• Babar (1526-1530)
  • Humayun (1530-1556)
  • Akbar (1556-1605)
  • Jahangir (1605-1627)
  • Shah jahan (1628-1658)
  • Aurangzeb (1658-1707)
  • The Emergence of Marathas
Babar (1526-1530)
Entry In India
The conquest of Samarkand in Transoxiana forced Babar to move towards Hindustan .
An invitation issued by Alam Khan, an uncle of Ibrahim Lodi and a pretender to the throne of Delhi helped.
He defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat outside Delhi in 1526.
Babar succeeded because:
Babar succeeded because of the cavalry that he had brought from Central Asia which was new to Indian army.
He rearranged his soldiers in such a way that they could lie easily moved from one part of the battle to the other.
He was a good general.
Babar Vs Rana Sanga
Babar Defeated Rana Sanga in the Battle of Khanwa in 1527.
He soon occupied Delhi and Agra and then went on to annex more territory.
Before he died in 1530 he had made himself the master of the Punjab, Delhi and the Ganga plains as far as Bihar.
Babar was also a writer with an excellent style in Turkish. He wrote Tuzuk-i-Babari an autobiography containing a lively description of India.
Humayun (1530-1556)
Humayun's reign
Humayun inherited a vast unconsolidated empire and an empty treasury.
He also had to deal with the growing power of the Afghans in the east.
The Afghan resistance rallied round Sher Shah who had Bihar under his complete control. Soon he conquered Bengal as well.
Sher Shah was also in close contact with Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujarat, whose extensive sweep of conquest posed a threat to Delhi. He gave heavy subsidies to Sher Shah.
This, together with the revenue of Bihar and Bengal, enabled him to raise a large army and challenge Humayun.
Humayun's tenure
Humayun succeeded in conquering the provinces of Gujarat and Malwa and to eliminate the threat posed by Bahadur Shah.
He however failed to consolidate his power in western India. Gujarat and Malwa were soon lost. But in the two battles fought against Sher Shah at Chausa (1539) and at Kannauj (1540), he was completely defeated.
Humayun thus lost the newly founded Mughal empire to the Afghans, and passed the next 12 years of his life in exile.
In 1555, he regained the throne of Delhi from the hands of weak successor of Sher Shah, but was not destined to rule for long. In 1556, he died as a result of an accident.
Akbar (1556-1605)
Akbar's achievements
Akbar was only 13 when he came to the throne, and his tutor Bairam Khan was appointed a regent.
Akbar's first conflict was with Hemu, a general of Adil Shah, under whom the Afghan resistance had regrouped itself.
At the Second Battle of Panipat (1556) between Bairam Khan and Hemu, Hemu was defeated and Akbar re-occupied Delhi and Agra which the Mughals had lost.
Akbar proceeded to conquer various important towns and forts such as Gwalior, Ajmer, Jaunpur and also kingdom of Malwa.
Only Mewar continued to resist under Rana Pratap and his son Amar Singh.
Akbar organised the nobility and his army by means of the Mansabdari system. Every otiicer was assigned a rank (mansab).
The ranks were divided into two: zat and sawar.
The number of mansabadars rose from 2,069 at the time of Jahangir's accession in 1605 to 8,000 in 1637 during Shah Jahan's reign and to 11,546 during the later half of the Aurangzeb's reign.
Only mansabdars could hold jagirs. All other imperial staff was paid in cash. A jagir-holder possessed only fiscal rights stripped of rights of land-ownership, occupancy, or residence. This was not a fief. It was purely a fiscal instrument designed to meet a narrowly defined end.
Land Revenue System
Initially, Akbar adopted Sher Shah's system. In 1580, Akbar instituted a new system called Dahsala.
The peasant was required to pay on the basis of local produce as well as local prices. Under Akbar, the zabt system practically covered the entire region from the Indus to Ghaghra.
There is little doubt that the basic unit of assessment was in practice the village; and the intermediaries were the real assesses.
Land revenue was collected as a fixed share of the estimated produce, varying from 1/3rd to 1/2 of the produce.
It was almost always collected in cash, with state officials fixing the rates at which produce was assumed to sell in the market.
Organisation of Government
Akbar reorganised the central machinery of administration on the basis of the division of power between various departments, and of checks and balances.
The office of the diwan or wazir, the head of the revenue department and mir bakshi, the head of the military government, were almost at par with, and supported and checked, each other.
Akbar divided the empire into 12 subas in 1580. The pattern of administration at the capital was repeated in each suba.
Every suba was divided into a number of sarkars and each of these into a number of parganas.
A group of villages made one paragana. A governor (subedar), a diwan, a bakshi, a sadar, a qazi and waqia-navis or news reporters were appointed to each of the provinces.
Religious Ideas
After his successes in military activities and administration, Akbar's insatiable quest- his personal religious need-led him to build the lbadat Khana or the Hall of prayer in 1575.
Initially it was open only to the Sunnis but later (1578) it was also opened to people of all religions; Sufis, Shias, Christians, Zoroastraians, Hindus, Jains, even atheists.
These religious discussions in the lbadat Khana led to the declaration of the Mahzar Nama (1579) .
If Akbar issued a new order 'in conformity with the Quran and calculated to benefit the nation', all should be bound by it .
The academic, spiritual and metaphysical aspect of lbadat Khana crytallized into Tauhid-i-Ilahi which literally means divine monotheism.
Jahangir (1605-1627)
Jahangir's tenure
Jahangir strengthened Mughal control over Bengal. Four successive campaigns between 1600 and 1613 forced Amar Singh of Mewar to accept Mughal suzerainty.
Jahangir continued his father's policy of matrimonial alliances with Rajput princes. Kangra was annexed to the empire.
