Administration and Arts Under Mughals

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Life of Jahangir

After the death of Akbar, his eldest son 'Salim' assumed the title of Nuruddin Muhammad Jahangir and became the emperor of India in A.D. 1605. After a few months of his accession, his eldest son Khusru revolted against him. During Jahangir's reign, Captain William Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe from England visited his court. Sir Thomas Roe obtained permission from Jahangir in A.D. 1615 to trade in Surat.

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Conquests of Shah Jahan

Shah Jahan was the son of Jahangir. His original name was Khurram. He fought with the Portuguese. He sent Mahabat Khan to conquer Ahmednagar. He tried to recapture Kandahar and made three attempts, but failed. He defeated the rulers of Bijapur and Golconda. 

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Religious Policies of Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb was the last great Mughal emperor. He was the third son of Shah Jahan. He assumed the title of ''Alamgir.'' He was a pious, orthodox Sunni Muslim. He regularly read the Quran. He hated not only the non-Muslims but also Shia Muslims. He reimposed Jizya, a tax on non-Muslims and pilgrimage tax. He took away all the Hindus from the state service. 

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Literary work and justice during Jahangir

He wrote his autobiography "Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri.'' which gives us an account of his reign. He was a lover of poetry and art.
Jahangir was famous in the field of justice. He ordered for the setting up of a "Chain of Justice" between Shah Burji palace in the fort of Agra and a stone pillar fixed on the banks of the river Yamuna for enabling the aggrieved persons to pull the chain and ask for justice.

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Reign of ShahJahan as the Golden Age of Mughals

It was considered as the Golden Age as the power and prestige of the Mughal empire reached its height during his time. There was both prosperity and poverty during his period. His architectural work tells about prosperity while poverty is known through the accounts of foreigners.

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Wars between Aurangzeb and the Marathas

Shivaji fought the Mughal Sultan Aurangzeb for many years. In A.D. 1660, Aurangzeb send Shaistakhan. Shaistakhan lost three fingers in a skirmish with Shivaji, while his son was killed in an encounter with the Marathas in the palace courtyard. Aurangzeb then send Raja Jaisingh to deal with Shivaji. He defeated Shivaji and made an agreement in Purandar. When Shivaji and his son were invited to Agra, they were not treated properly by Aurangzeb. On opposing, they were imprisoned. By making an excuse, he escaped from prison by hiding in a large basket filled with apples.

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Administration of the Mughals

The Mughal Emperors established a centralised State based on military power. It rested on two pillars-the absolute authority and the strength of the army. Persian was the language of administration. In order to achieve efficiency in administration, the kingdom was divided into provinces, districts and cities. The Emperor was the head of the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary and the Army. The mansabdari system introduced by Akbar was a unique feature of the administrative system of the Mughal empire. A uniform system of measurement was established for calculating the land tax. Todar Mal drew up schemes for effective tax collection.

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Role of Nurjahan

She was the daughter of Mirza Ghias Beg. Her original name was Mehr-un-Nisa. In A.D. 1611, Jahangir married her and gave her the title "Nur Mahal" or "Light of the Palace". Later on, she was called Nur Jahan Or the Light of the World. During Jahangir's reign, she exercised  real power. The period between 1611-1626 may easily be called as "the Age of NurJahan". 

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Prince of Builders

He has been called the 'Prince of Builders' and the 'Engineer King'. He built a new capital ''Shahjahanabad''. He built the Red Fort in Delhi which consisted of Rang Mahal, Moti Mahal, Diwan-i-Kham and Diwan-i-Khas, ''Paradise on Earth''. He built the Jama Masjid which is one of the largest mosques in the world. The Taj Mahal is the most famous building of Shah Jahan which was built in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. 

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Causes for the downfall of the Mughal Empire

Aurangzeb's religious policy was the most important cause for the downfall of the Mughal Empire. His ill-treatment of the Hindus, the Rajputs and the Sikhs made them deadly enemies of the Mughals. The successors of Aurangzeb were very weak and incompetent. After the death of each Mughal emperor, there was a war of succession among his sons and it paved the way for their downfall. The soldiers cared more about their personal benefits than winning the battles. The coming of the Europeans also paved the way for the deterioration of the Mughal empire. Last, but not the least, the invasions of Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali gave a serious blow to the already-tottering Mughal Empire 

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Art and Architecture during the Mughal dynasty

The emperors who contributed majorly to art and architecture were Akbar and Shah Jahan. The wonderful monuments built by them are in Fatehpur Sikri, Agra and Delhi. Shah Jahan built Akbari Mahal, Taj Mahal, Jehangir Mahal. The art of painting evolved during Humayun. Some famous artists in Akbar's courts were Daswant, Basavana. Artists mainly produced huge paintings of Mughal kings and their queens.

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Razia Sultan

 Razia was the first and only female ruler of Delhi Sultanate.  She succeeded her father Shams-ud-din Iltutmish to the Sultanate of Delhi in 1236. She reign just for three years, but her bravery, her struggle and her undaunted spirit has been preserved in the treasures of history. 

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Mughal literature

Many books were written in Persian, Arabic, Turkish, Hindi and Sanskrit languages. Babur and Jahangir were scholars and they wrote their autobiographies Baburnama  and Tuzuk-e-Jahangir. Abul Fazl wrote Ain-E-Akbari and Akbarnama in Persian. Badauni translated the Ramayana. Great works were written like Ramacharitamanas by Tulsidas, Sursagar by Surdas.

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Society and economy of the Mughal Dynasty

The king, ministers, officials and other employees enjoyed a dignified status in the society. Except Aurangzeb, all used to engage in past times like music, entertainment, drinking of alcohol, etc. There were many maid-servants to look after the queens in the palaces. The weaving of shawls and carpets developed during  Akbar's time. During the Mughal period, India had trade relations with many countries in Asia and Europe.

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Revenue system of the Mughals

Agriculture was the main occupation of majority of the people. Land tax was collected according to the fertility of the soil. The agricultural land was measured meticulously and only then the tax was fixed.