Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire

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The Mughal Empire‎ or Mogul (also Moghul) Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids. The Mughal Empire began in 1526; at the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled most of the Indian Subcontinent—extending from Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 in the east to Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

 in the west, Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south.
Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million, over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).

The "classic period" of the empire started in 1556 with the accession of Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar
Akbar the Great
Akbar , also known as Shahanshah Akbar-e-Azam or Akbar the Great , was the third Mughal Emperor. He was of Timurid descent; the son of Emperor Humayun, and the grandson of the Mughal Emperor Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur, the ruler who founded the Mughal dynasty in India...

, better known as Akbar the Great. Under the rule of Akbar the Great, India enjoyed much cultural and economic progress as well as religious harmony. The Mughals also forged a strategic alliance with several Hindu Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 kingdoms. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but they were subdued by the third Mughal Emperor Akbar. The reign of Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture
Mughal architecture
Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is symmetrical and decorative in style.The Mughal dynasty was...

. He erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the legendary Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

 at Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

, as well as Pearl Mosque
Moti Masjid, Agra
The Moti Masjid in Agra was built by Shah Jahan. During the rule of Shah Jahan the Mughal emperor, numerous architectural wonders were built. Most famous of them being the Taj Mahal. Moti Masjid earned the epithet Pearl Mosque for it shined like a pearl...

, the Red Fort, Jama Masjid (Mosque)
Jama Masjid, Delhi
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā , commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal,in the year 1644 CE and completed in the year 1658 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India...

 and Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore...

. The Mughal Empire reached the zenith of its territorial expansion during the reign of Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

, who may have been the richest and most powerful man alive. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to more than 1.25 million square miles, ruling over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 1/4th of the world's population.

By the early 1700s, the Sikh Misl
Misl
Misl generally refers to the twelve sovereign states in the Sikh Confederacy. The states formed a commonwealth that was described by Antoine Polier as an "aristocratic republic"...

 and the Hindu Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

 had emerged as formidable foes of the Mughals. Following the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, the empire started its gradual decline, although the dynasty continued for another 150 years. During the classic period, the empire was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different regions.

Following 1725, the empire began to disintegrate, weakened by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance, the rise of the Maratha
Maratha Empire
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

, Durrani
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

, invasion by Safavids from Persia, rise of independent kinngdoms of Oudh, Hyderabad, Mysore, Bengal and Sikh empires and finally British colonialism. The last Emperor, Bahadur Shah II
Bahadur Shah II
His Royal Highness Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar , also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty.He was the son of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput...

, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, was imprisoned and exiled by the British
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 after the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

.

The name Mughal is derived from the original homelands of the Timurids, the Central Asian steppes once conquered by Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

 and hence known as Moghulistan
Moghulistan
Moghulistan or Mughalistan is a historical geographic unit in Central Asia that included parts of modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and the Chinese Autonomous Region of Xinjiang...

, "Land of Mongols". Although early Mughals spoke the Chagatai language
Chagatai language
The Chagatai language is an extinct Turkic language which was once widely spoken in Central Asia, and remained the shared literary language there until the early twentieth century...

 and maintained some Turko-Mongol practices, they became essentially Persianized and transferred the Persian literary and high culture to India, thus forming the base for the Indo-Persian culture
Indo-Persian culture
"Indo-Persian culture" refers to those Persian aspects that have been integrated into or absorbed into the culture of the Indian subcontinent, and in particular, into North India and modern-day Pakistan....

 and the Spread of Islam
Spread of Islam
The Spread of Islam started shortly after the death of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in 632 AD. During his lifetime, the community of Muhammad, the ummah, was established in the Arabian Peninsula by means of conversion to Islam and conquering of territory, and oftentimes the conquered had to either...

 in South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

.

Early history



Zahir ud-din Muhammad Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 learned about the riches of Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

 and conquest of it by his ancestor, Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

, in 1503 at Dikh-Kat, a place in the Transoxiana region. At that time, he was roaming as a wanderer after losing his principality, Farghana. In his memoirs he wrote that after he had acquired Kabul (in 1504), he desired to regain the territories in Hindustan held once by Turks. He started his exploratory raids from September 1519 when he visited the Indo-Afghan borders to suppress the rising by Yusufzai tribes. He undertook similar raids up to 1524 and had established his base camp at Peshawar. Finally in 1526 in his fifth attempt, Babur defeated the last of the Delhi Sultans
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

, Ibrahim Shah Lodi
Ibrahim Lodhi
Ibrahim Lodi was one of the ruler of the Lodi dynasty who became the last Sultan of the Delhi Sultanate in India. He was an Afghan who ruled over much of northern India from 1517 to 1526, when he was defeated by Babur's army.Lodi attained the throne upon the death of his father, Sikandar Lodi,...

, at the First Battle of Panipat
First battle of Panipat
The first battle of Panipat took place in Northern India, and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery.-Details:...

. To secure his newly founded kingdom, Babur then had to face the formidable Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

 Rana Sanga
Rana Sanga
-Historical Fact:Maharana Sangram Singh was the ruler of Mewar state, a region lying within the present-day Indian state of Rajasthan, a desert region, between 1509 and 1527. He was a scion of the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs...

 of Chittor, at the Battle of Khanwa
Battle of Khanwa
The Battle of Khanwa, was fought near the village of Khanwa, about 60 km west of Agra on March 17, 1527. The second major battle fought in modern day India, by the first Mughal Emperor Babur after the Battle of Panipat . As the Mughal Empire expanded it faced new opponents especially in the...

