Akbar Rule in India :: List of Mughal Emperors
History of Akbar (1556 – 1605) :
- Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar was the son of Humayun and Hamida Banu Begam. He was born at Amarkot in 1542.
- Bairam Khan coronated him at Kalanaur when he was 14 years old.
- Bairam Khan represented him in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 against Hemu Vikramaditya. Hemu, the PM of Muhammad Shah Adil of Bengal, was defeated. Hemu is considered the last Hindu king of Delhi.
- Between 1556 – 1560, Akbar ruled under Bairam Khan’s regency. (Bairam Khan was as sassinated at Patan, Gujarat, on his way to Mecca by one of his old Afghani enemies).
- Conquered Malwa in 1561 defeating Baz Bahadur. He was later made the Mansabdar to honour his skill as a musician.
- Then defeated Garh – Katanga (ruled by Rani Durgawati) followed by Chittor and Ranthambhore.
- Akbar followed a policy of reconciliation with the Rajputs. Some of the Rajput princes entered into matrimonial alliances with him. In 1562, he married the eldest daughter of Raja Bharmal of Jaipur. In 1570, he married princesses from Bikaner and Jaisalmer. In 1584, Prince Salim was married to the daughter of Raja Bhagwan Das. All these activities paved the way for friendship between Rajputs and Mughals (except Mewar).
- Won Gujarat in 1572. It was in order to commemorate his victory of Gujarat that Akbar got the Buland Darwaza constructed at Fatehpur Sikri.
- Fought Battle of Haldighati with Mewar forces on 18 Jun, 1576. Mughals were represented by Raja Maan Singh and Rajputs by Rana Pratap Singh. Rajputs were defeated.
- Raja Maan Singh conquered Bihar, Bengal and Orissa for him.
- In 1586, he conquered Kashmir and in 1593, he conquered Sindh. His last conquest was at the fort of Asirgarh in Deccan.
- At his death in 1605, his empire included Kashmir, Sind, Kandhar and extended as far as the Godavary in the Deccan.
Maharana Pratap :
A Rajput ruler of Mewar, he belonged to the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs. He was a son of Udai Singh II. In 1568, during the reign of Udai Singh II, Mewar was conquered by the Akbar.
Battle of Haldighati was fought on Jun 18, 1576, in which Maharana Pratap was defeated by Akbar’s army, led by Raja Maan Singh. Maharana had to flee the field on his trusted horse Chetak.
Thereafter, Pratap had to retreat into the Aravallis from where he continued his struggle through the tactics of guerilla warfare. Using the hills as his base, Pratap harassed the large and therefore awkward mughal forces in their encampments.
He ensured that the mughal occupying force in Mewar never knew peace. Rana Pratap died of injuries sustained in a hunting accident.
- Ralph Fitch (1585) was the first Englishman to visit Akbar’s court.
- Abolished jaziyah in 1564 and the tax on pilgrims. The use of beef was also forbidden.
- Regularly visited the shrine of Sheikh Muinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.
- Believed in Sulh – i – Kul or peace to all.
- Built Ibadatkhana (Hall of prayers) at Fatehpur Sikri. He used to conduct religious discussions there with : Purshottam Das (Hindu), Maharaji Rana (Parsi), Harivijaya Suri (Jain), Monserate and Aquaviva (Christian).
- In 1579, Akbar issued the ‘Decree of Infallibility.
- Formulated an order called Din – i – Ilahi or Tauhid – i – Ilahi in 1581. Birbal, Abul Fazl and Faizi joined the order.
- His Land Revenue System was known as Todar Mai Bandobast or Zabti System. Three salient features of Zabti system were – measurement of land, classification of land and fixation of rates. Todar Mai and Muzaffar Khan Turbati were the important revenue officers.
- Also introduced the Mansabdary System to organise the nobility as well as the army. Mansabdar meant holder of a rank. There were two ranks: Zat and Sawar. Zat fixed the status and standing in the administrative hierarchy while sawar fixed the number of troopers held by the Mansabdar. It wasn’t a hereditary system.
Akbar’s Navratna History :
Abu’l – Fazl, the Wazir of Akbar and author of the Akbamama an account of Akbar’s reign. He also led the Mughal imperial army in its wars in the Deccan. He was assassinated in a plot contrived by Akbar’s son, Salim.
Faizi was historian Abul Fazl’s brother in Akbar’s court. He was a poet composing in Persian and an all – round genius. Akbar highly recognized the genius in him and appointed him teacher for his son and gave place to him among his decorative ‘Nau Ratnas’. His famous work Lilabati is on mathematics.
Tansen, believed to be one of the greatest musician of all times, was born in a Hindu family in Gwalior. He served as the court musician to King Ramachandra of Mewar and later to Akbar.
Tansen accepted Islam at the hands of the great Sufi mystic and saint – Shaykh Muhammad Ghaus of Gwalior. It was believed that Tansen made miracles such as bringing rain and fire through singing the ragas Megh Malhar and Deepak, respectively.
Raja Birbal, alias Mahesh Das, was a courtier in the administration of Akbar. Birbal was referred to as a court wit as a result of the fact that he frequently had witty and humorous exchanges with Akbar.
He was a poet and author whose wit and wisdom led the Emperor Akbar to invite him to be a part of the royal court and to bestow upon him a new name – Birbal. Akbar also conferred on him the title of “Raja”.
Raja Todar Mai was Akbar’s finance minister, who overhauled the revenue system in the kingdom. He introduced standard weights and measurements, revenue districts and officers.
His systematic approach to revenue collection became a model for the future Mughals as well as the British. He had developed his expertise while working under Sher Shah. In 1582, Akbar bestowed on the raja the title Diwan – i – Ashraf.
Raja Man Singh was the Kacchwaha raja of Amber. He was a mansabdar and a trusted general of Akbar. He was the grandson of Akbar’s father – in – law, Bharmal and the adopted son of Raja Bhagwan Das.
He assisted Akbar in many battles including the well – known | battle of Haldighati, among others. He also led campaigns in Orissa and Bengal.
Abdul Rahim Khan – e – Khana was a poet and the son of Akbar’s trusted caretaker, Bairam Khan. After Bairam Khan was murdered, Bairan Khan’s wife became the second wife of Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan – e – Khan his stepson. He had a high place I among Akbar’s Navratnas. Although a Muslim by birth, he was a devotee of Lord Krishna.
Faqir Aziao Din was one of Akbar’s chief advisors.
Mullah Do Piaza was among the Mughal emperor Akbar’s chief advisors. Akbar regarded his advice in high esteem.