Mughal Age Chapter-2

Expansion of Mughal Age

Akbar was born at Umerkot (Sindh) in the palace of Rajput Chief Rana Prasad on 15th october 1542 A.D. When Humayun died Akbar was hardly 14 years old. At the time of Akbar’s accession the throne the Mughal empire was limited to Delhi, Agra & Punjab only. Adil Shan one of the nephew of Sher Shah had consolidated his position in Eastern provinces.  After the sudden death of Humayun the general of Adil Shah captured Agra and Delhi and proclaimed himself as a sovereign ruler under the title of ” Vikramjit”.

Expansion of Mughal age

Bairam Khan the Commander in Chief of Akbar met with the army of Himu in he historic battle field of Panipat. Himu was defeated by Mughal Army in the 2nd battle of Panipat in 1556 A.D and the three decade old Mughal-Afghan conflict came to an end. The true foundation of the Mughal empire was laid after the second battle of Panipat. Akbar was under the guidance of Bairam Khan for four years (1556 -1560) A.D and for 2 years under Maham Anaga his chief nurse (1560-1562) A.D. The expansion of Mughal empire started with Akbar’s accession to the throne. He continued his policy of annexation for forty years at a stretch and thus built up a vast empire.     

The recovery of the lost Mughal dominion was started during the regency of Bairam Khan. Ajmer Gwalior and jaunpur were reconquered. After the fall of Bairam Khan, Malwa was conquered by Adam Khan and Pir Mohammad (1561 A.D). In 1564 Mughal army under Asaf Khan invaded the Kingdom of Gondawana in Central India. Akbar next turn his attention to Rajputana. Akbar made Chittor the part of Mughal empire in 1567 by defeating Rana Udai Singh. Akbar look forward to Mewar which was under Rana Pratap Singh.  In the battle of Haldighati in 1576 A.D Rana Pratap Singh was defeated by Mughal Army under Man singh and Asaf Khan.

In 1572 A.D Akbar marched to Gujrat. In 1573 Akbar annexed Gujrat in the battle of Ahmedabad. Akbar built Buland Darwaja at Fatehpur Sikri in commemoration of his victory over Gujrat.

Mughal forces under under Khan Jahan Quli Beg fought against Afghans and annexed Bengal in 1576 A.D.

kashmir was invaded by Mughals in 1585 A.D.  In 1591 Mirza Zani Beg the ruler Sindh was defeated and it became a part of Mughal Empire. Baluchistan and Qandhar were annexed in 1594 and 1595 respectively.

Expansion of Mughal age

Akbar’s administrative system

Akbar was the real founder of the Mughal empire as well as Mughal administrative system. This system was broad based upon the willing support of the people. Akbar was the first Muslim ruler to divorce religion from politics. Akbar government was a centralised monarchy. The emperor was the head of the administration but he had some ministers to assist him. Five ministers were most important.

 1)  Vakil :-  Vakil was the prime minister in status he was just below the emperor.

 2) Diwan :- Diwan was the Finance Minister. He was the sole in-charge of the revenue and                                finance.

 3) Mir Bakshi :-  Head of the military Army.

 4) Mir Saman :- Imperial Store Keeper.

 5) Sadr-us-sudur:- In-charge of Judiciary and Charitable Institution.

Akbar followed the land revenue revenue system of Sher Shah Suri. His Chief advisor in revenue matters was Raja Todar mall. Todar Mall carried out a detailed survey of land in 1582 A.D. and introduced his famous land revenue system in which he introduced three methods namely Zabti, Ghall-Baksh and Nasaq.

According to Zabti system the land was divided into 4 classes.

1) Polaj :- Regularly cultivated Land

2) Parauti :- Occasionally cultivated 

3) Chachhar :- Land left uncultivated for 3 or 4 years.

4) Banjar:- Land left uncultivated for more than 5 years.

The Mansabdari system was introduced by  Akbar was the basis of civil and military administration of the country. The word ‘Mansab’ literally mean Rank or status in imperial service. The holder of the ‘Mansab‘ was called ‘Mansabdar’. Initially Mansabdar were paid salary in cash later they were assigned ‘Jagirs‘ in lieu of cash salary.

