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Chapter 15. The Mughal Empire (Indian History Notes)

Chapter 15 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE

Introduction

The Saiyyid and the Lodhi rules failed to stop the decline of the Delhi Sultanate. Babur took full advantage of the political chaos and established the rule of the Mughal Dynasty in India. The Mughals were able to create strong structures of administration and ideas of governance.
The ‘classic period’ of the Mughal Empire is believed to begin in 1556 with the coronation of Akbar to the throne.
Under the rule of Akbar, the region enjoyed economic progress as well as religious harmony. Akbar himself was a successful warrior and he forged strategic alliances with several Hindu Rajput kingdoms. Though some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a threat to the Mughal dominance, most of them were subdued by Akbar.
By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had defeated Mughals. They won over several Mughal provinces from Punjab to Bengal. Due to the weakness of the Mughal Empire’s administrative and economic systems, internal dissatisfaction arose that led to the break-up of the empire. The declaration of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states also added to the chaos.
In 1739, the Mughals were defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah leading to the loot in Delhi. During the following century Mughal power had become limited and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had his dominance over the city of Shahjahanabad. He issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857. After the defeat, he was tried by the British East India Company for treason, imprisoned and exiled to Rangoon. The last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British. The Government of India Act 1858 facilitated the British Crown formally assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.

MAJOR EVENTS DURING MUGHAL

PERIOD (1526 – 1858)

1526, May 27 Babur founds the empire of Hind.
1540, May 17 Mughal rulers are expelled and suppressed by the Afghan Suri Dynasty.
1555, July 23 Empire of Hind under the Mughal rulers restored.
1600, Dec 31 East India Company was given monopoly privileges on all trades with the East.
1608 The Companies ships arrived at the port of Surat.
1615 Jahangir granted the EIC the right to establish a factory at Surat.
1717 EEIC received a firman exempting the company from the payment of custom duties in Bengal.
1757 The forces of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daulah, was defeated at the Battle of Plassey.
1773 Lord North’s India Bill, known as the Regulating Act of 1773, provided for greater Parliamentary control over the affairs of the company and placed India under the rule of a Governor General.
1858, Mar 29 The last mughal ruler is deposed.
1858, Aug 2 U.K. Act of Parliament annexed the Empire, creating British India.

