The Mugals

BABUR (1484-1530)

    • Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur descended from his father’s side in the fifth generation from Timur, and through his mother in the 15th generation from chenghiz Khan.
    • He was invited to attack India by Daulat Khan Lodi, Subedar of Punjab; Ibrahim Lodi’s uncle Alam khan Lodi and Rana Sanga.
    • He was successful in his fifth mission in the Battle of Panipat 20th April 1526, he finally defeated Ibrahim Lodhi.  
    • Babur was the first one to entitle himself as the ‘padshah’.
    • Wrote an autobiography, “Tuzuk-i-Babri” (Memoirs of Babur). Persian translation known as ‘Babarnamah’.
    • Used gunpowder in war for the first time at Bhira in 1518-19 and later at Sialkot in 1520-21.
    • Established a tradition of gardens with running water.
    • Died in Agra but buried later in Kabul in the terrace of a garden without any dome, as per his wish.
    • He patronised Naqshbandi Sufi Order. 
    • Battles fought:
    • Battle of Panipat (1526): Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi.
    • Battle of khanwa (1527): Babur defeated Rana Sanga.
    • Battle of Chanderi (1528): Babur defeated Medini Rai.


HUMAYUN (1530-40; 155-56)

    • Humayun was born to Mahin Begum and Babur.  
    • The throne inherited by Humayun was not a bed of roses. Babar practically had no time to consolidate his position and authority.  
    • He died before stabilizing the whole country. He did a blunder by dividing his empire among his three half brothers-Kamran, Hindal and Askari.
    • He built Dinpanah at Delhi as his second capital.
    • He defeated the Afghan forces at Daurah in 1532.
    • He faced formidable opponent in the Afgan, Sher Khan (shah) who in the successive battles of Chausa and kannauj defeated Huamayun and forced him to flee India.
    • Humayun saw the death of Sher Shah as an opportunity to regain the throne.  
    • Humayun had conquered Kandahar and re-established his control over Kabul with the help of the Safavid king of Persia. He could now use Kabul as his base for campaigns into India.
    • His sister, Gulbadan Begum, wrote his biography ‘Humayunama’ in Persian.
    • Humayun died while coming down the stairs of his library in 1556.


SHER SHAH (1540-1545)

    • He was born to Hasan (the Jagirdar of kwaspur, Sahasram and Hajipur Tanda) as Farid            Ibrahim Lodi transferred his father’s jagir to him in 1527-28.  
    • He joined Babur’s service and then returned to Bihar as deputy governor and guardian of the minor king Jalal Khan Lohani.  
    • He aided Mahmud Lodi at Ghagra.  
    • In 1530, he usurps throne as hazarat-i-aia.  
    • He gained Chinar by marrying the widow lad Malika.  
    • Humayun besieged Chunar again in 1539, and captured Chausa.  

He assumed the title Sher Shah as emperor; in 1540.  

    • Sultan Muhammad gave him the title ‘Sher Shah’ for his bravery.
    • He annexed kannauj and then Lahore.
    • He died in 1545 while conquering Kalinjar.

AKBAR (1556-1604)

    • Akbar was 14 years old when he was crowned at Kalanpur in 1556 but he could consolidate his position only after the second battle of Panipat (5th November, 1556), fought against Muhammad Adil Sur’s wazir-Vikramaditya (Hemu) Akbar ruled under Bairam khan’s regency during 1556-60.
    • Akbar’s erliest campaigns were against Durgwati of Garh Katanga (Gond and Rajput principalities) followed by chittor (Rana Udai Singh) and Ranathambor (Rao Surjan Hada).
    • The Mughals captured the two powerful forts of Rajasthan-Ranthambor and cittor (guarded by Jaimal).
    • Akbar’s Deccan campaign began with the siege of Ahmednagar (defended by Chand Bibi). Ahmednagar soon revived itself under the leadership of Malik Amber.  
    • Akbar’s last campaign was against Asirgarh, resulting in the annexation of kahndesh (1601). Akbar conquered kandhar in 1595.
    • Bharmal of Amber followed by Jaisalmer and Bikaner established marital relationships with Akbar.
    • Bhagwan Das (5000 Zat) and Man Singh (7000 Zat) enjoyed a privileged position in the Mughal court.
    • Akbar faced a rebellion in Gujrat in 1572, which was crushed and following which he built the Buland Darwaza at Fathepur Sikri.
    • Abolished the practice of enslaving of war prisoners (1562).
    • Abolished pilgrims tax (1563).
    • Abolished Jizya (1564).
    • Concluded first matrimonial alliance with the Rajput King Bharmal, ruler of Amber

(Jaipur). He was first Rajput King to accept the suzerainty of Akbar. (1562)

    • Fought battle of Haldighati against Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar in 1576.
    • Learnt the principles of ‘Suleh-i-kul’ from his most notable tutor Mir Abdul Latif.
    • Erected “Ibadat Khana” (House of Worship) at Fatehpur Sikri (1575), to hold discussions on religious issues. 
    • Issued “Mahzar” (1579). 
    • Promulgated Din-i-llahi also known as Tauhid-i-llahi (Divine monotheism) in 1582. Birbal was the first Hindu to join it.
    • Some prominent Christian missionaries who visited the court of Akbar were Ridolfo Aquaviva, Antonio Monserrate and Jerome Xavier.
    • He was Burried at Sikandara near Agra.
    • Modified the Islamic basis of sovereignty and lay down the principle that the king was the father of all his subjects.
    • Found of horticulture.
    • Constructed three great forts Agra fort and Lahore fort.
    • The buildings of Akbar were mainly made up of red stone. 
    • Founded a new capital city, Fatehpur Sikri (1572-80) which contains edifices of high quality like Buland Darwaja, Diwan-i-am, Dowam-i-Khas, Turkish Sultan’s Palace, and Panch Mahal etc. Agra and Lahore also served as his capital cities.

