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Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar[7] (15 October 1542[a]– 27 October 1605[10][11]), popularly known as Akbar
Akbar
I (IPA: [əkbər],[12] was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar
Akbar
succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar
Akbar
gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent
Indian Subcontinent
north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar
Akbar
established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non- Muslim
Muslim
subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar
Akbar
strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status. Mughal India
India
developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar
Akbar
himself was a patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature, and created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers. Akbar
Akbar
also established the library of Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
exclusively for women,[13] and he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm. Holy men of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
became centres of the arts, letters, and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam
Islam
and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar
Akbar
promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived mainly from Islam
Islam
and Hinduism as well as some parts of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar
Akbar
as a prophet, for which he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims. Many of his courtiers followed Din-i-Ilahi
Din-i-Ilahi
as their religion as well, as many believed that Akbar
Akbar
was a prophet. One famous courtier who followed this blended religion was Birbal.[citation needed] Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects. He had Sanskrit
Sanskrit
literature translated, participated in native festivals, realising that a stable empire depended on the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under Mughal rule were laid during his reign. Akbar
Akbar
was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim, later known as Jahangir.

Contents

1 Early years 2 Military campaigns

2.1 Military innovations 2.2 Struggle for North India 2.3 Expansion into Central India 2.4 Conquest of Rajputana 2.5 Annexation of Western and Eastern India 2.6 Campaigns in Afghanistan and Central Asia 2.7 Conquests in the Indus Valley 2.8 Subjugation of parts of Baluchistan 2.9 Safavids and Kandahar 2.10 Deccan Sultans

3 Administration

3.1 Political government 3.2 Taxation 3.3 Military organisation 3.4 Capital

4 Economy

4.1 Trade 4.2 Coins

5 Diplomacy

5.1 Matrimonial alliances

6 Foreign relations

6.1 Relations with the Portuguese 6.2 Relations with the Ottoman Empire 6.3 Relations with the Safavid Dynasty 6.4 Relations with other contemporary kingdoms

7 Religious policy

7.1 Association with the Muslim
Muslim
aristocracy 7.2 Din-i-Ilahi 7.3 Relation with Hindus 7.4 Relation with Jains

8 Historical accounts

8.1 Personality 8.2 Hagiography 8.3 Akbarnāma, the Book of Akbar

9 Marriages 10 Death 11 Legacy 12 In popular culture 13 See also 14 Notes 15 References 16 Bibliography 17 Further reading 18 External links

Early years[edit]

Rejoicing at the birth of Akbar
Akbar
the Great, 1542

Defeated in battles at Chausa
Chausa
and Kannauj
Kannauj
in 1539–40 by the forces of Sher Shah Suri, Mughal emperor
Mughal emperor
Humayun
Humayun
fled westward to Sindh.[14] There he met and married the then 14-year-old Hamida Banu Begum, daughter of Shaikh Ali Akbar
Akbar
Jami, a teacher of Humauyun's younger brother Hindal Mirza. Jalal ud-din Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar
Akbar
was born the next year on 15 October 1542[a] (the fourth day of Rajab, 949 AH) at the Rajput
Rajput
Fortress of Umerkot
Umerkot
in Sindh
Sindh
(in modern-day Pakistan), where his parents had been given refuge by the local Hindu
Hindu
ruler Rana Prasad.[16]