For the convenience of administration Akbar divided his empire into 15 ‘Suba’. Each ‘Suba‘ is divided into several ‘sarkars‘ and each ‘sarkar‘ into several ‘parganas‘.

Suba‘ was governed by ‘Subahdar’ or ‘Sipah Salars’.

Each sarkar was under a ‘Faujdar’.

In every Pargana there were a number of officials like ‘Sikdar’, ‘Amil’, ‘Quanungo’. Sikdar was in charge of the Pargana.

Akbar’s Court

Akbar’s court was the Galaxy of talents. There are nine gems in the Akbar’s court and they are:- 

     1) Abdul Rahim  

  •   Got the title Khan-e-Khana by Akbar.
  •   Great Scholar of Turki.
  •   Translated Baburnama into Persian.
  •   Compile Rahim Satsai-( A collection of Dohas).    

      2) Abul Fazl

  •  Known as profound thinker and writer.
  •  Writer of Ain-i-Akbari and Akbarnama.

       3) Birbal

  •   A brahman of Kalpi, original name was Mahesh Das.
  •  was in-charge of administration of justice at the Royal court.

       4) Faizi

  •  A poet in the Akbar’s Court
  • Translated Leelawati into Persian.

       5) Hakim Humam

  •   Chief of the Royal school or Pathsala.

        6) Raja Man Singh

  •   A Rajput general of Akbar
  •   Defeated Rana Pratap in the battle of Haldighati.

        7) Mulla do Pyaza

  •  He was an Arab. Akbar gave him title Do-Pyaza.

        8) Tansen

  •   Born at Gwalior
  •   was a court Singer also known as Sangeet Samrat.

        9) Todar Mal

  •   Known for his expertise in Land revenue matters.
  •   Famous for his’ Zabti’ system of land revenue.

Art and Architecture in Akbar’s period

Akbar was the great patron of Art and Architecture.  The famous forts and building constructed at his time was:-

Gigantic forts of Agra, Lahore and Allahabad.

Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas

Tomb of Seikh Salim Chisti

The Buland Darwaza, Jodhabai Palace, Jama-i-masjid at Fatehpur Shikri.

Mausoleum of Humayun at Old Delhi.

Akbar created a separate department of painting under Abdus Samad. Tarachand, Jagannath and Jaswant were the most famous painters.

Jahangir (1605-1627 A.D)

After the death of Akbar his eldest son Prince Salim ascended the throne of Delhi under the title of Nur-ud-din Mohammad Jahangir. He withdrew some trade duties and cesses on goods conveyed by river route. He abolished the punishment of cutting of nose and ears.  Jahangir ordered to setting up a gold chain of 30 Gaz long with 60 bells upon it from the fort of Agra to the Bank of the Jamuna River for enabling the aggrieved persons to place their complaints before him.

Like Akbar Jahangir also followed a policy of expansion. Most noteworthy military success of Jahangir was his triumph over the Rajputs of Mewar. Jahangir used both military force and diplomacy in trying to secure the surrender of Maharana Pratap’s successor Rana Amar singh. After a long war both the rulers ultimately concluded peace (1615 A.D).

Mughal authority was established in Sylhet, Kachar and a part of Coochbehar by Jahangir. Jahangir also conquered the fort of Kangra in 1620 A.D. He also captured Odisha in 1611 and Kamrup in 1613 A.D.  Jahangir married Nur-Jahan the widow of a Persian Faujdar, Sher Afghan in 1611. She was an active participants in the decisions made by Jahangir. 

Jahangir had inflicted death sentence on Sikh Guru Arjun for giving shelter to prince Khusrau who had revolted against him.

Jahangir was a man of Culture. He knew a number of languages.  He had the knowledge of History, Geography, Zoology, Botany and poetry. His autobiography Tuzk-i-Jahangiri is a piece of literature. The two most important building of his reign were Tomb of Akbar at Sikandra and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-doula.

Jahangir gave the trade facility and build churches to the Portugese. In 1608 A.D Captain Howkins arrived at the court of Jahangir. Mr Edward was the next Englishman to visit the court of Jahangir. In 1615 Sir Thomas Roe came to the court of Jahangir and succeeded in obtaining some trade concession.

Jahangir died in 1627 A.D. and was buried at Lahore. He was popularly known for his justice.

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