. Rana Sanga offered stiff resistance but was defeated.

Babur's son Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 succeeded him in 1530, but suffered reversals at the hands of the Pashtun
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

 and lost most of the fledgling empire before it could grow beyond a minor regional state. From 1540 Humayun became ruler in exile, reaching the court of the Safavid rule in 1554 while his force still controlled some fortresses and small regions. But when the Pashtuns fell into disarray with the death of Sher Shah Suri, Humayun returned with a mixed army, raised more troops, and managed to reconquer Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

 in 1555.

Humayun crossed the rough terrain of the Makran
Makran
The present day Makran is a semi-desert coastal strip in the south of Sindh, Balochistan, in Iran and Pakistan, along the coast of the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The present day Makran derived its name from Maka, a satrap of Achaemenid Empire....

 with his wife until their son Akbar was born in the fortress of Umarkot in Sind
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

. The resurgent Humayun then conquered the central plateau around Delhi, but months later died in an accident, leaving the realm unsettled and in war.

Akbar succeeded his father on 14 February 1556, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah Suri
Sikandar Shah Suri
Sikandar Shah Suri was the sixth ruler of Sur dynasty, a late medieval Pashtun dynasty of northern India. He became the sultan of Delhi after overthrowing Ibrahim Shah Suri.-Early life:...

 for the throne of Delhi. He soon won his eighteenth victory at age 21 or 22. He became known as Akbar, as he was a wise ruler, setting high but fair taxes. He was a more inclusive in his approach to the non-Muslim subjects of the Empire. He investigated the production in a certain area and taxed inhabitants one-fifth of their agricultural produce. He also set up an efficient bureaucracy and was tolerant of religious differences which softened the resistance by the locals. He made alliances with Rajputs and appointed native generals and administrators. Later in life, he devised his own brand of syncretic philosophy based on tolerance.

Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

, son of Emperor Akbar, ruled the empire from 1605–1627. In October 1627, Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

, son of Emperor Jahangir succeeded to the throne, where he inherited a vast and rich empire. At mid-century this was perhaps the greatest empire in the world. Shah Jahan commissioned the famous Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

 (1630–1653) in Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

 which was built by the Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri
Ustad Ahmad Lahauri
Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, ; was an architect and the most likely candidate as the chief architect of the Taj Mahal. He has been described as an architect in the court of Shah Jahan from Lahore. He is also typically described to be Persian...

 as a tomb for Shah Jahan's wife Mumtaz Mahal
Mumtaz Mahal
Mumtaz Mahal born as Arjumand Banu Begum was a Mughal Empress and chief consort of emperor Shah Jahan...

, who died giving birth to their 14th child. By 1700 the empire reached its peak under the leadership of Aurangzeb Alamgir
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 with major parts of present day India, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Bangladesh and most of Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 under its domain. Aurangzeb was the last of what are now referred to as the Great Mughal kings, living a shrewd life but dying peacefully.

Mughal dynasty



The Mughal Empire was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1858, when it was supplanted by the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

. The dynasty
Dynasty
A dynasty is a sequence of rulers considered members of the same family. Historians traditionally consider many sovereign states' history within a framework of successive dynasties, e.g., China, Ancient Egypt and the Persian Empire...

 is sometimes referred to as the Timurid dynasty
Timurid Dynasty
The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

 as Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 was descended from Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

.

The Mughal dynasty was founded when Babur, hailing from Ferghana (Modern Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

), invaded parts of northern India and defeated Ibrahim Shah Lodhi
Lodhi dynasty
Lodi Dynasty was a Pashtun dynasty that was the last dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The dynasty founded by Bahlul Lodi ruled from 1451 to 1526...

, the ruler of Delhi, at the First Battle of Panipat
First battle of Panipat
The first battle of Panipat took place in Northern India, and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery.-Details:...

 in 1526. The Mughal Empire superseded the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

 as rulers of northern India. In time, the state thus founded by Babur far exceeded the bounds of the Delhi Sultanate, eventually encompassing a major portion of India and earning the appellation of Empire. A brief interregnum (1540–1555) during the reign of Babur's son, Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

, saw the rise of the Afghan Suri Dynasty under Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

, a competent and efficient ruler in his own right. However, Sher Shah's untimely death and the military incompetence of his successors enabled Humayun to regain his throne in 1555. However, Humayun died a few months later, and was succeeded by his son, the 13-year-old Akbar the Great
Akbar the Great
Akbar , also known as Shahanshah Akbar-e-Azam or Akbar the Great , was the third Mughal Emperor. He was of Timurid descent; the son of Emperor Humayun, and the grandson of the Mughal Emperor Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur, the ruler who founded the Mughal dynasty in India...

.

