History of Akbar - History

History of Akbar - History


The grey wolf in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book who led his pack through his strength and cunning.

(Steam Yacht: t. 72; 1. 117'6"; b. 14'6"; dr. 4'8" (mean); s. 12 k.;cpl. 15; a. none)

The wooden-hulled, twin-screw, steam yacht Akela-built in 1899 at Morris Heights, N.Y., by the Gas Engine and Power Co. and the Charles L. Seabury Co.—was acquired by the Navy from Bridgeport, Conn., businessman Henry Alfred Bishop and delivered on 24 December 1917. Redesignated SP-1793, Akela was commissioned at the New York Navy Yard on 16 April 1918 Chief Boatswain's Mate John J. Stegin, USNRF, in charge.

Assigned to the Armed Guard Inspection Board of the 3d Naval Oistrict, Akela took inspection parties to various merchant ships with embarked armed guard detachments over the next several months. Entering the Seabury yard at Morris Heights on 6 November, Akela was still there undergoing repairs, when the armistice was signed on the ilth. She remained there, inactive and "awaiting orders", into the spring of 1919. The last formal entry in the ship's log, dated 15 April, does not report a formal decommissioning. In any case, the ship was returned to her owner on that day and stricken from the Navy list exactly one month later.

What Is the True Story Behind Jodha Bai, Emperor Akbar's Wife?

Jodha Bai, Emperor Akbar's wife, was a Rajput princess hailing from Amber or Amer and the first chief Rajput spouse of the Emperor. Married to Akbar in 1562, Jodha Bai, also known as Harka Bai and Heer Kunwari, was the mother of Jahangir, the subsequent Moghul Emperor. She died in the year 1623.

Jodha Bai was given the title "Mariam-uz-Zamani" after her marriage to Emperor Akbar. She was also recognized as the Chief Hindu Mughal Queen Consort and became the heir-apparent's mother.

As a businesswoman, Jodha Bai traded internationally in silk and spices and owned pilgrimage ships. She was a court member, held the 12,000 cavalry rank, received jewels from noblemen annually, and could issue farmans or documents of an official nature.

Jodha Bai's marriage to Akbar had significant political and religious implications. Through this marriage, Akbar obtained the staunch support of Jodha Bai's family members, with her brother Raja Bhagwan Das and nephew Raja Man Singh I becoming highly ranked officers in the Emperor's court. This wedding proved to be beneficial to the Rajputs and the Mughals.

Additionally, the marriage led to Akbar developing an inclination for the Hindu religion and also showed to the world that Akbar was the Emperor of the Muslims as well as the Hindus. Jodha Bai continued to be a Hindu even after her marriage.

The Akbarnama does not refer to Mariam-uz-Zamani as Jodha Bai, but historical works of the 18th and 19th centuries use this name when referring to Emperor Akbar's wife.

Kings and Chronicles Important Extra Questions Very Short Answer Type

Question 1.
Who was the first ruler of the Mughal Empire?
Babur was the first Mughal King.

Question 2.
How did Babur relate to Ghenghiz Khan?
Babur was related to Ghenghiz Khan from his mother’s side.

Question 3.
Name few of the successors of Babur.
Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shahjehan, Aurangzeb etc.

Question 4.
Who gave a defeat to Humayun?
Sher Shah Suri defeat Humayun.

Question 5.
Who is considered as the greatest Mughal Empire?
Akbar is considered as the greatest Mughal Empire.

Question 6.
Who was the last powerful Mughal Emperor?
Aurangzeb was the last powerful Mughal Emperor.

Question 7.
Name few of the Chronicles prepared during the Mughal Empire?
Baburnama, Akbarnama, Shahjahannama, Alamgirnama etc.

Question 8.
In which language most of the Chronicles were written in the Mughal period?
In Persian language.

Question 9.
What was the .centre of manuscript production during the Mughal empire?
Kitabkhana was the centre of manuscript production during the Mughal Empire.

Question 10.
What was the Nastaliq?
It was a style of calligraphy, a fluid style with long horizontal strokes.

Question 11.
What was Sheria?
Sheria was an Islamic law.

Question 12.
In how many books, the Akbarnama is divided?
Akbarnama is divided into three books and the third book is Akbarnama.

Question 13.
Who was Humayun? How was he forced to run away from India?
Humayun was the son and successor of Babur. He expanded the frontiers of his empire. However, he was defeated by the Afghan leader Sher Shah Suri and was forced to run away from India.

Question 14.
What happened to Humayun when he ran away from India?
Humayun had to take refuge in the court of the Safavid ruler of Iran when he was drove into exile. In 1555 C.E., he defeated the Surs but died an year later.

Question 15.
How did the Mughal dynasty came to an end in India?
With the death of Aurangzeb in 1707 C.E., the power of the empire diminished. Many regional powers emerged in place of large Mughal empire. Yet symbolically, the prestige of Mughal rulers remained there. In 1857 C.E., the last scion of this dynasty, Bahadur Shah Zafar was overthrown by the British. In this way, the Mughal dynasty came to an end in India.

Question 16.
Who were the authors of the Mughal chronicles? On which four points did they concentrate?
The authors of the Mughal chronicles were the court historiAnswer:All the chronicles emphasised the following points:

  1. Events associated with the ruler
  2. Family of the ruler
  3. The royal court
  4. Wars and administrative provisions

Question 17.
Who founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal and when? Tell any one work done by it.
The Asiatic Society of Bengal was founded by Sir William Jones in 1784 C.E. This society published the edited versions of Akbarnama and Badshahnama in the nineteenth century.

Question 18.
Explain any two works done by Akbar to enhance the idea of Sulh-i-Kul.

  1. Akbar gave positions and awards to Turanis, Afghans, Rajputs and Deccanis purely on the basis of their service and loyalty to the king.
  2. He abolished the tax on pilgrimage in 1563 C.E. and Jizya in 1564 C.E. as both were based on religious discrimination.

Question 19.
What was Jizya? Who abolished it? By whom was it again imposed?
Jizya was a tax imposed on non-Muslim subjects. It was abolished by Akbar in 1564 C.E. and was again imposed by Aurangzeb.

Question 20.
Which was the favourite symbol to represent the idea of Justice of Mughal monarchy? What does it mean?
The favourite symbol to represent the idea of justice of Mughal monarchy was the motif of the lion and the lamb (or cow) peacefully nestling next to each other. It was meant to signify that both the weak and the strong could exist in harmony.

Question 21.
How Mughal rulers kept control over court society?
Social control in court was exercised by forms of address, courtesies and speech which were acceptable in court. Even a small mistake of etiquette was noticed and punished right on the spot.

Question 22.
Which were the highest forms of salutation to the ruler by the Mughal courtiers?

Question 23.
Which Mughal emperor began the practice of Jharokha Darshan? What was his objective behind this?
Jharokha Darshan was introduced by Akbar. According to this, emperor appeared on a small balcony, facing the east, giving a view to crowds of people standing below. Its objective was to broadening the acceptance of the imperial authority as part of popular faith.

Question 24.
What were Zat and Sawar ranks? What was the main difference between them?
Zat and Sawar were the ranks or mansabs of Mughal officials based on numerical destinations. As Zat was an indicator of position in the imperial hierarchy and salary of the official but Sawar indicated towards the number of horsemen which he was required to maintain in his service.

Question 25.
Why Mughal emperor wanted to keep control over Kabul and Kandhar?
All conquerers who wanted to conquer the Indian sub-continent had to cross Hindukush to have an access to north India. That is why there was a constant policy of Mughals and that was to ward off this potential danger by controlling strategic outposts, i.e., Kabul and Kandhar.

Question 26.
“Jesuits were greatly respected during Akbar’s time”. Give three reasons in favour of this statement.

  1. At public assemblies, the Jesuits were given places in close proximity to Akbar’s throne.
  2. Jesuits accompanied Akbar on his campaigns and tutored his children. ‘
  3. Jesuits were often companions of the leisure hours of the Emperor.

Question 27.
What was the ‘philosophy of light’ created by Akbar and Abul Fazl? Why was this used?
According to philosophy of light created by Akbar and Abul Fazl, a divinely inspired individual has top most sovereignty over his people and full control over his enemies. This philosophy was used to shape the image of the king and ideology of the state.

Kings and Chronicles Important Extra Questions Short Answer Type

Question 1.
Why did the Mughal rulers get their dynastic histories written?
The Mughal rulers believed that they are appointed by the ‘God’ himself to rule over a large and heterogeneous populace. Although actual political circumstances circumscribed this grand vision but this vision remained important. One of the methods of transmitting this vision was writing of the dynastic histories. The Mughal rulers gave this work, of writing accounts of their achievements, to their court historiAnswer:These accounts recorded all the events of the emperor’s reign. Except this, these authors also collected a lot of information about other aspects of the sub-continent which helped the rulers to govern their domain.

Question 2.
What is Mughal chronicle? What is their importance for writing of Mughal history?
Describe the characteristic features of the Mughal Chronicles. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
How do you think that the chronicles commissioned by the Mughal Emperors are an important source for studying Mughal history? (C.B.S.E. 2017 (O.D.))
The genre of texts written by modern historians in English is called a chronicle. These chronicles present a continuous chronological record of events and are an indispensable source for any scholar who wanted to write about Mughal history. On one side, these chronicles give us information about institutions of Mughal empire and on the other side, they convey the meaning of those objectives which Mughal rulers wanted to impose on their domain. In this way these chronicles give us a glimpse that how imperial ideologies were created and disseminated.

Question 3.
How were images or pictures incorporated in the Mughal manuscripts? Discuss any two points of its importance.
Assess the importance of the painted images in Mughal manuscripts. (C.B.S.E. 2008 (D))
The painters played a significant role in the production of Mughal manuscripts. They included in the manuscripts many images that described an event in the visual form. The pictures accompanied what was described in words in the manuscript. They served as miniatures. Their importance can be understood from the following points:

  • These pictures enhanced the beauty of a book or manuscript.
  • They conveyed ideas which were difficult to be expressed in the written medium.
  • They had the magical power to make inanimate objects look as if they possessed life.

Question 4.
Write a brief comment on Badshahnama.
Name the author of Badshahnama. Describe its content. (C.B.S.E. 2011 <>
“lilughal transmitted their grand vision through the writing of dynastic histories.” Explain the statement with reference to Badshahnama. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (O.D.))
Once Emperor Shah Jahan called Abdul Hamid Lahori and requested him to write a history of his reign as was done in Akbarnama. As a result, Badshahnama was written by Abdul Hamid Lahori, a pupil of Abul Fazl. It is the official history of the events which occurred during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. It was written in three volumes (daftars). Each volume covered a period of ten years. Later on Sadullah Khan, the Wazir of Shah Jahan, revised the first two. volumes of the Badshahnama. The Asiatic- Society was the first to publish edited versions of Badshahnama in the nineteenth century. A few excerpts of this book have so far been translated into English.

Question 5.
(i) Which changes came in social status of people associated with the composition of Mughal age manuscripts?Answer:
People involved in the actual production of the Mughal age manuscripts got recognition in the form of titles and awards given to them. Some of the calligraphers and painters got higher social status while other partners like paper makers or book binders remained as anonymous artisans.

(ii) What was the relation of calligraphy with manuscripts?
Calligraphy, i.e., art of handwriting was considered as a skill with great importance. It was used and practised by using different styles. Nastaliq was the favourite style of Akbar. It is a fluid style with long horizontal stokes. A piece of trimmed reed with a tip 5-10 mm called qalam, dipped in carbon ink was used to write this style. Generally, a small split was kept in the nib of the qalam so that it could absorb the ink.

Question 6.
Which steps were taken during the colonial age to protect historical manuscripts?
During the colonial period, the British administrators began to studv Indian history so as to get a better understanding ot people and their culture. In 1784, Sir William Jones founded the Asiatic Society of Bengal which took responsibility of editing, printing and translation of many Indian manuscripts.
Edited versions of Akbarnama and Badshahnama were first printed by the Asiatic Society in 19th century. In the early 20th century, Henry Beveridge translated Akbarnama in English. Only few excerpts of Badshahnama have been translated in English till today. •

Question 7.
The Mughal Emperors exercised a divine right over administration. How was this view presented?
According to many court chronicles, the power of the Mughal kings came directly from God. There is the narration of a legend. The Mongol Queen named Alanqua was impregnated by a ray of sun¬shine when she was resting in her tent. Her child bore the Divine Light which passed on from generation to generation.

The Mughal king also got light that emanated from God. So he was the source of spiritual guidance for his subjects. He wore the halo which is often seen in the European paintings of Christ and the Virgin Mary. The halo of the Mughal Emperors symbolised the light of God. It left a deep imprint on the minds of those who saw the emperor with halo surrounding their heads.

Question 8.
What did the form of salutation in front of ruler in the Mughal court indicate? While describing briefly about different forms of salutations also tell that what was expected from diplomatic envoys in this regard?
Form of salutation in front of ruler in the Mughal court indicated towards person’s status in the hierarchy. Deeper prostration represented higher status of the person.

  • Highest form of submission was sijda or complete prostration.
  • Under the reign of Shah Jahan, these forms were replaced by chahar taslim and zaminbos (kissing the ground).

The protocols related to diplomatic envoys in the Mughal court were equally explicit. It was expected from an ambassador presented in front of Mughal ruler that he must adopt any one method out of sanctioned forms of salutation. These included either by bowing deeply, kissing the ground or to follow the Persian custom of clasping one’s hand in front of the chest. The English ambassador of James-I, Thomas Roy simply bowed before emperor Jahangir and further shocked everyone by demanding a chair to sit.

Question 9.
Who was Gulbadan Begum? Make a brief evaluation of Humayunama written by her. ,
Describe how the Humayunama of Gulbadan Begum gives us the glimpses of the Mughal Imperial household. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (O.D.))
Gulbadan was the daughter of Babur, sister of Humayun and aunt of Akbar. She was a fluent writer in Turkish and Persian. When Abul Fazl was writing his Akbarnama about the history of the reign of Akbar, she was requested by Akbar to write her memories of earlier times under Babur and Humayun. Akbar felt that her memories could be useful for Abul Fazl.

Gulbadan Begum wrote an interesting book entitled ‘Humayunama!. It gives us a glimpse into the domestic world of the Mughals. It is not merely an enlogy of the Mughal emperors. On the contrary, it brings out the conflicts and tensions that existed among the princes and the kings. It also shows the important role played by elderly women who mediated to resolve some of the conflicts.

Question 10.
“Akbar tried to tie his empire in one thread.” How?
“Akbar was a national ruler.” Prove it.
Akbar was the first Muslim ruler who gave preference to national interests instead of developing any religion or sect. He conquered whole of north India and tied it in one thread. He implemented same legal and administrative system in all of his provinces. First time in medieval period, Hindu masses were given same religious freedom like Muslims.

He even removed the religious tax imposed on Hindus called Jizya. Akbar not only married a Rajput princesses but also permitted them to worship their deities according to Hindu traditions. Din-i-Ilahi was a symbol of religious tolerance of Akbar. He began this religion to establish unity among Hindus and Muslims. Just because of these measures, Akbar was succeeded in founding a national empire in the country.

Question 11.
What are the distinctive features of Mughal nobility? State any five features.
“One important pillar of the Mughal I administration was the nobility.” Justify. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D)))
“The nobility was recruited consciously by the Mughal rulers from ethnic and religious groups.” Justify. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (D))
Explain why the nobility was recruited from different races and religious groups by the Mughal rulers in India. (C.B.S.E. 2018)
A corps of officers was one of the most important pillars of the Mughal state. The historians referred to all these officials collectively as the nobility. The main characteristics of these officers were as under:

  1. They were recruited from different castes and religious groups.
  2. A special care was taken to ensure that no group should grow so strong and wide as to be a threat to the State.
  3. The mansab or the status of each officer was determined.
  4. The officers participated in the military operations along with their soldiers. They used to perform administrative jobs.
  5. As the officers held a high position in the society, they were quite rich and powerful and enjoyed ample prestige in the society.

