Decline of
Decline of
Decline of
  • Declination Begins
  • Causes For The Decline
  • Cultural Developments During The Mughal Era
  • Painting
  • Music
  • Literature
Decline of
Declination Begins
Decline of
Aurangzeb's death
Aurangzeb's death in 1706 set off the rapid decline of the empire.
His successors were weak and increasingly became mere tools in the hands of the nobles, who began to play the role of the kingmakers.
For instance Jahandar Shah, one of the four sons of Bahadur Shah who emerged victorious, was supported by Zuliiqar Khan, a prominent noble of the time.
Later, Jahandar was defeated by his nephew Farrukhsiyar, who was supported by the Sayyid brothers.
Shah Alam I, for instance, because of it spent his initial years as an emperor far away from his capital.
Decline of
Rajputs Taking Advantage
Taking advantage, the Rajputs, the Sikhs and the Afghans openly defied the authority of the Mughal emperor.
One notable Rajput principality that emerged was that of Amber.
It rose to prominence under Sawai Jai Singh (1699 1743), who founded the new city of Jaipur in 1728.
He was deeply interested in Mathematics and Science.
He got Euclid's 'Elements of Geometry' translated into Sanskrit and built five astronomical observatories in India, for instance the Jantar Mantar or House of Instruments at Jaipur.
Decline of
Establishment of Independent Kingdoms
The governors of Hyderabad, Bengal and Avadh established independent kingdoms.
Marathas, reorganised under a new system of government, that of the Brahman ministers the Peshwas, were gradually extending their control towards North India.
Decline of
Foreign Invasions
At the same time foreign invasions such as those of Nadir Shah (1729) and Ahmed Shah Abdali (1747-61) further weakened the empire.
The rising power of the Marathas was temporarily checked by their defeat at the hands of Ahmad Shah Abdali in the Third battle of Panipat in 1761 .
The Mughals were now reduced to the area around Delhi.
Mughal emperors continued to rule in name until 1857. Real political power in the 18th century had shifted to the hands of the new kingdoms.
Decline of
Causes For The Decline
Decline of
Breaking up Mughal Empire
Although the Mughal empire began breaking up in the 18th century, the causes of its decline can be traced back to much earlier time.
Aurangzeb's long reign of constant and uninterrupted fighting was not only a big drain on the exchequer, it also led to the negligence of administration.
Politically, he made a number of mistakes, which undermined the strength of the Mughal empire.
Decline of
Economically Downfall
The empire also met with financial troubles.
There was neither enough money nor Jagirs to assign to various officers.
This led to rivalry among the nobles for the possession of existing Jagirs.
They tried to extort the maximum income from their jagirs at the cost of the peasantry.
The officers invariably reduced their expenditure by not maintaining their full quota of troops, thus weakening the empire's armed strength.
Decline of
Condition of The Peasant
The condition of the peasant had also gradually worsened higher revenue demands.
A greater level of exploitation by jagirdars who, because of frequent transfers, tried to extract much as possible during their tenure as jagirdar.
The practice of farming the land revenue to the highest bidder, after the death of Aurangzeb, increased peasant discontentment.
Decline of
Rebellions of Mughal Empire
The rebellions of the Satnamis, the Jats, the Sikhs, etc. were indicative of this.
The Zamindars too became rebellious withheld revenue.
The Mughal empire might have continue to exist for a long time if its administration and armed Power had not broken down.
Decline of
Cultural Developments During The Mughal Era
Decline of
Second Classical Age
The Mughal period can be called a second classical age in northern India.
In this cultural development, Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian culture brought to the country by the Mughals.
Decline of
The Mughals built magnificent monuments.
They also laid out many formal gardens with running water in the neighbourhood of Agra and Lahore.
Some other Mughal gardens, like the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir, the Shalimar at Lahore, the Pinjore garden in the Punjab, etc. have survived to this day.
Decline of
In Akbars's Tenure
Akbar was the first Mughal emperor who had the time to undertake construction on a large scale.
He built a series of forts.
The most famous is the fort at Agra built in red stone with its many magnificent gates.
Akbar built a fort-palace complex at Fatehpur Sikri, 36 km from Agra with red sandstone.
The architecture is an excellent blending of Persian, (half dome portal), central Asian (glazed blue tiles used for decoration) and various Indian styles (square brackets at the entrances, the design of the caves).
Decline of
Humayun's Tomb
Humayun's tomb, built by Akbar in Delhi is also different from the earlier tombs of the Sultanate period.
Not only does it have more Indian features, it is placed in the middle of a large, well-laid out garden.
The entrance to the tomb and garden is through a massive gateway, which is a monument in itself. This feature of a garden and gateway are to be found in all Mughal style tombs.
Decline of
Buildings of Marble
With the consolidation of the empire, Mughal architecture reached its climax.
Towards the end of Jahangir's reign began the practice of putting up buildings entirely of marble and decorating the walls with flora designs made of semi-precious stones.
This method of decoration, called pietra dura, became even more popular under Shah Jahan, who used it on a large scale in the Taj Mahal.
Decline of
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal brought together in a pleasing manner all the architectural forms developed by the Mughals.
The chief glory of the Taj is the massive dome and the four slender minerates linking the platform to the main building.