FEATURES OF MUGHAL

ADMINISTRATION

The Mughal Central Government
The principal officers of the Mughal central government were four:
1. Diwan: The Diwan, often called the wazir (the chief minister), was mainly concerned with revenue and finance, but he had a say in all matters where any expenditure was involved. All the imperial orders were first recorded in his office before being issued.
2. Mir Bakhshi: The Mir Bakhshi performed those duties which had been the responsibility of the arizimamalik during the earlier period. Some foreign travellers called him the lieutenant-general or the captain-general.
3. Mir Saman: The work relating to state karkhanas, stores, ordinance, and communications was considered very important by Mughals and the person dealing with it was called the Mir Saman.
4. Sadr: The Sadr or Sadr-i-jahan was the director of the religious matters, charities and endowments.
Sometimes, a higher dignitary called Vakil, was also appointed. The Mughals had an efficient administrative system. The famous diwan under Akbar was Raja
Todar Mal. The Diwan had under him two principal officers, called Diwan-i-tan and diwan-i-khalsa, who were in charge of salaries and state lands respectively.
The organization of public services was based on the Mansabdari system. Every important officer of state held a Mansab or an official appointment of rank and emoluments. The principal categories of Mughal mansabdars were three – • Those in command of ten to four hundred were commonly styled Mansabdars (officers) • Those in command of five hundred to twenty-five hundred were Amirs (nobles) • Those in higher ranks belonged to the category of Umara-i-Kabir or Umara-i-Azim (grandees).
Each grade carried a definite rate of pay, out of which the holders were required to maintain a quota of horses, elephants, beasts of burden, and carts.
The mansabdars were paid either in cash or by temporary grant of jagirs. Appointment to the ranks of mansabdars was made by the emperor. In addition to the Mansabdars, there was a class known as Ahadis, who were usually young men of good families, who were not fortunate enough to secure a Mansab.
The Mughal Provincial Administration
The Mughal provincial administration was greatly improved under Akbar. The boundaries of the provincial units were more definitely fixed and a uniform administrative pattern was developed. By the introduction Mansabdars, liable to be transferred anywhere, the control over the provinces was made more effective.
The principal officer was the Governor, popularly known as Subahdar or Subah. Next was the provincial Diwan, who was in independent charge of the revenues of the province. He was usually a Mansabdar of much lower status than the Governor.
The next provincial functionary was the Bakhshi, or the paymaster. The Sadr and the Qazi were entrusted with religious, educational, and judicial duties. The Faujdar and the Kotwal were the two other important provincial officials. The Faujdar, who was the administrative head of the sarkar (district), was appointed by the emperor but was under the supervision and guidance of the governor. The kotwals were not provincial officers, but were appointed by the central government in the provincial capitals and other important cities. The Mughals interfered very little with the local life of the village communities.
The Muqaddam was normally the sarpanch (head of the village panchayat, or council) who dealt with local disputes, arrange for watch and ward, and performed many functions entrusted to the local bodies.
Revenue and Finance
Tax structure of the Mughal empire was relatively simple. Revenue and expenditure were divided between the central and the provincial government. Land
revenue was the most important source of income.
The principal items of expenditure were defence, the general civil administration of the empire (including the religious organizations) and maintenance of the court and the royal palace.
The Mughal revenue system was based on the division of the empire into subas or governorships, sarkars or districts, and parganas, consisting of number of villages which were sometimes called mahals. The suba was modeled after the central imperial structure.
The levy of tax was based on survey settlements calculated after measurement and classification of the cultivated areas. Akbar’s revenue system was raiyatwari, the revenue amounted to one-third of the produce being collected directly from the individual cultivator.
Military Organization
The Mughal emperors depended upon four different classes of troops. They were–
► The soldiers supplied by the mansabdars.
► Troops under the command of a mansabdar, know as Dakhili, who were paid by the state.
► A third class were the ahadis, or “gentlemen troopers.” Drawing higher pay than those in the ordinary service.
► The artillery was paid wholly out of the imperial treasury.
The Mughals had a poor navy. They had no fighting vessels, and the ships that they maintained were only for the commercial operations of the state.
Judicial System
The judicial system of the Mughals was similar to that of the sultanate. Normally no lawyers were allowed to appear. The disputes were speedily settled, often on the basis of equity and natural justice. Many crimes—including murder—were treated as individual grievances rather than crimes against society. The aim of the judicial system was primarily to settle individual complaints and disputes rather than to enforce a legal code, as is indicated by the fact that the criminal court was normally known as the diwani-
mazalim, the court of complaints.
The judicial courts provided by the Mughals were principally of two types—secular and ecclesiastical.
The principal courts for settlement of disputes were presided over by the emperor, the governors, and other executive officers. Akbar used to spend several hours of the day disposing of judicial cases, and governors followed the same procedure in the provinces. In the Ain-i-Akbari we find the instructions issued to a governor detailing the judicial procedure he should follow.
Apart from the secular courts and the panchayats, the principal agency for the settlement of disputes was the qazis’ court. The qazi, being the repository of Muslim law, attended the hearing of cases by the executive authority, whether governor, faujdar or kotwal, and assisted the latter in arriving at a decision consonant with Quaranic precepts. The death penalty normally had to be confirmed by the emperor, but there exceptions of the rule. Capital punishments and mutilations were frequent, and there are records of impaling, dismemberment and other cruel punishments.
Important officials
1. Mushrif-i-mumalik – Accountant general 2. Mustaufi-i-mumalik – Auditor general 3. Diwan-i-Khalisa 4. Diwan-i-tan 5. Daroga-i-dak – Chauki 6. Mir-i-arz 7. Waqua navis 8. Mir-i-dahri 9. Mir-i-mal 10. Harkaras – Spies and Couriers 11. Swanith-Nigar – News writers 12. Mir tazuk