Question 12.
What is meant by Zat and Sawar ranks in Mansabdari system?
Zat was numerical value which determined the rank and salary in Mughal Empire. Certain points were there in Zat ranking which are given below:

  1. Nobles with a Zat of 5,000 were ranked higher than those of 1,000.
  2. There were 29 mansabdars with a rank of 5,000 Zat in the reign of Akbar.
  3. The number of mansabdars had increased to 79 in Aurangzeb’s reign.
  4. More number of mansabdars meant more burden of expenditure on State exchequer.
    Sawar was a rank of officer which indicated the number of horsemen h: was required to maintain m service. •

Question 13.
Discuss the merits and demerits of Mansabdari system.
1. Jagirdari system came to an end with the advent of this custom. Now every mansabdar was dependent upon emperor for his salary. Except this, mansabdars were under complete control of the emperor. They could be called at any time with their cavalry and horsemen. It reduced the chances of revolts against the emperor.

2. The post of mansabdar was given according to the ability of the person. In case of inability of handling the post, mansabdar was generally relieved from his post. In this way, able and successful persons were appointed on higher posts.

3. Government’s expenses of giving jagirs was reduced to a great extent.

4. According to the Zabti system, whole of property of mansabdar was confiscated in case of his death. It increased the income of the government.

1. One of the major demerits of this system was that mansabdar always tried to cheat the government. They used to keep less number of horsemen than the prescribed number but used to take salary of all the horsemen. Government tried to remove this shortcoming but with little success.

(ii) Mansabdars were given very high salaries which was a sort of pressure on the Govt, treasury.

Question 14.
Give main features of religious policy of Akbar.
Akbar had great interest in religion right from the beginning. Initially, he was an orthodox Muslim but gradually became liberal in his ideas. He abolished the tax on pilgrimage, i.e., Jizya. He built ibadatkhana at Fatehpur Sikri where people of different religions and sects discussed religious matters. From these discussions, he drew some conclusions and started a new religion called Din-i- Ilahi. Akbar compiled essence of all the religions in this religion. Any one was free to adopt this religion. Even Brahmin Birbal became one of its members.

Except this, Akbar established marital relations with many Rajput princesses. All of his Hindu wives were free to practice their customs according to Hinduism. Every one was free to adopt any religion. Employment was open to all the religious communities. People of all the religious groups were free to practice their customs. In this way, an atmosphere of religious tolerance came into being within the reign of this Muslim ruler.

Question 15.
Write the main effects of religious policy of Akbar.
Following were the main effects of religious policy of Akbar:

1. Vast Mughal Empire: Akbar won the hearts of Rajputs only because of his Hindu policy. He was able to suppress his enemies with the cooperation of Rajputs. Many loyal Rajput chiefs won many battles for the kingdom. It led to the great expansion of Mughal empire.

2. Strong Mughal Empire: Before Akbar, Hindus were enemies of empire and were causing huge losses to the state. But liberal policy of Akbar brought Hindus to Mughal court. As a result, Mughal empire became very strong.

3. Encouragement to the sense of Nation Building: As a result of this policy of Akbar, lakhs of Hindus came in favour of Mughal empire and began working for the progress of the empire. That is why Akbar was able to succeed in his objective of nation building.

4. Progress in Art and Literature: As a result of this policy, art and literature made a huge progress. Mughal art was mixed into Hindu art and mixture of Sanskrit and Persian gave birth to a new type of literature and language.

Question 16.
‘Akbar was a Liberal ruler. Prove it.
It would be clarified from the following points that Akbar was very liberal and tolerable in his ideas:

1. Establishing marital relations: Akbar established marital relations with the daughters of Rajput kings. In 1562 C.E., he was married to the daughter of Rajput king of Amer, Bharmal. Akbar appointed son and grandson of Bharmal into imperial service. In this way religious tolerance policy of Akbar began with his marriage.

2. Appointment of Hindus on higher posts: Akbar appointed many Hindus into imperial services. He never cared about the individual’s religion while appointing him on any post. Many Hindus like Raja Todar Mai, Man Singh, Birbal, etc., were appointed on higher posts.

3. Religious freedom: Akbar gave complete religious freedom to his subjects. He even introduced a royal farman that no one will be converted forcefully into other religion.

4. Din-i-Ilahi: Akbar collected all the good elements of all religions and sects and introduced a new religion in 1582 C.E. called Din-I-Ilahi.
From all these things it is clear that Akbar was actually a liberal ruler.

Question 17.
What do you know about Din-i-Ilahi? Discuss its major elements.
Din-i-Ilahi was the result of progress of religious sentiments of Akbar. From the discussion of Ibadatkhana he concluded that all the religions are basically one and the same thing. He took motivation from this and founded a new religion, Din-i-Ilahi, in 1582 C.E. He included all the basic concepts and elements of all the religions and sects. Gods, Goddesses, Pirs, etc., had no place in this new religion.

According to this, God is one and Akbar is his top most devotee. Followers of this religion were not allowed to be non-vegetarian. Its followers greeted each other by saying ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’. They were always ready to sacrifice every thing for the emperor. Din-i-Ilahi did not become popular because Akbar hardly took any steps to popularise it among masses. As a result, this religion also came to an end with the death of Akbar.

Question 18.
Analyse how the Mughal emperor’s Court procedures reflected his status and power. (C.B.S.E. Sample Paper 2011)
In what ways have the daily routine and special festivities associated with the Mughal court conveyed a sense of
power of the Mughal emperor? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2013 (D))
“The visible centre of Mughal power was the King’s court.” Justify the statements with suitable arguments. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (D))

  1. The royal throne depicted the high status of the emperor.
  2. The canopy was the symbol of Mughal monarchy.
  3. Each courtier had a definite place to sit. It reflected his position in the Court. When the king was seated on his throne, no courtier could change his seat or go outside without the permission of the Emperor.
  4. There were special norms for reception, courtesy and speech to regulate the system and control of the Court.
  5. Good conduct and courtesy was expected from diplomatic envoys.
  6. The dazzling decoration on special occasions and the abundant expenses enhanced the power, authority and dignity of the king.

Question 19.
Give a brief description of central Administration of Mughals.
Emperor himself was the head of central administration of Mughals. Some of the important ministers of central administration are given below:

1. Mir Bakhshi: Mir Bakhshi was the paymaster general. He used to stand in the open court on the right side of the emperor and present all candidates for appointment or promotion. His office used to prepare orders bearing his seal and signature and of the emperor as well.

2. Diwan-i-Ala and Sadr-us-Sadur: There were two other important ministers as well at the centre. Diwan-i-Ala was the finance minister and Sadr-us-Sadur was minister of grants or Maded-i- maash and incharge of appointing qazis or local judges. All these three ministers sometimes worked as an advisory body but generally were independent from each other.

Question 20.
Throw some light on Mughals’ relations with the Ottoman empire.
Describe briefly the relationship between the Mughals and the Ottomans. (C.B.S.E. 2009 (O.D.))
The main objective of Mughals’ relations with the Ottoman empire was to maintain a free movement for pilgrims and merchants in the territories under control of the Ottoman empire. This was true especially for the Hijaz i.e., that area of Ottoman Arabia where Mecca and Madina, important pilgrim centres were located. Mughal emperors generally combined commerce and religion.

They used to export valuable things to Aden and Mokha, both the ports of Red Sea. They even used to distribute the income from the sale of these goods in charity and keepers of shrines. But when Aurangzeb came to know about the misappropriation of funds sent to Arabia, he stressed on their distribution in India because he believed that, “it was as much a house of God as Mecca.”

Question 21.
How did the religious views of Akbar become mature? What change came in it?
Akbar practised the idea of religious toleration. He exhibited the high respect to the members of the Jesuit Mission. In fact, Akbar had a deep quest for religious knowledge. He held inter-faith debates in the Ibadatkhana at Fatehpur Sikri. He met people belonging to all the religions such as the Hindus, the Muslims, the Jainas, the Parsis and the ChristiAnswer:He was quite mature in his religious views. He got knowledge about the doctrines of all religions and sects. He moved away from the orthodox Islamic ways of understanding. He believed in religious toleration. His views are a lesson to modern society which is torn with religious differences.

Akbar found a great change in his religious perception. He did not believe in orthodox Islamic philosophy. He focussed on divine worship and created a philosophy of light and sun. He used this philosophy to shape the image of the king and ideology of the Mughal state. He was sure that a divinely inspired ruler can have supreme sovereignty over his people and complete control over his enemies.

Question 22.
“Many consider Jalal-ud-din Akbar (1556-1605) as the greatest of all the Mughal emperors.” Support the statement with evidence. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (D))
Many consider Jalal-ud-din Akbar as the greatest of all the Mughal emperors due to following reasons:

  1. Akbar not only expanded his empire but made it strong and prosperous as well.
  2. He spread frontiers of his empire till Hindukush mountains.
  3. He stopped the expansionist plans of Safavids of Iran and Uzbek’s of Turan (Central Asia).
  4. He then arranged Mughal administration in a proper way. Tolerance and liberalism were two main features of his administration.
  5. Judicial system adopted by him was an ideal

Question 23.
Describe briefly the expansion and consolidation of Mughal Empire under Jalaluddin Akbar (1356-1605). (C.B.S.E, 2011 (D))
Jalal-ud-din Akbar was the son and successor of Humayun. He is considered as the greatest of all the Mughal emperors because he not only expanded but also consolidated his empire, making the largest, strongest and richest kingdom of his time. He extended frontier of his empire to Hindukush mountains. He also checked the expansionist plans of Uzbeks of Turan and the Safavids of Iran. Mughal administration under Akbar was quite strong. He showed great tolerance in the matters of religion and gave freedom to everyone to practice their respective religions.

Question 24.
Describe briefly how the emperor began his day in the balcony and at Diwan-i-aam. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (GD.))
Jharokha darshan was introduced by Akbar. According to this, emperor used to begin his day at sunrise with few religious prayers. Then he used to appear on a small balcony i.e., the Jharokha facing the east direction. Below, a crowd of people waited for a view of the emperor. It was started with an objective to broadening the acceptance of the imperial authority or part of popular faith. After spending an hour at the Jharokha, the emperor walked to the public hall of audience (diwan-i-aam) to conduct the primary business of his government. State officials presented reports and made requests.

Question 25.
For members of the nobility under the Mughals, imperial service was a way of acquiring power, wealth and highest possible reputation.” Examine the statement. (C.B.S.E. 2012 (O.D.))
For members of the nobility, imperial service was a way of acquiring power, wealth and the highest possible reputation. A person wishing to join the service petitioned through a noble, who presented a tajwiz or gift to the emperor. If the applicant was found suitable then a mansab was granted to him. Mir Bakhshi was the paymaster general. He used to stand in open court on the right side of the emperor and presented all candidates for appointment or promotion.

His office used to prepare orders bearing his seal and signature and of the emperor as well. There were two other important ministers as well at the centre. Diwan- i-Ala was the finance minister and Sadr-us-Sadux was minister of grants or Maded-i-maash and incharge of appointing qazia or local judges. All these three ministers sometimes worked as an advisory body but generally were independent from each other.

Kings and Chronicles Important Extra Questions Long Answer Type

Question 1.
Who were the Mughals? Give a brief description of political history of Mughals.
The name Mughal was derived from Mongol. Though today this name is the symbol of grandeur of Mughal empire but Mughals themselves did not selected this name. They called themselves as Timurids because from paternal side they were the descendants of Turkish ruler Timur. First Mughal emperor Babur was related to Mongol ruler Ghenghiz Khan from his mother side. He used to speak Turkish and referred Mongols as barbaric hordes.

The word Mughal was used by the Europeans during 16th century for the Mughal dynasty.
Political History of the Mughals

1. Babur: The Mughal empire was made up of many regional kingdoms. It was the result of conquests
and friendly treaties. Babur was the founder of this empire who was driven away by the warring Uzbeks from his Central Asian homeland, Farghana. First of all, he established himself at Kabul and then moved towards the Indian sub-continent in search of territories and resources to meet the needs of the members of his clan.

2. Humayun: Humayun (1530-40, 1555-56) was the son and successor of Babur who expanded the frontiers of his empire. But he was defeated by Afghan leader Sher Shah Suri and was forced to run away from India. He took refuge in the court of Safavid ruler of Iran. With his help, Humayun defeated Suris in 1555 C.E. But a year later, he died by accidentally falling off the stairs of the liberary.

3. Jalal-ud-din Akbar: Jalal-ud-din Akbar (1556-1605) is considered as the greatest Mughal emperor. He not only expanded his empire but also consolidated it and made it as the strongest and richest empire of his time. He extended frontiers of his empire to the Hindukush mountains. He also checked the expansionist plans of Uzbeks of Turans (Central Asia) and the Safavids of Iran.

4. Successors of Akbar: After Akbar, Jahangir (1605-27), Shah Jahan (1628-58) and Aurangzeb (1658-1707) became rulers of the Mughal empire. All three were able successors who further expanded this empire although with a slow speed. They maintained and consolidated the different instruments of governance.

End of the Mughal Empire: Aurangzeb died in 1707 C.E. after which the central power of Mughal dynasty reduced. That is why instead of controlling such a large empire from capital cities like Delhi, Agra or Lahore, many regional forces emerged. But symbolically, the prestige of Mughal rulers remained intact. The last scion of this dynasty, Bahadur Shah Zafar-II was overthrown by the British in 1857 C.E.

Question 2.
Throw light on the role of painters and images in the Mughal manuscripts. Why and on what grounds, there was a tension?
Describe briefly how the interpretations of the Sharia changed ‘.with time. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (D))
The painters had a significant role in the production of the Mughal manuscripts. They described an event in the visual form. They gave a visual expression to many important events that happened during the reign of various Mughal rulers. In fact, their paintings accompanied what was described in words. They were miniatures on the pages of manuscripts. Significance of the Paintings: The paintings served the following purposes:

  • They enhanced the beauty of a book.
  • They communicated those ideas which were hard to be conveyed in the written medium.
  • They were like a magical art having the power to make inanimate things look life-like.

Tension Regarding Paintings: The paintings portrayed not only the emperors but also their courts and other people. So they were always a source of constant tension between the rulers and the representatives of the orthodox Muslims, i.e., the Ulema. These orthodox Muslims invoked the Islamic prohibition of the portrayal of human beings enshrined in the Quran and the Hadis which described an incident from the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Hadis, the Prophet Muhammad had forbidden the depiction of living beings as it would have interfered in the laws of nature and the divine power of creation. It was believed that the power of creation belonged exclusively to God. Akbar ignored and did not recognise the tension on the question of visual representations of living beings in the Mughal Court. According to Abul Fazl, Akbar had stated: “There are many that hate paintings, but such men I dislike. It appears to me that an artist has a unique way of recognising God.”

Changing Environment: With the passage of time, the interpretations of the Sharia also changed. Various social groups interpreted the Islamic tradition in the way it suited them politically. So all the Muslim rulers of Asia asked artists to paint their portraits and scenes of life in their kingdoms. For example, the Safavid kings of Iran patronised the finest artists. So many painters like Bizhad played a great role in spreading the cultural fame of the Safavid Court. Many artists came to India from Iran during the Mughal rule. Similarly the famous artists like Mir Sayyid Ali and Abdus Samad came to India along with Emperor Humayun. Many other artists came to India in search of opportunities to win patronage and prestige.

Question 3.
Write an essay on Akbarnama and its author Ahul Fazl.
Discuss Akbarnama as an important .source of the Mughal history. Who wrote the Akbarnama? Describe its content in brief. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
“Mughals transmitted their grand vision through the writing of dynastic histories.” Explain the statement with reference to the Akbarnama. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (O.D.))
Akbarnama is an important illustrated Mughal official history written by Abul Fazl. It has a lot of paintings depicting battles, sieges, hunts, construction of buildings and scenes of courts. It has shaped and articulated the ideas associated with the reign of Akbar.

