Mughal Empire of India : Babur to Aurangazeb

Mughal empirePolitical history of Mughal Empire

  • Babur (1526 – 1530)

  • Humayun (1530 – 40 & 1555 – 1556)

  • Akbar (1556 – 1605)

  • Jahangir (1605 – 1627)

  • Shahjahan (1628 – 1658)

  • Aurangzeb Alamgir (1658 – 1707)

Mughal empire founder BaburBabur (1526 – 1530)

  • Descended of Timur on his father’s side and Chengiz Khan on his mother’s side.

  • Invited to attack India by Daulat Khan Lodhi (Subedar of Punjab), Alam Khan (uncle of Ibrahim Lodhi) and Rana Sanga of Mewar.

  • Founder of Mughal dynasty.

Important Battles Fought By Babur in India

Battle Of Panipat (1526) : He killed Ibrahim Lodhi & occupied Delhi.

Battle of Khanwa (1527) : He defeated Rana Sanga of Mewar & Assumed the title Ghazi”.

Battle of Chanderi (1528) : He defeated Medini Rai & was the first to entitle himself as the ‘Padshah’.

Battle of Ghaghra (1529) : He fought against the Allied forces of Afghans in Bihar and Bengal & Finally Sultan Nusrat Shah of Bengal faced crushing defeat.

  • He himself wrote his autobiography in “Tuzuk – i – Baburi in Turkish language & died in 1530.
  • He built two mosques: one at Kabulibagh in Panipat and the other at Sambhal in Rohilkhand.

HumayunHumayun (1530 – 40 & 1555 – 56)

  • He did a blunder by dividing his empire among his three brothers – Kamran, Hindal and Askari.

  • He was attacked by Sher Shah at Chausa (Battle of Chausa) in 1539, but escaped.

  • But in the Battle of Kannauj (also called Battle of Bilgram) in 1540, he was defeated by Sher Shah and had to flee.

  • First fled to Sindh, which was under Shah Hussain Arghuna. In 1545, he went to the Persian emperor’s court.

  • After falling of Sur empire in 1555, he regained his throne under his most faithful general Bairam Khan.

  • Died in 1556, due to a fall from his library Sher Mandal, Delhi.

  • Gulbadan Begum, his halfsister, wrote Humayun nama. Built Dinpanah at Delhi as his second capital.

Akbar the Great (1556 – 1605)

  • Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar was the son of Humayun and Hamida Banu Begam.Akbar the Great

  • Death of his father placed the responsibility of the kingdom over the younger shoulders of Akbar.

  • He was as under the protection of Bairam Khan up to 1556-60 & crowned at Kalanaur at the age of 13 years.

  • Bairam Khan, became the Wakil of the kingdom with the title of Khan-i-Khana & gathered the Mughal forces.

Second Battle of Panipat 1556

  • Bairam Khan represented him in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 against Hemu Vikramaditya.
  • On 5th November 1556 AD, the second battle of Panipat was fought between Hemu & Akbar’s general Bairam Khan.
  • It is believed that Hemu was on the winning track but suddenly a sharp arrow pricked his eye and came out his back head. Hemu became unconscious and fell on the battle ground.
  • Dead body of Himu was brought to Akbar’s tent and he was beheaded by Bairam Khan after Akbar refused to do it.

Battle of Haldighati – 1576

  • On 18th Jun 1576 AD, the battle of Haldighat fought between Maharana Pratap & Man Singh at Haldighati.
  • Rana Pratap and his horse chetak sustained several injuries & Pratap escaped from the battle of Haldighati.
  • Finally Mughals under the leadership of Raja Man singh defeated Rana Pratap of Mewar.
Other Political Campaigns
  • Two powerful forts of Rajasthan: Ranthambor & Chittor (gaurded by Jaimal) were captured by the Mughals.
  • His Deccan campaign began with the siege of Ahmednagar (defended by Chand Bibi).
  • He faced a rebellion in Gujrat in 1572, which was crushed & following which he built the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • His last campaign was against Asirgarh, resulting in the annexation of Khandesh (1601).