The greatest portions of Mughal expansion was accomplished during the reign of Akbar (1556–1605). The empire was maintained as the dominant force of the present-day Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 for a hundred years further by his successors Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

, Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

, and Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

. The first six emperors, who enjoyed power both de jure and de facto, are usually referred to by just one name, a title adopted upon his accession by each emperor. The relevant title
Title
A title is a prefix or suffix added to someone's name to signify either veneration, an official position or a professional or academic qualification. In some languages, titles may even be inserted between a first and last name...

 is bolded in the list below.

Akbar the Great initiated certain important policies, such as religious liberalism (abolition of the jizya
Jizya
Under Islamic law, jizya or jizyah is a per capita tax levied on a section of an Islamic state's non-Muslim citizens, who meet certain criteria...

 tax), inclusion of natives in the affairs of the empire, and political alliance/marriage with the Rajput
Rajput
A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

s, that were innovative for his milieu; he also adopted some policies of Sher Shah Suri, such as the division of the empire into sarkar
Sarkar (country subdivision)
Sarkar is an historic administrative unit, used mostly in the Muslim states of the South Asia. It was a territorial division of a Suba or province. A Sarkar was further divided into territorial divisions for the administrative purpose which were called Mahallas or Parganas. The Mahallas or...

raj, in his administration of the empire. These policies, which undoubtedly served to maintain the power and stability of the empire, were preserved by his two immediate successors but were discarded by Emperor Aurangzeb who spent nearly his entire career expanding his realm, beyond the Urdu Belt, into the Deccan and South India, Assam in the east; this venture provoked resistance from the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

s, Sikhs, and Ahoms.

Decline



After Emperor Aurangzeb's death in 1707, the empire fell into succession crisis. Barring Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Shah also known as Roshan Akhtar, was a Mughal emperor of India between 1719 and 1748. He was son of Khujista Akhtar Jahan Shah, the fourth son of Bahadur Shah I. Ascending the throne at 17 with the help of the Sayyid Brothers, he later got rid of them with the help of Nizam-ul-Mulk Chin...

, none of the Mughal emperors could hold on to power for a decade. In the 18th century, the Empire suffered the depredations of invaders like Nadir Shah of Persia and Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan, who repeatedly sacked Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, the Mughal capital. Most of the empire's territories in India passed to the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

s, Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

s, and Nizam
Nizam
Nizam-ul-Mulk of Hyderabad popularly known as Nizams of Hyderabad was a former monarchy of the Hyderabad State, now in the states of Andhra Pradesh , Karnataka , and Maharashtra in India...

s by . In 1804, the blind and powerless Shah Alam II
Shah Alam II
Shah Alam II , also known as Ali Gauhar, was a Mughal emperor of India. A son of Alamgir II, he was exiled to Allahabad in December 1759 by Ghazi-ud-Din, who appointed Shah Jahan III as the emperor. Later, he was nominated as the emperor by Ahmad Shah.Shah Alam II was considered the only and...

 formally accepted the protection of the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. The company had already begun to refer to the weakened emperor as "King of Delhi", rather than "Emperor of India". The once glorious and mighty Mughal army was disbanded in 1805 by the British; only the guards of the Red Fort were spared to serve with the King Of Delhi, which avoided the uncomfortable implication that British sovereignty was outranked by the Indian monarch. Nonetheless, for a few decades afterward the BEIC continued to rule the areas under its control as the nominal servants of the emperor and in his name. In 1857, even these courtesies were disposed. After some rebels in the Sepoy Rebellion declared their allegiance to Shah Alam's descendant, Bahadur Shah II
Bahadur Shah II
His Royal Highness Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar , also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty.He was the son of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput...

, the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 decided to abolish the institution altogether. They deposed the last Mughal emperor in 1857 and exiled him to Burma, where he died in 1862.

List of Mughal emperors


Certain important particulars regarding the Mughal emperors is tabulated below:
Emperor Birth Reign Period Death Notes
Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 
Feb 23, 1483 1526–1530 Dec 26, 1530 Founder of the Mughal Dynasty.
Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 
Mar 6, 1508 1530–1540 Jan 1556 Reign interrupted by Suri Dynasty. Youth and inexperience at ascension led to his being regarded as a less effective ruler than usurper, Sher Shah Suri.
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri
Sher Shah Suri , birth name Farid Khan, also known as Sher Khan , was the founder of the short-lived Sur Empire in northern India, with its capital at Delhi, before its demise in the hands of the resurgent Mughal Empire...

 
1472 1540–1545 May 1545 Deposed Humayun and led the Suri Dynasty.
Islam Shah Suri
Islam Shah Suri
Islam Shah Suri was the second ruler of the Sur dynasty which ruled part of India in the mid-16th century. His original name was Jalal Khan and he was the second son of Sher Shah Suri. On his father's death, an emergency meeting of nobles chose him to be successor instead of his elder brother Adil...

 
c.1500 1545–1554 1554 2nd and last ruler of the Suri Dynasty, claims of sons Sikandar and Adil Shah were eliminated by Humayun's restoration.
Nasiruddin Muhammad Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 
Mar 6, 1508 1555–1556 Jan 1556 Restored rule was more unified and effective than initial reign of 1530–1540; left unified empire for his son, Akbar.
Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar  Nov 14, 1542 1556–1605 Oct 27, 1605 Akbar greatly expanded the Empire and is regarded as the most illustrious ruler of the Mughal Dynasty as he set up the empire's various institutions; he married Mariam-uz-Zamani, a Rajput princess. One of his most famous construction marvels was the Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore...