Akbar designed his tomb himself that was constructed by Jehangir at Sikandara.

    • Some of the great musicians like Tansen, Baba Ramdas, and Baba Haridas adorned his court.
    • The mode of calligraphy favourite to Akbar was ‘Nastaliq’.
    • Some of the prominent Painters who were in the court of Akbar were Khwaja Abdus Samad, Dasawatnh & Basawan.
    • Made Persian translation of Mahabharata known as “Razm-Nama”, also Ramayana 

          Translated to Persian.

    • Muzaffar Khan, Todarmal & Shah Mansur were three most notable wazir in his time.
    • Compiled a code of education regulations.
    • Prohibited polygamy.
    • Assumed the title of Zill-i-llahi (Shadow of God).
    • Introduced Gaz-i-llahi, of 41 digits a new yard for land measurement (33 inches in length) in 1588. 
    • In 1573 introduced Karori experiment.
    • In 1581 introduced Dah-sala system (important role of Todar Mal)
    • Akbar’s empire was divided into 12 subas (1575). Later the number rose to 15 (1605).


JAHANGIR (1605-1627)


    • His wife, Nurjahan (daughter of Itimad-Daulah) exercised tremendous influence over the state affairs. She was made the official Badshah Begum.
    • Jahangir banned Slaughter of animals on Sunday and Thursday.
    • He established Zanjir-i-Adal at Agra Fort for the seekers of royal justice.
    • Jahangir also married Jodha Bai of Marwar, and Kachchwaha princes.
    • His son Khusrau, who received patronage of Guru Arjun Dev, revolted against Jahangir.  
    • The fifth Sikh guru Arjun Dev was sentenced to death for his blessings to the rebel price.
    • Khurram (Shahjahan) supported by his father in law, Asaf khan also revolted against Jahangir but soon reconciled.
    • His military general, Mahabat Khan revolted and abducted him but Nurjahan saved him due to her diplomatic efforts.
    • He was a well read and wrote his memories Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri in Persian.
    • On the refusal to pay the fine, Guru Arjun’s son, Hargovind was imprisoned in the fort of Gwalior.
    • Jahangir faced an ‘ormidable opponent in Malik Amber (an Abyssinian) in his expedition to Ahmednagar.  
    • Shahjahan’s military capacity was proved during the expeditions undertaken during Jahangir’s reign and Ahamednagar was annexed (1601).
    • John Hawkins resided at Agra for two years (1609-11). He was given the Mansab of 400.
    • Sir Thomas Roe (1615-18) was ambassador of Tames I.


SHAJAHAN (1628-58)


    • In 1612, he married Arzumand Banu Begun, who became famous as Mumtaj Mahal.
    • In 1632, he defeated Potuguese and annexed Ahmednagar in 1636.
    • French traveller Bernier and Tavernier and the Italian traveller Manuchi describe Shajahan’s reign. Perer mundi described the famine that occurred during Shajahan’s time.

Shahjahan succeeded to the throne on the death of Jahangir in 1628. The first thing that he had to face was revolts in Bundelkhand (Jujhar Singh Bundela of Orchcha) and the Deccan 9Khan-i-jahan Lodi, the Governor of Deccan).

    • He sent his armies to Balkand Badakshan in Central Asia I order to secure the defence of N-W India. Shahjahan who had recovered kandhar (1649) despite three compaigns under price Murad, Aurangzeb and Dara.
    • The war of succession took a notorious turn during Shajahan’s reign and his two daughter’s Jahan Ara and Roshan Ara supported his two sons, Dara and Aurangzeb respectively.



    • He was the eldest son of Shahjahan and his most favoured nominee for the throne.
    • He was liberal and possessed moderate views.
    • He was a devotee of Qadiri order of Sufis.
    • He was disciple of Miyan Mir and then his successor Mulla Shah Badakshi   He received the title of ‘Shahi-i-Buland Iqbal’ from Shahjehan.
    • He developed the Persian version of the Upainshads.
    • His famous works are :
      • Safinat-ul-Auliya: Biographies of Sufi saints.
      • Sakinat-ul-Auliya: Biographies of his two preceptors Miyan mir & Mullah Shah.
      • Hasanat-ul-Arifin: Contains his religious ideas.
      • Majma-ul-Baharain: Contains his religious ideas.
      • Sirr-i-Akbar: Translation of 52 upanishads.
      • Risala-i-Haq Nama



    • He defeated Dara (1659).
    • Took the title of ‘Alamgir’ in 1659.
    • Called as ‘Zinda pir’, the living saint.
    • In 1662, Mir Jumla, Aurangjeb’s ablest general led the expedition against Ahoms.
    • He forbade inscription of Kama on the coins.
    • He ended the celebration of Navroz festival.
    • Mutasib (Regulator of moral conduct) were appointed.
    • He forbade music in the court.
    • He ended Jharokha Darshan, use of almanacs and weighing of the emperor.
    • Aurangzeb compiled Fatwa-i-Alamgiri.
    • Jaziya was re-introduced. However, the Hindu mansabdars maintained their high proportion during his rule.

The Mughal conquests reached a climaz during his reign, as Bijapur and Golconda were annexed in 1686 and 1687 respectively