Mughal empire history
Mughal Empire Notes for Tnpsc Group 4. Important things to remember for examination are Administration and its posts names which are in Persian language, literary works, Arts and Architecture.
During Babur’s invasion, India was divided into a number of mutually warring states. There was no unity in North and Delhi sultanate was not strong.
The last sultan of Delhi lost control over his nobles and Rana Sanga, head of Rajput was determined to capture Delhi. During such a time Babur received an invitation from the Alam Khan, who is the uncle of Ibrahim Lodi, and Daulat Khan Lodi (Governor of Punjab) to invade India.
Called as Zahir-ud-Din Muhammad Babur was born in AD 1483 at Farghana in Central Asia, and was the eldest son of Umar Shaikh Mirza and was a descendant of Timur from his father side, Turk and Mongol from the mother’s side (Chengizkhan).
Babur became king of Farghana at the age of 11 after the death of his father in AD1494.
Battle of Panipet(1526)
Babur met Ibrahim Lodi in the Panipat on 21st April 1526. In the battle, Ibrahim Lodi was killed and brought Delhi Sultanate rule to an end.
And Babur laid the foundation of the Mughal Empire in India. This victory did not make him ruler of India but the victory against Rana Sanga of Mewar in the battle of Kanwah in AD 1527, Medini Rai of Malwa in AD 1528, and Muhammed Lodi in the battle of Ghaghra in AD 1529 made him rule of India.
During his period, the Mughal empire was extended from Bihar in the East to Punjab, Kabul, Kandahar, and Badakshan in the west.
Babur died at the age of 47 and nominated his son Humayun as the successor.
He wrote “Tuzuk-i-Babri” also called Memoirs of Babur in the Turkish language and he laid the foundation for the Mughal empire that lasted for over 200 years.
Humayun (AD 1530 – 1540 and AD 1555 – 1556)
He is the eldest son of Humayun and ascended the throne in AD 1530. Humayun was born in Kabul in AD 1508 and had three brothers named Kamran, Askari, and Hindal.
Humayun was appointed as Governor of Badakshan at the age of 20. As there was no law of Primogeniture that is the eldest son succeeding the throne, Humayun becoming the King was challenged by his brothers.
Also, he was surrounded by enemies, such as Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, Skerkhan of Bengal and Bihar and also Rajputs.
Then he was defeated by Sherkahn in the battle of Chausa in AD 1539 and in the battle of Kanauj in AD 1540.
He became homeless, married Hamida Banu Begum, and gave birth to Akbar in AD 1542 at Amarkot.
With the help of Shah of Persia, Humayun captured Kabul and Kandahar from his brother Kamran and captured Agra in AD 1555 after the exile of 15 years.
He had died tragically in AD 1556 and nominated his son Akbar as King and Bairam Khan as the guardian.
Named Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, born on 23 November 1542 at Amarkot. Humayun crowned Akbar as the emperor at the age of 13 and made Bairam khan his guardian.
Second Battle of Panipat ( AD 1556)
Akbar first had to deal with Hemu, the Prime Minister of Muhammad Shah of Bengal who tried to capture Delhi. Akbar defeated Hemu at the second battle of Panipat in AD 1556 and consolidated the Mughal rule in Delhi and Agra.
Then after four years, Bairam khan was killed by Akbar during his pilgrimage to Meccan by his commanders. Then Akbar sought help from his foster mother Maham Anaga and controlled the affairs for two years. This rule of Maham Anaga was known as the “Petticoat Government”.
Then Akbar killed her son Adam Khan and Maham Anaga also died of grief and later Akbar became real ruler.
Akbar annexed Chunar and Malwa. Bihari Mal of Amber of Jaipur accepted his overlordship and gave his daughter in marriage to Akbar and Jahangir was born to them.
Then Akbar annexed the Rajput state of Gondwana and Rani Durgavathi was defeated. Then he conquered Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. Akbar’s empire extended from Bengal in the East to Afghanistan in the west, from the Himalayas in the North to Golkonda in the south.
His relationship with Rajput was honest and brave. He married Jodhbai, who was the princess of Jaipur. Also, rulers of Bikaner and Jaisalmer gave their daughters in marriage to Akbar.
Akbar gave Rajput higher positions in his administration. The notable ones are Raja Mansingh, Raja Bhagawan Bas, Raja Todar Mal and Birbal.
He abolished ‘Jizya‘, and ‘Pilgrimage taxes’ which were collected from non-Muslims.
Akbar patronized scholars such as Raja Todar Mal and translated Bhagavata Purana into Persian. Abul Fazal and his brother Abul Faizi translated a number of Sanskrit works to the Persian language.