Abul Fazl began to write Akbarnama in 1589 C.E. He repeatedly revised his draft and made use of all the available sources such as:

  1. Actual records of events (waqai).
  2. Official documents.
  3. Oral testimonies of knowledgeable persons.

Akbarnama was divided into three volumes. The first two volumes were in the form of chronicles. The third volume is the Ain-i-Akbari. The first volume describes the first thirty years of Akbar’s life. The second volume describes the period from 31st year to 46th year of Akbar’s life. Thus, Akbarnama provides a detailed information about the reign of Akbar. It depicts various aspects of Akbar’s empire such as geographic, social, cultural and administrative. Ain- i-Akbari delineates the picture of Mughal society which comprised of the Hindus, the Jainas, the Buddhists and the Muslims. In other words, the Mughals had a composite culture.

Question 4.
Give main features of different capital cities of the Mughals.
“The heart of the Mughal Empire was its capital city.” Explain with ‘.examples. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D))
Capital city was the heart of the Mughal empire. Mughal courts were assembled here. The Mughals changed their capitals frequently during 16th and 17th centuries. Although Babur captured Agra, capital city of Lodhis but still, within four years of his reign, royal court assembled at different places.

1. Agra and Fatehpur Sikri: Akbar constructed Agra fort in the decade of 1560’s. Red marble was used in its construction. In the decade of 1570’s, he decided to shift his capital to Fatehpur Sikri. Its reason was probably that Sikri was situated on the direct road to Ajmer where there was a tomb of Shaikh Muin-ud-din Chishti. This tomb had become an important pilgrimage centre. The Mughal rulers had very close relations with Sufis of Chishti silsila. Akbar constructed a white marble tomb for Shaikh Salim Chishti near Jumma mosque at Sikri. He also constructed Buland Darwaza. It’s objective was to remind visitors about the Mughal victory over Gujarat.

2. Lahore: In 1585, the capital was shifted to Lahore to increase control over north western frontiers. In this way, Akbar maintained a great check for 13 years on this frontiers.

Shah Jahan adopted sound fiscal policies and accumulated enough wealth for his passion of buildings. The work of construction of building in monarchical cultures was a tangible sign of dynastic power, wealth and prestige. It was also seen as an act of piety in the context of Muslim rulers.

3. Shahjahanabad: In 1648 C.E., Court, military and royal family were migrated to new capital Shahjahanabad from Agra. Shahjahanabad was a new addition to the old residential city of Delhi. The city of Delhi had Red Fort, Jama Masjid, a tree lined esplanade with bazaars, i.e., Chandni Chowk and large mansions of nobles. This new city of Shah Jahan was appropriate to a more formal vision of a grand monarchy.

Question 5.
“The keeping of exact and detailed records was one of the major ’ features of Mughal administration.” Explain the statement with example. (C.B.S.E. 2009, 2016 (O.D.))
“The keeping of exact and detailed records was a major concern of the Mughal administration.” Suport the statement with facts. (C.B.S.E. 2012, 2015 (O.D.))
Yes, it is true that the keeping of exact and detailed records was one of the major features of the Mughal administration.

1. Mir Bakshi used to check the group of Court writers (waqia nawis). These writers used to record all applications and documents presented in the court and all imperial orders.

2.Agents (wakil) of nobles and regional rulers used to record whole of the working of the court under the heading of ‘News from the Date Court’. These records also included the time and dates of meetings of court.

3. The akhbarat had all kinds of information like attendance at the court, distribution of offices and titles, diplomatic missions, received presents and enquiries made by the emperor about the health of any officer.

4. News reports and important documents travelled across the regions under Mughal empire by imp
erial post.

5. The emperor received reports from even distant provincial capitals within a few days. Whole of the empire was connected by surprisingly rapid information loop for public news.

Question 6.
What do you know about religious policy of Akbar and Din-i-Ilahi?
Discuss main features of religious policy of Akbar.
Discuss the changes which came in Akbar’s views about religion from accession to throne till the founding of Din-i-Ilahi.
Akbar was one of the greatest emperors of his times. His religious policy was based on the concepts of liberalness and tolerance. Such a big change in his religious ideas came because of the following reasons:

1. Impact of Clan: Akbar’s father Humayun was not a fundamentalist. His mother Hamidabano Begum belonged to the Shia sect. Akbar was greatly influenced by her liberal and tolerable nature.

2. Impact of teacher and protector: For the first few years as a king, Akbar remained under the protection of Bairam Khan. Akbar was very much influenced by Bairam Khan and his teacher Abdul Latifs liberal ideas.

3. Contacts with Rajputs: Akbar established marital relations with Rajputs. His Hindu queens played a great role in changing his religious ideas.

4. Mutual conflicts among Maulavis: Akbar was fed up with mutual conflicts among Maulavis and Mullas. He went against them and began work in search of religious truth.

5. Impact of Sufi Saints: Sufi saints of that time propagated the liberal religious ideas. It also helped in changing his religious ideas.

6. Demand of Time: Akbar wanted to establish a large empire. That is why he wanted to have cooperation of both Hindus and Muslims.

7. Construction of Ibadatkhana: Akbar established one Ibadatkhana (place of worship) at Fatehpur Sikri where different religious leaders used to express their ideas. From their ideas, Akbar came to know that religious truth does not remain in one particular religion but is equally exists in all the religions.

Just because of all these reasons he began behaving in a liberal way. He removed Jizya and permitted every one to practice their religious customs.

Din-i-Ilahi: Din-i-Ilahi was the result of progress of religious sentiments of Akbar. He founded a new religion Din-i-Ilahi in 1582 A.D. He included all the basic concepts and elements of all the religions and sects. Gods-Goddesses, Pirs, etc., had no place in it. According to this, God is one and Akbar is his top most devotee. Followers of this religion were not allowed to be non-vegetariAnswer:Its followers used to greet each other by saying ‘Allah-hu-Akbar’. They were always ready to sacrifice every thing for the emperor. Din-i- Ilahi did not become popular because Akbar hardly took any step to popularise it among the masses.

Question 7.
Briefly describe the structure of central administration of Akbar or Mughals.
Explain organisation of the administration and army during the rule of Akbar as given in ‘Ain.’ (C.B.S.E. 2012’ (O.D.))
Akbar himself was an administrator of top quality. He tried to strengthen the central power. Administrative system started by him remained there during whole of Mughal period. In short, following are the main features of central administration of Akbar and Mughals:

1. Emperor: During the reign of Akbar, emperor himself was the central axis of administration. All the powers of administration were in his hands and there was no res-triction on his powers. Even then the emperor hardly acted as an autocratic ruler. Mullas and Maulavis had no impact on him. He considered himself as a representative of God.

2. Council of Ministers: There was an arrangement of council of ministers for giving help to emperor in administrative activities. Powers of the Ministers were not elaborated as in modem times. They worked according to the orders of the emperor. That is why they could have been called as secretaries of emperor. The post of Prime Minister was above all the other ministers. Emperor used to seek his advice on all the serious matters. Every minister was responsible to emperor himself. They could remain in their office until the emperor remained happy with them.

Important minister and their offices are given below:

  1. Waqil or Wazir: He acted as Prime Minister and used to give advice to emperor on all the important matters.
  2. Mir Bakhshi: His main work was to give salary to military and civilian officials.
  3. Sadr-us-Sudur: He Was the minister of grants and incharge of appointing local judges or qazis.
  4. Khan-i-Sama: He used to arrange necessary things for emperor and his royal family.
  5. Main Qazi: His main work was to give justice. He was the top most judge after the emperor.
  6. Diwan: He used to keep accounts of the empire. His signatures were required to pay money to any one.
  7. Other Ministers: Except these ministers, there were different ministers for forests, postal department, department of artillery, etc.

Kings and Chronicles Important Extra Questions HOTS

Question 1.
From which word did the term ‘Mughal’ was derived? Was this word chosen by the Mughals themselves and why?
The term ‘Mughal’ was derived from the word ‘Mongol’. Though this term was associated with the grandeur of the Mughal Empire yet it was not chosen for themselves by the Mughal rulers. From the paternal side, they referred to themselves as Timurids, that is, the descendants of the Turkish ruler Timur. However, from the mother’s side, Babur was related to Genghis Khan, a Mongol. However, Babur himself spoke Turkish and considered Mongols as barbaric hordes.

Question 2.
Why did the Mughals call themselves Timurids?
The Mughals were related to Mongols from the maternal side. However, they did not like Mongols whom they considered barbaric hordes. On the other hand, they were related to the Turkish ruler Timur from the paternal side. So, they called themselves Timurids. Babur himself spoke Turkish.

Question 3.
Why did the Mughal artists start portraying emperors with halo from the seventeenth century onward?
From the seventeenth century onwards, the Mughal artists began to portray emperors with a halo which they had seen in the European paintings of Christ and the Virgin Mary. This light was the symbol of the light of God. It showed that the Mughal kings derived their power directly from God.

Question 4.
How was the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul a unifying force in the Mughal Empire? How was this ideal enforced?
How was the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul implemented through state policies? Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2011 (O.D.))
“Abul Fazl has described the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul of Akbar as the corner¬. stone of his enlightened rule.” Justify. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (D))
According to Mughal chronicles, the Mughal Empire comprised of different ethnic and religious communities like the Hindus, the Jainas, the Zoroastrians, and the Muslims. However, the emperor was above all religious and ethnic groups. He stood for peace, unity, and stability. He mediated among all the groups to ensure peace, unity, and justice.

Abul Fazl has stated that the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul stood for absolute peace between all the religious and ethnic groups. It was the cornerstone of enlightened rule. All religions enjoyed full freedom of expression. But no one was allowed to undermine the authority of the state. Besides, the people belonging to different religious and ethnic groups were not allowed to quarrel among themselves.

The nobles of the Mughal Empire implemented the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul. All the officers had the royal instructions to follow the ideal of Sulh-i-Kul in administration.

Question 5.
“Granting of titles to men of merit was an important aspect of Mughal polity.” Justify the statement with suitable evidence. (C.B.S.E. 2010 (O.D.))
“The granting of titles to the men of merit was an important aspect of Mughal policy”. Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2017 (O.D.))
“The granting of titles was an important aspect of Mughal policy”. Justify the Statement. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (O.D.))
Giving titles to able persons was an important aspect of the Mughal polity. The promotion of any person in the court hierarchy was known only by the titles he held. One of the titles of Asaf Khan for one of the topmost minister was originated with Asaf, the legendary minister of the prophet king Sulaiman. Aurangzeb gave the title of Mirza Raja to his topmost nobles Jai Singh and Jaswant Singh. Titles could either be earned or were paid. Mir Khan offered? 1 Lakh to emperor Aurangzeb for the letter Alif means A, to be added to his name to change it to Amir Khan.

Question 6.
Identify the distinctive features of the imperial household of the Mughal Empire. (C.B.S.E. 2015 (O.D.))
“The Mughal imperial household held vivid dimensions of their domestic life.” Explain. (C.B.S.E. 2019 (O.D.))

1. The term “harem” is frequently used to refer to the domestic world of the Mughals. The Mughal household consisted of the emperor’s wives and concubines, his near and distant relatives, and female servants and slaves.
2. Polygamy was practised widely in the Indian subcontinent, expecially among the ruling groups.
3. A distinction was maintained between wives who came from royal and aristocratic families (begams) and other wives (aghas) who were not so noble by birth.
4. The Begams were married after receiving huge amounts of cash and valuables as dower (mahr), naturally received a higher status and greater attention from their husbands than did aghas.
5. The concubines occupied the lowest position in the hierarchy of females intimately related to royalty. They all received monthly allowances in cash, supplemented with gifts according to their status.

Question 7.
Traditions of titles, gifts and peshkash were deeply associated with Mughal Court. Elucidate by giving examples.
1. The Mughal emperors used to adopt grand titles at the time of coronation or after a victory over
any enemy when these titles were announced by ushers (naqib) then an atmosphere of awe was created in the evidence. Full title of the reigning emperor with royal protocol were carried on the Mughal coins.

2. Giving titles to able persons was an important aspect of the Mughal polity. Promotion of any person in court hierarchy was known only by titles he held. One of the title of Asaf Khan for one of the top most minister was originated with Asaf, the legendary minister of the prophet King Sulaiman. Aurangzeb gave title of Mirza Raja to his top most nobles Jai Singh and Jaswant Singh. Titles could either be earned or were paid. Mir Khan offered? 1 Lakh to emperor Aurangzeb for the letter Alif means A, to be added to his name to change it to Amir Khan.

3. Rewards included the robe of honour, i.e., Khilat. It was a garment once worn by the emperor. It was assumed that it was a symbol of his benediction. Sarapa was another gift (head to foot). This gift had three parts: a tunic, a turban and a sash. Emperor also used to gift jewelled ornaments.

4. Only in exceptional circumstances, the emperor used to give the lotus blossom set with jewels (padma murassa).

5. No courtier ever approached the emperor empty handed. He offered either small amount of money as nazr or a large amount as peshkash.

6. Gifts were regarded as symbols of respect and honour in diplomatic relations. Ambassadors used to do an important work of negotiating treaties between competing political powers. Thomas Roy was very much disappointed with the return of a ring which he presented to Asaf Khan. It was returned because it was worth only? 400.

Kings and Chronicles Important Extra Questions Source-Based

Read the following passages and answer the questions that follow: (C.B.S.E. 2016 (D))

Question 1.
The Accessible Emperor

In the account of his experiences, Monserrate, who was a member of the first Jesuit mission, says:

It is hard to exaggerate how accessible he (Akbar) makes himself to all who wish audience of him. For he creates an opportunity almost every day for any of the common people or of the nobles to see him and to converse with him and he endeavours to show himself pleasant-spoken and affable rather than severe towards all who come to speak with him. It is very remarkable how great an effect this courtesy and affability has in attaching him to the minds of his subjects.
(i) Who were Jesuit? What was the role of Jesuit Mission in the 16th century India?
The Jesuits were the religious preachers. They came from Europe to visit the Mughal court. In the 16th century India, the Jesuit Mission was a part of the process of trade and empire-building.

Question 2.
Nobles at Court

The Jesuit priest Father Antonio Monserrate, resident at the court of Akbar, noticed:
In order to prevent the great nobles becoming insolent through the unchallenged enjoyment of power, the King summons them to court and gives them imperious commands, as though they were his slaves. The obedience to these commands ill suits their exalted rank and dignity.
(i) Who was Father Antonio Monserrate?
Father Antonio Monserrate was a Jesuit priest.
He ws a resident at the court of Akbar.

(ii) According to him, how did the king control his nobles? What was his aim?
The nobles served as officers of the Mughal empire in the provinces. The king kept them under control by doing the following:
(a) He personally reviewed changes in rank, titles and official postings.
(b) He established spiritual relationship with selected nobles. He treated them as if they were his disciples (murid).
(c) He summoned them to his courts and gave them imperious commands. He treated them as if they were slaves. All the nobles obeyed the king though it did not suit their rank and status.

(iii) Give any three characteristics of the Mughal nobility.
(a) The nobles participated in military campaigns with their armies.
(b) They served as officers of the empire in the provinces.
(c) They maintained horsemen.

Abu’l Fazl gives a vivid account of Akbar’s darbar:
Whenever His Majesty (Akbar) holds court (darbar) a large drum is beaten, the sounds of which are accompanied by Divine praise. In this manner, people of all classes receive notice. His Majesty’s sons and grand children, the grandees of the Court, and all other men who have admittance, attend to make the kornish, and remain standing in their proper places. Learned men of renown and skilful mechanics pay their respects and the officers of justice present their reports. His Majesty, with his usual insights, gives orders, and settles everything in a satisfactory manner. During the whole time, skilful gladiators and wrestlers from all countries hold themselves in readiness and singers, male and female, are in waiting. Clever jugglers and funny tumblers also are anxious to exhibit their dexterity and agility.
(i) How were the people informed about the royal court?
The people were informed about the sitting of the court (darbar) by beating a large drum and singing Divine praise.

