Babur (1526-1530)

• Founder of the Mughal Empire in India.
• His original name was Zahiruddin Muhammad
• He was related to Timur from his father‘s side and to Chengiz Khan through his mother.
• Babur succeeded his father Umar Shaikh Mirza as the ruler of Farghana.
• Took interest in conquering India and launched four expeditions between 1519 and 1523

Military Conquests

• He occupied Lahore easily by defeating its governor, Daulat Khan Lodi
• He proceeded against Delhi where Ibrahim Lodi was the Sultan.
• On 21st April 1526 the first Battle of Panipat took place between Babur and Ibrahim Lodi,
• Babur‘s success was due his cavalry and artillery
• Babur occupied Delhi and sent his son Humayun to seize Agra. Babur proclaimed himself as
―Emperor of Hindustan‖

Rana Sangha
• His subsequent victories over Rana Sangha and the Afghans secured his position as the ruler of
• Rana Sangha of Mewar was a great Rajput warrior.
• He marched against Babur and in the Battle of Khanua (near Agra) held in 1527
• Babur won a decisive victory over him. Babur assumed the title Ghazi
In 1528, Babur captured Chanderi from another Rajput ruler Medini Rai.

• In the next year, Babur defeated the Afghans in the Battle of Gogra in Bihar.
• Babur died at Agra in 1530 at the age of forty seven

Estimate of Babur

• Babur was a great statesman and a man of solid achievements
• He was also a great scholar in Arabic and Persian languages.
• Turki was his mother tongue
• He wrote his memoirs, Tuzuk-i-Baburiin Turki language.

Humayun (1530-1540)

• Humayun was the eldest son of Babur.
• Humayun means ―fortune‖ but he remained the most unfortunate ruler of the Mughal Empire
• Humayun had three brothers, Kamran, Askari and Hindal
• Humayun divided the empire among his brothers but this proved to be a great blunder on his part.
• Kamran was given Kabul and Kandahar.
• Sambhal and Alwar were given to Askari and Hindal
• Humayun captured Gujarat from Bahadur Shah and appointed Askari as its governor
• But soon Bahadur Shah recovered Gujarat from Askari who fled from there
• Sher Khan became powerful in the east
• Humayun marched against him and in the Battle of Chausa, held in 1539,
• Sher Khan destroyed the Mughal army and Humayun escaped from there.
• Humayun reached Agra to negotiate with his brothers.
• Humayun was forced to fight with Sher Khan alone in the Battle of Bilgram in 1540
• This battle was also known as Battle of Kanauj.
• After losing his kingdom, Humayun became an exile for the next fifteen years

Sur Interregnum (1540-1555)

• The founder of the Sur dynasty was Sher Shah,
• Whose original name was Farid.
• He was the son of Hasan Khan, a jagirdar of Sasaram in Bihar
• Farid served under the Afghan ruler of Bihar, Who gave him the title Sher Khan for his bravery.

Sher Shah Sur (1540-1545)

1. His conquests include Punjab, Malwa, Sind, Multan and Bundelkhand
2. His empire consisted of the whole of North India except Assam, Nepal, Kashmir and Gujarat

S h er S h ah ’s Ad min istration

o Although his rule lasted for five years, he organized a brilliant administrative system.
o The king was assisted by four important ministers:
o Diwan –i- Wizarat – also called as Wazir- in charge of Revenue and Finance
o Diwan-i-Ariz– in charge of Army
o Diwan-i-Rasalat- Foreign Minister
o Diwan-i-Insha- Minister for Communications
o Sher Shah‘s empire was divided into forty seven sarkars
o Each sarkarwas divided into several parganas
o Shiqdar (military officer),

o Amin (land revenue)
o Fotedar (treasurer)
o Karkuns (accountants)
o There were also many administrative units called iqtas
o The land revenue administration was well organized under Sher Shah
o Land survey was carefully done.
o All cultivable lands were classified into three classes – good, middle and bad.
o The state‘s share was one third of the average produce and it was paid in cash or crop.
o Sher Shah introduced new silver coins called “Dam” and they were in circulation till 1835.
o Police was efficiently reorganized and crime was less during his regime.
o Shah borrowed many ideas like the branding of horses from Alauddin Khalji
o Sher Shah had also improved the communications by laying four important highways.

