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  • Descendent of Timur (from his father side) and Genghis khan (from his mother side)
  • It is said that he was invited in India by Daulat Khan Lodi and Alam kha lodi
  • He laid the foundation of the Mughal empire by defeating Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat on 21, April 1526.
  • In 1527, he defeated Rana Sanga of Mewar at Khanwa.
  • In 1528, he defeated Medini Rai of Chaneri at Chanderi.
  • In 1529, he defeated Muhammad Lodhi (uncle of Ibrahim Lodhi) at Ghaghra.
  • In 1530, he died at Agra. His tomb is at Lahore. The tomb of only two Mughal emperors are outside India i.e. Babur & Bahadur Shah Zafar
  • He was the first to use gunpowder & artillery in India.
  • Two gun masters Mustafa & Ustad Ali were in his army
  • He wrote his autobiography Tuzuk-i-Baburi in Turki.
  • Tuzuk-i-Baburi was translated in Persian (named Baburnama) by Abdur Rahim Khan-e-khana & in English by Madan Bebridge.
  • He compiled two anthologies of poems, Diwan (in Turki) & Mubaiyan (in Persian). He also wrote Risal-i-Usaz or letters of Babur.
  • The Mughals did not believe in the rule of primogeniture, where the eldest son inherited his father’s estate. Instead, they followed the Mughal and Timurid custom of coparcenary inheritance or a division of the inheritance amongst all the sons.


  • Son of Babur and his successor
  • Divided his father’s inheritance among his brothers and challenged by them.
  • He fought two battles against Sher Shah at Chausa (1539) & at Kannauj/Bilgram (1540) & was completely defeated by him.
  • He escaped to Iran where he passed 12 years of his life in exile.
  • After Sher Shah’s death Humayun invaded India in 1555 & defeated his brothers the Afghans. He once again became the ruler of India. He died while climbing down the stairs of his library (at Din Panah) in 1556 & was buried in Delhi.
  • Abul Fazal calls him Insan-e-Kamil.
  • His sister, Gulbadan Begum wrote his biography Humayunama.
  • He built Din Panah at Delhi as his second capital.


  • Akbar, the eldest son of Humayun, ascended the throne under the title of Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar Badshah Ghazi at the young age of 13.
  • His coronation took place at Kalanaur.
  • Second Battle of Panipat (Nov 1556) was fought between Hemu (hem Chandra Vikramaditya the Hindu General of Muhammad Adil Shah) & Biram Khan (the regent of Akbar). Hemu was defeated, captured & slain by Bairam Khan.
  • In the initial years of his rule Akbar was first under the influence of his reagent Bairam.
  • Age of marriage for boys & girls was increased to 16 years & 14 years respectively
  • Sati was prohibited
  • In his 24th year Akbar introduced Dashala system for the collection of land revenue by the state.
  • The Mansabdari system under Akbar, divided the Mansabdars into 66 categories. This system fixed the following service conditions:
  • Rank & status
  • Salary Number of sawars (horsemen)
  • Akbar’s revenue minister, Todar Mal carried out a careful survey of crop yields, prices and areas cultivated for a 10-year period, 1570-1580. On the basis of this data, a tax was fixed on each crop in cash. Each province was
  • Divided into revenue circles with its own schedule of revenue rates for individual crops. This revenue system was known as zabt.
  • Tulsidas (author of Ramcharitmanas) also lived during Akbar’s period.
  • In the last years of his reign Akbar was distracted by the rebellion of Prince Salim, the future Emperor Jahangir.
  • When Akbar died, he was buried at Sikandara near Agra.


  • Salim, son of Akbar, came to the throne after Akbar’s death in 1605.
  • He established Zanjir-i-Adal (i.e. Chain of Justice) at Agra Fort for the seekers of royal justice.
  • In 1611, Jahangir married Mihar-un-nisa, widow of Sher Afghan, a Persian nobleman who was sent on an expedition to Bengal. Later on, she was given the title Nurjahan.
  • Nurjahan exercised tremendous influence over state affairs. She was made the official Padshah Begum.
  • Jahangir issued coins jointly in Jurjahan’s name & his own. • Jahangir also married Jodha Bai of Marwar.
  • In 1608, Captain William Hawkins, a representative of East India Company came to Jahangir’s court. In 1615 Sir Thomas Roe, an ambassador of King James I of England also came to his court. He granted permission to the English to establish a trading port at Surat.
  • His reign was marked by several revolts. His son Khusrau, who received the patronage of 5th Sikh Guru Arjun Dev revolted against Jahangir (1605). Arjun Dev was later sentenced to death for his blessing to the rebel prince (1606).
  • During his last period, Khurram (Shanjahan), son of Jahangir, & Mahavat Khan, military general of Jahangir also revolted (Khurram: 1622-25 & Mahavat Kha : 1626-27).
  • He wrote his memories Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri in Persian.
  • He was buried in Lahore.