.
Nooruddin Muhammad Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

 
Oct 1569 1605–1627 1627 Jahangir set the precedent for sons rebelling against their emperor fathers. Opened first relations with the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

. Reportedly was an alcoholic, and his wife Empress Noor Jahan became the real power behind the throne and competently ruled in his place.
Shahaabuddin Muhammad Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

Jan 5, 1592 1627–1658 1666 Under him, Mughal art and architecture reached their zenith; constructed the Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

, Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid, Delhi
The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā , commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal,in the year 1644 CE and completed in the year 1658 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India...

, Red Fort, Jahangir mausoleum
Tomb of Jahangir
Tomb of Jahangir, is the mausoleum built for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled from 1605 to 1627. The mausoleum is located near the town of Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Pakistan. His son Shah Jahan built the mausoleum 10 years after his father's death. It is sited in an attractive walled garden....

, and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

. Deposed and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb.
Mohiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir
Aurangzeb
Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir , more commonly known as Aurangzeb or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir , was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India, whose reign lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.Badshah Aurangzeb, having ruled most of the Indian subcontinent for nearly...

 
Oct 21, 1618 1658–1707 Mar 3, 1707 He reinterpreted Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 and presented the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri
Fatawa-e-Alamgiri
Fatawa-e-Alamgiri is a compilation of law created at instance of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb . This compilation is based on Sunni Islam's Sharia law, and was the work of many scholars, principally from the Hanafi school...

; he captured the diamond
Diamond
In mineralogy, diamond is an allotrope of carbon, where the carbon atoms are arranged in a variation of the face-centered cubic crystal structure called a diamond lattice. Diamond is less stable than graphite, but the conversion rate from diamond to graphite is negligible at ambient conditions...

 mines of the Sultanate of Golconda; he spent more than 20 years of his life defeating major rebel factions in India; his conquests expanded the empire to its greatest extent; the over-stretched empire was controlled by Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

s, and faced challenges after his death. He made two copies of the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 using his own calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

.
Bahadur Shah I
Bahadur Shah I
Bahadur Shah was a Mughal Emperor, who ruled India from 1707 to 1712. His original name was Qutb ud-Din Muhammad Mu'azzam later titled as Shah Alam by his father. He took the throne name Bahadur Shah in 1707. His name Bahādur means "brave" & "hero" in Turko-Mongol languages...

 
Oct 14, 1643 1707–1712 Feb 1712 First of the Mughal emperors to preside over a steady and severe decline in the territories under the empire's control and military power due to the rising strength of the autonomous Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

s. After his reign, the empire went into steady decline.
Jahandar Shah
Jahandar Shah
Jahandar Shah was a Mughal Emperor who ruled India for a brief period in 1712-1713. His title was Shahanshah-i-Ghazi Abu'l Fath Muiz-ud-Din Muhammad Jahandar Shah Sahib-i-Quran Padshah-i-Jahan .-Early life:...

 
1664 1712–1713 Feb 1713 He was highly influenced by his Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier
Grand Vizier, in Turkish Vezir-i Azam or Sadr-ı Azam , deriving from the Arabic word vizier , was the greatest minister of the Sultan, with absolute power of attorney and, in principle, dismissable only by the Sultan himself...

 Zulfikar Khan.
Furrukhsiyar  1683 1713–1719 1719 In 1717 he granted a firman to the English East India Company granting them duty free trading rights for Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and confirmed their position in India.
Rafi Ul-Darjat
Rafi Ul-Darjat
Rafi-ul Darjat , the youngest son of Rafi-us-Shan and the nephew of Azim ush Shan, was the 11th Mughal Emperor. He succeeded Furrukhsiyar on 28 February 1719, being proclaimed Badshah by the Syed Brothers....

 
Unknown 1719 1719  
Rafi Ud-Daulat
Rafi Ud-Daulat
Rafi- ud- Daulah also known as Shah Jahan II was Mughal emperor for a brief period in 1719. He succeeded his short-lived brother Rafi Ul-Darjat in that year, being proclaimed Badshah by the Syed Brothers. Despite this, he was never allowed to venture out of the Red Fort...


a.k.a Shah Jahan II 
Unknown 1719 1719  
Nikusiyar
Nikusiyar
Neku Siyar, or Nikusiyar Mohammed, was a claimaint to the throne of India. He had been in prison from 1681 to 1719 and initiated a war to seize the throne in 1719. He was son of rebel Muhammad Akbar, son of Aurangzeb and was brought up in a harem in Agra...

 
Unknown 1719 1743  
Muhammad Ibrahim  Unknown 1720 1744  
Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Shah
Muhammad Shah also known as Roshan Akhtar, was a Mughal emperor of India between 1719 and 1748. He was son of Khujista Akhtar Jahan Shah, the fourth son of Bahadur Shah I. Ascending the throne at 17 with the help of the Sayyid Brothers, he later got rid of them with the help of Nizam-ul-Mulk Chin...

 
1702 1719–1720, 1720–1748 1748 Got rid of the Syed Brothers. Fought a long war with the Maratha Empire
Maratha Empire
The Maratha Empire or the Maratha Confederacy was an Indian imperial power that existed from 1674 to 1818. At its peak, the empire covered much of South Asia, encompassing a territory of over 2.8 million km²....