EMPERORS OF MUGHAL DYNASTY

Ruling Period Name
1526 – 1530 Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur 1530 – 1540 and 1555 – 1556 Humayun 1556 – 1605 Akbar 1605 – 1627 Jahangir 1628 – 1658 Shah Jahan 1658 – 1707 Mohamamed Aurangzeb 1707 (Mar 14 – Apr 27) Qutib-ud-din A’zam Shah 1707 – 1712 Shah Alam Bahadur Shah-I 1712 – 1713 Mohammad 1713 – 1719 Furrukhsiyar 1719 (Mar 1 – Jun 7) Rafi ul Darjat 1719 (Mar 30 – Aug 13) Mohamamd Shah Nikusiyar 1719 (Jun 8 – Sep 6) Mohammad Shah Jahan Sani 1719 – 1748 Mohammad Shah 1720 (Oct 12 – Nov 19) Mohammad Ibrahim 1748 – 1754 Ahmad Shah Bahadur 1754 (Jun 3 – Nov 29) Alamgir II 1759 (Dec 11 – Dec 25) Shah Jahan III 1759 – 1806 Shah Alam II 1806 – 1837 Mohammad Akbar Shah II 1837 – 1857 Bahadur Shah Zafar Babur (1526-1530 A.D)
The conquest of Samarkand in Transoxiana compelled Babur to come to India. He defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat in 1526 AD. Babur’s full name was Zaheeruddin Mohammad Babur; he was born in AD 1483 and he was made the king of Farghana at the age of 11 years and 4 months. After the battle of Panipat, Babur proclaimed himself ‘Emperor of Hindustan.’ He made Agra his headquarter.
Babur succeeded because he brought cavalry from central Asia. He consolidated his army. He brought under his control Punjab, Delhi and the Ganga plains upto Bihar. He died in 1530 and was buried in Agra.
Later his body was taken to Kabul. His famous battles were of Khanwa, Chanderi and Ghaghra. His book Tujuki- Baburi is a famous book written in Turki language.
Humayun (1530-40 AD)
Babur left behind four sons of whom the eldest one was Humayun who succeeded his throne. When he was only 12 years old, he was appointed as the governor of Badakhshan with his mother. Humayun first turned his attention to the Afghan. Humayun conquered Gujarat and Malwa. But he was defeated by Sher Shah at battle of Chausa and Kannauj. In 1556, he died in an accidental explosion.
Akbar (1556-1605 AD)
Akbar was one of the greatest rulers in Indian history.
Akbar was born in Umerkot, Sindh on November 23, 1542. Akbar came to throne in 1556 after the death of his father, Humayun at the age of 13 years. During the first five years of his rule, he was assisted and advised by Bahram Khan in running the affairs of the country. His reign holds a certain prominence in history. He actually fortified the foundations of the Mughal empire. Akbar was a great patron of art, architecture. Despite being an illiterate, he had a tremendous love for learning.
The first battle fought by Akbar was against Sikandar Shah Suri of Punjab. In 1556 ‘Akbar the Great’ fought Second battle of Panipat against Hemu. Akbar solidified his support by revoking the Jaziya tax on non-muslims.
He extended his empire by matrimonial alliances with Rajputs. He expanded the Mughal Empire by including Malwa, Gujrat, Bengal, Kabul, Kashmir and Khandesh.
His third son, Salim was frequently in rebellion against his father. He died in 1605.
Akbar prohibited slavery and sati system. He fixed 14 years age for girls and 16 years age for boys for marriage.
Akbar’s court had Navratans, meaning a group of nine extraordinary people. They included- 1. Abul Fazel – Akbar’s chief advisor 2. Faizi – Poet 3. Tansen – Singer of his court 4. Birbal – Noble known for his wittiness 5. Raja Todar Mal – Akbar’s finance Minister 6. Raja Man Singh – Trusted general 7. Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana – Hindi Scholar 8. Hakim Humam – Physician to the King.
9. Mullah Do Piaza – An intelligence advisor to the King.
Main Events During the reign of Akbar
Year Major Events
1562 Abolition of Slavery 1563 Abolition of Pilgrimage Tax.
1564 Abolition of Jaziya.
1575 Ibadatkhana was built in Fatehpur Sikri 1578 Parliament of Religions in Ibadatkhana.
1579 Proclamation of “Marhar’ 1582 Proclamation of Tauhid-i-illahi.
1575-76 Entire empire divided into 12 provinces (After victory of south it becomes 15) 1582 ‘Dahsala system’ introduced by Todarmal.
