Chapter 20: MUGHAL EMPIRE
Babur was the founder of the Mughal Empire. He
captured Kabul from one of his uncles. He wanted to capture
India and launched four expeditions for it.
When Babur was interested in invading India it had
five sultans in Delhi, Malwa, Gujarat, Bengal and Deccan. The
Rajput king Rana sanga and the Vijaynagar Empire were also
Babur defeated the Lahore governor Daulatkhan Lodi.
He then met Ibrahim Lodi in the Panipat battle and
defeated him due to superior cavalry and artillery.
He also captured Rajput territories by defeating Rana
Sanga and the Afghans at Bihar. His rule was short as he
was constantly fighting the rebels to his rule.
Estimate of Babur:
He was a great statesman and a man of solid
He was a scholar of Arabic and Persian.
He was the eldest son of Babur. Babur had divided
the kingdom between the sons. Humayun fought the Gujarat sultan
Bahadur shah and concluded a treaty with Sher shah for
this. After Bahadur shahs defeat he imposed a governor for
Gujarat. But Bahadur shah recovered his kingdom.
Meanwhile Sher shah had become stronger and Humayun
was forced to fight him. Humayun was defeated and forced to
flee. He tried to conclude a treaty with his brothers against
Sher shah but they refused to help. Finally he had to face Sher
shah alone and he was defeated and forced into exile for 15
Humayun stayed with his wife at a Hindu kingdom. It
was there that Akbar was born. He then defeated his brothers
with the help of Iran. Due to the decline of the Sur dynasty he
waged a war on the Afghans and captured the throne.
Though Humayun wasn’t a great general he was kind
and generous. He was a learned scholar too. He died on falling
from the steps of the balcony.
Sher shah: Sur Dynasty
Initially he worked under the sultan of Bihar. But
later he defeated Humayun and became the emperor of Delhi. He
waged extensive battles to expand his Empire. His kingdom now
consisted of all North India except Gujarat, Assam and Kashmir.
He was an able commander and an efficient
administrator. For convenience of administration the kingdom was
divided into many smaller units.
He organized the kingdom under seven departments.
He was assisted by a council of four ministers.
Land revenue was the chief source of revenue. He
surveyed land and then decided the revenue.
He also introduced a new coin for circulation.
His main contribution was building of highways
for communication. They improved the convenience of travel. He
also built rest houses for travelers.
The police was reorganized to reduce crime.
a devout Muslim but tolerant of all religions. He also appointed
Hindus in administration.
He died in 1545 and his successors continued to
rule to 1555 when Humayun recaptured Delhi.
Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar:
He ascended throne at a dangerous time. The Afghan
general Hemu had come to Panipat to fight Akbar and
capture Delhi. Hemu was at a point of victory but by luck an
arrow pierced his eye and he fell unconscious.
The Mughals were victorious. Initial years of Akbar
were under the guardianship of Bairam khan. But after 5 years he
relieved Bairam khan and sent him to Mecca. Akbar’s
military conquests were extensive he captured territories from
Gujarat to Bengal and strengthened the northwest frontier.
Akbar married a Rajputs princess. This was the
turning point of the Empire. Rajputs submitted to the Mughals.
They were appointed to senior positions. The Rajputs served
Mughals for four centuries. This alliance ensured peace in
Rajasthan. Akbar thus secured the support of the bravest
He was a devout Muslim but tolerant towards
other religions. He abolished the pilgrim tax and jiziya.
He also setup an Ibadat
khana where people of all religions could come to
He also disliked the interference of Ulemas in
administration. He established his own faith din i ilahi
but after his death it fizzled out.
The land revenue was made with help of Raja Todar
Mal. Land was carefully surveyed. Payments were made in cash.
Akbar started a mansabdari system. It was
assigning ranks to nobles. Each mansabdars had to maintain
cavalry as per his rank.
He succeeded Akbar. His rule too was troubled by
rebellions from his son prince Khurram but after
defeating him he was killed. His supported Guru Arjun Singh
too was beheaded. Jahangir married Nur jahan.
Nur jahan formed a junta in the Mughal court and
created a second faction. This was hated by prince Shah
jahan who believed the emperor was in complete control of
Nur jahan. Nur jahan used to dominate the court and introduced
Persian art and culture. She was a constant companion of
The rise of Shah Jahan was due to his personal
ambition. He rose in rebellion and Jahangir forced him into
exile to Kandahar. But after the emperors death Shah Jahan
returned and captured throne with the help of nobles and the
army. Nur jahan was pensioned off.
Shah Jahan was eager to capture the ancestral lands
of Kandahar. He waged a prolonged battle for this but the
Mughals lost 5000 men. He later realised the futility of this
and gave up. His Deccan policy was more successful.
He defeated the sultan of Ahmadnagar and signed
treaties with sultans of Bijapur and Golconda. The Deccan
provinces were put under the command of Aurangzeb.
At the end of his reign the sons of Shah Jahan had
continues fights for the throne. Finally Aurangzeb won and he
forced Shah Jahan to abdicate. The emperor was
then confined to the female apartments of the Agra fort where he
lived for another 8 years nursed by his daughter. He died and
buried in his wife’s tomb besides the Taj Mahal.
Though Aurangzeb was the ablest of all Mughal
kings, He led to the decline of the Mughal Empire.
The expansionist policies of Aurangzeb in the
Deccan led to annexation of the Qutubshahi [Hyderabad] and
This brought him in direct confrontation with
the Marathas. His religious intolerance also created hatred
amongst the Rajputs, Jats, Sikhs and Deccan sultanates who
The beheading of Sikh Guru Teg Bahadur
transformed them into a warring community. He started a policy
of imposing Islamic taxes on non Muslims. He destroyed Hindu
temples. But in spite of this he was a disciplined person. He
banned music, drinking, intoxicants from his kingdom.
He used to copy Quran and sell those copies to
earn money for personal use.
Even though he extended the Mughal Empire from
northwest frontier to the south his lack of political foresight
led to his downfall and finally the ruin of the Empire.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh set up Astronomical towers in Delhi, Ujjain, Varanasi, Mathura and Jaipur.
Q.Consider the following :
The arrival of Babur into India led to the
1. introduction of gunpowder
2. introduction of the arch and dome in the region’s architecture
3. establishment of Timurid dynasty
Select the correct answer using the code given below: (UPSC CSAT 2015)
1 and 2 only
1 and 3 only
1,2 and 3
Ans . B
Chinese gunpowder technology is believed to have arrived in India by the mid-14th century, but could have been introduced much earlier by the Mongols, who had conquered both China and some borderlands of India, perhaps as early as the mid-13th century.