The decorations were kept to a minimum; delicate marble screens, pietra dura inlay work and kiosks (chhatris) adding to the effect.
The building gains an aesthetic touch by being placed in the midst of formal garden.
Decline of
Mosque-Building's Climax
Under Shah Jahan, mosque-building reached its climax.
The two most noteworthy were the Moti Masjid in the Agra fort built entirely with marble.
The Jama Masjid at Delhi built with red sandstone.
Decline of
In Aurangzeb's Regin
By the time of Aurangzeb's regin, a decline had set in and Mughal architecture was no longer as impressive or innovative as it had been.
Mughal architectural traditions continued without a break into the 18th and early 19th century.
Decline of
Influence on Hindu Rulers
The Mughal style influenced the palace and temple architecture of Hindu rulers.
The Govind Dev Temple at Brindavan is made of red sandstone and has this mixed style.
The Golden Temple at Amritsar is built on the arch and dome principle and incorporates many features of the Mughal traditions of architecture.
Decline of
Decline of
Mughal's Contribution
The Mughals made a distinctive contribution in the field of painting.
They introduced new themes depicting the court, battle scenes and the chase, and added new colours and forms.
Decline of
Akbar's Reign
The revival began under Akbar.
He organised painting in one of the imperial establishments (karkhanas).
Here painters from different parts of the country came together.
Jaswant and Dasawan were two of the famous painters at Akbar's court.
Decline of
Pattern of Paintings
Indian themes and Indian landscapes became very popular, helping to free the school from Persain influence.
Indian colours like peacock blue, Indian red, began to be used.
Above all, the somewhat flat effect of the persain style began to be replaced by the roundness of the Indian brush, giving the pictures a three-dimensional effect.
Decline of
European painting
European painting was introduced at Akbar's court by the Portuguese priests.
Soon principles of fore-shortening, whereby near and distant images could be placed in perspective, were adopted.
Mughal paintings, especially portrait painting reached a climax under Jahangir.
His court patronized many of the best artists of the time like Bishan Das, Murad, Mansur and Bahzad.
Decline of
Disappearance of Mughal Painting
While the tradition continued under Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb's lack of interest forced the artists to disperse to various provincial capitals where local governors employed them.
They helped in the development of painting in the states of Rajasthan and the Punjab hills.
Another school of painting which flourished at this time was the Deccan school which was encouraged by the Bijapuri kings.
Decline of
Indian Music
Tansen, the famous singer at Akbar's court, is credited with having enriched the Hindustani school or north Indian style of music by composing many new melodies or ragas.
One of the most popular of these was the raga Darbari, believed to be Tansen's special composition for Akbar.
The Hindustani school of music had, by now, taken many features from Persian music.
Jahangir and Shah Jahan continued patronising this branch of cultural life.
However, Aurangzeb in his later years, banished singing from his court.
Decline of
New styles
New styles of singing such as the khayal which had been developed in the Mughal court and the thumri became popular in the new centres which sprang up in the provinces and small kingdoms.
However, music in all forms continued to be patronized by Aurangzeb's queens in the harem and by the nobles.
That is why the largest number of books on classical Indian music in Persian were written during Aurangzeb's reign.
But some of the most important developments in the field of music took place only it the 18th century during the reign of Muhammad Shah (1720-48).
Abdul Hamid Lahori was a notable chronicler and poet of his time.
Decline of
Decline of
Persian prose and poetry reached a climax under Akbar's reign.
Abul Fazal set a style of prose-writing which was emulated for many generations.
The leading poet of the age was his brother, Faizi Utbi.
He, together with Naziri were the two leading Persian poets.
Apart from literary and historical works, a number of famous dictionaries of the Persian language were also compiled during the period.
Decline of
Literature in Sanskrit
In Sanskrit, a number of works were produced even though they were not very significant or original.
Most of the works were produced in the southern and eastern India under the patronage of local rulers.
Though a few were produced by Brahmans employed in the translation department of the emperors.
Decline of
Regional languages
Regional languages acquired stability and maturity and some of the finest lyrical poetry was produced during this period.
Medieval Hindi in the Brij form was also patronized by the Mughal emperors and Hindu rulers.
From the time of Akbar, Hindi poets began to be attached to the Mughal court.
A leading Mughal noble, Abdur Rahim, wrote in Hindi and his dohas (couplets) are still recited.
Tulsidas was the most influential Hindi poet who wrote the story of the Ramayana.
Decline of
The Decline of Mughal
This quiz has been prepared with questions related to the decline of Mughal. These question were asked in various competitive exams across India. You can practice these questions to gain more knowledge.

Start Quiz Next Slide
Decline of
The Mughal Empire was one of the greatest and largest empires in history. They ruled a large landmass in India and ruled millions of people at that time in history. India was much larger and became united under one rule. The Mughal gave India a very rich culture and brilliant architecture and great accomplishments. There were many Hindu and Muslim areas that were split all over India until the Mughal empire was established. Unfortunately, the Mughal Empire faced many difficulties, and by the turn of the 19th century, had weakened significantly and slowly disintegrated into dust. Even when the empire no longer exists today, the memories of the great emperors will last forever and will never fade away.
Decline of