1573-74 ‘Mansabdari system’ introduced after victory over Gujarat.
Jahangir (1605 – 1627 AD.) :
He was the son of Akbar and Jodhabai. His childhood name was Salim and was born in 1569 AD. He succeeded his father throne after Akbar’s death. He conquered three Kingdoms – Mewar, Kangra and Ahmadnagar in South India. Jahangir met, loved and married Mehr-un- Nisa who assumed the title of ‘Nur Jahan’, ‘Light of the world’. He crushed the rebellion of his own son Khusroe and made him blind. He issued 12 ordinances in public interest. He died in 1627 AD. Jahangir’s most irksome foe was the Rana of Mewar, Amar Singh who finally capitulated in 1613 AD to Khurram’s forces. He was an honest man and a tolerant ruler. Mughal gardens in Srinagar remain an enduring testimony to his artistic taste.
Shahjahan (1628 – 1658 AD.)
The name ‘Shahjahan’ comes from Persian meaning ‘Ruler of Everywhere’. He was the fifth Mughal emperor after Babur. On his succession to the throne, the first thing he had to face was revolt in Bundelkhand and the Deccan. Finally, he annexed Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golkunda.
In 1612, he was married to the daughter of Asaf Khan named Arjumand Bano Begum who was very beautiful.
Shahjahan has left behind an extraordinary, architectural legacy of his buildings the most important are the Tomb of Jahangir at Lahore, the Diwan-i-Aam, the Diwan-i-Khas at Redfort and the Jama Masjid in Delhi.
The Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid in Agra are remarkable for their purity and unadorned beauty. The famous revolt against him were of Bundelkhand, Khan-i-Jahan Lodhi and expedition against Portugese.
Aurangzeb (1658-1707 AD.)
He was the son of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan. He was born in 1618 at Dahod near Ujjain. His full name was Abul Muzaffar Mehi-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb. He was enthroned at Delhi in 1658 AD, after killing his brothers one by one. He conquered and annexed the states of Bijapur and Golkunda. He banned music and stopped the custom of Jharokha Darshan.
Aurangzeb set out for the Deccan in 1682 and spent 26 years of his life there. But he failed in conquering Marathas. He died in 1707 AD and was buried near Daulatabad.
SHER SHAH (THE SURI EMPIRE)
Sher Shah was the first muslim ruler of India who displayed a real aptitude for civil government. He gave sound administrative system to India which was followed by many rulers.
In the field of central administration, he followed the Sultanate pattern. There were four departments of central government :
1. Diwan-e-Vizarat : It dealt with financial matters such as collecting taxes and maintaining accounts.
2. Diwan-i-arz : It was headed by ariz-i-mamalik. It was a military department.
3. Diwan-i-Rasalat : He added by Sadr. It dealt with religious and foreign matter.
4. Diwan-i-ensha : It issued royal orders and conducted correspondence with different parts.
According to A.L. Srivastava, there were two more ministers.
5. Diwan-i-Barid : It dealt with the postal system of the empire.
6. Diwan-i-Qaza : After the emperor, he was the chief justice of the empire.
There were two important officials at the sarkar level- 1. Shiqdar-i-Shiqadaran : To maintain law and order.
2. Munshife-i-munshifan : To supervise the revenue.
Land revenue represented a claim on behalf of the state to a share of the crop. Sher Shah settled the land revenue directly with the tillers of the soil and fixed the state demand at one third of the gross produce.
Sikandari Gaja (32 points) was the measurement of land. He introduced a regular postal service. He issued a large number of silver coins. He improved communications by building roads. He constructed important roads like-
(i) Grand trunk road from Sunargaon to Peshawar.
(ii) Road from Agra to Multan via Burhanpur and Delhi.
(iii) Road from Multan to Lahore.
(iv) Road from Mandu to Agra.
He was also a very fine architect. He built Purana Qila in Delhi.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENTS

