Chapter 21: INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
Mughals didn’t believe in the right of eldest son to throne.
This caused conflicts between the successors and caused loss of
The European trading companies came to India
in this period. The wealth and prosperity of the aristocrats was
high and that of the poor was miserable.
The Mughal nobility came from Turks and Afghans.
They had their own expenses and had a large number of servants,
horses and elephants. The nobles made expensive presents to the
emperor. The foreign nobles had made India their permanent
resident and had assimilated in it.
The clothes of cotton and silk were worn by upper
classes. The poor had to live on minimum clothes. The staple food
was rice, millets and pulses. The presence of cattle made milk and
milk products common.
Agriculture was the common occupation. Though
no new agriculture technique was developed but India could export
surplus rice to neighbour countries.
Trading communities belonged to many castes. They
carried internal and external trade by land and sea routes. The
balance of trade was in India favour and so gold and silver were
imported. The English and Dutch traders too entered the Indian
market at this time.
The art, architecture, music, dance and paintings
were influenced by Turko - Iranian culture brought into India by
Art and architecture:
Mughals were fond of gardens with running water.
The large scale constructions began with Akbar’s reign. His
buildings were built in red sandstone.
Pietra Dura style of decoration which
consisted of white marble with floral designs of precious stones.
Fig 2: Pietra dura of Taj Mahal
Char Bagh – Rectangular garden enclosed in
walls and divided into four parts by artificial channels.
Fig 3: Char bagh gardens
The construction style of the Mughals was a central
dome and surrounding the building with four minarets. The
influence of the Mughal architecture continued till the 19th
century and its impact is seen in the provincial kingdoms.
Paintings and music:
Mughal painting was initiated by Humayun and
reached climax during Jahangir’s reign.
The style of painting was miniaturized paintings.
The scenes of hunting, battles, royal court could be seen.
Paintings and calligraphy can be seen from the paintings. Later on
European influence can also be seen.
Mughals were patrons of music. Akbar had Tansen who
Language and Literature:
The Mughals were patrons of literature. The
language that was most widespread in the Empire was Persian.
Many historical works were written in this period.
The bigotry towards religion wasn’t seen in literature as many Mughals
converted epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, Upanishads and
gita into Persian.
The regional languages like Oriya, Rajasthani,
Bengali, Gujarati also developed in this period.