Introduction to Mughal Dynasty

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Life of Humayun

Humayun, the eldest son of Babur ascended the throne after the death of his father. He faced many difficulties. As there was no law of primogeniture, (eldest son succeeding the throne) a war of succession arose after the death of Babur. Humayun was surrounded by enemies on all sides. He was defeated twice by Sherkhan of Bengal after which he managed to escape. He became a homeless wanderer for 15 years. He married Hamida Banu Begum. Before his death, he nominated his son Akbar as his successor.

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Conquests of Akbar

Hemu, the Prime Minister of Muhammad Shah of Bengal wanted to capture Delhi. Hemu was defeated and killed at the Second Battle of Panipat by Akbar. Akbar consolidated his rule strongly in Delhi and Agra. He annexed Chunar and Malwa. Akbar annexed the Rajput state of Gondwana. Later, he conquered some territories like Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. His empire extended from Bengal in the East to Afghanistan in the West, from Himalayas in the North to Golkonda in the South.

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Conquests of Babur

Babur made elaborate preparations  for the conquest of India. He had a battle with Ibrahim Lodi at Panipat in which Lodi was killed. Babur laid the foundation of Mughal empire in India. Rana Sanga of Mewar was defeated by Babur in the battle of Khanwa in A.D. 1527. Medini Rai of Malwa was defeated in the battle of Chanderi in A.D. 1528. Muhammad Lodi was defeated in the battle of Ghaghra in A.D. 1529. Thus, Babur founded the Mughal empire in India.

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Rajput Policy

Akbar followed cordial relations towards the Rajputs who were honest and brave. He married Jodhabai, the princess of Jaipur. Akbar appointed the Rajputs in higher positions. Raja Mansingh, Raja Todarmal, Raja Bhagwan Das were the notable ones. He abolished 'Jizya' and 'Pilgrimage taxes' which were collected from non-Muslims.

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First Battle of Panipat

Accepting the invitation from Daulat Khan Lodi, Babur made elaborate preparations for the conquest of India. He met Ibrahim Lodi in the historic plains of Panipat on 21st April 1526. Babur's artillery was so powerful that Ibrahim Lodi was defeated and killed on the battlefield. 

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Religious Policy of Akbar

Akbar was very tolerant towards all religions. He issued the famous "Infallibility Decree'' which made Akbar the religious head as well as the King. Akbar promulgated a new religion called "Din-i-Illahi" (Divine Faith). Its object was to establish a National Religion based on universal toleration. It comprised the good principles of all religions. He never forced anyone to follow his new religion.

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Place of Babur in Indian History

He was a great warrior, scholar and poet. He wrote his autobiography, 'Tuzuk-i-Babri' popularly known as "Memoirs of Babur" in Turkish language. He was the most brilliant Asian Prince of his age. He laid the foundation of the Mughal empire that ruled India for 250 years.

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Land Revenue Reforms of Akbar

With the help of Raja Todarmal, Akbar improved the land revenue system. Survey of land was made and the state revenue was fixed as 1/3 of the actual produce. The ryots could pay their tax either in cash or kind. Loans were provided to them which could be repaid easily by annual installments.

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Akbar's contribution to art and architecture

There was a remarkable growth in the field of art and architecture. He build the Buland Darwaza, an imposing gateway at Fatehpur Sikri. He constructed a new palace at Fatehpur Sikri. The Akbari Mahal, Jahangiri Mahal, the Lahore Fort, Panch Mahal, Jodha Bai Palace, etc, were built in red sandstone.

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Introduction to Mughal Dynasty

Mughal dynasty ruled over most of Northern India from early 16th to mid-18th century. The dynasty was founded by Babur (1526-30). He established Mughal empire by defeating Ibrahim Lodhi in the third battle of Panipat. He was a descendant of two of historys most famous figures Timur (father side) and Genghis Khan ( mother side). Mughals were able to establish a solid economy and flourishing trade in India.