DURING MUGHAL PERIOD

It was policy of the Mughal rulers to encourage trade.
The Mughals, especially Akbar, encouraged trade by linking together various parts of the country through an efficient system of roads and abolishing many tolls and duties.
Trade and Industry
Mughal rulers welcomed the foreign traders, provided ample protection and security for their transactions, and levied a very low custom duty (usually no more than 2½% ad valorem). The expansion of local handicrafts and industry in Mughal period resulted in a surplus of export goods. Indian exports consisted of cotton cloth, indigo, saltpetre, spices, opium, sugar, woollen and silk cloth of various kinds, yarn, asafoetida, salt, beads, borax, turmeric, lac, sealing wax, and drugs of various kinds. The principal imports were bullion, horses, luxury goods for the upper classes, like raw silk, coral, amber, precious stones, superior textiles (silk, velvet, brocade, broadcloth), perfumes, drugs, china goods, and European wines.
The manufacture of cotton goods had assumed such extensive proportions that India sent cloth to almost half the world. The textile industry, well established in Akbar’s day, continued to flourish under his successors.
Even the silk industry—especially in Bengal—was in flourishing condition. Akbar was responsible for the expansion of silk weaving at Lahore, Agra, Fatehpur- Sikri, and in Gujarat. He opened a large number of factories at important centres, importing master weavers from Persia, Kashmir and Turkistan.
Health Facilities
Public hospitals had been provided in Muslim India, at least since the days of Firuz Tughluq (1351–1388), the system seems to have been extended during the Mughal period. Jahangir states in his autobiography that on his accession to the throne he ordered the establishment, at government expense, of hospitals in large cities.
That this order was actually made effective is shown by the records of salaries paid by the government and of grants for the distribution of medicine.
Social Customs
The marriage customs of Hindus and Muslims had many similarities. Early marriages were much in vogue amongst the Hindus, with seven considered proper age for a girl to be married. To leave a daughter unmarried beyond twelve years of age was to risk the displeasure of one’s caste. The Muslims also betrothed their children between the ages of six and eight, but the marriage was generally not solemnized before they had attained the age of puberty.