The frontier with the kingdom of Ahmednagar, which had been a source of trouble due to Malik Ambar's guerrilla warfare, was settled.
Towards the end of his reign, Jahangir had to deal with the rebellion of Shah Jahan, his son.
An important event of Jahangir's reign was the active interest taken by Nur Jahan, his queen, in matters of state.
Shah jahan (1628-1658)
Shah Jahan's reign
On his succession to the throne, the first thing he had to face was revolts in Bundelkhand and the Deccan.
Bijapur and Golconda submitted to the Mughals and signed a treaty of peace in 1636.
Shah Jahan appointed his son, Prince Aurangzeb, as the Viceroy of the Deccan. Aurangzeb later tried hard to annex these two Deccani kingdoms but did not succeed.
Meanwhile the Marathas also emerged as a major threat to the authority of the Mughals.
In 1657 Aurangzeb his third son emerged the victor after defeating Dara Shikoh at the battle of Dharmat. Shah Jahan was imprisoned in the Agra fort, till his death in 1666.
Aurangzeb (1658-1707)
Aurangzeb's Tenure
Aurangzeb ruled for almost 50 years. During his long reign, the Mughal empire reached its territorial climax.
At its height it stretched from Kashmir in the north to Jinji in the south, and from the Hindu Kush in the west to Chittagong in the east.
But much of Aurangzeb's time was spent in trying to put down revolts in different parts of the empire.
Aurangzeb sent his army to the Deccan to curtail the rising Maratha power and to prevent them from overpowering the kingdoms of Bijapur and Golconda.
The Emergence of Marathas
The Marathas were small Chieftains who owed allegiance to the Deccan kingdoms.
When they saw the Deccan kingdoms being weakened by the Mughal attacks they broke away, expanded their power and began to harass the Mughal armies by resorting to guerrilla warfare.
They had acquired the strategy of guerrilla warfare from a master of that art, MalikAmbar, the Abyssinian minister of the Ahmednagar Sultan.
They used to retreat to the regions of Poona and Konkan where they were strong and the hilly area enabled them to hide successfully.
Chhatrapati Shivaji
The most powerful of the Maratha chiefs was Shivaji. His father Shah Ji, had been a feudatory of Bijapur and had served in the Bijpapur army.
But Shivaji was ambitious and, seeing the weakness of Bijapur, asserted his independence, Aurangzeb appointed Jai Singh of Amber to deal with Shivaji.
Shivaji visited Aurangzeb's court in Agra in 1666 where he was made a prisoner but escaped. He declared himself to be the independent ruler of the Maratha kingdom and was crowned Chhatrapati in 1647 and was now determined to harass the Mughals.
In the following years, until his death in 1680, he succeeded in building a strong Maratha state.
Shivaji succeeded mainly because Mughal control over the Deccan had weakened. Secondly, the Marathas had worked out a revenue system by which they obtained a large revenue and could maintain strong armies.
System of Government
The Maratha state was governed by the king, advised and assisted by a council of eight ministers- the Astha Pradhan.
The Peshwa was the Prime Minister. The revenue of the state came mainly from land.
Peasants and cultivators living in the Maratha kingdom paid two-fifth of their produce to the state.
Those living outside the Maratha kingdom, the Maratha government levied two taxes.
One was called chamh, and the other tax was the sardeshmukhi, which was an additional one-tenth.
Aurangzeb and Maratha Power
Shivaji's successors were weak and the government gradually moved into the hands of the Peshwas.
Aurangzeb managed to keep some control over the Marathas, but soon after his death, the Marathas rose in great strength and became a dominant power in India.
Aurangzeb annexed Bijapur and Golconda in 1686 and 1687, respectively.
In 1689, Sambhaji, Shivaji's son, was captured and executed and his infant son Shivaji II better known as Sahu.
In the civil war that broke out Sahu emerged victorious with the help of Balajl Vishwanath, the founder of the line of Peshwas. He was made Peshwa in 1713.
Internal Rebellion
Internally, Aurangzeb had to deal with the rebellion of the Jats in the Mathura region in 1666.
Later, in the 18th century, the Jats carved out an independent principality in the area.
The rulers of Mewar and Marwar, the two major kingdoms in Rajasthan, came into conflict with Aurangzeb, over the issue of succession, thus weakening the Mughal alliance with the Rajputs.
Aurangzeb was orthodox in his outlook and kept himself Within the narrow confines of the Islamic Law. He destroyed many temples and reimposed Jazia.
The Mughal
This quiz has been prepared with questions related to the Mughal. These question were asked in various competitive exams across India. You can practice these questions to gain more knowledge.

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This chapter discusses the final phase of the decline of the Mughal empire in the eighteenth century. It argues that this decline was manifested in Awadh and Punjab in a kind of political transformation, in the emergence and configuration of the elements of the new subadari. The Mughal centre had transformed from a stabilizing force to a destabilizing arena with the weakening of imperial authority, administration and wrangling at the court. However, as the beginnings of the new subadari are to be seen more in the context of the history of the region, the developments in and around Awadh and the Punjab provide explanation for its stability or weakness in these provinces. The alliances forged, between the Mughal state and the nobles on the one hand and the old zamindars and local elements had always been uneasy. Now with the weakening of the Mughal power, the provincial governors tried to strike alliances with the local elements. Now with the weakening of the Mughal power, the provincial governors tried to strike alliances with the local elements. While the alliance with the local elements was successful in Awadh, it failed in Punjab primarily because of the growing consolidation of the Sikh movement, which considered the Mughal system as such to be tyrannical. The genesis for the emergence of 'the successor state' was present in both provinces, but in the Punjab it ended in chaos while Awadh saw a stable, dynastic rule.