Mughal Empire & Sur Dynasty

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mughal empire history flag

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Babur (1526-30)

  • Mughals belonged to a branch of the Turks called Chagatai, named after the second son of Genghis Khan
  • Babur is the founder of the Mughal Empire in India.
  • He was a descendant of Timur (on his father’s side) and Genghis Khan (on his Mother’s side).
  • Original name of Babur was Zahiruddin Muhammad.
  • Babur became the ruler of Farghana (Chinese Turkistan)
  • His father was Umar Shaikh Mirza
  • Daulat Khan (Governor of Punjab), Alam Khan, and Rana Sanga of Mewar  invited Babur to invade India
  • That time Babur was ruler of Kabul.
  • He undertook four expeditions to India, between 1519 and 1523.
  • On 21st April 1526, Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat
  • Babur introduced artillery in the battle of Panipath.
  • In 1527, Rana Sangha, met and defeated by Babur in the Battle of  Kanhwa, a village near Agra.
  • Then, Babur took on the title of “Ghazi”.
  • In 1528 Battle of Chanderi was won by Babur over Medini Rai, the Rajput ruler of Malwa.
  • Babur defeated allied Afghans of Bihar and Bengal under Muhammad Lodhi in the Battle of Ghagara, near Patna in 1529
  • In 1530, Babur died at Agra aged 40. His body was taken to Kabul, where it was buried.
  • He wrote his memoirs, in Turki language Tuzuk-i-Babri/Babarnama and also wrote Masnavi.

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mughal empire history sher shah suri akbar shah jahan aurangzeb

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Humayun (1530-40)

  • Humayun besieged the fortress of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand
  • He defeated Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.
  • Sher Shah Suri defeated him in the Battle of Chausa, in 1539
  • In 1540, in the Battle of Bilgram also known as Battle of Kanauj, Humayun defeated by Sher Shah Suri and lost his kingdom.
  • Humayun became an exile for the next fifteen years.
  • In 1952, during his wanderings in deserts of Sindh, Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, daughter of Sheikh Ali Amber Jaini.
  • On Nov 23, 1542, Humayun’s wife gave birth to Akbar at Amarkot.
  • Shah of Persia lend him a force of 12,000 men
  • In 1545, Humayun captured Kandhar and Kabul from his brothers Kamran and Askari.
  • In 1555, Humayun defeated the Afghans and recovered the Mughal empire throne.
  • After six months, he died in 1556 due to his fall from the staircase of his library.
  • Bairam Khan, helped him come back to India.
  • His half-sister, Gulbadan Begum, wrote Humayun-nama.
  • Humayun built a new city at Delhi which he named Dinapanah,
  • He constructed the Jamali mosque and mosque of Isa Khan at Delhi.
  • Humayun’s tomb is called the prototype of the Taj Mahal, and was built by his widow Haji Begum.
  • Persian painters, Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad, was his court painters.

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humayun history tomb
Humaun Tomb

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Sur Dynasty

Sher Shah Suri (1538–1545)

  • Sher Shah Suri founded the Sur dynasty and the second Afghan Empire after Lodhis.
  • His original name was Farid.
  • Farid served under the Afghan governor of Bihar, Bahar Khan Lohani,
  • Bahar Khan gave him the title Sher Khan for his bravery (as he killed a tiger).
  • Sher Shah Suri defeated Sultan Mahmud Shah of Bengal (Battle of Surajgarh)
  • He adopted the title of Sher Shah Suri after defeating Humayun in the Battle of Chausa in 1539.
  • Sher Shah Suri defeated Maldeo in the famous Battle of Samel around Ajmer (1544)
  • His last campaign was against Kalinjar (Bundelkhand)
  • In that cmpaign he died from an accidental explosion of gun powder in 1545
  • Sher Shah Suri built the Purana Qila (Old Fort), Sher Mandal.
  • He also built his own mausoleum at Sasaram
  • Malik Mohammad Jaysi completed his Padmavat during the reign of Sher Shah Suri.
  • Abbas Khan Sarwani, wrote the Tarikh-i-Shershahi during his reign.
  • Sher Shah Suri was succeeded by his son Islam Shah (Jalal Khan)
  • Islam Shah died in 1553 and the Afghan empire was weakened.
  • Sher Shah Suri issued the first Rupiya (silver coin), copper coins called Dam and gold coins called mohur
  • He re-organised the postal system of India (replaces runner by horses)