Akbar
Akbar
as a boy

During the extended period of Humayun's exile, Akbar
Akbar
was brought up in Kabul
Kabul
by the extended family of his paternal uncles, Kamran Mirza
Kamran Mirza
and Askari Mirza, and his aunts, in particular Kamran Mirza's wife. He spent his youth learning to hunt, run, and fight, making him a daring, powerful and brave warrior, but he never learned to read or write. This, however, did not hinder his search for knowledge as it is said always when he retired in the evening he would have someone read.[17][18] On 20 November 1551, Humayun's youngest brother, Hindal Mirza, died fighting valorously in a battle against Kamran Mirza's forces. Upon hearing the news of his brother's death, Humayun
Humayun
was overwhelmed with grief.[19] Out of affection for the memory of his brother, Humayun
Humayun
betrothed Hindal's nine-year-old daughter, Ruqaiya Sultan
Sultan
Begum, to his son Akbar. Their betrothal took place in Kabul, shortly after Akbar's first appointment as a viceroy in the province of Ghazni.[20] Humayun conferred on the imperial couple all the wealth, army, and adherents of Hindal and Ghazni. One of Hindal's jagir was given to his nephew, Akbar, who was appointed as its viceroy and was also given the command of his uncle's army.[21] Akbar's marriage with Ruqaiya was solemnized in Jalandhar, Punjab, when both of them were 14-years-old.[22] She was his first wife and chief consort.[23][4] Following the chaos over the succession of Sher Shah Suri's son Islam Shah, Humayun
Humayun
reconquered Delhi
Delhi
in 1555, leading an army partly provided by his Persian ally Tahmasp I. A few months later, Humayun died. Akbar's guardian, Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
concealed the death in order to prepare for Akbar's succession. Akbar
Akbar
succeeded Humayun
Humayun
on 14 February 1556, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah to reclaim the Mughal throne. In Kalanaur, Punjab, the 14-year-old Akbar
Akbar
was enthroned by Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
on a newly constructed platform, which still stands.[24][25] He was proclaimed Shahanshah (Persian for "King of Kings"). Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
ruled on his behalf until he came of age.[26] Military campaigns[edit] Military innovations[edit]

Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
under Akbar's period show in orange borders

Akbar
Akbar
was accorded the epithet "the Great" because of his many accomplishments,[27] including his record of unbeaten military campaigns that consolidated Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent. The basis of this military prowess and authority was Akbar's skilful structural and organisational calibration of the Mughal army.[28] The Mansabdari system in particular has been acclaimed for its role in upholding Mughal power in the time of Akbar. The system persisted with few changes down to the end of the Mughal Empire, but was progressively weakened under his successors.[28] Organisational reforms were accompanied by innovations in cannons, fortifications, and the use of elephants.[27] Akbar
Akbar
also took an interest in matchlocks and effectively employed them during various conflicts. He sought the help of Ottomans, and also increasingly of Europeans, especially Portuguese and Italians, in procuring firearms and artillery.[29] Mughal firearms in the time of Akbar
Akbar
came to be far superior to anything that could be deployed by regional rulers, tributaries, or by zamindars.[30] Such was the impact of these weapons that Akbar's Vizier, Abul Fazl, once declared that "with the exception of Turkey, there is perhaps no country in which its guns has more means of securing the Government than [India]."[31] The term "Gunpowder Empire" has thus often been used by scholars and historians in analysing the success of the Mughals in India. Mughal power has been seen as owing to their mastery of the techniques of warfare, especially the use of firearms encouraged by Akbar.[32] Struggle for North India[edit]

The Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Akbar
Akbar
is depicted training an elephant