Land Revenue system

  • His Land Revenue System was known as Todar Mal Bandobast or Zabti System.
  • 3 salient features of Zabti system were – measurement of land, classification of land and fixation of rates.
  • Raja Todar Mal, now included some more features like…..
  • Measurement of land
  • Revenue fixed on average yield of last 10 years
  • Land divided into 4 categories viz.
Polaj Cultivated every year
Parauti Cultivated every 2 years
Chachar Cultivated every 3 – 4 years
Banjar Cultivated every 5 years

Mansabdari system

  • Introduced to organise the nobility as well as the army according to ranks (Mansab).
  • Lowest officer get 10 coins & Nobles get Up to 5000 coins as per their services
  • In this system there were 2 ranks i.e

Zat      → fixed the status & standing in the administrative hierarchy

Sawar   → fixed the no. of troopers held by the Mansabdar. It wasn’t a hereditary system.

Akbar’s navratnas

Abdul Rahim Know for Dohas; translated Babarnama into Turki
Abdul Fazal Known for Akbarnama and Ain-i-Akbari.
Birbal Known for his humour and wits; original name Mahes Dass.
Faizi Credited with the translation of Lellawati into Persian.
Hamim Human A close friend of Akbar; Chief of Royal School or Pathasala.
Man Singh A Rajput general; helped in the Battle of Halidghati.
Shaikh Mubarak A sufi; brain behind Akbar’s Mahzar.
Tansen Court singer & known as sangeet samrat
Todar Mal Known for land revenue policy & adopted by Sher Shah & Akbar

Other facts

  • Ralph Fitch (1585) was the first Englishman to visit Akbar’s court.

  • Abolished Jiziya tax & pilgrimage tax.

  • He also founded a religion called Din-i-Illahi & Birbal was the only Hindu to join on this religion.

JahangirJahangir (1605 – 1627)

  • Original name was Salim, assumed the title of Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir (Conqueror of the world) & ascended the throne.

  • Guru Arjun Dev (5th Sikh guru) was executed after 5 days of torture because of his help in Khusro’s revolt,

  • His greatest failure was the loss of Kandahar to Persia in 1622.

  • Most important event in Jahangir’s life was his marriage to Mehrunisa, the widow of Sher Afghani in 1611.

  • And conferred title of Nur Jahan on her (Light of the world).

  • She had great influence on Jahangir’s life & was given the status of Padshah Begum.

  • Even the coins were struck in her name and all royal farmans beared her name.

  • Captain Hawkins (1608 – 11) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615 – 1619) visited his court.

  • Due to the efforts of Sir Thomas Roe English factories were established at Surat & some other places.

  • Pietra Valle, famous Italian traveler came during his reign.

  • Tobacco growing started during his reign. It was brought by the Portuguese.

ShahjahanShahjahan (1628 – 1658)

  • His policy of annexing the Deccan was quite successful.

  • Ahmednagar was annexed while Bijapur & Golconda accepted his over-lordship.

  • He kicked out the Portuguese from Hughli, as they were abusing their trading privileges.

  • In 1639, he secured Kandahar & immediately fortified it.

  • But Persia seized Kandahar from the Mughals in 1649. Shahjahan sent three expeditions to recover Kandahar, but all failed.

  • Made his son, Aurangzeb, the Viceroy of Deccan in 1636. Aurangzeb built an effective Revenue System in Deccan.

  • In war of succession among his four sons; Dara, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad.

  • Aurangzeb took control and he was made the prisoner in the Agra Fort, being looked after by his daughter, Jahan Ara, till his death in 1666.

  • His reign is considered the ‘Golden Age of the Mughal Empire’.

  • Two Frenchmen, Bernier and Tavernier, and an Italian adventurer Manucci, visited during his reign.

AurangazebAurangzeb Alamgir (1658 – 1707)

  • After defeating Dara in the Battle of Samugarh, crowned himself with the title of ‘Alamgir’ (conqueror of the world).

  • In 1675, he ordered the arrest & execution of ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.

  • In 1679, he reimposed jaziyah.

  • Sati, nauraj, singing in the court, & the practice of ‘jharokha-darshan’ were banned.

  • Also prohibited inscription of Kalima (the Muslim credo) on the coins.
  • Compiled Fatwa-i-Alamgiri.
  • Mutasib (regulator of moral conduct) was appointed.
  • He was called a ‘Darvesh’ or a ‘Zinda Pir’ means “Living Saint”
  • Very simple in dressing & food
  • Earned money for personal expenses by copying Quran & making caps.
  • Did not consume wine, learned & proficient in Arabic & Persian language
  • Lover of books, strict follower of Islam
  • Daily Namaz for 5 times & strictly observed Ramzan
  • In 1662, Mir Jumta, Aurangzeb’s ablest general, led the expedition against Ahoms.
  • Mughul conquest reached a climax during his reign, as Bijapur and Golconda were annexed in 1686 and 1687 respectively.

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