ARTS & CULTURE DURING MUGHAL

PERIOD

During Mughal period, architects, poets, historians, painters and musicians flourished. The patronage of the Mughal rulers gave a recognizable style and manner to a wide variety of arts.
Education
During Akbar’s reign subjects such as logic, philosophy and scholastic theology had taken on new importance.
The standard of learning in these subjects rose as is evidenced by the career of scholars like Shaikh
Abdul Haq Muhaddis (1551–1642). The extensive study of hadith (also hadis) began because of contact with Arabia. A number of educational institutions and foundations, including the colleges established by Ghazi-ud-din Khan Firuz Jang, Sharaf-uddaulah, and Raushan-ud-daulah in Delhi belong to Mughal period.
Later, in the eighteenth century, the Dars-i-Nizamiya, named after Mulla Nizam-ud-din (d.1748) provided instruction in grammar, rhetoric, philosophy, logic, scholasticism, tafsir (commentary on the Quran), fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), hadith and mathematics. For the students interested in religious studies, there were institutions like Madrasa-i-Rahimiya, the forerunner of the modern seminary of Deoband, where tafsir and hadith were the principal subjects of study.
Many Muslim women were patrons of literature. The memoirs of Gulbadan Begum, Akbar’s aunt, are well known, and his foster-mother, Maham Anga, endowed a college at Delhi. Akbar’s wife Salima Sultana, the famous Empress Mumtaz Mahal, and Aurangzeb’s sister, the Princess Jahan Ara Begum, were poetesses of note, as was his daughter, Zeb-un-Nissa.
Literature
Persian was the language of Mughal intellectual life. A large number of prominent Irani poets, including Urfi, Naziri, Talib, and Kalim, migrated to India, and at times the level of Persian literature was higher in Mughal India than in Iran. Faizi (1547–1595) was the brother of Abul Fazl. As Akbar’s poet-laureate, his poetry mirrors a triumphant age. Ghalib (1796–1869), who was attached to the court of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah, came under the spell of the immigrant Irani poets—Urfi, Naziri, Zahuri, and Hazin.
Apart from poetry, disciplines of history and biography were most extensively flourished during the Mughal period. Historians include Abul Fazl (1551–1602), whose comprehensive Akbar Nama is one of the most important historical works produced in India. Badauni (1540–1615), was a consummate artist, a master of the telling phrase, and capable of evoking a living picture with a few deft strokes. Babur’s autobiography, originally written in Turkish, but soon translated into Persian by Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khana.
Hindi was the next language which received patronage at Mughal court. The practice started by Akbar of having a Hindi kavi rai (poet-laureate) along with the Persian malik-ul-shuara. The greatest Hindi poet of Akbar’s days was Tulasidas. Raja Birbal (1528–1583) was the kavi rai, but the works of Akbar’s famous general Abdul Rahim have been better preserved. A skillful writer in Hindi, Abdul Rahim furthered the development of the language.
Mughal rulers patronized Bengali, Kashmiri, Hindi, Deccani, and other regional languages. This trend was most powerful in the regional kingdoms which grew up after the weakening of the Delhi Sultanate. The establishment of a well-organized central government at Delhi resulted in greater linguistic unification, and the influence of Persian became far more dominant.
Mughal rule indirectly assisted the regional literatures.
Architecture
Architecture reached the pinnacle under the Mughal rulers. After India’s conquest, Babur summoned from Constantinople pupils of the great Ottoman architect Sinan, to whom he entrusted the construction buildings. The buildings constructed by him exhibit no trace of local influence and are distinctly foreign.
Akbar’s most ambitious project was his new capital at Fatehpur Sikri, the seat of the imperial court from 1569 to 1584. Some of the buildings there are dominated by the Hindu style of architecture, but Persian influences were equally strong in his day, as can be seen in the magnificent tomb for Humayun built in 1569 at Delhi.
Akbar built two major fortresses at Agra and Lahore.
The Lahore fort, which was built on the banks of the Ravi, at about the same time as that at Agra, was planned and constructed on practically the same grand scale.
Akbar’s successor, Jahangir, was interested less in architecture than in painting and gardens. During Jahangir’s reign a number of gardens were built, such as the Shalimar Bagh and the Nishat Bagh in Kashmir. Jahangir’s beautiful mausoleum at Shahdara near Lahore was completed by his widow Nur Jahan.
Shah Jahan was the greatest builder amongst the Mughals. The style of Shah Jahan’s principal edifices is basically Persian, but is distinguished by use of white marble, minute and tasteful decoration—particularly the open-work tracery which ornaments the finest buildings, giving them their distinctive elegance.
Among the more famous of his buildings are the Pearl
Mosque and the Taj Mahal at Agra, the Red Fort and Jama Masjid at Delhi, palaces and gardens at Lahore, a beautiful mosque at Thatta in Sind and many edifices at Ajmer and Ahmadabad.
Painting
Humayun is credited for the founding of the Mughal school of painting. He persuaded Khwaja Abdul Samad and Mir Sayyid Ali, the pupil of Behzad, to join his court at Kabul in 1550. They accompanied him to Delhi, forming the nucleus of the Mughal school.
In the reign of Akbar, many painters were granted ranks as mansabdars or ahadis. The painters worked in a large building at Fatehpur Sikri, and, according to Abul Fazl, “the works of all painters are weekly laid before His Majesty by the daroghas (supervisors) and the clerks; he then confers rewards according to the excellence of workmanship or increases the monthly salaries.
Khwaja Abdul Samad was the head of the establishment and was known by the title of shirin qalam (or “sweet pen”), referring to his skill in calligraphy. Later he became master of the mint (1577) and subsequently was appointed diwan at Multan.
Akbar’s traditions were maintained by Jahangir. The main remnants of Jahangir’s principal picture albums are in the State Library of Berlin, while another album, which was taken away by Nadir Shah during his sack of Delhi, is in the Imperial Library at Tehran.
Music
Most Mughal emperors patronized music. There were nearly forty prominent musicians who flourished at Akbar’s court. These artists came from Gwalior, Malwa, Tabriz (in Iran) and Kashmir. The most famous musician of the period was Tansen. According to some Muslim chroniclers, he was brought up in the hospice of Shaikh
Mohammad Ghaus of Gwalior, but Hindu tradition describes him as a disciple of Swami Haridas.
The variety of music most extensively cultivated at Akbar’s court was the ancient dhrupad. The same tradition was continued by Bilas Khan, the inventor of bilas todi. Music received great encouragement under Shah Jahan. He had thirty prominent musicians at his court. The khiyal, or ornate school of music was beginning to assert itself in his reign.
Decline of the Empire
Aurangzeb’s death in 1706 caused the rapid decline of Mughal empire. The governor of Hyderabad, Bengal and Avadh established independent kingdoms and the Marathas reorganised under a new system of government.