Akbar's father Humayun
Humayun
had regained control of the Punjab, Delhi, and Agra
Agra
with Safavid support, but even in these areas Mughal rule was precarious, and when the Surs reconquered Agra
Agra
and Delhi
Delhi
following the death of Humayun, the fate of the boy emperor seemed uncertain. Akbar's minority and the lack of any possibility of military assistance from the Mughal stronghold of Kabul, which was in the throes of an invasion by the ruler of Badakhshan
Badakhshan
Prince Mirza Suleiman, aggravated the situation.[33] When his regent, Bairam Khan, called a council of war to marshall the Mughal forces, none of Akbar's chieftains approved. Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
was ultimately able to prevail over the nobles, however, and it was decided that the Mughals would march against the strongest of the Sur rulers, Sikandar Shah Suri, in the Punjab. Delhi
Delhi
was left under the regency of Tardi Baig Khan.[33] Sikandar Shah Suri, however, presented no major concern for Akbar, and avoided giving battle as the Mughal army
Mughal army
approached.[34][full citation needed] The gravest threat came from Hemu, a minister and general of one of the Sur rulers, who had proclaimed himself Hindu
Hindu
emperor and expelled the Mughals from the Indo-Gangetic plains.[33] Urged by Bairam Khan, who re-marshalled the Mughal army
Mughal army
before Hemu could consolidate his position, Akbar
Akbar
marched on Delhi
Delhi
to reclaim it.[35] His army, led by Bairam Khan, defeated Hemu
Hemu
and the Sur army on 5 November 1556 at the Second Battle of Panipat, 50 miles (80 km) north of Delhi.[36] Soon after the battle, Mughal forces occupied Delhi
Delhi
and then Agra. Akbar
Akbar
made a triumphant entry into Delhi, where he stayed for a month. Then he and Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
returned to Punjab
Punjab
to deal with Sikandar Shah, who had become active again.[37] In the next six months, the Mughals won another major battle against Sikander Shah Suri, who fled east to Bengal. Akbar
Akbar
and his forces occupied Lahore
Lahore
and then seized Multan
Multan
in the Punjab. In 1558, Akbar took possession of Ajmer, the aperture to Rajputana, after the defeat and flight of its Muslim
Muslim
ruler.[37] The Mughals had also besieged and defeated the Sur forces in control of Gwalior Fort, the greatest stronghold north of the Narmada
Narmada
river.[37] Royal begums, along with the families of Mughal amirs, were finally brought over from Kabul
Kabul
to India
India
at the time – according to Akbar's vizier, Abul Fazl, "so that men might become settled and be restrained in some measure from departing to a country to which they were accustomed".[33] Akbar
Akbar
had firmly declared his intentions that the Mughals were in India
India
to stay. This was a far cry from the political settlements of his grandfather, Babur, and father, Humayun, both of whom had done little to indicate that they were anything but transient rulers.[33][37] Expansion into Central India[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
hawking with Mughal chieftains and nobleman accompanied by his guardian Bairam Khan

By 1559, the Mughals had launched a drive to the south into Rajputana and Malwa.[38] However, Akbar's disputes with his regent, Bairam Khan, temporarily put an end to the expansion.[38] The young emperor, at the age of eighteen, wanted to take a more active part in managing affairs. Urged on by his foster mother, Maham Anga, and his relatives, Akbar
Akbar
decided to dispense with the services of Bairam Khan. After yet another dispute at court, Akbar
Akbar
finally dismissed Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
in the spring of 1560 and ordered him to leave on Hajj
Hajj
to Mecca.[39] Bairam Khan left for Mecca
Mecca
but on his way was goaded by his opponents to rebel.[36] He was defeated by the Mughal army
Mughal army
in the Punjab
Punjab
and forced to submit. Akbar
Akbar
forgave him, however, and gave him the option of either continuing in his court or resuming his pilgrimage; Bairam chose the latter.[40] Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
was later assassinated on his way to Mecca, allegedly by an Afghan with a personal vendetta.[38] In 1560, Akbar
Akbar
resumed military operations.[38] A Mughal army
Mughal army
under the command of his foster brother, Adham Khan, and a Mughal commander, Pir Muhammad
Muhammad
Khan, invaded Malwa. The Afghan ruler, Baz Bahadur, was defeated at the Battle of Sarangpur and fled to Khandesh
Khandesh
for refuge leaving behind his harem, treasure, and war elephants.[38] Despite initial success, the campaign proved a disaster from Akbar's point of view. His foster brother retained all the spoils and followed through with the Central Asian practice of slaughtering the surrendered garrison, their wives and children, and many Muslim
Muslim
theologians and Sayyids, who were the descendants of Muhammad.[38] Akbar
Akbar
personally rode to Malwa to confront Adham Khan
Adham Khan
and relieve him of command. Pir Muhammad
Muhammad
Khan was then sent in pursuit of Baz Bahadur
Baz Bahadur
but was beaten back by the alliance of the rulers of Khandesh
Khandesh
and Berar.[38] Baz Bahadur temporarily regained control of Malwa until, in the next year, Akbar
Akbar
sent another Mughal army
Mughal army
to invade and annex the kingdom.[38] Malwa became a province of the nascent imperial administration of Akbar's regime. Baz Bahadur
Baz Bahadur
survived as a refugee at various courts until, eight years later in 1570, he took service under Akbar.[38]