(ii) Explain any four political activities of the Mughal court.
(a) The sons and grandchildren of the king attended the court. Besides all those attended the court who were allowed admission.
(b) They bowed before the king and stood in their proper places.
(c) The officers of justice presented their reports.
(d) The king only gave orders and settled everything in a satisfactory manner.

(iii) What was the arrangement for the entertainment of the darbaris?
The gladiators, the wrestlers, the singers, the jugglers and the tumblers entertained those who attended the court.

(iv) How was the status of a Darbari determined in the court?
In the court, status of a darbari was determined by proximity of his seat to the king.

Question 4.
In Praise of Taswir

Abu’l Fazl held the art of painting in high esteem:
Drawing the likeness of anything is called a taser. His Majesty from his earliest youth has shown a great predilection for this art, and gives it every encouragement, as he looks upon it as a means both of study and amusement. A very large number of painters have been set to work. Each week, several supervisors and clerks of the imperial workshop submit before the emperor the work done by each artist, and His Majesty gives a reward and increases the monthly salaries of the artists according to the excellence displayed … Most excellence displayed… Most excellent painters are now to be found, and masterpieces, worthy of a Bihzad, may be placed at the side of the wonderful works of the European painters who have attained worldwide fame.

The minuteness in detail, the general finish, and the boldness of execution now observed in pictures are incomparable even inanimate objects look as if they have life. More than a hundred painters have become famous masters of art. This is especially true of Hindu artists. Their pictures surpass our conception of things. Few, indeed, in the whole world are found equal to them.
(i) How has Abu’l Fazl described the art of painting? According to him, what is taser (picture)?
According to Abu’l Fazl, painting is a magical art. It means drawing the likeness of anything.

(ii) How did Emperor Akbar encourage painting?
Emperor Akbar encouraged painting as he looked upon it as a means of both study and amusement. He engaged many painters. He also personally checked their work. He gave a reward and an increase in monthly salary to the excellent painters.

(iii) Give any two features of pictures made by the Hindu painters?
(a) The Hindu artists displayed minuteness, finish and boldness in their paintings.
(b) They made inanimate things look as if they had life in them.


अकबर का जन्म पूर्णिमा के दिन हुआ था इसलिए उनका नाम बदरुद्दीन मोहम्मद अकबर रखा गया था। बद्र का अर्थ होता है पूर्ण चंद्रमा और अकबर उनके नाना शेख अली अकबर जामी के नाम से लिया गया था। कहा जाता है कि काबुल पर विजय मिलने के बाद उनके पिता हुमायूँ ने बुरी नज़र से बचने के लिए अकबर की जन्म तिथि एवं नाम बदल दिए थे। [20] किवदंती यह भी है कि भारत की जनता ने उनके सफल एवं कुशल शासन के लिए अकबर नाम से सम्मानित किया था। अरबी भाषा मे अकबर शब्द का अर्थ "महान" या बड़ा होता है।

आरम्भिक जीवन

अकबर का जन्म राजपूत शासक राणा अमरसाल के महल उमेरकोट, सिंध (वर्तमान पाकिस्तान) में २३ नवंबर, १५४२ (हिजरी अनुसार रज्जब, ९४९ के चौथे दिन) हुआ था। यहां बादशाह हुमायुं अपनी हाल की विवाहिता बेगम हमीदा बानो बेगम के साथ शरण लिये हुए थे। इस पुत्र का नाम हुमायुं ने एक बार स्वप्न में सुनाई दिये के अनुसार जलालुद्दीन मोहम्मद रखा। [2] [21] बाबर का वंश तैमूर और मंगोल नेता चंगेज खां से था यानि उसके वंशज तैमूर लंग के खानदान से थे और मातृपक्ष का संबंध चंगेज खां से था। इस प्रकार अकबर की धमनियों में एशिया की दो प्रसिद्ध जातियों, तुर्क और मंगोल के रक्त का सम्मिश्रण था। [3]

हुमायूँ को पश्तून नेता शेरशाह सूरी के कारण फारस में अज्ञातवास बिताना पड़ रहा था। [22] किन्तु अकबर को वह अपने संग नहीं ले गया वरन रीवां (वर्तमान मध्य प्रदेश) के राज्य के एक ग्राम मुकुंदपुर में छोड़ दिया था। अकबर की वहां के राजकुमार राम सिंह प्रथम से, जो आगे चलकर रीवां का राजा बना, के संग गहरी मित्रता हो गयी थी। ये एक साथ ही पले और बढ़े और आजीवन मित्र रहे। कालांतर में अकबर सफ़ावी साम्राज्य (वर्तमान अफ़गानिस्तान का भाग) में अपने एक चाचा मिर्ज़ा अस्कारी के यहां रहने लगा। पहले वह कुछ दिनों कंधार में और फिर १५४५ से काबुल में रहा। हुमायूँ की अपने छोटे भाइयों से बराबर ठनी ही रही इसलिये चाचा लोगों के यहाँ अकबर की स्थिति बंदी से कुछ ही अच्छी थी। यद्यपि सभी उसके साथ अच्छा व्यवहार करते थे और शायद दुलार प्यार कुछ ज़्यादा ही होता था। किंतु अकबर पढ़ लिख नहीं सका वह केवल सैन्य शिक्षा ले सका। उसका काफी समय आखेट, दौड़ व द्वंद्व, कुश्ती आदि में बीता, तथा शिक्षा में उसकी रुचि नहीं रही। जब तक अकबर आठ वर्ष का हुआ, जन्म से लेकर अब तक उसके सभी वर्ष भारी अस्थिरता में निकले थे जिसके कारण उसकी शिक्षा-दीक्षा का सही प्रबंध नहीं हो पाया था। अब हुमायूं का ध्यान इस ओर भी गया। लगभग नवम्बर, +--9-9 में उसने अकबर की शिक्षा प्रारंभ करने के लिए काबुल में एक आयोजन किया। किंतु ऐन मौके पर अकबर के खो जाने पर वह समारोह दूसरे दिन सम्पन्न हुआ। मुल्ला जादा मुल्ला असमुद्दीन अब्राहीम को अकबर का शिक्षक नियुक्त किया गया। मगर मुल्ला असमुद्दीन अक्षम सिद्ध हुए। तब यह कार्य पहले मौलाना बामजीद को सौंपा गया, मगर जब उन्हें भी सफलता नहीं मिली तो मौलाना अब्दुल कादिर को यह काम सौंपा गया। मगर कोई भी शिक्षक अकबर को शिक्षित करने में सफल न हुआ। असल में, पढ़ने-लिखने में अकबर की रुचि नहीं थी, उसकी रुचि कबूतर बाजी, घुड़सवारी और कुत्ते पालने में अधिक थी। [3] किन्तु ज्ञानोपार्जन में उसकी रुचि सदा से ही थी। कहा जाता है, कि जब वह सोने जाता था, एक व्यक्ति उसे कुछ पढ़ कर सुनाता रह्ता था। [23] समय के साथ अकबर एक परिपक्व और समझदार शासक के रूप में उभरा, जिसे कला, स्थापत्य, संगीत और साहित्य में गहरी रुचि रहीं।


शेरशाह सूरी के पुत्र इस्लाम शाह के उत्तराधिकार के विवादों से उत्पन्न अराजकता का लाभ उठा कर हुमायूँ ने १५५५ में दिल्ली पर पुनः अधिकार कर लिया। इसमें उसकी सेना में एक अच्छा भाग फारसी सहयोगी ताहमस्प प्रथम का रहा। इसके कुछ माह बाद ही ४८ वर्ष की आयु में ही हुमायूँ का आकस्मिक निधन अपने पुस्तकालय की सीढ़ी से भारी नशे की हालात में गिरने के कारण हो गया। [24] [25] तब अकबर के संरक्षक बैरम खां ने साम्राज्य के हित में इस मृत्यु को कुछ समय के लिये छुपाये रखा और अकबर को उत्तराधिकार हेतु तैयार किया। १४ फ़रवरी, १५५६ को अकबर का राजतिलक हुआ। ये सब मुगल साम्राज्य से दिल्ली की गद्दी पर अधिकार की वापसी के लिये सिकंदर शाह सूरी से चल रहे युद्ध के दौरान ही हुआ। १३ वर्षीय अकबर का कलनौर, पंजाब में सुनहरे वस्त्र तथा एक गहरे रंग की पगड़ी में एक नवनिर्मित मंच पर राजतिलक हुआ। ये मंच आज भी बना हुआ है। [26] [27] उसे फारसी भाषा में सम्राट के लिये शब्द शहंशाह से पुकारा गया। वयस्क होने तक उसका राज्य बैरम खां के संरक्षण में चला। [28] [29]

खोये हुए राज्य को पुनः प्राप्त करने के लिये अकबर के पिता हुमायूँ के अनवरत प्रयत्न अन्ततः सफल हुए और वह सन्‌ १५५५ में हिंदुस्तान पहुँच सका किंतु अगले ही वर्ष सन्‌ १५५६ में राजधानी दिल्ली में उसकी मृत्यु हो गई और गुरदासपुर के कलनौर नामक स्थान पर १४ वर्ष की आयु में अकबर का राजतिलक हुआ। अकबर का संरक्षक बैराम खान को नियुक्त किया गया जिसका प्रभाव उस पर १५६० तक रहा। तत्कालीन मुगल राज्य केवल काबुल से दिल्ली तक ही फैला हुआ था। इसके साथ ही अनेक समस्याएं भी सिर उठाये खड़ी थीं। १५६३ में शम्सुद्दीन अतका खान की हत्या पर उभरा जन आक्रोश, १५६४-६५ के बीच उज़बेक विद्रोह और १५६६-६७ में मिर्ज़ा भाइयों का विद्रोह भी था, किंतु अकबर ने बड़ी कुशलता से इन समस्याओं को हल कर लिया। अपनी कल्पनाशीलता से उसने अपने सामन्तों की संख्या बढ़ाई। [30] इसी बीच १५६६ में महाम अंका नामक उसकी धाय के बनवाये मदरसे (वर्तमान पुराने किले परिसर में) से शहर लौटते हुए अकबर पर तीर से एक जानलेवा हमला हुआ, जिसे अकबर ने अपनी फुर्ती से बचा लिया, हालांकि उसकी बांह में गहरा घाव हुआ। इस घटना के बाद अकबर की प्रशसन शैली में कुछ बदलाव आया जिसके तहत उसने शासन की पूर्ण बागडोर अपने हाथ में ले ली। इसके फौरन बाद ही हेमु के नेतृत्व में अफगान सेना पुनः संगठित होकर उसके सम्मुख चुनौती बनकर खड़ी थी। अपने शासन के आरंभिक काल में ही अकबर यह समझ गया कि सूरी वंश को समाप्त किए बिना वह चैन से शासन नहीं कर सकेगा। इसलिए वह सूरी वंश के सबसे शक्तिशाली शासक सिकंदर शाह सूरी पर आक्रमण करने पंजाब चल पड़ा।

दिल्ली का शासन उसने मुग़ल सेनापति तारदी बैग खान को सौंप दिया। सिकंदर शाह सूरी अकबर के लिए बहुत बड़ा प्रतिरोध साबित नही हुआ। कुछ प्रदेशो मे तो अकबर के पहुँचने से पहले ही उसकी सेना पीछे हट जाती थी। अकबर की अनुपस्थिति मे हेमू विक्रमादित्य ने दिल्ली और आगरा पर आक्रमण कर विजय प्राप्त की। ६ अक्तूबर १५५६ को हेमु ने स्वयं को भारत का महाराजा घोषित कर दिया। इसी के साथ दिल्ली मे हिंदू राज्य की पुनः स्थापना हुई।

दिल्ली की पराजय का समाचार जब अकबर को मिला तो उसने तुरन्त ही बैरम खान से परामर्श कर के दिल्ली की तरफ़ कूच करने का इरादा बना लिया। अकबर के सलाहकारो ने उसे काबुल की शरण में जाने की सलाह दी। अकबर और हेमु की सेना के बीच पानीपत मे युद्ध हुआ। यह युद्ध पानीपत का द्वितीय युद्ध के नाम से प्रसिद्ध है। संख्या में कम होते हुए भी अकबर ने इस युद्ध मे विजय प्राप्त की। इस विजय से अकबर को १५०० हाथी मिले जो मनकोट के हमले में सिकंदर शाह सूरी के विरुद्ध काम आए। सिकंदर शाह सूरी ने आत्मसमर्पण कर दिया और अकबर ने उसे प्राणदान दे दिया।

दिल्ली पर पुनः अधिकार जमाने के बाद अकबर ने अपने राज्य का विस्तार करना शुरू किया और मालवा को १५६२ में, गुजरात को १५७२ में, बंगाल को १५७४ में, काबुल को १५८१ में, कश्मीर को १५८६ में और खानदेश को १६०१ में मुग़ल साम्राज्य के अधीन कर लिया। अकबर ने इन राज्यों में एक एक राज्यपाल नियुक्त किया। अकबर यह नही चाहता था की मुग़ल साम्राज्य का केन्द्र दिल्ली जैसे दूरस्थ शहर में हो इसलिए उसने यह निर्णय लिया की मुग़ल राजधानी को फतेहपुर सीकरी ले जाया जाए जो साम्राज्य के मध्य में थी। कुछ ही समय के बाद अकबर को राजधानी फतेहपुर सीकरी से हटानी पड़ी। कहा जाता है कि पानी की कमी इसका प्रमुख कारण था। फतेहपुर सीकरी के बाद अकबर ने एक चलित दरबार बनाया जो कि साम्राज्य भर में घूमता रहता था इस प्रकार साम्राज्य के सभी कोनो पर उचित ध्यान देना सम्भव हुआ। सन १५८५ में उत्तर पश्चिमी राज्य के सुचारू राज पालन के लिए अकबर ने लाहौर को राजधानी बनाया। अपनी मृत्यु के पूर्व अकबर ने सन १५९९ में वापस आगरा को राजधानी बनाया और अन्त तक यहीं से शासन संभाला।

सन्‌ १५६० में अकबर ने स्वयं सत्ता संभाल ली और अपने संरक्षक बैरम खां को निकाल बाहर किया। अब अकबर के अपने हाथों में सत्ता थी लेकिन अनेक कठिनाइयाँ भी थीं। जैसे - शम्सुद्दीन अतका खान की हत्या पर उभरा जन आक्रोश (१५६३), उज़बेक विद्रोह (१५६४-६५) और मिर्ज़ा भाइयों का विद्रोह (१५६६-६७) किंतु अकबर ने बड़ी कुशलता से इन समस्याओं को हल कर लिया। अपनी कल्पनाशीलता से उसने अपने सामन्तों की संख्या बढ़ाई। सन्‌ १५६२ में आमेर के शासक से उसने समझौता किया - इस प्रकार राजपूत राजा भी उसकी ओर हो गये। इसी प्रकार उसने ईरान से आने वालों को भी बड़ी सहायता दी। भारतीय मुसलमानों को भी उसने अपने कुशल व्यवहार से अपनी ओर कर लिया। धार्मिक सहिष्णुता का उसने अनोखा परिचय दिया - हिन्दू तीर्थ स्थानों पर लगा कर जज़िया हटा लिया गया (सन्‌ १५६३)। इससे पूरे राज्यवासियों को अनुभव हो गया कि वह एक परिवर्तित नीति अपनाने में सक्षम है। इसके अतिरिक्त उसने जबर्दस्ती युद्धबंदियो का धर्म बदलवाना भी बंद करवा दिया।


अकबर ने अपने शासनकाल में ताँबें, चाँदी एवं सोनें की मुद्राएँ प्रचलित की। इन मुद्राओं के पृष्ठ भाग में सुंदर इस्लामिक छपाई हुआ करती थी। अकबर ने अपने काल की मुद्राओ में कई बदलाव किए। उसने एक खुली टकसाल व्यवस्था की शुरुआत की जिसके अन्दर कोई भी व्यक्ति अगर टकसाल शुल्क देने मे सक्षम था तो वह किसी दूसरी मुद्रा अथवा सोने से अकबर की मुद्रा को परिवर्तित कर सकता था। अकबर चाहता था कि उसके पूरे साम्राज्य में समान मुद्रा चले। [31]