, losing Deccan and Malwa in the process. Suffered the invasion of Nadir-Shah of Persia in 1739. He was the last Mughal Emperor to preside effective control over the empire.
Ahmad Shah Bahadur
Ahmad Shah Bahadur
Ahmad Shah Bahadur was born to Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. He succeeded his father to the throne as the 15th Mughal Emperor in 1748 at the age of 22. His mother was Udhambai, . When Ahmed Shah came to power the rule of the Mughal Empire was collapsing...

 
1725 1748–54 1754 Mughal forces massacred by the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

 during the Battle of Sikandarabad
Battle of Sikandarabad
The Battle of Sikandarabad was fought during May, 1754; between the Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur and his ruthless rebellious Turani, Mir Bakshi Ghazi ud-Din supported by the Maratha leader Malhar Rao Holkar...

;
Alamgir II
Alamgir II
Aziz-ud-din Alamgir II was the Mughal Emperor of India from 3 June 1754 to 29 November 1759. He was the son of Jahandar Shah....

 
1699 1754–1759 1759 Consolidation of power of the Nizam of Hyderabad,Nawab of Oudh, Marathas, State of Mysore & Nawab of Bengal,Bihar,Orissa;
Shah Jahan III
Shah Jahan III
Shah Jahan III also known as Muhi-ul-millat was Mughal Emperor briefly. He was the son of Muhi-us-sunnat, the eldest son of Muhammad Kam Baksh who was the youngest son of Aurangzeb...

 
Unknown In 1759 1770s
Shah Alam II
Shah Alam II
Shah Alam II , also known as Ali Gauhar, was a Mughal emperor of India. A son of Alamgir II, he was exiled to Allahabad in December 1759 by Ghazi-ud-Din, who appointed Shah Jahan III as the emperor. Later, he was nominated as the emperor by Ahmad Shah.Shah Alam II was considered the only and...

 
1728 1759–1806 1806 Defeat of the combined forces of Mughal, Nawab of Oudh & Nawab of Bengal,Bihar at the hand of East India Company at the Battle of Buxar
Battle of Buxar
The Battle of Buxar was fought on 22 October 1764 between the forces under the command of the British East India Company, and the combined armies of Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal; Shuja-ud-Daula Nawab of Awadh; and Shah Alam II, the Mughal Emperor...

. Treaty of Allahabad. Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali
Hyder Ali was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in southern India. Born Hyder Naik, he distinguished himself militarily, eventually drawing the attention of Mysore's rulers...

 becomes Nawab
Nawab
A Nawab or Nawaab is an honorific title given to Muslim rulers of princely states in South Asia. It is the Muslim equivalent of the term "maharaja" that was granted to Hindu rulers....

 of Mysore in 1761. Ahmed-Shah-Abdali in 1761 defeated the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

s during the Third Battle of Panipat
Third battle of Panipat
The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761, at Panipat , about 60 miles north of Delhi between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Confederacy and a coalition of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali with 2 Indian Muslim allies—the Rohilla Afghans of the Doab, and the...

; The fall of Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan
Tipu Sultan , also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the de facto ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. He was the son of Hyder Ali, at that time an officer in the Mysorean army, and his second wife, Fatima or Fakhr-un-Nissa...

 of Mysore in 1799;
Akbar Shah II
Akbar Shah II
Akbar Shah II , also known as Mirza Akbar, was the second-to-last of the Mughal emperors of India. He held the title from 1806 to 1837. He was the second son of Shah Alam II and the father of Bahadur Shah Zafar II....

 
1760 1806–1837 1837 Titular figurehead under British protection
Bahadur Shah Zafar
Bahadur Shah II
His Royal Highness Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar , also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty.He was the son of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput...

 
1775 1837–1857 1862 The last Mughal emperor was deposed by the British and exiled to Burma
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

 following the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Indian Rebellion of 1857
The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of the British East India Company's army on 10 May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon escalated into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to...

.

Influence on the Indian subcontinent



Mughal influence on Indian art & culture


A major Mughal contribution to the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

 was their unique architecture
Mughal architecture
Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is symmetrical and decorative in style.The Mughal dynasty was...

. Many monuments were built by the Muslim emperors, especially Shahjahan, during the Mughal era including the UNESCO World Heritage Site Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal...

, which is known to be one of the finer examples of Mughal architecture. Other World Heritage Sites includes the Humayun's Tomb
Humayun's Tomb
Humayun's tomb is the tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun's wife Hamida Banu Begum in 1562 AD, and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyath, a Persian architect...

, Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Built near the much older Sikri, the historical city of Fatehabad, as it was first named, was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570...

, Red Fort, Agra Fort
Agra Fort
Agra Fort, is a monument situated at Agra, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of its more famous sister monument, the Taj Mahal...

, and Lahore Fort
Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore...

.

The palaces, tombs, and forts built by the dynasty stands today in Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

, Aurangabad, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Dhaka
Dhaka
Dhaka is the capital of Bangladesh and the principal city of Dhaka Division. Dhaka is a megacity and one of the major cities of South Asia. Located on the banks of the Buriganga River, Dhaka, along with its metropolitan area, had a population of over 15 million in 2010, making it the largest city...

, Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri is a city and a municipal board in Agra district in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India. Built near the much older Sikri, the historical city of Fatehabad, as it was first named, was constructed by Mughal emperor Akbar beginning in 1570...

, Jaipur
Jaipur
Jaipur , also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.1 million....

, Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

, Kabul
Kabul
Kabul , spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan...

, Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura
Sheikhupura or Shekhupur , formerly Kot Dayal Das or Singhpuria or Virkgarh , is an industrial city in the province of Punjab slightly northwest to Lahore in Pakistan. It is known for its historical places, and is commonly known locally as Qila Shaikhupura, because of the fort in the city,...

, and many other cities of India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, and Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

. With few memories of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

, Babur's descendents absorbed traits and customs of the Indian Subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
The Indian subcontinent, also Indian Subcontinent, Indo-Pak Subcontinent or South Asian Subcontinent is a region of the Asian continent on the Indian tectonic plate from the Hindu Kush or Hindu Koh, Himalayas and including the Kuen Lun and Karakoram ranges, forming a land mass which extends...

, and became more or less naturalised.

Mughal influence can be seen in cultural contributions such as:
  • Centralised, imperialistic government which brought together many smaller kingdoms.
  • Persian art and culture amalgamated with Indian art
    Indian art
    Indian Art is the visual art produced on the Indian subcontinent from about the 3rd millennium BC to modern times. To viewers schooled in the Western tradition, Indian art may seem overly ornate and sensuous; appreciation of its refinement comes only gradually, as a rule. Voluptuous feeling is...

     and culture.
  • New trade routes to Arab
    Arab
    Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

     and Turkic
    Turkic peoples
    The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

     lands.
  • The development of Mughlai cuisine
    Mughlai cuisine
    Mughlai cuisine is a style of cookery developed in the Indian Subcontinent by the imperial kitchens of the Mughal Empire. It represents the cooking style used in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Pakistan and in parts of Dhaka in Bangladesh and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh...

    .
  • Mughal Architecture found its way into local Indian architecture
    Indian architecture
    The architecture of India is rooted in its history, culture and religion. Indian architecture progressed with time and assimilated the many influences that came as a result of India's global discourse with other regions of the world throughout its millennia-old past...

    , most conspicuously in the palaces built by Rajput
    Rajput
    A Rajput is a member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and in some parts of Pakistan. Rajputs are descendants of one of the major ruling warrior classes in the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India...

    s and Sikh
    Sikh
    A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

     rulers.
  • Landscape gardening


Although the land the Mughals once ruled has separated into what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, their influence can still be seen widely today. Tombs of the emperors are spread throughout India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. There are 16 million descendants spread throughout the Subcontinent and possibly the world.

Urdu language


Although Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 was the dominant and "official" language of the empire, the language of the elite later evolved into a form of Hindustani
Hindustani language
Hindi-Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language and the lingua franca of North India and Pakistan. It is also known as Hindustani , and historically, as Hindavi or Rekhta...

 today known as Urdu. Highly Persianized and also influenced by Arabic and Turkic, the language was written in a type of Perso-Arabic script
Perso-Arabic script
The Persian or Perso-Arabic alphabet is a writing system based on the Arabic script. Originally used exclusively for the Arabic language, the Arabic alphabet was adapted to the Persian language, adding four letters: , , , and . Many languages which use the Perso-Arabic script add other letters...

 known as Nastaliq, and with literary conventions and specialized vocabulary being retained from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic and Turkic
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

; the new dialect was eventually given its own name of Urdu. Compared with Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, the Urdu language draws more vocabulary from Persian and Arabic (via Persian) and (to a much lesser degree) from Turkic languages where Hindi draws vocabulary from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 more heavily. Modern Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, which uses Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

-based vocabulary along with Urdu loan words from Persian and Arabic, is mutually intelligible with Urdu
Urdu
Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

.

Mughal society



The Indian economy remained as prosperous under the Mughals as it was, because of the creation of a road system and a uniform currency, together with the unification of the country. Manufactured goods and peasant-grown cash crops were sold throughout the world. Key industries included shipbuilding (the Indian shipbuilding industry was as advanced as the European, and Indians sold ships to European firms), textiles, and steel. The Mughals maintained a small fleet, which merely carried pilgrims to Mecca, imported a few Arab horses in Surat
Surat
Surat , also known as Suryapur, is the commercial capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat. Surat is India's Eighth most populous city and Ninth-most populous urban agglomeration. It is also administrative capital of Surat district and one of the fastest growing cities in India. The city proper...

. Debal
Debal
-Introduction:Debal was an ancient port located near modern Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. In Arabic, it was usually called Daybul it is adjacent to the nearby Manora Island and was administered by Mansura, and later Thatta....

 in Sindh
Sindh
Sindh historically referred to as Ba'ab-ul-Islam , is one of the four provinces of Pakistan and historically is home to the Sindhi people. It is also locally known as the "Mehran". Though Muslims form the largest religious group in Sindh, a good number of Christians, Zoroastrians and Hindus can...

 was mostly autonomous. The Mughals also maintained various river fleets of Dhows, which transported soldiers over rivers and fought rebels. Among its admirals were Yahya Saleh
Yahya Saleh
Yahya Saleh Mughal Admiral and voyager, from Surat he was a fine navigator a humble devout Muslim Sailor he entered Mughal service during the rule of Akbar and in 1577 was trusted to lead members of the Mughal Emperor's personal harem to the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina...

