has remarked that Fatehpur Sikri was a reflex of the mind of a great man.
  • He built the Jahangiri Mahal in Agra Fort according to Hindu designs based on Man Mandir.
  • The Jodhabai's Palace, the Diwan-i-am and Diwan-i-khas are Indian in their plan.
  • The Jami Masjid has been described by Fergusson as a romance in stone.
  • The Panch Mahal has the plan of a Buddhist Vihara.
  • He built the forts of Ajmer and Allahabad.
  • He also built Sheikh Salim Chisti's tomb and Mariyam's Palace. He also began to build his own tomb at Sikandara which was completed by Jahangir.
  • During the reign of Jahangir, his wife Nurjahan built her father Itmadud-daullah's tomb in Agra. A new technique borrowed from the Golmandal temple Udaipur, Pietradura was introduced here.
  • Jahangir built the Moti Masjid in Lahore and his own tomb at Shahadra near Lahore.
  • Shahjahan built the fatuous Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaj Ma-hal. its chief architects were Ustad Ahmad Lahori who was given the title of Nadir-ul-Asar, Mir Abdul Karim, Isa Khan and Makkaramat Khan.
  • He constructed the Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-am, Mussamman Burz, Moti Masjid, Shish Mahal, Khas Mahal, Machchi Mahal etc.
  • He built the Red fort with its own Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-am.
  • He got the Peacock throne built by Bebadal Khan on which Amir Khus-rau's couplet 'if there is a Paradise on Earth it is here' was inscribed.
  • He built the Shalimarbagh in Srinagar.
  • Aurangzeb built the Moti Masjid in the Red Fort in Delhi. lie also built the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore and his own tomb in Aurangabad.

Mughal Painting 

  • Mir Sayyied Ali, the pupil of Bihzad of Herat who has been styled the `Raphael of the East' and Khwaja Abdur Samad were in the court of Humayun. Both helped to prepare illustrations to the Dastan-i-amir-Hamza.
  • During Akbar's reign, Abdur Samad, Farukh Beg, Khusrau Quli, Jamshed, Basawan, Ial Kesu, Mukund, Haribans and Daswanth were the prominent painters.
  • Daswani painted the Razam Nama (Persian Mahabharata).
  • Abdul Samad was given the title `Shirnqalam'.
  • In his court in Agra, Reza, Abul Masan of Herat, Mohd. Nadir, Mohd. Murad, Ustad Mansur, Bishan Das, Manhar, Goverdhan, etc. flourished.
  • Under him miniature painting developed. Painting also came to be influenced by the Europeans.
  • Ustad Mansur specialised in animals, while Bishan Das was a master of portraits.
  • Use of halo or divine lights began under Jahangir.
  • Shahjahan's court had painters like Mohd. Qadir, Mir Hasan, Anup Chitram, Kalyan Das, Chintamani, Mohd. Nadir, etc.
  • Dara Shikoh was a patron of arts as is proved by his album now preserved in India office.
  • Aurangzeb's age saw a decline of paintings. He had many paintings defaced.