राजधानी स्थानांतरण

पानीपत का द्वितीय युद्ध होने के बाद हेमू को मारकर दिल्ली पर अकबर ने पुनः अधिकार किया। इसके बाद उसने अपने राज्य का विस्तार करना शुरू किया और मालवा को १५६२ में, गुजरात को १५७२ में, बंगाल को १५७४ में, काबुल को १५८१ में, कश्मीर को १५८६ में और खानदेश(वर्तमान बुढ़हानपुर, महाराष्ट्र का भाग) को १६०१ में मुग़ल साम्राज्य के अधीन कर लिया। अकबर ने इन राज्यों में प्रशासन संभालने हेतु एक-एक राज्यपाल नियुक्त किया। उसे राज संभालने के लिये दिल्ली कई स्थानों से दूर लगा और ये प्रतीत हुआ कि इससे प्रशासन में समस्या आ सकती है, अतः उसने निर्णय लिया की मुग़ल राजधानी को आगरा के निकट फतेहपुर सीकरी ले जाया जाए [32] जो साम्राज्य के लगभग मध्य में थी। एक पुराने बसे ग्राम सीकरी पर अकबर ने नया शहर बनवाया जिसे अपनी जीत यानि फतह की खुशी में फतेहाबाद या फतेहपुर नाम दिया गया। जल्दी ही इसे पूरे वर्तमान नाम फतेहपुर सीकरी से बुलाया जाने लगा। यहां के अधिकांश निर्माण उन १४ वर्षों के ही हैं, जिनमें अकबर ने यहां निवास किया। शहर में शाही उद्यान, आरामगाहें, सामंतों व दरबारियों के लिये आवास तथा बच्चों के लिये मदरसे बनवाये गए। ब्लेयर और ब्लूम के अनुसार शहर के अंदर इमारतें दो प्रमुख प्रकार की हैं- सेवा इमारतें, जैसे कारवांसेरी, टकसाल, निर्माणियां, बड़ा बाज़ार (चहर सूक) जहां दक्षिण-पश्चिम/उत्तर पूर्व अक्ष के लम्बवत निर्माण हुए हैं और दूसरा शाही भाग, जिसमें भारत की सबसे बड़ी सामूहिक मस्जिद है, साथ ही आवासीय तथा प्रशासकीय इमारते हैं जिसे दौलतखाना कहते हैं। ये पहाड़ी से कुछ कोण पर स्थित हैं तथा किबला के साथ एक कोण बनाती हैं। [33]

किन्तु ये निर्णय सही सिद्ध नहीं हुआ और कुछ ही समय के बाद अकबर को राजधानी फतेहपुर सीकरी से हटानी पड़ी। इसके पीछे पानी की कमी प्रमुख कारण था। फतेहपुर सीकरी के बाद अकबर ने एक चलित दरबार की रचना की जो पूरे साम्राज्य में घूमता रहता था और इस प्रकार साम्राज्य के सभी स्थानों पर उचित ध्यान देना संभव हुआ। बाद में उसने सन १५८५ में उत्तर पश्चिमी भाग के लिए लाहौर को राजधानी बनाया। मृत्यु के पूर्व अकबर ने सन १५९९ में राजधानी वापस आगरा बनायी और अन्त तक यहीं से शासन संभाला। [30]

आगरा शहर का नया नाम दिया गया अकबराबाद जो साम्राज्य की सबसे बड़ा शहर बना। शहर का मुख्य भाग यमुना नदी के पश्चिमी तट पर बसा था। यहां बरसात के पानी की निकासी की अच्छी नालियां-नालों से परिपूर्ण व्यवस्था बनायी गई। लोधी साम्राज्य द्वारा बनवायी गई गारे-मिट्टी से बनी नगर की पुरानी चारदीवारी को तोड़कर १५६५ में नयी बलुआ पत्थर की दीवार बनवायी गई। अंग्रेज़ इतिहासकार युगल ब्लेयर एवं ब्लूम के अनुसार इस लाल दीवार के कारण ही इसका नाम लाल किला पड़ा। वे आगे लिखते हैं कि यह किला पिछले किले के नक्शे पर ही कुछ अर्धवृत्ताकार बना था। शहर की ओर से इसे एक दोहरी सुरक्षा दीवार घेरे है, जिसके बाहर गहरी खाई बनी है। इस दोहरी दीवार में उत्तर में दिल्ली गेट व दक्षिण में अमर सिंह द्वार बने हैं। ये दोनों द्वार अपने धनुषाकार मेहराब-रूपी आलों व बुर्जों तथा लाल व सफ़ेद संगमर्मर पर नीली ग्लेज़्ड टाइलों द्वारा अलंकरण से ही पहचाने जाते हैं। वर्तमान किला अकबर के पौत्र शाहजहां द्वारा बनवाया हुआ है। इसमें दक्षिणी ओर जहांगीरी महल और अकबर महल हैं। [33]

विवाह संबंध

आंबेर के कछवाहा राजपूत राज भारमल ने अकबर के दरबार में अपने राज्य संभालने के कुछ समय बाद ही प्रवेश पाया था। इन्होंने अपनी राजकुमारी हरखा बाई का विवाह अकबर से करवाना स्वीकार किया। [34] [35] विवाहोपरांत मुस्लिम बनी और मरियम-उज़-ज़मानी कहलायी। उसे राजपूत परिवार ने सदा के लिये त्याग दिया और विवाह के बाद वो कभी आमेर वापस नहीं गयी। उसे विवाह के बाद आगरा या दिल्ली में कोई महत्त्वपूर्ण स्थान भी नहीं मिला था, बल्कि भरतपुर जिले का एक छोटा सा गाँव मिला था। [36] उसकी मृत्यु १६२३ में हुई थी। उसके पुत्र जहांगीर द्वारा उसके सम्मान में लाहौर में एक मस्जिद बनवायी गई थी। [37] भारमल को अकबर के दरबार में ऊंचा स्थान मिला था और उसके बाद उसके पुत्र भगवंत दास और पौत्र मानसिंह भी दरबार के ऊंचे सामन्त बने रहे। [38] हिन्दू राजकुमारियों को मुस्लिम राजाओं से विवाह में संबंध बनाने के प्रकरण अकबर के समय से पूर्व काफी हुए थे, किन्तु अधिकांश विवाहों के बाद दोनों परिवारों के आपसी संबंध अच्छे नहीं रहे और न ही राजकुमारियां कभी वापस लौट कर घर आयीं। [38] [39] हालांकि अकबर ने इस मामले को पिछले प्रकरणों से अलग रूप दिया, जहां उन रानियों के भाइयों या पिताओं को पुत्रियों या बहनों के विवाहोपरांत अकबर के मुस्लिम ससुराल वालों जैसा ही सम्मान मिला करता था, सिवाय उनके संग खाना खाने और प्रार्थना करने के। उन राजपूतों को अकबर के दरबार में अच्छे स्थान मिले थे। सभी ने उन्हें वैसे ही अपनाया था सिवाय कुछ रूढ़िवादी परिवारों को छोड़कर, जिन्होंने इसे अपमान के रूप में देखा था। [39] अन्य राजपूर रजवाड़ों ने भी अकबर के संग वैवाहिक संबंध बनाये थे, किन्तु विवाह संबंध बनाने की कोई शर्त नहीं थी। दो प्रमुख राजपूत वंश, मेवाड़ के शिशोदिया और रणथंभौर के हाढ़ा वंश इन संबंधों से सदा ही हटते रहे। अकबर के एक प्रसिद्ध दरबारी राजा मानसिंह ने अकबर की ओर से एक हाढ़ा राजा सुर्जन हाढ़ा के पास एक संबंध प्रस्ताव भी लेकर गये, जिसे सुर्जन सिंह ने इस शर्त पर स्वीकार्य किया कि वे अपनी किसी पुत्री का विवाह अकबर के संग नहीं करेंगे। अन्ततः कोई वैवाहिक संबंध नहीं हुए किन्तु सुर्जन को गढ़-कटंग का अधिभार सौंप कर सम्मानित किया गया। [38] अन्य कई राजपूत सामन्तों को भी अपने राजाओं का पुत्रियों को मुगलों को विवाह के नाम पर देना अच्छा नहीं लगता था। गढ़ सिवान के राठौर कल्याणदास ने मोटा राजा राव उदयसिंह और जहांगीर को मारने की धमकी भी दी थी, क्योंकि उदयसिंह ने अपनी पुत्री जगत गोसाई का विवाह अकबर के पुत्र जहांगीर से करने का निश्चय किया था। अकबर ने ये ज्ञान होने पर शाही फौजों को कल्याणदास पर आक्रमण हेतु भेज दिया। कल्याणदास उस सेना के संग युद्ध में काम आया और उसकी स्त्रियों ने जौहर कर लिया। [40] इन संबंधों का राजनीतिक प्रभाव महत्त्वपूर्ण था। हालांकि कुछ राजपूत स्त्रियों ने अकबर के हरम में प्रवेश लेने पर इस्लाम स्वीकार किया, फिर भी उन्हें पूर्ण धार्मिक स्वतंत्रता थी, साथ ही उनके सगे-संबंधियों को जो हिन्दू ही थे दरबार में उच्च-स्थान भी मिले थे। इनके द्वारा जनसाधारण की ध्वनि अकबर के दरबार तक पहुँचा करती थी। [38] दरबार के हिन्दू और मुस्लिम दरबारियों के बीच सम्पर्क बढ़ने से आपसी विचारों का आदान-प्रदान हुआ और दोनों धर्मों में संभाव की प्रगति हुई। इससे अगली पीढ़ी में दोनों रक्तों का संगम था जिसने दोनों सम्प्रदायों के बीच सौहार्द को भी बढ़ावा दिया। परिणामस्वरूप राजपूत मुगलों के सर्वाधिक शक्तिशाली सहायक बने, राजपूत सैन्याधिकारियों ने मुगल सेना में रहकर अनेक युद्ध किये तथा जीते। इनमें गुजरात का १५७२ का अभियान भी था। [41] अकबर की धार्मिक सहिष्णुता की नीति ने शाही प्रशासन में सभी के लिये नौकरियों और रोजगार के अवसर खोल दिये थे। इसके कारण प्रशासन और भी दृढ़ होता चला गया। [42]

तत्कालीन समाज में वेश्यावृति को सम्राट का संरक्षण प्रदान था। उसकी एक बहुत बड़ी हरम थी जिसमे बहुत सी स्त्रियाँ थीं। इनमें अधिकांश स्त्रियों को बलपूर्वक अपहृत करवा कर वहां रखा हुआ था। उस समय में सती प्रथा भी जोरों पर थी। तब कहा जाता है कि अकबर के कुछ लोग जिस सुन्दर स्त्री को सती होते देखते थे, बलपूर्वक जाकर सती होने से रोक देते व उसे सम्राट की आज्ञा बताते तथा उस स्त्री को हरम में डाल दिया जाता था। हालांकि इस प्रकरण को दरबारी इतिहासकारों ने कुछ इस ढंग से कहा है कि इस प्रकार बादशाह सलामत ने सती प्रथा का विरोध किया व उन अबला स्त्रियों को संरक्षण दिया। अपनी जीवनी में अकबर ने स्वयं लिखा है– यदि मुझे पहले ही यह बुधिमत्ता जागृत हो जाती तो मैं अपनी सल्तनत की किसी भी स्त्री का अपहरण कर अपने हरम में नहीं लाता। [43] इस बात से यह तो स्पष्ट ही हो जाता है कि वह सुन्दरियों का अपहरण करवाता था। इसके अलावा अपहरण न करवाने वाली बात की निरर्थकता भी इस तथ्य से ज्ञात होती है कि न तो अकबर के समय में और न ही उसके उतराधिकारियो के समय में हरम बंद हुई थी।

आईने अकबरी के अनुसार अब्दुल कादिर बदायूंनी कहते हैं कि बेगमें, कुलीन, दरबारियो की पत्नियां अथवा अन्य स्त्रियां जब कभी बादशाह की सेवा में पेश होने की इच्छा करती हैं तो उन्हें पहले अपने इच्छा की सूचना देकर उत्तर की प्रतीक्षा करनी पड़ती है जिन्हें यदि योग्य समझा जाता है तो हरम में प्रवेश की अनुमति दी जाती है। [44] [45] अकबर अपनी प्रजा को बाध्य किया करता था की वह अपने घर की स्त्रियों का नग्न प्रदर्शन सामूहिक रूप से आयोजित करे जिसे अकबर ने खुदारोज (प्रमोद दिवस) नाम दिया हुआ था। इस उत्सव के पीछे अकबर का एकमात्र उदेश्य सुन्दरियों को अपने हरम के लिए चुनना था। [46] । गोंडवाना की रानी दुर्गावती पर भी अकबर की कुदृष्टि थी। उसने रानी को प्राप्त करने के लिए उसके राज्य पर आक्रमण कर दिया। युद्ध के दौरान वीरांगना ने अनुभव किया कि उसे मारने की नहीं वरन बंदी बनाने का प्रयास किया जा रहा है, तो उसने वहीं आत्महत्या कर ली। [45] तब अकबर ने उसकी बहन और पुत्रबधू को बलपूर्वक अपने हरम में डाल दिया। अकबर ने यह प्रथा भी चलाई थी कि उसके पराजित शत्रु अपने परिवार एवं परिचारिका वर्ग में से चुनी हुई महिलायें उसके हरम में भेजे। [45]

पुर्तगालियों से संबंध

१५५६ में अकबर के गद्दी लेने के समय, पुर्तगालियों ने महाद्वीप के पश्चिमी तट पर बहुत से दुर्ग व निर्माणियाँ (फैक्ट्रियाँ) लगा ली थीं और बड़े स्तर पर उस क्षेत्र में नौवहन और सागरीय व्यापार नियन्त्रित करने लगे थे। इस उपनिवेशवाद के चलते अन्य सभी व्यापारी संस्थाओं को पुर्तगालियों की शर्तों के अधीण ही रहना पढ़ता था, जिस पर उस समय के शासकों व व्यापारियों को आपत्ति होने लगीं थीं। [47] मुगल साम्राज्य ने अकबर के राजतिलक के बाद पहला निशाना गुजरात को बनाया और सागर तट पर प्रथम विजय पायी १५७२ में, किन्तु पुर्तगालियों की शक्ति को ध्यान में रखते हुए पहले कुछ वर्षों तक उनसे मात्र फारस की खाड़ी क्षेत्र में यात्रा करने हेतु कर्ताज़ नामक पास लिये जाते रहे। [48] १५७२ में सूरत के अधिग्रहण के समय मुगलों और पुर्तगालियों की प्रथम भेंट हुई और पुर्तगालियों को मुगलों की असली शक्ति का अनुमान हुआ और फलतः उन्होंने युद्ध के बजाय नीति से काम लेना उचित समझा व पुर्तगाली राज्यपाल ने अकबर के निर्देश पर उसे एक राजदूत के द्वारा सन्धि प्रस्ताव भेजा। अकबर ने उस क्षेत्र से अपने हरम के व अन्य मुस्लिम लोगों द्वारा मक्का को हज की यात्रा को सुरक्षित करने की दृष्टि से प्रस्ताव स्वीकार कर लिया। [49] १५७३ में अकबर ने अपने गुजरात के प्रशासनिक अधिकारियों को एक फरमान जारी किया, जिसमें निकटवर्त्ती दमण में पुर्तगालियों को शांति से रहने दिये जाने का आदेश दिया था। इसके बदले में पुर्तगालियों ने अकबर के परिवार के लिये हज को जाने हेतु पास जारी किये थे। [50]