CAUSES FOR THE DECLINE

1. The vastness of the empire.
2. Over centralized administration.
3. Wars of sucession.
4. Weak successors.
5. Weakness of the army.
6. Independence of provincial Rulers.
7. Lack of tolerance shown to the non-Islamic majority by later Mughal emperors.
8. Aurangzeb’s religious policy and deccan policy.
9. Invasion of Irani and Durrani kingdoms.
10. Arrival of the British.
Points to Remember 1. In the medieval periods rulers built private and public buildings like forts, palaces, tombs, temples, mosques, tanks etc.
2. The purpose of such buildings was to show the concern for the welfare of the people and at the same time display the power and wealth of their patrons.
3. During the Sultanate period, new features were introduced like arches and decorative features like calligraphy, geometry and arabesque.
4. Under the Mughals, a distinct style of architecture developed which was marked by the usage of red sandstone and marble and double – domed structure.
5. The most notable buildings during the Mughal period were built at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri and Delhi, Gardens were laid out in Delhi, Kashmir and Lahore.
6. The most prolific builder amongst the Mughal was Shahjahan, who built a number of buildings including the Lal Qila and the Jama Masjid in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra.
7. Babur was the first Mughal king followed by Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan and Aurangzeb.
8. Stability was achieved only under Akbar who expanded his empire over the Indian subcontinent.
9. Akbar introduced new administrative measures like Mansabdari system and Jagirdari system.
10. Jahangir married Mehrunnisa in 1611 and bestowed her with the title ‘Nur Jahan’.
11. Under Aurangzeb the Mughal empire expanded its territorial limits.
12. The process of decline of the Mughal empire set in at the time of Aurangzeb and new regional powers arose.
Introduction The Portuguese Objectives of Portuguese Advent The English Portuguese Governors Impact of Portuguese Causes of Decline Portuguese Colony in India Dutch Settlements in India Chronology of the British India
The French Carnatic Wars Malabar Coast Coromandel Coast Trade in Bengal 18 Century th
India Hyderabad Carnatic Awadh Mysore Rajputanas Punjab Rohilkhand Socio-economic condition Agriculture Trade Governors of Bengal and Governor Generals of India Important Acts in British India The Regulating Act The pitt’s India Act The Charter Act of 1793 The Charter Act of 1813 The Charter Act of 1833 The Charter Act of 1853 The Government of India Act, 1858 The Indian Council Act, 1861 The Indian Council Act, 1892 The Indian Press Act, 1910
UNIT-III : MODERN HISTORY

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