Young Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
son of Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
being received by Akbar

Despite the ultimate success in Malwa, the conflict exposed cracks in Akbar's personal relationships with his relatives and Mughal nobles. When Adham Khan
Adham Khan
confronted Akbar
Akbar
following another dispute in 1562, he was struck down by the emperor and thrown from a terrace into the palace courtyard at Agra. Still alive, Adham Khan
Adham Khan
was dragged up and thrown to the courtyard once again by Akbar
Akbar
to ensure his death. Akbar now sought to eliminate the threat of over-mighty subjects.[38] He created specialised ministerial posts relating to imperial governance; no member of the Mughal nobility was to have unquestioned pre-eminence.[38] When a powerful clan of Uzbek chiefs broke out in rebellion in 1564, Akbar
Akbar
decisively defeated and routed them in Malwa and then Bihar.[41] He pardoned the rebellious leaders, hoping to conciliate them, but they rebelled again, so Akbar
Akbar
had to quell their uprising a second time. Following a third revolt with the proclamation of Mirza Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim, Akbar's brother and the Mughal ruler of Kabul, as emperor, his patience was finally exhausted. Several Uzbek chieftains were subsequently slain and the rebel leaders trampled to death under elephants.[41] Simultaneously the Mirzas, a group of Akbar's distant cousins who held important fiefs near Agra, had also risen up in rebellion. They too were slain and driven out of the empire.[41] In 1566, Akbar
Akbar
moved to meet the forces of his brother, Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim, who had marched into the Punjab
Punjab
with dreams of seizing the imperial throne. Following a brief confrontation, however, Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim accepted Akbar's supremacy and retreated back to Kabul.[41] In 1564, Mughal forces conquered the Gondwana kingdom, a thinly populated, hilly area in central India
India
that was of interest to the Mughals because of its herd of wild elephants.[42] The territory was ruled over by Raja Vir Narayan, a minor, and his mother, Durgavati, a Rajput
Rajput
warrior queen of the Gonds.[41] Akbar
Akbar
did not personally lead the campaign because he was preoccupied with the Uzbek rebellion, leaving the expedition in the hands of Asaf Khan, the Mughal governor of Kara.[41][43] Durgavati committed suicide after her defeat at the Battle of Damoh, while Raja Vir Narayan was slain at the Fall of Chauragarh, the mountain fortress of the Gonds.[43] The Mughals seized immense wealth, an uncalculated amount of gold and silver, jewels and 1000 elephants. Kamala Devi, a younger sister of Durgavati, was sent to the Mughal harem.[43] The brother of Durgavati's deceased husband was installed as the Mughal administrator of the region.[43] Like in Malwa, however, Akbar
Akbar
entered into a dispute with his vassals over the conquest of Gondwana.[43] Asaf Khan was accused of keeping most of the treasures and sending back only 200 elephants to Akbar. When summoned to give accounts, he fled Gondwana. He went first to the Uzbeks, then returned to Gondwana where he was pursued by Mughal forces. Finally, he submitted and Akbar
Akbar
restored him to his previous position.[43] Conquest of Rajputana[edit]

The Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Akbar
Akbar
shoots the Rajput
Rajput
warrior Jaimal during the Siege of Chittorgarh in 1568

Bullocks dragging siege-guns up hill during Akbar's attack on Ranthambhor Fort in 1568