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sher shah suri tomb
Sher Shah Tomb

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Sher Shah Road / Highways

  • Sonargaon to Sind: Sher Shah Suri restored the old imperial road (the Grant Trunk road by Ashoka) and also restored the  Uttarapatha which connected Tamralipti (Bengal) to Purushpur (Peshawar).
  • Agra to Burhampur.
  • Jodhpur to Chittor.
  • Lahore to Multan.

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Local Administration of Sher Shah Suri

  • Empire of Sher Shah Suri was divided into 47 sarkars.
  • Those sarkars was under shiqdar-i-shiqdaran (law and order) and munsif-i-muwifan (local revenue and civil justice).
  • Division of the sarkars into parganas.
  • Division of the parganas into Mauza (villages), under headmen
  • Sher Shah Suri divided the executive functions thus ensuring balance of power.

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Revenue Administration

  • Assessment of land revenue on the basis of measurement of land.
  • Classification of land into three categories on the basis of their yield
  • Issuing of Pattas to the peasants and the acquisition of Qabuliyat from them.
  • Collection of a cess of two-and-half seers per bigha (unit of land from the peasants for famine relief fund)

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Military Administration 

  • He started direct recruitment of soldier
  • Maintenance of chahra or descriptive rolls of soldiers and dagh or the branding of horses.

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Tradeand Commerce

  • Building of sarais or rest houses along the roads for the convenience of the traders and travellers
  • Setting of villages around sarais and their development into market towns
  • Using of sarais as stages for the dak-chowki
  • Collection of customs duty on goods only twice, once at the time of entering the country and another at the time of sale of goods

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Akbar (1556–1605)

  • Akbar is the greatest monarchs of the Mughal empire.
  • He was thus crowned at Kalanaur (Punjab), at the age of 13 years by Bairam Khan.
  • Regency period of Bairam Khan was 1556–60 CE
  • He served as tutor of Akbar as well as regent (wazir)
  • Hemu, chief minister of Adil Shah Suri defeted mughal empire force the Battle of Tughlaqabad (Battle of Delhi) in 1556
  • Bairam Khan defeted Hemu in the Second battle of Panipat in 1556 CE
  • 1576, Battle of Haldighati (battle of Gogunda), Rana Pratap was defeated by the Mughal empire army led by Man Singh
  • By 1570 CE, Akbar had captured almost the whole of Rajasthan
  • Rajput policy of Akbar was combined with a broad religious tolerance.
  • He abolished the pilgrim tax in 1563 and later the jiziya in 1564
  • Akbar prohibited forcible conversion of prisoners of war.
  • Many Rajput mansabdars were assigned their own territories as Watan Jagir (hereditary)
  • In 1605, Akbar died of dysentery and was buried at Sikandra
  • He built the Agra fort in red sandstone.
  • He built Fatehpur Sikri (city of victory) near Agra
  • Akbar built Jama Masjid and the Buland Darwaza built in 1572 as victory over Gujarat.
  • Other important buildings at Fatehpur Sikri are Jodha Bai’s palace, Diwan-i-Am, and Diwan-i-Khas, the Panch Mahal, and Sheikh Salim Chisti’s tomb
  • Akbar built his own tomb at Sikandra (near Agra).
  • He also built the temple of Govindadeva at Vrindavan.
  • In 1574, Akbar started a Maktab Khana or a house of translation works in Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Rajatarangini, Ramayana and Mahabharata were translated into the Persian language there.
  • Akbar Nama written by Abul Fazl remained the main themes of Mughal paintings.
  • One of the most important works, Hamznama, which consisted of 1200 paintings, belonged to his reign.
  • most influential Hindi poet was Tulsidas, wrote Hindi version of the Ramayana, the Ramcharitmanas
  • 1585 Ralph Fitch was the first Englishman to visit Akbar’s court.
  • Akbar transferred his capital from  Fatehpur Sikri to Lahore for some years
  • He introduced Jharokha darshan  (balcony appearance)
  • He founded Allahabad in 1583 as Ilahabad (City of God)
  • It was the headquarters of the rebellious prince Salim (Jahangir)