1. Sonargaon to Sind

2. Agra to Burhampur

3. Jodhpur to Chittor

4. Lahore to Multan
Estimate of Sher Shah

 Sher Shah remained a pious Muslim and generally tolerant towards other religions.
 He employed Hindus in important offices
 Now the old fort called Purana Qila and its mosque is alone surviving
 He also built a Mausoleum at Sasaram, which is considered as one of the master pieces of
Indian architecture.
 Malik Muhammad Jayasi wrote the famous Hindi work Padmavat during his reign
 After Sher Shah‘s death in 1545 his successors ruled till 1555 when Humayun reconquered India

Humayun (1555-1556)
• When Humayun left India in 1540, he married Hamida Banu Begum on his way to Sind.
• When they stayed in Amorkot, a Hindu kingdom ruled by Rana Prasad, Akbar was born in 1542.
• Humayun then proceeded to Iran and sought help from its ruler.
• He later defeated his brothers, Kamran and Askari.
• In 1555, Humayun defeated the Afghans and recovered the Mughal throne
• After six months, he died in 1556 due to his fall from the staircase of his library.
• Although Humayun was not a good General and warrior, he was kind and generous.
• He also loved painting and wrote poetry in Persian language

Akbar (1556-1605)

 His position was dangerous because Delhi was seized by the Afghans.
 In the second Battle of Panipat in 1556, Hemu was almost on the point of victory. But an arrow pierced his eye and he became unconscious.
 His army fled and the fortune favoured Akbar. The Mughal victory was decisive
 During the first five years of Akbar‘s reign, Bairam Khan acted as his regent.
 After five years he was removed by Akbar due to court intrigues and sent to Mecca
 Akbar due to court intrigues and sent to Mecca. But on his way Bairam was killed by an Afghan
 Akbar‘s military conquests were extensive

Relations with Rajputs

• He married the Rajput princess, the daughter of Raja Bharamal.
• Rajputs served the Mughals for four generations
• Many of them rose to the positions of military generals
• Raja Bhagawan Das and Raja Man Singh were given senior positions in the administration by
• One by one, all Rajput states submitted to Akbar
• But the Ranas of Mewar continued to defy despite several defeats.
• In the Battle of Haldighati, Rana Pratap Singh was severely defeated by the Mughal army led by Man Singh in 1576
• Following the defeat of Mewar, most of the leading Rajput rulers had accepted Akbar‘s
• Akbar‘s Rajput policy was combined with a broad religious toleration.
• He abolished the pilgrim tax and later the jiziya.
• The alliance secured to the Mughals the services of the bravest warriors.
• On the other hand it ensured peace in Rajasthan and a number of Rajputs who joined the
Mughal service rose to important positions

Religious Policy

 Akbar rose to fame in the pages of history due to his religious policy.
 Akbar was a pious Muslim. Soon after marrying Jodh Bai of Amber, he abolished the pilgrim tax
 In 1562, he abolished jiziya
 He allowed his Hindu wives to worship their own gods.
 In 1575, he ordered for the construction of Ibadat Khana (House of worship) at his new capital
Fatepur Sikri
 Akbar invited learned scholars from all religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism
 He disliked the interference of the Muslim Ulemas in political matters.
 In 1579, he issued the ―Infallibility Decree‖ by which he asserted his religious powers
 In 1582, he promulgated a new religion called Din Ilahi or Divine Faith
 It believes in one God
 It contained good points of all religions
 Its basis was rational.
 It upholds no dogma.
 It was aimed at bridging the gulf that separated different religions.
 However, his new faith proved to be a failure
 It fizzled out after his death
 It had only fifteen followers including Birbal. Akbar did not compel anyone to his new faith

Land Revenue Administration

1. Akbar made some experiments in the land revenue administration with the help of Raja Todar
2. The land revenue system of Akbar was called Zabti or Bandobast system.
3. It was known as Dahsala System which was completed in 1580.
4. The revenue was fixed on the average yield of land assessed on the basis of past ten years
5. The land was also divided into four categories
I. Polaj (cultivated every year)

II. Parauti (once in two years),
III. Chachar (once in three or four years) IV. Banjar (once in five or more years)
V. Payment of revenue was made generally in cash.
Mansabdari System

• Akbar introduced the Mansabdari system in his administration
• Under this system every officer was assigned a rank (mansab)
• Lowest rank was 10 and the highest was 5000 for the nobles
• Princes of royal blood received even higher ranks.
• The ranks were divided into two – zat and sawar.
• Zat means personal and it fixed the personal status of a person.
• Sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen of a person who was required to maintain
• Every sawar had to maintain at least two horses
• All appointments and promotions as well as dismissals were directly made by the emperor.

Jahangir (1605-1627)

1. When Akbar died, Prince Salim succeeded with the title Jahangir (Conqueror of World) in
2. Son Khusrau revolted but was defeated and imprisoned.
3. One of his supporters, Guru Arjun, the fifth Sikh Guru, was beheaded.

Nur Jahan

1. In 1611, Jahangir married Mehrunnisa who was known as Nur Jahan (Light of World).
2. N ur Jahan’s el der brother Asaf Khan was appointed as Khan-i-Saman, a post reserved for the nobles.
3. In 1612, Asaf Khan’s daughter, Arjumand Banu Begum (later known as Mumtaj), married
Jahangir‘s third son, prince Khurram (later Shah Jahan).