, Munnawar Khan
Munnawar Khan
Munnawar Khan Mughal Admiral born in Agra of Mughal decent, he entered service during the rule of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, during the conquest of Golconda, he first started his Naval training by protecting Mughal supply routes in narrow and difficult rivers, he was also promoted as the chief...

, and Muhammad Saleh Kamboh
Muhammad Saleh Kamboh
Muhammad Saleh Kamboh Lahori was a noted Calligraphist and official biographer of Emperor Shah Jahan and the teacher of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Though a widely read person, little is known of the life of Muhammad Saleh Kamboh other than the works he composed. He was son of Mir Abdu-lla, Mushkin...

. The Mughals also protected the Siddis of Janjira. Its sailors were renowned and often voyaged to China and the East African Swahili Coast, together with some Mughal subjects carrying out private-sector trade. Cities and towns boomed under the Mughals; however, for the most part, they were military and political centres, not manufacturing or commerce centres. Only those guilds which produced goods for the bureaucracy made goods in the towns; most industry was based in rural areas. The Mughals also built Maktab
Maktab
Maktab , also called kuttab , is an Arabic word meaning elementary schools...

s in every province under their authority, where youth were taught the Quran and Islamic law
Sharia
Sharia law, is the moral code and religious law of Islam. Sharia is derived from two primary sources of Islamic law: the precepts set forth in the Quran, and the example set by the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the Sunnah. Fiqh jurisprudence interprets and extends the application of sharia to...

 such as the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri
Fatawa-e-Alamgiri
Fatawa-e-Alamgiri is a compilation of law created at instance of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb . This compilation is based on Sunni Islam's Sharia law, and was the work of many scholars, principally from the Hanafi school...

 in their indigenous languages.

The nobility was a heterogeneous body; while it primarily consisted of Rajput aristocrats and foreigners from Muslim countries, people of all castes and nationalities could gain a title from the emperor. The middle class of openly affluent traders consisted of a few wealthy merchants living in the coastal towns; the bulk of the merchants pretended to be poor to avoid taxation. The bulk of the people were poor. The standard of living of the poor was as low as, or somewhat higher than, the standard of living of the Indian poor under the British Raj
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

; whatever benefits the British brought with canals and modern industry were neutralized by rising population growth, high taxes, and the collapse of traditional industry in the nineteenth century.

Science and technology



Astronomy


While there appears to have been little concern for theoretical astronomy, Mughal astronomers continued to make advances in observational astronomy
Observational astronomy
Observational astronomy is a division of the astronomical science that is concerned with getting data, in contrast with theoretical astrophysics which is mainly concerned with finding out the measurable implications of physical models...

 and produced nearly a hundred Zij treatises. Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 built a personal observatory near Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, while Jahangir
Jahangir
Jahangir was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگیر,meaning "Conqueror of the World"...

 and Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) Shah Jahan (also spelled Shah Jehan, Shahjehan, , Persian: شاه جهان) (January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) (Full title: His Imperial Majesty Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan...

 were also intending to build observatories but were unable to do so. The instruments and observational techniques used at the Mughal observatories were mainly derived from the Islamic tradition. In particular, one of the most remarkable astronomical instruments invented in Mughal India is the seamless celestial globe (see Technology below).

Technology


Fathullah Shirazi
Fathullah Shirazi
Fathullah Shirazi , sometimes referred to as Amir Fathullah Shirazi, was a Persian-Indian polymath—a scholar, Islamic jurist, finance minister, mechanical engineer, inventor, mathematician, astronomer, physician, philosopher and artist—who worked for Akbar the Great, ruler of the Mughal...

 (c. 1582), a Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

-Indian
History of India
The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

 polymath
Polymath
A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable...

 and mechanical engineer who worked for Akbar the Great
Akbar the Great
Akbar , also known as Shahanshah Akbar-e-Azam or Akbar the Great , was the third Mughal Emperor. He was of Timurid descent; the son of Emperor Humayun, and the grandson of the Mughal Emperor Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur, the ruler who founded the Mughal dynasty in India...

 in the Mughal Empire, developed a volley gun
Volley gun
A volley gun is a gun with several barrels for firing a number of shots, either simultaneously or in sequence. They differ from modern machine guns in that they lack automatic loading and automatic fire and are limited by the number of barrels bundled together.In practice the large ones were not...

.

