Akbar(1556-1605)

Mughal empire

  • Akbar was only thirteen years old at the time of Humayun’s death. When his father died, Akbar was at Kalanaur in Punjab and therefore his coronation took place in Kalanaur itself in 1556.
  • It was his tutor and Humayun’s favourite and confidant Bairam Khan, who served as the regent of the Mughal emperor from 1556 to 1560.
  • As a conqueror Akbar triumphed all over North India. The first four years of Akbar’s
    rule saw the expansion of the Mughal empire from Kabul to Jaunpur, including
    Gwalior and Ajmer, under his regent Bairam Khan.
  • One of the major achievements of his regency period was the defeat of Hemu and the Afghan forces in the second battle of Panipat in 1556, who were posing a serious threat to the Mughal Empire.

Akbar’s Military Conquests:

  • Malwa was conquered in 1562 from Baz Bahadur who was made a mansabdar in Akbar’s court.
  • The Gondwana region of central India was annexed after a fierce battle with Rani Durgavati and her son Vir Narayan in 1564.
  • Akbar conquered Gujarat from Muzaffar Shah in 1573.Akbar built new capital Fathepur sikri in memory of this victory.
  • In the Battle of Haldighati, Rana Pratap Singh was severely defeated by the Mughal army led by Man Singh in 1576. Following the defeat of Mewar, most of the leading Rajput rulers had accepted Akbar’s suzerainty.
  • Defeated Daud Khan, the Afghan ruler of Bihar and Bengal, both the provinces were annexed to the Mughal empire in 1576.
  • Akbar’s forces had occupied Khandesh region in 1591.
  • Chand Bibi defended Ahmednagar against the Mughal forces.

Mughal empire

– A depiction of the traditional account of the battle of Haldighati by the painter Chokha

Mughal empire

Rajput policy:

The Rajput policy of Akbar was notable. He married the Rajput princess, the daughter of Raja Bharamal. It was a turning point in the history of Mughals. Rajputs served the Mughals for four generations. Many of them rose to the positions of military generals. Raja Bhagawan Das and Raja Man Singh were given senior positions in the administration by Akbar. One by one, all Rajput statessubmitted to Akbar.

Religious policy:

  • He abolished the pilgrim tax and jiziya
  • In 1575, he ordered for the construction of Ibadat Khana (House of worship) at his new capital Fatepur Sikri.
  • Akbar invited learned scholars from all religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism.
  • In 1582, he promulgated a new religion called Din Ilahi or Divine Faith. It believes in one God. It contained good points of all religions.
  • He propagated a philosophy of Sulh-i-Kul (peace to all).
  • In 1582, he discontinued the debates in the Ibadat Khana as it led to bitterness among different religions
  • Badauni, a contemporary author, was bitter critic of Akbar’s religious experiment.
  • Sheikh Mubarak was religious guru of Akbar.
  • Akbar’s new religious policy was drafted by Abul Faizi.

Mughal empire

– Discussions in Ibadat khana