Shah Jahan (1627-1658)

1. Shah Jahan launched a prolonged campaign in the northwest frontier to recover Kandahar and other ancestral lands.
2. His Deccan policy was more successful.
3. He defeated the forces of Ahmadnagar and annexed it
4. Both Bijapur and Golkonda signed a treaty with the emperor
5. Shah Jahan carved four Mughal provinces in the Deccan – Khandesh, Berar, Telungana and Daulatabad

War of Succession

 The last years of Shah Jahan‘s reign were clouded by a bitter war of succession among his four
 Dara Shikoh (crown prince)
 Shuja (governor of Bengal)
 Aurangazeb (governor of Deccan)
 Murad Baksh (governor of Malwa and Gujarat)
 Aurangazeb emerged victorious in this struggle
 He entered the Agra fort after defeating Dara
 He forced Shah Jahan to surrender

 Shah Jahan was confined to the female apartments in the Agra fort and strictly put under vigil
 But he was not ill-treated.
 Shah Jahan lived for eight long years lovingly nursed by his daughter Jahanara

Aurangazeb (1658-1707)

• Aurangazeb was one of the ablest of the Mughal kings
• He assumed the title Alamgir, World Conqueror.
• His military campaigns in his first ten years of reign were a great success.
• He faced serious difficulties in the latter part of his reign.
• The Jats and Satnamis and also the Sikhs revolted against him.
• These revolts were induced by his harsh religious policy
• The Deccan policy of the Mughals started from the reign of Akbar,
• Aurangazeb, as governor of Deccan, followed an aggressive Deccan policy.
• When he became the Mughal emperor for the first twenty five years, he concentrated on the northwest frontier
• At that time, the Maratha ruler, Sivaji carved out an independent Maratha kingdom in the territories of north and south Konkan
• To contain the spread of the Marathas, Aurangazeb decided to invade Bijapur and Golkonda.
• He defeated Sikandar Shah of Bijapur and annexed his kingdom.
• Then, he proceeded against Golkonda and eliminated the Kutb Shahi dynasty.
• The destruction of the Deccan kingdoms was a political blunder on the part of Aurangazeb.
• The barrier between the Mughals and the Marathas was removed and there ensued a direct confrontation between them.
• According to J.N. Sarkar, the Deccan ulcer ruined Aurangazeb.

Religious Policy

 His ideal was to transform India into an Islamic state.
 He created a separate department to enforce moral codes under a high-powered officer called
o Muhtasib.
 Drinking was prohibited. Cultivation and use of bhang and other drugs were banned
 Aurangazeb forbade music in the Mughal court
 He discontinued the practice of Jarokhadarshan
 He also discontinued the celebration of Dasarah and royal astronomers and astrologers were also dismissed from service
 When he began a policy of destroying Hindu temples.
 The celebrated temples at Mathura and Benares were reduced to ruins.
 In 1679, he reimposed jiziya and pilgrim tax.
 The celebration of Muharram was stopped
 His invasions against the Deccan sultanates were partly due to his hatred of the Shia faith
 He was also against the Sikhs and he executed the ninth Sikh Guru Tej Bahadur.
 His religious policy was responsible for turning the Rajputs, the Marathas and Sikhs into the
enemies of Mughal Empire
 It had also resulted in the rebellions of the Jats of Mathura and the Satnamis of Mewar.
 Therefore, Aurangazeb was held responsible for the decline of the Mughal Empire.

Personality and Character of Aurangazeb

• In his private life, Aurangazeb was industrious and disciplined
• He was very simple in food and dress

• He earned money for his personal expenses by copying Quran and selling those copies.
• He did not consume wine.
• He was learned and proficient in Arabic and Persian languages.
• He was devoted to his religion and conducted prayers five times a day.
• He strictly observed the Ramzan fasting.
• He misunderstood the true nature of the Maratha movement and antagonized them
• Also, he failed to solve the Maratha problem and left an open sore
• His policy towards Shia Deccan Sultanates also proved to be a wrong policy.
• His religious policy was also not successful. Aurangazeb was an orthodox Sunni Muslim.
• His antagonistic policies towards non-Muslims did not help him to rally the Muslims to his side.
• On the other hand it had strengthened political enemies of the Mughal Empire

Causes for the Downfall of the Mughals

 The Mughal Empire declined rapidly after the death of Aurangazeb. The Mughal court became the scene of factions among the nobles.
 The weakness of the empire was exposed when Nadir Shah imprisoned the Mughal
Emperor and looted Delhi in 1739.
 The religious and Deccan policies of Aurangazeb contributed to its decline.
 The weak successors and demoralization of the Mughal army also paved the way for it
 The financial difficulties due to continuous wars led to the decline.
 The neglect of the sea power by the Mughals was felt when the Europeans began to settle in
 Further, the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali weakened the Mughal state.

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