Considered one of the most remarkable feats in metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

, the seamless
Seam (metallurgy)
Hemming and seaming are two similar metalworking processes in which a sheet metal edge is rolled over onto itself. A hem is when the edge is rolled flush to itself, while a seam joins the edges of two materials....

 globe
Globe
A globe is a three-dimensional scale model of Earth or other spheroid celestial body such as a planet, star, or moon...

 was invented in Kashmir
Kashmir
Kashmir is the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent. Until the mid-19th century, the term Kashmir geographically denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range...

 by Ali Kashmiri ibn Luqman in 998 AH (1589–90 CE), and twenty other such globes were later produced in Lahore
Lahore
Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in the country. With a rich and fabulous history dating back to over a thousand years ago, Lahore is no doubt Pakistan's cultural capital. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains a...

 and Kashmir during the Mughal Empire. Before they were rediscovered in the 1980s, it was believed by modern metallurgists to be technically impossible to produce metal globes without any seams
Seam (metallurgy)
Hemming and seaming are two similar metalworking processes in which a sheet metal edge is rolled over onto itself. A hem is when the edge is rolled flush to itself, while a seam joins the edges of two materials....

, even with modern technology. Another famous series of seamless celestial globes was produced using a lost-wax casting method in the Mughal Empire in 1070 AH (1659–1960 CE) by Muhammad Salih Tahtawi
Muhammad Salih Tahtawi
Muhammad Salih Tahtawi also spelled Muhammad Salih Thattvi , Mughal Metallurgist, Astronomer, geometric expert and Craftsman, was born and raised in Thatta, Sindh province in Pakistan, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and the governorship of the Mughal Nawab Mirza Ghazi Beg of...

 with Arabic and Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 inscriptions. It is considered a major feat in metallurgy. These Mughal metallurgists pioneered the method of wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

 casting
Casting
In metalworking, casting involves pouring liquid metal into a mold, which contains a hollow cavity of the desired shape, and then allowing it to cool and solidify. The solidified part is also known as a casting, which is ejected or broken out of the mold to complete the process...

 while producing these seamless globes.

See also

  • Mughal (tribe)
    Mughal (tribe)
    The term Mughal is simply a Turkic word and many groups in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh use the term Mughal to describe themselves...

  • Mughal architecture
    Mughal architecture
    Mughal architecture, an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture, is the distinctive style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries in what is now India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It is symmetrical and decorative in style.The Mughal dynasty was...

    , a style of architecture
  • Mughal gardens
    Mughal Gardens
    Mughal gardens are a group of gardens built by the Mughals in the Islamic style of architecture. This style was heavily influenced by the Persian gardens particularly the Charbagh structure. Significant use of rectilinear layouts are made within the walled enclosures...

    , a style of gardens
  • Mughal cuisine, a style of cooking
  • Mughal painting
    Mughal painting
    Mughal painting is a particular style of South Asian painting, generally confined to miniatures either as book illustrations or as single works to be kept in albums, which emerged from Persian miniature painting, with Indian Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist influences, and developed largely in the court...

    , a style of painting
  • Mughal weapons
    Mughal Weapons
    Mughal Weapons, The Military of the Mughal Empire used a variety of weapons in their conquests throughout the centuries. various types of: swords, bow & arrows, horses, camels, elephants, various types of cannons , muskets and Flintlock Blunderbuss...

  • Mughal-e-Azam
    Mughal-e-Azam
    Mughal-E-Azam is a 1960 Indian historical epic film produced under the banner of Sterling Investment Corporation Pvt Ltd, and directed by K. Asif. With its unmatched production, K. Asif's magnum opus took nine years and $3 million to complete this movie. This was when a typical Bollywood film...

    , an India film
  • Mirza Mughal
    Mirza Mughal
    HH Prince Mirza Mughal was an Imperial Prince of the Royal Family of India; the fifth son of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, the 12th and last Mughal emperor. His mother, Sharif-ul-Mahal Sayyidini, came from an Aristocratic Sayyid family that claimed descent from The Prophet Muhammad...

    , fifth son of Bahadur Shah II
    Bahadur Shah II
    His Royal Highness Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar , also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II was the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of the Timurid Dynasty.He was the son of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput...

    , the last Mughal emperor
  • History of India
    History of India
    The history of India begins with evidence of human activity of Homo sapiens as long as 75,000 years ago, or with earlier hominids including Homo erectus from about 500,000 years ago. The Indus Valley Civilization, which spread and flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent from...

  • Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
    Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent
    Muslim conquest in South Asia mainly took place from the 13th to the 16th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century onwards.However, the Himalayan...

  • Mongols
    Mongols
    Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

    , one of several ethnic groups
  • Turco-Persian/Turco-Mongol
    Turco-Mongol
    Turko-Mongol is a modern designation for various nomads who were subjects of the Mongol Empire. Being progressively Turkicized in terms of language and identity following the Mongol conquests, they derived their ethnic and cultural origins from steppes of Central Asia...

  • List of the Muslim Empires
  • List of Sunni Muslim dynasties
  • Islamic architecture
    Islamic architecture
    Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture....

  • Timurid dynasty
    Timurid Dynasty
    The Timurids , self-designated Gurkānī , were a Persianate, Central Asian Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turko-Mongol descent whose empire included the whole of Iran, modern Afghanistan, and modern Uzbekistan, as well as large parts of contemporary Pakistan, North India, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the...

  • Charlemagne to the Mughals
    Charlemagne to the Mughals
    Charlemagne to the Mughals is a genealogical route connecting Charlemagne with the Mughal dynasty of India. According to this route, numerous oriental rulers, including those of Brunei and the Maldives, should be counted among Charlemagne's descendants....


Further reading


External links