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Administration of Akbar

  • Revenue officer having title of diwan or diwan-i-ala
  • Head of the military, intelligence and information agencies was Mir Bakshi
  • Judicial department was headed by the chief Qazi
  • Khan-i-Saman Head of the royal household
  • There was 15 provinces or subas at the time of the death of Akbar
  • Rose to 19 under Shah Jahan, and 21 under Aurangzeb.
  • Governor was known as subedar or sipah-salar, and also some times as nayim.
  • Province divided into sarkars, which was further divided into paraganas, which consisted of a group of villages.
  • A fawjdar was responsiblefor a number of paraganas

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Land Revenue

  • land revenue system adopted by Akbar was largely based on Sher Shah’s system and collected mostly in cash
  • It was called Zabti or Bandobast system
  • It was further improved by Raja Todar Mal.
  • In 1580 CE, Akbar introduced the Dahsala System
  • Two new crops, tobacco and maize were added in 17th century
  • Potato and red chillies came later in the 18th century by Portuguese

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Mansabdari System

  • Akbar introduced the Mansabdari system in his administration.
  • Under this system, every officer (Mansabdar) was assigned a rank (mansab).
  • mansab rank was not hereditary and were divided into two – zat and sawar.
  • Zat means personal Sawar rank indicated the number of cavalrymen
  •    chehra (descriptive roll of every soldier) and dagh system (branding of horses) was followed
  • Only drawback of Mughal empire force was lack of a strong and effective navy.
  • Duaspa-sihaspa (2-3 horses) rank, literally meaning troopers having 2 or 3 horses introduced by Jahangir.
  • Shah Jahan introduced the month-scale in the mansabdari system

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Jagirdari System

  • Iqta of the Sultanate period in a modified form became Jagir under the Mughal empire.
  • Jagir system was closely related to the mansab system.
  • In fact it was a subsidiary system of the all-in-one mansab system.
  • Some mansabdars were paid in cash and some of them by jagirs.

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Jagirdari Crisis

  • Jagirdari crisis means crisis in the jagir system.
  • It resulting in the attempt of the nobles to confer the most profitable jagirs for themselves.
  • This problem became more serious during the period of Aurangzeb and the Later Mughals.

 

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Religious Policy of Akbar

  • In 1575 Akbar ordered the construction of the Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) near the Jami Masjid
  • All religion saint invited there Hindus, Christians and Zoroastrians, Jain, Sikhs (exclude Budhist)
  • In 1582 CE, he promulgated a new religion called Din-i-Ilahi/Tauhindi-Ilahi (Divine Monotheism), which believes in one God and in Sul-iKul (peace to all)
  • Birbal was the first to accept Din-i-ilahi

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Navratnas of Akbar

Abul Fazl

  • Wrote Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Nama
  • He led Mughal empire army in its wars in Deccan.
  • Was murdered by Bir Singh Bundela, on the orders of Prince Salim

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Faizi

  • Historian Abul Fazl’s brother and Persian poet.
  • Translated Lilavati into Persian (a work on mathematics),
  • under his supervision, the Mahabharata was translated into the Persian language.

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Fakir Aziao Din

  • He was a Sufi mystic and one of the chief advisors of Akbar.

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Tansen

  • Great musician, Hindu of Gwalior, served as a court musician to King Ramachandra.
  • Accepted Islam at the hand of great Sufi mystic saint Muhammad Ghaus of Gwalior.
  • It is believed that he could bring rain and fire through singing the ragas Megh Malhar and Deepak respectively.
  • Today his followers are referred to as Senia Gharana

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Raja Birbal/ Mahesh Das

  • Courtier to whom Akbar gave the title of both Raja and Birbal.
  • Died fighting Yusuf Shahis on North West frontier.