Abul Fazl wrote Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Nama. Abul Faizi translated Ramayana and Mahabaratha into Persian from Sanskrit.
Tansen was a great musician in the Akbar’s court.
Akbars Religious Policy
He was very tolerant and his father was a ‘Sunni‘ and his mother and guardian Bairam and his tutor Sheikh Mubarak were ‘Shia‘ Muslims.
He build ‘Ibadat Khana‘, in 1575 and invited various leaders from different faiths to have discussions and he issued the famous ‘Infallibility Decree’ which made Akbar the religious head as well as the king.
Also, he promulgated a new religion called ‘Din-i-illahi‘ (Divine Faith), to establish a National Religion based on universal toleration, which comprised of good things from all the religions.
After Akbar’s death, Din-i-illahi started to disappear.
Land Revenue Reforms of Akbar
Shershah was the Akbar’s inspiration in the Land revenue system. Akbar with the help of Todarmal improved the land revenue system.
Akbar’s administration surveyed the state’s land and revenue was fixed as 1/3 of the actual product. The ryot(farmers), could pay their taxes either in cash or in kind.
Loans were provided to the farmers and could be paid in easy installments. Akbar’s government gave every cultivator ‘Patta’ (Title Deed) and was required to sign a qubuliyat (Deed of Agreement).
Mansabdari system of the Mughals is for civil and military administration and it was introduced by Akbar, and he borrowed this term from Persia.
The word Mansab means Grade or Rank. The Mansabdar’s job is to recruit troops and help the emperor. The Mansabdar were provided with a piece of land as per his rank and they got salaries from the revenue of the land.
Akbar contribution to Art and Architecture
Akbar builds Buland Darwaza, a gateway at Fatehpur Sikri to celebrate his Gujarat conquest. He constructed a new palace at Fatehpur Sikri, Akbari Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, Lahore Fort, Panch Mahal, Jodh Bai Palace, etc were built with Red Sand Stone.
Jahangir (1605-1627 AD)
Akbar eldest son ‘Salim‘ assumed the title Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir which means “Conqueror of the world”. He became emperor of India in 1605 AD.
His eldest son Prince Khusru revolted against him and received the blessing of Guru Arjun Dev, who is the 5th Sikh Guru.
Both Prince Khusru and also Sikh Guru were killed. During Jahangir rule captain Willian Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe from England visited his court.
Sir Thomas Roe got permission from Jahangir in 1615 to set up trade at Surat which started the British story in India.
Jahangir was a scholar and a good writer and he wrote his autobiography “Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri”. He was famous for Justice, he set up a “Chain of Justice”, between Shah Burji palace in the fort of Agra.
People have to pull the chain and ask for Justice.
Role of Nurjahan
She was the daughter of Mirza Ghias and the wife of Sher Jahan. Her original name was Mehr-un-Nisa. Sher Afgan was killed by Jahangir and married Nurjahan.
Jahangir gave his title “Nur Mahal” which means Light of Palace and also gave title Nur Jahan which means “Light of the World“. She exercised real power between 1611-1626 which was called the Age of Nur Jahan.
She died in 1645 AD after the death of Jahangir. Jahangir was a good and kind ruler, he laid beautiful gardens at Srinagar. Example Shalimar and Nishat Gardens.
He builds Akbar Tomb at Sikandra, Itmad-ud-daula Tomb near Agra, and the Great Mosque at Lahore.
He is the son of Jahagir. Shah Jahan (means King of the World) original name was Khurram, who was born in 1592 AD at Lahore to a Hindu mother.
After the death of Jahangir, Nur Jahan summoned her son-in-law Shahriyar to the throne. But Shah Jahan’s father-in-law Asaf Khan send forces against Nur Jahan and Shahriyar, who defeated them.
And Placed Shah Jahan on the throne of Delhi, who was present at the Deccan at that time.
Conquest of Shah Jahan
He fought against Portuese and sent Mahabat Khan towards Deccan to conquer Ahmed Nagar and it was annexed with Mughal Empire in 1636 AD.
He failed to capture Khandahar after making three attempts and it exposed the weakness of the Mughal army. He defeated the Bijapur and Golkonda rulers and made Aurangazed the governor of Deccan.
His rule is considered as the “Golden Age of the Mughals“, the power and prestige of the empire reached heights during his time.
He fell ill in AD 1657 and a fight broke between his four sons for power. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in 1658 AD and he was passed in 1666 AD/
Shah Jahan Art and Architecture
He was called the “Prince of Builders“, and “Engineers king“. He founded Mughal cities in Red Sandstone and left them in white marble.