  • His real name was Khurram, he was born to Jodha Bai (daughter of Raja Jagat Singh).
  • Shahjahan ascended the throne after his father’s death.
  • Three years after his accession, his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal (original name- Arzumand Bano) died in 1631. To perpetuate her memory he built the Taj Mahal at Agra.
  • He introduced the Char-Taslim in the court
  • In addition to Jahangir’s empire, Nizam Shahi’s dynasty of Ahmadnagar was brought under Mughal control (1633) by Shahjahan.
  • Shahjahan’s reign is described by French traveler Bernier & Tavernier & the Italian traveler Nicoli Manucci. Peter Mundi described the famine that occurred during Shahjahan’s time.
  • The Red Fort, Jama Masjid & Taj Mahal are some of the magnificent structures built during his reign.
  • Shahjahan’s failing health set off the war of succession among his four sons (Dara shikoh, Murad Baksh, Shah Shuja and Aurangzeb) in 1657.
  • Aurangzeb emerged the victor who crowned himself on July 1658. Shahjahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in the Agra Fort where he died in captivity in 1666. He was buried at Taj (Agra).


  • War of succession took place in the later stage of the Shah Jahan reign.
  • His four sons Dara Shikoa, Aurangzeb, Shah Shuja & Murad were in the state of war for the throne.
  • His daughters also supported one son or the other in the tussle for throne Janah Ara supported Dara. Roshan Ara supported Aurangzeb. Guhara supported Murad.
  • Aurangzeb was coroneted twice; he was the only Mughal king to be coroneted twice
  • Barnier was the foreign visitor who saw the public disgrace of Dara after he was finally defeated in the war at Deorai.
  • During the first 23 years of the rule (1658-81) Aurangazeb concentrated on North India. During this period the Marathas under Shivaji rose to power & were a force to reckon with. Highest numbers of Hindu Mansabdars were there in the service of Mughals during the reign of Aurangzeb.
  • Aurangzeb captured Guru Teg Bahadur, the 9th Guru of Sikhs in 1675 & executed him when he refused to embrace Islam. The 10th & last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, son of Guru Teg Bahadur, organized his followers into militant force called Khalsa to avenge the murder of his father.
  • Guru Gobind Singh was, however murdered in 1708 by an Afghan in Deccan. Banda Bahadur, the militant successor of Guru Gobind Singh continued the war against Mughals.
  • He was called Zindapir or living saint
  • In 1679 he re-imposed Jaziya tax
  • Prince Akbar rebelled against Aurangzeb and received support from the
  • Marathas and the Deccan Sultanate. He finally fled to Safavid Iran.


  • Shivaji was the most powerful Maratha king & an arch-enemy of Aurangzeb. When Aurangzeb could not eliminate him, he conspired with Jai Singh of Amber, a Rajput, to eliminate Shivaji in 1665.
  • On the assurance given by Jai Singh, Shivaji visited Aurangzeb’s court. Shivaji was imprisoned by Aurangzeb but he managed to escape & in 1674 proclaimed himself an independent monarch.
  • Shivaji died in 1680 & was succeeded by his son Sambhaji, who was executed by Aurangzeb in 1689. Sambhaji was succeeded by his brother Rajaram & after his death in 1700, his widow Tarabai carried on the movements.

Mughal administration (Mansabdari system)

  • The empire was divided into provinces or Subas.
  • The Nazim or Subedar was the head of provinces
  • Each Mughal officer was assigned a mansab (rank), there were 66 categories of Mansabdars
  • Jahangir introduced Du-Aspah-Sih-Aspah system whereby the specific noble was to maintain double the number of horsemen.
  • Documents from the twentieth year of Shah Jahan’s reign inform us that the highest-ranking mansabdars were only 445 in number out of a total of
  • 8,000. This small number – a mere 5.6 per cent of the total number of mansabdars – received 61.5 percent of the total estimated revenue of the empire as salaries for themselves and their troopers.

Wakil: He was initially the PM, however, later became revenue advisor only

Mir Bakshi: He was the head of the military department

The enormous wealth and resources commanded by the Mughal elite made them an extremely powerful group of people in the late seventeenth century. As the authority of the Mughal emperor slowly declined; his servants emerged as powerful centers of power in the regions. They constituted new dynasties and held command of provinces like Hyderabad and Awadh. Although they continued to recognize the Mughal emperor in Delhi as their master, by the eighteenth century the provinces of the empire had consolidated their independent political identities.




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