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Raja Todar Mal

  • Finance minister, overlooked revenue system.
  • Introduced standard weights and measurements, revenue districts and officers.
  • Earlier worked under Sher Shah Suri.
  • In 1582, Akbar bestowed on him the title of Diwan-i-Ashraf.

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Raja Man Singh

  • Was a Mansabdar, grandson of Akbar’s father-in-law
  • He was appointed governor of Kabul

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Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan

  • Great poet Son of Bairam Khan
  • Although a Muslim by birth, a devotee of Lord Krishna.
  • Translated Babarnama into Turki.

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Mirza Aziz Koka

  • He was also known as Khan-i-Azam or Kotaltash
  • Foster brother of Akbar.
  • He also served as the Subedar of Gujarat.

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son jahangir mother

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Jahangir / Salim (1605–1627)

  • Jodha Bai (Rajput Hindu) and Akbar’s eldest son, was named Salim after blessings of Sheikh Salim Chisti.
  • Revolted against Akbar in 1599
  • After Akbar’s death, he was crowned at Agra and assumed the title of Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir
  • In 1611, he married Mehrunnisa (widow of Sher Afghani).
  • He gave her title of Nur Jahan (Light of the World)
  • 1612, Asaf Khan’s daughter, Arjumand Banu Begum (later known as Mumtaz) prince Khurram
  • Fifth Sikh guru, Arjun Dev, was beheaded for supporting the rebel prince Khusrau.
  • In 1620, Jahangir annexed Kangra, the first muslim ruler to do so.
  • British visited Machlipatnam during Jahangir’s reign.
  • Captain Hawkins (1608–11) and Thomas Roe (1615-19) visited Mughal empire court.
  • Thomas Roe got the farman for setting up an English factory at Surat.
  • Jahangir had a chain of justice hung outside his palace.
  • He forbade the killings of animals for food on Tuesday and Friday.
  • Jahangir wrote the Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri (autobiography) in Persian.
  • He also patronised valuable dictionary Farhang-i-Jahangiri.
  • During his reign, Abdul Hamid Lahori wrote Padshah Namah and Khafi Khan wrote Muntakhab-i-Lubab.
  • Decorating the walls with floral designs made of semi-precious stones (known as Pietra Durra) started during his reign.
  • Jahangir built Moti Masjid at Lahore and his own mausoleum at Lahore.
  • He laid Shalimar and Nishant gardens in Kashmir.
  • Mughal painting reached its zenith under Jahangir.
  • He employed a number of painters
    • Portraits painting – Abul Hasan, Bishan Das
    • Animal painting – Madhu, Anant, Manohar, Govardhan and Ustad Mansur.
  • The use of ‘Halo’ or ‘Divine lights’ behind king’s head started under him.

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mughal empire history sher shah suri akbar shah jahan aurangzeb

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Shah Jahan (1628–58)