तुर्कों से संबंध

१५७६ में में अकबर ने याह्या सलेह के नेतृत्व में अपने हरम के अनेक सदस्यों सहित हाजियों का एक बड़ा जत्था हज को भेजा। ये जत्था दो पोतों में सूरत से जेद्दाह बंदरगाह पर १५७७ में पहुँचा और मक्का और मदीना को अग्रसर हुआ। [51] १५७७ से १५८० के बीच चार और कारवां हज को रवाना हुआ, जिनके साथ मक्का व मदीना के लोगों के लिये भेंटें व गरीबों के लिये सदके थे। ये यात्री समाज के आर्थिक रूप से निचले वर्ग के थे और इनके जाने से उन शहरों पर आर्थिक भार बढ़ा। [52] [53] तब तुर्क प्रशासन ने इनसे घर लौट जाने का निवेदन किया, जिस पर हरम की स्त्रियां तैयार न हुईं। काफी विवाद के बाद उन्हें विवश होकर लौटना पढ़ा। अदन के राज्यपाल को १५८० में आये यात्रियों की बड़ी संख्या देखकर बढ़ा रोष हुआ और उसने लौटते हुए मुगलों का यथासंभव अपमान भी किया। [कृपया उद्धरण जोड़ें] इन प्रकरणों के कारण अकबर को हाजियों की यात्राओं पर रोक लगानी पड़ी। १५८४ के बाद अकबर ने यमन के साम्राज्य के अधीनस्थ अदन के बंदरगाह पर पुर्तगालियों की मदद से चढ़ाई करने की योजना बनायी। [कृपया उद्धरण जोड़ें] पुर्तगालियों से इस बारे में योजना बनाने हेतु एक मुगल दूत गोआ में अक्तूबर १५८४ से स्थायी रूप से तैनात किया गया। १५८७ में एक पुर्तगाली टुकड़ी ने यमन पर आक्रमण भी किया किन्तु तुर्क नौसेना द्वारा हार का सामना करना पड़ा। इसके बाद मुगल-पुर्तगाली गठबंधन को भी धक्का पहुँचा क्योंकि मुगल जागीरदारों द्वारा जंज़ीरा में पुर्तगालियों पर लगातार दबाव डाला जा रहा था। [54]

अकबर एक मुसलमान था, पर दूसरे धर्म एवं सम्प्रदायों के लिए भी उसके मन में आदर था। जैसे-जैसे अकबर की आयु बढ़ती गई वैसे-वैसे उसकी धर्म के प्रति रुचि बढ़ने लगी। उसे विशेषकर हिंदू धर्म के प्रति अपने लगाव के लिए जाना जाता हैं। उसने अपने पूर्वजो से विपरीत कई हिंदू राजकुमारियों से शादी की। इसके अलावा अकबर ने अपने राज्य में हिन्दुओ को विभिन्न राजसी पदों पर भी आसीन किया जो कि किसी भी भूतपूर्व मुस्लिम शासक ने नही किया था। वह यह जान गया था कि भारत में लम्बे समय तक राज करने के लिए उसे यहाँ के मूल निवासियों को उचित एवं बराबरी का स्थान देना चाहिये।

हिन्दू धर्म पर प्रभाव

हिन्दुओं पर लगे जज़िया १५६२ में अकबर ने हटा दिया, किंतु १५७५ में मुस्लिम नेताओं के विरोध के कारण वापस लगाना पड़ा, [55] हालांकि उसने बाद में नीतिपूर्वक वापस हटा लिया। जज़िया कर गरीब हिन्दुओं को गरीबी से विवश होकर इस्लाम की शरण लेने के लिए लगाया जाता था। यह मुस्लिम लोगों पर नहीं लगाया जाता था। [56] इस कर के कारण बहुत सी गरीब हिन्दू जनसंख्या पर बोझ पड़ता था, जिससे विवश हो कर वे इस्लाम कबूल कर लिया करते थे। फिरोज़ शाह तुगलक ने बताया है, कि कैसे जज़िया द्वारा इस्लाम का प्रसार हुआ था। [57]

अकबर द्वारा जज़िया और हिन्दू तीर्थों पर लगे कर हटाने के सामयिक निर्णयों का हिन्दुओं पर कुछ खास प्रभाव नहीं पड़ा, क्योंकि इससे उन्हें कुछ खास लाभ नहीं हुआ, क्योंकि ये कुछ अन्तराल बाद वापस लगा दिए गए। [58] अकबर ने बहुत से हिन्दुओं को उनकी इच्छा के विरुद्ध भी इस्लाम ग्रहण करवाया था [59] इसके अलावा उसने बहुत से हिन्दू तीर्थ स्थानों के नाम भी इस्लामी किए, जैसे १५८३ में प्रयागराज को इलाहाबाद [60] किया गया। [61] अकबर के शासनकाल में ही उसके एक सिपहसालार हुसैन खान तुक्रिया ने हिन्दुओं को बलपूर्वक भेदभाव दर्शक बिल्ले [62] उनके कंधों और बांहों पर लगाने को विवश किया था। [63]

ज्वालामुखी मन्दिर के संबंध में एक कथा काफी प्रचलित है। यह १५४२ से १६०५ के मध्य का ही होगा तभी अकबर दिल्ली का राजा था। ध्यानुभक्त माता जोतावाली का परम भक्त था। एक बार देवी के दर्शन के लिए वह अपने गाँववासियो के साथ ज्वालाजी के लिए निकला। जब उसका काफिला दिल्ली से गुजरा तो मुगल बादशाह अकबर के सिपाहियों ने उसे रोक लिया और राजा अकबर के दरबार में पेश किया। अकबर ने जब ध्यानु से पूछा कि वह अपने गाँववासियों के साथ कहां जा रहा है तो उत्तर में ध्यानु ने कहा वह जोतावाली के दर्शनो के लिए जा रहे है। अकबर ने कहा तेरी माँ में क्या शक्ति है ? और वह क्या-क्या कर सकती है ? तब ध्यानु ने कहा वह तो पूरे संसार की रक्षा करने वाली हैं। ऐसा कोई भी कार्य नही है जो वह नहीं कर सकती है। अकबर ने ध्यानु के घोड़े का सर कटवा दिया और कहा कि अगर तेरी माँ में शक्ति है तो घोड़े के सर को जोड़कर उसे जीवित कर दें। यह वचन सुनकर ध्यानु देवी की स्तुति करने लगा और अपना सिर काट कर माता को भेट के रूप में प्रदान किया। माता की शक्ति से घोड़े का सर जुड गया। इस प्रकार अकबर को देवी की शक्ति का एहसास हुआ। बादशाह अकबर ने देवी के मन्दिर में सोने का छत्र भी चढाया। किन्तु उसके मन मे अभिमान हो गया कि वो सोने का छत्र चढाने लाया है, तो माता ने उसके हाथ से छत्र को गिरवा दिया और उसे एक अजीब (नई) धातु का बना दिया जो आज तक एक रहस्य है। यह छत्र आज भी मन्दिर में मौजूद है।

इतिहासकार दशरथ शर्मा बताते हैं, कि हम अकबर को उसके दरबार के इतिहास और वर्णनों जैसे अकबरनामा, आदि के अनुसार महान कहते हैं। [64] यदि कोई अन्य उल्लेखनीय कार्यों की ओर देखे, जैसे दलपत विलास, तब स्पष्ट हो जाएगा कि अकबर अपने हिन्दू सामंतों से कितना अभद्र व्यवहार किया करता था। [65] अकबर के नवरत्न राजा मानसिंह द्वारा विश्वनाथ मंदिर के निर्माण को अकबर की अनुमति के बाद किए जाने के कारण हिन्दुओं ने उस मंदिर में जाने का बहिष्कार कर दिया। कारण साफ था, कि राजा मानसिंह के परिवार के अकबर से वैवाहिक संबंध थे। [66] अकबर के हिन्दू सामंत उसकी अनुमति के बगैर मंदिर निर्माण तक नहीं करा सकते थे। बंगाल में राजा मानसिंह ने एक मंदिर का निर्माण बिना अनुमति के आरंभ किया, तो अकबर ने पता चलने पर उसे रुकवा दिया और १५९५ में उसे मस्जिद में बदलने के आदेश दिए। [67]

अकबर के लिए आक्रोश की हद एक घटना से पता चलती है। हिन्दू किसानों के एक नेता राजा राम ने अकबर के मकबरे, सिकंदरा, आगरा को लूटने का प्रयास किया, जिसे स्थानीय फ़ौजदार, मीर अबुल फजल ने असफल कर दिया। इसके कुछ ही समय बाद १६८८ में राजा राम सिकंदरा में दोबारा प्रकट हुआ [68] और शाइस्ता खां के आने में विलंब का फायदा उठाते हुए, उसने मकबरे पर दोबारा सेंध लगाई और बहुत से बहुमूल्य सामान, जैसे सोने, चाँदी, बहुमूल्य कालीन, चिराग, इत्यादि लूट लिए, तथा जो ले जा नहीं सका, उन्हें बर्बाद कर गया। राजा राम और उसके आदमियों ने अकबर की अस्थियों को खोद कर निकाल लिया एवं जला कर भस्म कर दिया, जो कि मुस्लिमों के लिए घोर अपमान का विषय था। [69]

हिंदु धर्म से लगाव

बाद के वर्षों में अकबर को अन्य धर्मों के प्रति भी आकर्षण हुआ। अकबर का हिंदू धर्म के प्रति लगाव केवल मुग़ल साम्राज्य को ठोस बनाने के ही लिए नही था वरन उसकी हिंदू धर्म में व्यक्तिगत रुचि थी। हिंदू धर्म के अलावा अकबर को शिया इस्लाम एवं ईसाई धर्म में भी रुचि थी। ईसाई धर्म के मूलभूत सिद्धांत जानने के लिए उसने एक बार एक पुर्तगाली ईसाई धर्म प्रचारक को गोआ से बुला भेजा था। अकबर ने दरबार में एक विशेष जगह बनवाई थी जिसे इबादत-खाना (प्रार्थना-स्थल) कहा जाता था, जहाँ वह विभिन्न धर्मगुरुओं एवं प्रचारकों से धार्मिक चर्चाएं किया करता था। उसका यह दूसरे धर्मों का अन्वेषण कुछ मुस्लिम कट्टरपंथी लोगों के लिए असहनीय था। उन्हे लगने लगा था कि अकबर अपने धर्म से भटक रहा है। इन बातों में कुछ सच्चाई भी थी, अकबर ने कई बार रुढ़िवादी इस्लाम से हट कर भी कुछ फैसले लिए, यहाँ तक कि १५८२ में उसने एक नये सम्प्रदाय की ही शुरुआत कर दी जिसे दीन-ए-इलाही यानी ईश्वर का धर्म कहा गया।


Akbar's system of central government was based on the system that had evolved since the Delhi Sultanate, but the functions of various departments were reorganised with detailed regulations for their functioning

  • The revenue department was headed by a wazir, responsible for all finances and management of jagir and inamdar feudal lands.
  • The head of the military was called the mir bakshi, appointed from among the leading nobles of the court. The mir bakshi was in charge of intelligence gathering, and also made recommendations to the emperor for military appointments and promotions.
  • The mir saman was in charge of the imperial household, including the harems, and supervised the functioning of the court and royal bodyguard.
  • The judiciary was a separate organization headed by a chief qazi, who was also responsible for religious beliefs and practices. in

Akbar was a Muslim. He realized that to establish a strong empire, he had to gain the confidence of his Hindu people who were the majority in India.

Din-i-ilahi was a religious path suggested by Akbar. It was a code of moral conduct which reflected Akbar's secular ideas and he desire to achieve peace, unity, tolerance in his empire. Belief in one god, worship of source of light, non-killing of animals, Having peace with all were some features of Din-i-ilahi. It didn't have any rituals, holy books, temples or priests.

Male circumcision was not to be done before the boy was 12 years old, and after that it was optional. It was a Jewish custom adopted by Islam. Akbar's rule was that it should be made optional and should be done, if at all, at an age when boys could understand what it was. Here Akbar gave every man a choice and opportunity to have a play of his reason. Indeed, the boy of reason as he was, he could not deny it to others. He was a very good emperor and he had a sense of justice.

When he was at Fatehpur Sikri, he held discussions as he loved to know about others' religious beliefs. On one such day, he got to know that the religious people of other religions were often bigots (intolerant of others religious beliefs). This led him to form the idea of the new religion, Sulh-e-kul meaning universal peace. His idea of this religion did not discriminate other religions and focused on the ideas of peace, unity and tolerance. This gesture of his made the Hindus and people of other religions call him with different names and start loving him.

Akbar's reign was chronicled by his court historian Abul Fazal in the books Akbarnama and Ain-i-Akbari. Other sources of Akbar's reign include the wod Sirhindi. Akbar was an artisan, warrior, artist, armourer, administrator carpenter, emperor, general, inventor, animal trainer, technologist. He became emperor at the age of 18.

Akbar had Navaratnas or nine jewels in his court which include Abul Fazel, Faizi, Tansen, Birbal, Raja Todar Mal, Raja Man Singh, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, Fakir Aziao-Din and Mullah Do Piazza.

The Akbarnāma means the Book of Akbar. It is the official biographical account of Akbar written by Abu Fazal. It includes vivid and detailed descriptions of his life and times. It also includes the information about the flora, fauna, life of the people of his reign, and the places Akbar used to visit.

The work was commissioned by Akbar, and written by Abul Fazl, one of the Navratnas (Nine Jewels) of Akbar's royal court. The book took seven years to complete. An illustration was done in the Mughal school of painting. A part of this is Ain-i-Akbari.

On 3 October 1605, Akbar fell ill with an attack of dysentery, from which he never recovered. Twelve days after his sixty third year he died on 27 October 1605, after which his body was buried at a mausoleum in Sikandra (Agra): Akbar's tomb.

Akbar planned the tomb and selected a suitable site for it. After his death, Akbar's son Jahangir completed the construction in 1605–1613. It cost 1,500,000 rupees to build and took 3 or 4 years to complete. [1]

During the reign of Aurangzeb, Jats rose in rebellion under the leadership of Raja Ram Jat. Mughal prestige suffered a blow when Jats ransacked Akbar's tomb, plundering and looting the gold, jewels, silver and carpets. [2] According to one account, the grave was even opened and the late king's bones burned. [3] [4]

As Viceroy of India, George Curzon directed extensive repairs and restoration of Akbar's mausoleum, which were completed in 1905. Curzon discussed restoration of the mausoleum and other historical buildings in Agra in connection with the passage of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act in 1904, when he described the project as "an offering of reverence to the past and a gift of recovered beauty to the future". This preservation project may have discouraged veneration of the mausoleum by pilgrims and people living nearby. [5]

It is located at Sikandra, in the suburbs of Agra, on the Mathura road (NH2), 8 km west-northwest of the city center. About 1 km away from the tomb, lies , the tom b of Mariam-uz-Zamani, wife of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and the mother of Jehangir.

The south gate is the largest, with four white marble chhatri-topped minarets which are similar to (and pre-date) those of the Taj Mahal, and is the normal point of entry to the tomb. The tomb itself is surrounded by a walled enclosure 105 m square. The tomb building is a four-tiered pyramid, surmounted by a marble pavilion containing the false tomb. The true tomb, as in other mausoleums, is in the basement. [6] The buildings are constructed mainly from a deep red sandstone, enriched with features in white marble. Decorated inlaid panels of these materials and a black slate adorn the tomb and the main gatehouse. Panel designs are geometric, floral and calligraphic, and prefigure the more complex and subtle designs later incorporated in Itmad-ud-Daulah's Tomb. [7] [8]

Behind the History of King Akbar | Third Mughal King

King Akbar the Great, one of the greatest Muslim King of India, set up a strong Mughal kingdom through his powerful military forces, however he is known for his approach of religious resistance. King Akbar was the third ruler of Mughal Dynasty after Babur and Humayun. During the age of 14 he was became the heir to the throne and slowly started expanding Mughal empire by including all the Indian sub-continents.