He built a new capital city “Shahjahanabad” and built a Red Fort in Delhi that consisted of Rang Mahal, Moti Mahal, Diwan-i-Kham, and Diwan-i-khas (Paradise of Earth).
Also, build Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) at Agra and “Tomb of Jahangir”. He got a collection of precious stones, which included a Peacock Throne and Kohinoor Diamond.
During the Persian invasion, Nadir Shah took away Peacock Throne in 1739AD.
Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jahan in Delhi with White Marble and it is considered to be one of the largest mosques in the world.
It was built at Agra over the banks of river Yamuna, for his wife Mumtaz. It was Engineered by Ustad Isa, built at an estimated cost of ₹20 lakhs, and took 22 years to construct.
Arts during Shah Jahan
Fine arts such as painting, music, literature reached a height during his rule and he was a great patron of literature and fine arts.
During his rule, travelers who had visited are french men Bernier and Travernier, and Italian adventurer, Manucci who left good records about Shah Jahan’s rule.
He was the last powerful and great Emperor and was the third son of Shah Jahan. He emerged successful among the four sons namely DaraShuko, Shahshuja, Murad.
Aurangzeb who was in Deccan, on hearing the news of his father’s illness rushed to Delhi and ascended the throne in 1658 AD after killing his three brothers and imprisoned his father.
Aurangazeb assumed the title “Alamgir”.
Religious Policy of Aurangazeb
He was a pious, orthodox Sunni Muslim and read Koran regularly. He hated Non-Muslims and also Shia Muslims.
He imposed Jizya Tax again on Non-Muslim and pilgrimage tax which was abolished earlier. Also, he dismissed Non-Muslims from the government services and as a result, he faced revolts from Rajputs, Satnamis, Marathas, Jats, and Sikhs.
Aurangzeb and sikh war
The Mughal Sikh relationship was not good after Jahangir. The Ninth Sikh Guru “Guru Tegh Bahadur” revolted against the anti-Hindu policy of Aurangzeb.
Aurangzeb was annoyed summoned the Guru to Delhi and compelled him to embrace Islam and Guru refused. Guru was tortured and killed, this made Sikhs angry. Guru Gobind Singh succeeded his father as the 10th guru.
He organized a military organization of Sikhs called Khalsa to fight against Mughals.
Aurangazeb and Marathas
Aurangzeb sent the Governor of Deccan Shaista Khan to suppress Shivaji. But Shaista Khan was attacked by Shivaji’s forces in his residence. Shaista Khan escaped.
Then Aurangzeb sent Jai Singh to attack Shivaji, and then peace was made with Shivaji. But Aurangzeb did not treat Shivaji well and later Shivaji was imprisoned.
Later Shivaji was escaped from the jail and involved in constant battle with Mughal forces.
He spent 25 years in the Deccan. Due to this, the administration has suffered a lot and the empire started to decline.
Due to constant wars, the treasury was emptied and enemies came from all the sides. In history, it was called the “Deccan Ulcer“, which weakened the Mughal empire.
Aurangzeb died in 1707 AD.
Administration of Mughal Empire
The emperor or Badshah had all the powers and he was the absolute ruler. He was regarded as “Shadow of God on Earth” and was assisted by the council of Ministers and the most important was called Wazir or Prime Minister.
For the provincial administration, the empire was divided into, the number of provinces known as “Subas” and each Suba was under Subedar or Governor.
The Subas were further divided into Sarkars and Sarkar into Parganas. The village was the lowest unit of provincial administration.
The main source of income for the state is land revenue. Raja Todar Mal was the famous revenue minister who helped Akbar as he had worked under Shershah.
Akbar made improvements over the Shershah revenue system. As Shershah was called “Forerunner of Akbar”. Akbar introduced the Zabti system and all the lands were measured with uniform standards of measurement.
One-third of the yield was fixed as the land tax and this could be paid either in cash or in kind. During the time of flood or famine tax remission was given to the farmers.
The officer was to be kind to the farmer by law.
The army was organized into infantry, artillery, cavalry, and elephantry. The cavalry was most important and Akbar introduced a new system called the “Mansabdari system”.
Mansab means “Rank” or “Place”. Eash Mansab was ranked based on the number of horsemen they had. The grade was given to them from 10 to 10,000 mansab.
The mansab was to help the empire during the war and in return, they were given a fixed salary.
The king was head of justice and he was assisted by Chief Qazi. Cases were tried as per Quranic Law and the punishments were severe.
Mutilation was an ordinary punishment.
Aurangazeb was mainly responsible for weakening the Mughal empire due to his strict religious policy and a long stay at the Deccan. He was a successful Musalman and as a king, he completely failed. The later Mughal were not strong enough to hold the empire together. Finally received death blow from East India Company (British).