  • Shah Jahan also known as Khurram, whose mother was Hindu.
  • He shifted the Mughal empire capital from Agra to Delhi in 1638.
  • Deccan policy of Shah Jahan was much successful.
  • Fath Khan, son of Malik Ambar, also made peace with the Mughal empire, and Mahabat Khan was appointed governor of Deccan.
  • Finally in 1636, treaties were signed with Bijapur and Golconda.
  • In 1631, Shah Jahan commander Qashim Khan defeated the Portuguese near Hughli, due to the regular abuse of trading privilege
  • Reign of Shah Jahan is considered the ‘The Golden age’ of the Mughal Empire.
  • Sudden illness Shah Jahan in 1657 plunged the Mughal empire into a civil war (1657–59) among his four sons.
  • Aurangzeb and Murad agreed to partition the empire and both defeated Raja Jaswant Singh (ruler of Jodhpur) and Qasim Khan at the Battle of Dharmat (1658).
  • Later, just after a month, the Battle of Samugarh (1658) was fought between Aurangzeb and Dara in which, Dara lost the battle.
  • Aurangzeb soon crowned himself with the title of ‘Alamgir’(conqueror of the world).
  • In 1658 the Battle of Khajwah (near Allahabad) was fought between Aurangzeb and Shuja, Aurangzeb emerged victorious.
  • The Battle of Deorai (1659) Dara lost against Aurangzeb.
  • Aurangzeb made Shah Jahan prisoner in Agra Fort.
  • Shah Jahan died in 1666 and was buried beside his wife’s grave in the Taj Mahal.
  • Taj Mahal counted among seven wonders of the world, construction was started in 1631 and was continued for 22 years
  • The main architect was Ustad Isa
  • Shah Jahan built the Moti Masjid at Agra, the Sheesh Mahal and Mussaman Burj at Agra (he spent his last years in captivity).
  • The Jama Masjid at Delhi was built in red stone.
  • The famous Red Fort at Delhi with its Rang Mahal, Diwan-i-Am, and Diwan-i-Khas was his creation.
  • Shalimar Bagh in Lahore, and the city of Shahjahanabad was built by Shah Jahan.
  • He also got Bebadal Khan to build the Peacock Throne
  • His court poet was Abu Talib Kalim.
  • Shah Jahan also patronised Inayat Khan wrote Shah Jahan Nama and Abdul Hamid Lahori wrote Padshah Namah
  • Dara Shikoh translated the Bhagavat Gita and Upanishads into Persian language.

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shah jahan taj mahal

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Aurangzeb (1658–1707)

  • Mughal empire reached its largest territorial limits and emerged as the largest single state ever known in India
  • Total 50 years of rules he spent first 25 years in north India and last 25 years in Deccan.
  • Northern Conquest: Aurangzeb could expand Mughal empire power in Assam in the north-east region.
  • In 1662 Mir Jumla, governor of Bengal, led the expedition against the Ahoms, Mughal empire army suffered heavy losses
  • Another notable achievement in north-east was capture of island of Sondip and Chittagong in 1664
  • Aurangzeb left for the Deccan in September1681, never returned to the north.
  • In the Deccan Aurangzeb failed to assess the situation realistically.
  • Sivaji carved out an independent Maratha state in the territories north and south of Konkan.
  • Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur was annexed in 1686 by Aurangzeb.
  • In 1687 Golconda was annexed.
  • The destruction of the Deccan kingdoms was a political blunder

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shah jahan aurangzeb

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Religious Policy of Aurangzeb

  • Due to harsh religious policy of Aurangzeb rebellions started
  • Jat peasantry at Mathura, Satnami Revolt in 1672 in Punjab, and Bundelas in Bundelkhand in 1672
  • Aurangzeb was a staunch and orthodox Muslim in his personal life and his ideal was to transform India into an Islamic state.
  • He re-imposed jiziya and pilgrim tax
  • In 1675 he executed the ninth Sikh Guru, Tegh Bahadur
  • Aurangzeb forbade music in the Mughal empire court and discontinued the practice of Jharokha darshan  and Tuladan
  • He abolished Nawruz and forbade Sati
  • Aurangzeb himself was proficient in playing the veena.
  • He earned money for his personal expenses by copying the Quran and selling those copies.
  • Due to all these qualities, Aurangzeb was called Darvesh/ Zindapir (a living saint).

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Trade and Commerce under Mughal Empire

  • Seth, bohra traders in long distance trade, local traders were called banik.
  • Another class of traders, banjaras, were carry bulk goods and used to move long distances with their goods on the back of oxen.
  • Interestingly, the trading community did not belong to one caste or religion.
  • Bengal exported sugar, rice, as well as delicate muslin and silk.
  • The Coromandal coast became a centre of textile production.
  • Gujarat was an point of import and export goods.
  • Major exports were textiles, saltpetre, sugar, opium, spices, Indigo and Kashmiri shawls and carpets, food grain etc.
  • Imports were war horses, ivory, silver, silk, porcelain, wine, carpets, perfume, glass, watches, silver utensils, tin and copper, etc.
  • This was done through the use of hundis, a paper document promising payment of money after
  • Iron and copper mining were taken up in Singbhum and Khetri mines

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