King Akbar is also known as:

Akbar The Great, Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar, Badr-Ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, Abu’l-Fath Jalal Ud-Din Muhammad Akbar I, Abu’l-Fath Jalal-Ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, Shahanshah Akbar-E-Azam, Jalāl Ud-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar, Abū-Ul-Fath Jahāl-Ud-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar, Abū-Ul-Fath Jahāl-Ud-Dīn Muhammad Akbar.

Few things about King Akbar:

Full Name: Abu’l-Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar

Period of Ruling: February 14, 1556 – October 27, 1605

Date of Birth: October 15, 1542

Parents: Humayun (Father) and Hamida Banu Begum (Mother)

Spouse: Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, Heera Kunwari and Salima Sultan Begum

Children: Hassan, Hussain, Jahangir, Murad, Daniyal, Aram Banu Begum, Shakr-un-Nissa Begum, Khanum Sultan Begum.

Biography: Akbarnama Ain-i-Akbari

Early Life – The beginning of Rule

King Akbar was born in Umarkot, Sindh, formerly known as Amarkot, is a town in Umerkot District in the Sindh province of Pakistan on October 15, 1542, there was no sign that he would be an incredible King. In spite of the fact that Akbar was an immediate descendent of Ghengis Khan, and his granddad Babur was the first emperor of the Mughal dynasty, his dad, Humayun, had been driven from the throne by Sher Shah Suri. He was devastated and in a state of banishment when Akbar was conceived.

With the help of Bairam Khan (Humayun’s trust worthy general) took the post of regent for Akbar. Akbar succeeded Humayun on February 14, 1556 in Kalanaur (Punjab) and was proclaimed ‘Shahanshah’. Bairam Khan ruled the Mughal Kingdom on behalf of the young Emperor till he came of age.

Akbar wedded his cousin Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, little girl of his uncle Hindal Mirza, in November 1551. Ruqaiya turned into his main consort after he ascended the throne.

Second Battle of Panipat – Hunt for Power

At the time of his improving his capacity to the throne, Akbar’s army covered Kabul, Kandahar, Delhi and parts of Punjab. However, the Afghan Sultan Mohammad Adil Shah of Chunar had outlines on the throne of India and wanted to presue war against the Mughals. His Hindu general Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya also known as Hemu, he led the Afghan army to capture Agra and Delhi after the demise of Humayun’s in 1556. The Mughal Army confronted a humiliating defeat ans soon they subsided with their leader. Hemu climbed the position of royalty on October 7, 1556 and set up Hindu lead in North India following 350 years of Muslim rule.

Pounding the Opposition

The Second battle of Panipat denoted the start of the Glory days for the Mughal rule in India. Akbar found an way to end Afghan powers that may be inquirer for the position of throne in Delhi. Hemu’s relatives were caught and imprisoned by Bairam Khan. Sher Shah’s successor, Sikander Shah Sur was driven out from North India to Bihar and was in this manner constrained to surrender in 1557. Another Afghan contender to the royal position, Muhammed Adil was slaughtered in a battle that year. Others were constrained to escape Delhi and neighbouring areas to look for shelter in different states.

Extension of his Military

Akbar dedicated the primary decade of his rule towards extending his kingdom. Under the rule of his military commander Bairam Khan, Ajmer, Malwa and Garhkatanga were attached into the Mughal territories. He likewise captured Lahore and Multan, significant focuses of Punjab. Ajmer presented to him the door way to Rajputana. He likewise guaranteed the Gwalior post from the Sur Rulers. He conquered Gondwana in 1564 from the minor ruler Raja Vir Narayan. Akbar’s powers met a equally powerful enemy, the young King’s mom, Rani Durgavati, a Rajput warrior ruler. On being crushed Durgavati conferred suicide while Vir Narayan was killed amid the catch of Chauragarh Fortress.

Mansabdari System

Akbar introduced the Mansabdari system to effectively organize the Military. The Mansabdars were in charge of keeping up teach and train soldiers/warriors. There were 33 positions of Mansabdars with 10,000 to 10 soldiers under their order as per rank. Akbar likewise presented the custom of taking move of the soldiers and branding of horses. Akbar’s military comprised of a few division like mounted force, infantry, elephants, ordnance and naval force. The king continued to maintain his extreme control over the military and exceeded expectations in the capacity to authorize teach among his troops.

Akbar and Rajputana

After ruling almost all the parts of North and Central India, Akbar turned his attention towards Rajputana, which was a formidable threat to his legacy. He had officially settled his lead over Ajmer and Nagor. Starting in 1561, Akbar began his mission to overcome Rajputana. He utilized power and additionally conciliatory strategies to influence the Rajput rulers to submit to his rule except the most powerful Sisodia ruler of Mewar, Udai Singh. This caused an issue for Akbar on his plans to build up unquestioned legacy over the locale. In 1567, Akbar assaulted the Chittorgarh fortification in Mewar that spoke to a key vital significance towards building up lead in Rajputana. Udai Singh’s boss Jaimal and Patta held off the Mughal powers for four months in 1568. Udai Singh was ousted to the Hills of Mewar. Other Rajput states like Ranthambore fell notwithstanding Mughal powers, yet Rana Prapat, Udai Singh’s child, set up an imposing protection from Akbar’s development of energy. He was the remainder of the Rajput protectors and battled till his chivalrous end in the Battle of Haldighati in 1576.

Victories over Rajputana

After the victories over the Rajputana, Akbar conquered Gujarat (1584), Kabul (1585), Kashmir (1586-87), Sindh (1591), Bengal (1592) and Kandahar (1595) inside the Mughal region. The Mughal armed force drove by General Mir Mausam additionally vanquished parts of Baluchistan around Quetta and Makran by 1595.

In 1593, Akbar set out to vanquish Deccan domains. He confronted restriction to his power in Ahmadnagar and assaulted the Deccan state in 1595. Chand Bibi, the official ruler offered imposing restriction, however was compelled to yield overcome at last giving up Berar. By 1600, Akbar had caught Burhanpur, Asirgarh Fort and Khandesh.

Akbar’s Administration

After to combining the kingdom, Akbar focused on building up a steady and a friendly administration at the center to represent his vast kingdom. The standards of Akbar’s administration were based on moral and material welfare of his subjects. He made a several changes in existing rules and policies to establish an environment with equal opportunities to people irrespective of religion.

The Emperor himself was the supreme head of the kingdom. He held extreme legal, authoritative and managerial power above any other individual. He was aided proficient administration by a several ministers such as Vakil, chief counselor to the King for overall issues Diwan, a minister who is incharge of finance Sadar-I-sadur, religious consultant to the King Mir Bakshi, the person who kept up all records Daroga-I-Dak Chowki and Muhtasib were designated to regulate appropriate requirement of law and in addition the postal office.

The whole domain was partitioned into 15 Subas, every region being represented by a Subadar alongside other territorial post reflecting that in the center. The Subas were separated into Sarkars which were additionally divided into Parganas. The leader of the Sarkar was a Faujdar and that of a Pargana was a Shikdar. Echa Pargana consisted several villages which were represented by a Muqaddam, a Patwari and a Chowkidar, alongside a panchayat.

Akbar made some changes in the judicial system as well for the first time, Hindu customs and laws were included for the events in Hindu Subjects. In his administration Akbar is the only person who can issue a death sentence. Another major change was cancelling Pilgrimage taxes and Jazia tax for Hindus in 1563 . He discouraged child marriage and encouraged widow remarriage.


Land revenue was the chief source of income for the Mughal Government and Akbar introduced several reforms in the revenue department. The land was separated into four classes as indicated by their profitability – Polaj, Parauti, Chachar and Banjar. Bigha was the unit of land estimation and land income was paid either in cash or in kind. Akbar on the advice of his Finance Minister Todar Mall, acquainted loan against small interest to the farmers and he additionally granted abatement of incomes if it is caused by natural calamities like floods or draughts. He also passed a special instructions to the revenue collectors that they should be friendly with farmers. With all these changes Mughal Empire increased there revenue and were more productive in food items.


Akbar was first Islamic ruler in India who looked for stable political partnerships through marriage. He wedded a few Hindu Princess including Jodha Bai, from the place of Jaipur, Heer Kunwari from the place of Amber, and princess from the places of Jaisalmer and Bikaner. He strengthened the unions by inviting male relatives of his spouses as a major aspect of his court and giving them with imperative parts in his kingdom. This training got the Hindu and Muslim nobilities close contact securing a superior common condition for the Mughal empire. The Rajput alliances became strongest allies of Akbar’s military forces which demonstrated vital in a large number of his resulting victories like that in Gujarat in 1572.

Ottoman Empire

Another contributing element was Emperor Akbar’s relationship with the Ottoman Empire. He was in standard touch with Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. His unexpected of explorers to Mecca and Medina were warmly invited by the Ottoman Sultan and the Mughal Ottoman exchange thrived during his rule. Akbar likewise kept on keeping up superb strategic relationship with the Safavid rulers of Persia, which dated back to his dad’s days with Shah Tahmasp I loaning his military help to Humayun for recovering Delhi.

Architecture and Culture

Akbar appointed the working of a few fortifications and sepulchers during his rule and built up a particular design style that has been named as Mughal Architecture by experts. Among the building wonders dispatched during his rule are the Agra Fort (1565– 1574), the town of Fatehpur Sikri (1569– 1574) with its excellent Jami Masjid and Buland Darwaza, Humayun’s Tomb (1565-1572), Ajmer Fort (1563-1573), Lahore Fort (1586-1618) and Allahabad Fort (1583-1584).

Akbar was an extraordinary supporter of art and culture. Despite the fact that he himself couldn’t read and compose, he would designate individuals who read to him different topics of art, history, philosophy and religion. He acknowledged scholarly talk and offered his support to a few remarkably skilled individuals whom he welcomed to his court. Together these people were called to as the Nava Ratnas or the Nine Gems. They were Abul Fazel, Faizi, Mian Tansen, Birbal, Raja Todar Mal, Raja Man Singh, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana , Fakir Aziao-Din and Mullah Do Piaza. They originated from different backgrounds and were rewarded by the head for their exceptional gifts.

Death of Akbar

In 1605, at 63 years old, Akbar fell sick with a serious case of dysentery. He never recovered from it and following three weeks of suffering, he passed away on October 27, 1605 at Fatehpur Sikri. He was buried at Sikandra, Agra.


Ali al-Akbar was Husayn's son who was 18 years old at the battle of Karbala. [1] [2] Two of his brothers were also named Ali al-Asghar ibn Husayn and Ali Zayn al-Abidin. [3] The teenager resembled his maternal grandfather Muhammad, the prophet of Allah, so much that Husayn ibn Ali often said, "whenever I happen to miss my maternal grandfather I look at the face of Ali al-Akbar." Ali al-Akbar was killed by Murrah ibn Munqad on 10 Muharram 61 AH in battle of Karbala. [4] [5]

As an Iranica said, Ali al-Akbar was the first of the person who was killed in battle-field. [2] [6] He had a loud and beautiful voice, on the morning of the day of Ashura, Husayn ibn Ali asked Ali Akbar as to call out the Adhan. Husayn ibn Ali and many women in their tents began to weep when Ali Akbar began calling out the Adhan, suspecting that it may be the last time they heard Ali Akbar give the Adhan. [7]

Ali Akbar stood in front of Husayn ibn Ali after Zuhr prayers and said: "Father I request for permission to go and fight the enemies of Islam." His father gave him permission and said, "May Allah be with you! But Akbar, you know how much your mother, sisters, and aunts love you. Go and say farewell to them." Ali Akbar went into the tent of his mother, Umme Layla. Every time he wanted to come out of the tent his mother, aunts, and sisters would pull his cloak and say, "O Akbar, How will we live without you?" Husayn ibn Ali had to plead with all to let Ali Akbar go. [8]

Husayn ibn Ali helped his son mount his horse. As Akbar began to ride towards the battlefield he heard footsteps behind him. He looked back and saw his father. He said: "Father, we have said good-bye. Why are you walking behind me?" Husayn ibn Ali replied, "My son if you had a son like yourself then you would have surely understood!" [9]

According to Bal'ami, Ali Akbar stroke the enemies ten times and killed two or three of them each time. [2] [10] Umar ibn Sa'ad ordered his soldiers to kill him, saying, "When he dies, Husayn will not want to live! Ali Akbar is the life of Husayn." While a few soldiers attacked Ali Akbar, Murrah ibn Munqad threw a spear through Ali Akbar's chest. Murrah ibn Munqad [10] then broke the wooden part of the spear and left the blade inside Ali Akbar's chest, to cause him more pain. As Ali Akbar fell from his horse, he said, "Yaa bata alayka Minni salaam" upon hearing his son's call, it is said that Imam Hussain lost his eyesight. When Imam Hussain arrived close to him and tried to remove the spear from his chest, the spear's head had been tangled in his veins and when Imam Hussain pulled it out, his heart came out alongside it. [4] He was then surrounded and was cut to pieces. [2]

He walked towards the battlefield. [11] When he went to Akbar, Akbar placed his right hand on his wounded chest and his left arm over the shoulder of his father. Al-Husayn asked, "Akbar, why do you embrace me with only one arm?" Akbar did not reply. Al-Husayn tried to move Akbar's right hand, but Akbar resisted. Then Al-Husayn forcefully moved the hand and saw the blade of the spear. He laid Akbar on the ground and sat on his knees, placing both of his hands on the blade of the spear. He looked at Najaf, where his father was buried, and said, "Father, I too have come to my Khaybar!" He pulled out the blade, with it came to the heart of Akbar. Al-Husayn, distraught seeing his son in such pain and stress, wept. Akbar sent his last Salam and martyred. [12]

The Real History of Hindu-Muslim Relations Under Akbar

Contrary to the dominant narrative, Hindus and Muslims in India have not always been at each other’s throats.

In October this year, Sangeet Som, a member of the Uttar Pradesh (UP) legislative assembly from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) shocked the country by calling the Taj Mahal a blot on Indian culture. Built by the Mughal king Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj, situated in Agra in Western UP has for centuries been synonymous with India and Indian culture.

I was born Agra and spent 18 years there. For as long as I can remember, this incredible monument has been a source of pride for a city that – thanks to rampant corruption, malfeasance, and public apathy –has little else to be proud of. Yet, on my latest visit, which happened to be a few days after Som’s remarks, I sensed a change. While not many were ready to disown the Taj as readily as the BJP’s Som, they agreed with the spirit of his argument.

“Mughals were obviously traitors,” said my grandfather. “Don’t call it that!” admonished my aunt when a neighbor’s kid compared the marble on our courtyard floor to the Taj Mahal. “The BJP has put the Muslim in his place,” my childhood friend rejoiced. I was a foreigner in my own city.

In hindsight, though, I should not have been surprised. Som’s statements are symptomatic of the communal malaise that has gripped India for centuries now. Since coming into power at the center and in various states the BJP has tapped into it and exacerbated it – but the blame for the malaise’s origin cannot be placed at its feet. Nor is the BJP original in using communalism as a political weapon. The Hindu-Muslim divide was fostered by the British to maintain the Raj, used by Mohammad Ali Jinnah to garner support for the creation of Pakistan, and then exploited by the Congress Party in India for the next 60 years to keep its hold on the reins of power.

Centuries of Hindus and Muslims being pitted against each other does not make for a convivial relationship. Indeed, in his Clash of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington identified the Hindu-Muslim divide as one of the great civilizational fault-lines. To any reasonable observer then, it would appear that the Hindu and the Muslim are constituted in direct opposition to the other, destined to share a relationship characterized by intolerance and conflict. The observer would be wrong. The (admittedly distant) past sheds a very different light on relations between the two communities.

Shah Jahan’s grandfather, Akbar, ruled almost all of India from 1556 to 1605. During this period, there did exist various areas of contestation between the two religions, but it was largely characterized by a syncretism that has few parallels in modern-day India. Akbar’s era represented the zenith of Islamic power in India and the zeitgeist was a reflection of the man himself – curious, open-minded, and pragmatic. He is quite possibly one of the first regents in the world to lend his support to regular state-sponsored inter-faith public dialogue, which brought together learned men from across the religious spectrum – Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Parsees, Jains, and even atheists from across the realm were invited to participate in what must surely have a unique event at the time.

At the famed Ibadatkhana (House of Worship), which was completed in 1576, Akbar is said to have proclaimed that his sole aim was to lay bare the facts of any religion, “whether Hindu or Muslim.” Thanks partly to these dialogues, and partly to personal interactions with Hindu Brahmins, he acquired ever deepening knowledge of the various schools of Hindu thought. Thus, of the transmigration of the soul and divine reincarnation, he is believed to have said: “In India (Hind’) no one set forth a claim to Prophethood: this is because the claim to divinity has had precedence.”

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Upon consideration, this is a remarkable statement. For a Muslim ruler to even brook the idea of reincarnation, let alone to take to its logical conclusion — i.e. the inadmissibility of a Prophet — shows a startling level of open-mindedness. At the same time, he did not shy away from criticizing those sages who advocated that Hindus should do good deeds in order to reap the rewards in their next life: “To me it seems that in the pursuit of virtue, the idea of death should not be thought of, so that without any hope or fear, one should practice virtue simply because it is good.”

By engaging, interrogating and occasionally criticizing Hindu priests and beliefs, Akbar legitimized and deepened his court’s links with Hinduism. The Emperor’s grand vizier, spokesman, and official historiographer, Abu’l Fazal, followed his patron’s example and perhaps went even further — attempting to find grounds on which to justify the Hindus’ idol-worship and dismissing conservative Muslims who criticized the Hindus for not believing in the unity of God.

By focusing on two of its most important personalities, Akbar and Abu’l Fazl, one can gauge the ideas, praxis, and conversations that dominated the Mughal court. Naturally, these elements were not restricted to matters of theology they seeped into political and cultural climate of the time, bringing about even more intense interaction between Islam and Hinduism.

This interaction is most evident in the stunning amount of literary and translation activity that occurred during Akbar’s rule, in his maktabkhanah (writing bureau). The king’s first interaction with the Sanskrit literati occurred early in his reign and the latter, consisting of Hindu Brahmans and Jains, continued to be a regular presence at the Mughal court until the final few years of Shah Jahan’s rule in the mid-16th century. Mahapatra Krsnadasa, a musician and poet from the Indian state of Orissa, was the first Sanskrit intellectual to appear at the Mughal court in the 1560s – paving the way for innumerable others from across the empire to undertake similar journeys. By the 1580s, Akbar’s empire-building project was largely complete, thus freeing him up for more intellectual pursuits. Of particular relevance were his attempts to get the Atharva Veda, one of the oldest Hindu scriptures, translated into Persian. These attempts failed, but gave impetus to a translation effort that would soon result in Persian versions of the two Hindu epics – the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

The Mahabharata is especially significant because, according to Audrey Truschke, professor of History at Rutgers University and author of Culture of Encounters: Sanskrit at the Mughal Court, it was a vital part of the Mughals’ attempt to bring Sanskrit traditions into the Indo-Persian cultural framework. In his preface, Abu’l Fazl outlined numerous rationales behind the translation: lessening Hindu-Muslim tensions by exposing dubious Hindu practices while opening a wider religious vista for the Muslims than was previously available to them through the Quran, and eroding the authority of the religious elite over the masses. The process of translation, which required close interaction between Brahmin and Persianate scholars, and the resultant text, the Razmnamah, was the centerpiece in Akbar’s project of sulh-i kull (universal peace) which called for religious harmony not only through mere toleration of other beliefs and practices but through honest introspection of one’s own as well. In modern day India, Sangeet Soms proliferate – Abu’l Fazals and Akbars are rare.

Akbar’s attempts at Hindu-Muslim syncretism were not restricted to the theological and literary realms. Politically, his entourage was a mix of Muslim and Hindu elites. Among the legendary Navratnas (Nine Jewels) of his court were four Hindus – the musician Tansen, the finance minister Raja Todar Mal, the army general Raja Man Singh, and the advisor Raja Birbal – alongside five Muslims that included Abu’l Fazl. The presence of a select group of elite Hindus and Muslims alone cannot be offered as proof of a wider tolerance and understanding between the two communities, just as a Muslim prime minister would not suffice as evidence of Hindu-Muslim harmony in today’s India. Nonetheless, it forms an important part of the multi-religious mosaic that emerges from that era.

Ironically, Akbar’s court, and the beating heart of his syncretic project, was in Agra.

An inevitable gap in most pre-modern histories is the dearth of material that delves into the lives of ordinary people. Thus, while it is extremely difficult to bring clarity to Hindu-Muslim dynamics in Mughal India outside of courtly circles, what can be said with near-certainty is that religious affiliation was not as important a marker of identity in medieval India as it is today.

Hindus did have many commonalities with fellow Hindus, as did Muslims with other Muslims, but territorial and class ties were equally and sometimes even more important. This made for religious fluidity, which allowed for both traditions to borrow from the other. Myths, legends, sagas, and anecdotes as well as ideas and gods transcended religious boundaries (such as they were) via nomadic preachers who crisscrossed the Indian landscape. As scholar James Laine put it: “Folk religion is all-inclusive, and at this level of religious culture we find many examples of Hindus adopting Muslim practices and vice versa. In such a world, one is Hindu or Muslim ascriptively as a matter of birth. One may nonetheless revere the saints of the other tradition, fear its gods or spirits, or quite comfortably participate in its practices.”

In fact, the widest and deepest fault-lines, to borrow Huntington’s phrase, seem to have been internal rather than external. Muslim clergy seem to have been exercised by the Shia-Sunni conflict while their Hindu counterparts obsessed over disagreements between various Hindu sects. Neither held the other as an especially significant threat.

It would be misleading to suggest that there was no communal friction in Akbar’s India. This would be well-nigh impossible in an empire as large and as diverse as the one he commanded. One of the most prominent voices of was Shaikh Ahmad Sirhindi – a religious leader with influence over several Muslim courtiers.

Sirhindi and his followers were deeply troubled by Hinduism (and other religions) encroaching on what they felt was Islamic territory and blamed Akbar for how impure Islam had become. Sirhindi also was in favor of state-mandated Sharia law across the empire and considered it incumbent on any Muslim ruler and the ulama to “restore the glory of Islam.” Sirhindi’s approach to non-Muslims (kafirs) was unequivocal – they were not to be interacted with at all and not given any positions of power. However, there is no evidence to suggest his ideas found any traction with Akbar or in wider society.

That is not to suggest that India of the time was a haven of peace and harmony. On the contrary, it was an extremely violent place, but modern scholarship suggests the violence was largely politically motivated with Akbar (and all the other early Mughals) pitiless toward those he perceived as challenging his hegemony, irrespective of their religion.

The other caveat to remember is that Akbar may not always have been inspired by noble impulses. There is no doubt that his liberal, secular credentials have been embellished down the centuries – his interest in the Sanskritic literary traditions may have partially stemmed from the idea that this would help him in enlisting the support of the political elite who were key to expanding as well as maintaining his empire. The same political instinct may have convinced him to appoint Hindu Brahmans to key positions in his administration.

Akbar remains a contested figure. Yet, there is little doubt that his 50-year reign saw Hindus and Muslims draw closer together culturally and theologically, giving the lie to the notion that the two have never and can never exist in peace. Today’s India is far removed from the society Akbar ruled nearly half a millennium ago – but there is still much to learn from it. A good start would be for us, the people, to not be duped by the political elite into believing coexistence is impossible. But perhaps it’s already too late for that.

Abhishek Mehrotra is a journalist who holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.


Mariam-uz-Zamani was the chief and first Rajput wife of the third Mughal emperor, Akbar. She was a Rajput princess born to Raja Bihari Mal (or Bhar Mal) of Amer (Jaipur). Although her actual name is not known, an 18th-century genealogy of Kachwaha Rajputs, the clan she belonged to, refers her as Harkhan Champavati . She is also known by names Hira Kunwari, Harkha Bai and Jodha Bai, the latter points out that by birth she might have been a princess of Jodhpur. Her marriage with Akbar was a diplomatic and political alliance, which marked the acceptance of Akbar’s suzerainty by Raja Bihari Mal. The marriage was a significant event in the history of the Mughal Empire as it brought about a progressive change in the Mughal religious and social policies that were more benevolent to the multi-ethnic and multi-denominational empire. Mariam-uz-Zamani gave birth to Akbar’s eldest surviving son, Jahangir, who succeeded Akbar to become the fourth Mughal Emperor.

Early Life & Marriage with Akbar

Image Credit : https://www.flickr.com/photos/lyallpur/8456849811

She was born in c. 1542 in Amer kingdom to Rajput ruler Raja Bihari Mal and his wife Rani Mainavati. Amer, later known as Jaipur, is in modern-day state of Rajasthan, in India. Bihari Mal once helped Mughal commandment Majnun Khan Qaqshal in 1556 and after hearing about it Akbar sent invitation to Bihari Mal to come to his Delhi court and rewarded him. The Kachwahas faced persecution in 1562 after Akbar’s brother-in-law Mirza Muhammad Sharaf-ud-din Hussain, the Mughal hakim of Mewat, was inducted Mughal governor of Mewat. Mirza invaded Amer and overpowered Bihari Mal and the Kachwahas who were forced to leave Amer and stay in the hills and forests. Although Bihari Mal promised to pay peshkash (fixed tribute) to Mirza and gave his son Jagannath and two nephews Khangar Singh and Raj Singh to the latter as hostages for the due payment, Mirza still readied himself for a repeat invasion to Amer. At this point Bihari Mal approached Akbar’s courtier Chaghtai Khan and narrated the plight of the Kachwahas while the emperor was on his way to Ajmer to offer prayers to the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti. Hearing about the situation from Chaghtai Khan, Akbar summoned Bihari Mal to his court. On January 20, 1562, Bihari Mal met the emperor at his camp at Sanganer. Bihari Mal suggested giving his eldest daughter Hira Kunwari’s hand in marriage to Akbar which the latter agreed. Mirza surrendered Jagannath, Khangar Singh and Raj Singh to Akbar after the latter arrived in Sambhar, Rajasthan from Ajmer. The marriage ceremony of Akbar and Hira Kunwari was also held in Sambhar at the imperial military camp on February 6, 1562.

Matrimonial alliances were also established with Akbar by other Rajput kingdoms. Though neither of the Rajput wives of Akbar took a political role in the Mughal court, he respected such matrimonial alliances and treated his Hindu relatives on par with his Muslim relatives in all respects, however with exception of dining and praying with him or in taking Muslim wives. He never forced his Hindu wives to convert to Islam and allowed the Hindu women of his harem to conduct religious ceremonies and observances in the palace and on certain occasions he would also participate in such rituals. Thus Hira Kunwari remained a Hindu by faith.

As Mariam-uz-Zamani

Akbar visited Sufi saint, Salim Chisti, a descendant of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer, in his home in Sikri and requested him to pray for a male heir for the Mughal Empire. Chisti blessed Akbar and promised him three sons. So when Akbar got the news in 1569 that his first Hindu wife was expecting a child, he hoped the birth of the first of his three sons as promised by the revered holy man Chisti. Akbar then sent Hira Kunwari to the dwelling of Chisti in Sikri to stay there till childbirth. On August 30, 1569, Hira Kunwari gave birth to a boy who was named Salim by his father out of his gratitude and honour towards the holy man. Salim later succeeded his father to become Emperor Jahangir. After she gave birth to Salim, Hira Kunwari was bestowed with the honorary title of Mariam-uz-Zamani (“Mary of the Age”). This was in line with the practice of the Mughal Empire of giving honorary titles to the Muslim noblewomen of the imperial harem after they give birth to a son.

Elevation of Her Family Members

Her marriage with Akbar created a close association between the Mughal Empire and her family which proved extremely beneficial for the latter with respect to gaining both power and wealth. Akbar inducted Bihari Mal as a noble of high rank in the imperial court. The Kachwaha relatives of Akbar including eldest son of Bihari Mal, Bhagwant Das and his son Man Singh served the Mughal Empire diligently. Bhagwant Das who succeeded Bhar Mal as Raja of Amber became a general of the Mughal Empire and was awarded a mansab (rank) of 5000 by Akbar in 1585. He fought several battles for Akbar, remained governor of Kabul and was bestowed with the title of Amir-ul-Umra (Chief Noble) by the latter. On February 13, 1585, Bhagwant Das’s daughter Manbhawati Bai or Man Bai was married to Prince Salim, who later became Emperor Jahangir and conferred Man Bai the title of Shah Begum. Bhagwant Das’s son Man Singh emerged as one of the trusted generals of Akbar and became commander of 7000 cavalry in the Mughal forces on August 26, 1605. Akbar made Man Singh one of the Navaratnas (nine gems) of the royal court and later Man Singh’s daughter Manorama Bai was married off to Dara Shikoh, eldest son and heir-apparent of fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. In the list of mansabdars (commanders )mentioned by Abu’l-Fazl, the Grand vizier of Akbar, 13 out of 27 Rajputs were from the Amber clan, of whom some were even elevated to positions at par with the royal princes.

Image Credit : https://angel1900.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/hira-kunwari-mariam-uz-zamani/

As Queen Mother of Hindustan

Although during reign of Akbar, Mariam-uz-Zamani garnered status of his chief wife and had supremacy in the imperial harem as mother of heir-apparent, she earned more prestige as the emperor’s mother after her husband died on October 27, 1605 and her son Salim became fourth Mughal Emperor Jahangir on November 3, that year. She emerged as one of the most stupendous women traders at the Mughal court during her son’s reign. She was a business woman with insight and acumen who ran international trade in several items including silk and spices and was perhaps the most enterprising trader among other noblewomen on record.

She was the owner of ships that took pilgrims to Mecca the holiest city in the religion of Islam and carried them back home. Among them Rahīmī known to the Europeans as the “great pilgrimage ship” was the largest Indian ship that was sailing in the Red Sea. In one instance the Portuguese pirates captured the ship in 1613 that was carrying a large cargo of 100,000 rupees and around 600 to 700 passengers. The Portuguese officially denied return of both the ship and its passengers and when such news reached the Mughal court, Emperor Jahangir, the doting son of Queen mother of Hindustan was outraged. He gave orders to capture the Portuguese town Daman and also to take into custody all Portuguese within the Mughal Empire. Churches of the Jesuits were also confiscated by him.

Every year during New Year’s festival, the Queen mother would receive a jewel from each nobleman. Jahangir held his mother in high regards which among other things is palpable from the right he granted to her to issue firmans that is official orders that generally remained the absolute right of the emperor. Only a few noblewomen of the Mughal Empire were privileged with such right like Nur Jahan, wife of Jahangir, and Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan. Many architectural works including building gardens, mosques and wells were commissioned by the Queen mother. Many regal functions were held in her household including Jahangir’s solar weighing marriage of Jahangir’s son Shehzada Parviz with Sultan Murad Mirza’s (Mughal prince and second surviving son of Akbar) daughter Princess Jahan Banu Begum in 1606 and Jahangir’s marriage to Koka Kumari Begum, eldest daughter of Yuvraj of Amber Jagat Singh, on June 17, 1608.

Jahangir built the Begum Shahi Mosque, officially known as ‘The Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum’ between 1611 and 1614 in honour of his mother. It is located in the Walled City of Lahore, in modern-day Pakistan.

Image Credit : https://www.facebook.com/Mariam-uz-zamani-1407833932790697/

Death & Legacy

She died on May 19, 1623, in Agra, Mughal Empire. Jahangir built a mausoleum in her memory (1623–27) called the Tomb of Mariam-uz-Zamani, which is located in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra. It lies around half a kilometre away from the Tomb of Akbar the Great.

Screen adaptations on life of Mariam-uz-Zamani includes the February 15, 2008, released commercially hit Indian historical-romance film ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ starring Indian actors Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik Roshan in titular roles. An Indian historical-fiction-drama television series titled ‘Jodha Akbar’ starring Paridhi Sharma and Rajat Tokas in lead roles also aired on Zee TV from June 18, 2013 to August 7, 2015.