Having established Mughal rule over northern India, Akbar
Akbar
turned his attention to the conquest of Rajputana. No imperial power in India based on the Indo-Gangetic plains could be secure if a rival centre of power existed on its flank in Rajputana.[43] The Mughals had already established domination over parts of northern Rajputana
Rajputana
in Mewat, Ajmer, and Nagor.[37][41] Now, Akbar
Akbar
was determined to drive into the heartlands of the Rajput
Rajput
kings that had never previously submitted to the Muslim
Muslim
rulers of the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate. Beginning in 1561, the Mughals actively engaged the Rajputs in warfare and diplomacy.[42] Most Rajput
Rajput
states accepted Akbar's suzerainty; the rulers of Mewar and Marwar, Udai Singh and Chandrasen Rathore, however, remained outside the imperial fold.[41] Rana Udai Singh was descended from the Sisodia ruler, Rana Sanga, who had died fighting Babur
Babur
at the Battle of Khanwa in 1527.[41] As the head of the Sisodia clan, he possessed the highest ritual status of all the Rajput
Rajput
kings and chieftains in India. Unless Udai Singh was reduced to submission, the imperial authority of the Mughals would be lessened in Rajput
Rajput
eyes.[41] Furthermore, Akbar, at this early period, was still enthusiastically devoted to the cause of Islam
Islam
and sought to impress the superiority of his faith over the most prestigious warriors in Brahminical Hinduism.[41] In 1567, Akbar
Akbar
moved to reduce the Chittor Fort
Chittor Fort
in Mewar. The fortress-capital of Mewar
Mewar
was of great strategic importance as it lay on the shortest route from Agra
Agra
to Gujarat
Gujarat
and was also considered a key to holding the interior parts of Rajputana. Udai Singh retired to the hills of Mewar, leaving two Rajput
Rajput
warriors, Jaimal and Patta, in charge of the defence of his capital.[44] Chittorgarh fell on February 1568 after a siege of four months. Akbar
Akbar
had the surviving defenders and 30,000 non-combatants massacred and their heads displayed upon towers erected throughout the region, in order to demonstrate his authority.[45][46] The booty that fell into the hands of the Mughals was distributed throughout the empire.[47] He remained in Chittorgarh for three days, then returned to Agra, where to commemorate the victory, he set up, at the gates of his fort, statues of Jaimal and Patta mounted on elephants.[48] Udai Singh's power and influence was broken. He never again ventured out his mountain refuge in Mewar
Mewar
and Akbar
Akbar
was content to let him be.[49] The fall of Chittorgarh was followed up by a Mughal attack on the Ranthambore Fort
Ranthambore Fort
in 1568. Ranthambore was held by the Hada Rajputs and reputed to be the most powerful fortress in India.[49] However, it fell only after a couple of months.[49] Akbar
Akbar
was now the master of almost the whole of Rajputana. Most of the Rajput
Rajput
kings had submitted to the Mughals.[49] Only the clans of Mewar
Mewar
continued to resist.[49] Udai Singh's son and successor, Pratap Singh, was later defeated by the Mughals at the Battle of Haldighati
Battle of Haldighati
in 1576.[49] Akbar
Akbar
would celebrate his conquest of Rajputana
Rajputana
by laying the foundation of a new capital, 23 miles (37 km) W.S.W of Agra
Agra
in 1569. It was called Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
("the city of victory").[50] Pratap Singh, however, continuously attacked Mughals and was able to retain most of the kingdom of his ancestors in the life of Akbar.[51] Annexation of Western and Eastern India[edit]

The court of young Akbar, age 13, showing his first imperial act: the arrest of an unruly courtier, who was once a favourite of Akbar's father. Illustration from a manuscript of the Akbarnama

Akbar's next military objectives were the conquest of Gujarat
Gujarat
and Bengal, which connected India
India
with the trading centres of Asia, Africa, and Europe through the Arabian Sea
Arabian Sea
and the Bay of Bengal respectively.[49] Furthermore, Gujarat
Gujarat
had been a haven for rebellious Mughal nobles, while in Bengal, the Afghans still held considerable influence under their ruler, Sulaiman Khan Karrani. Akbar
Akbar
first moved against Gujarat, which lay in the crook of the Mughal provinces of Rajputana
Rajputana
and Malwa.[49] Gujarat, with its coastal regions, possessed areas of rich agricultural production in its central plain, an impressive output of textiles and other industrial goods, and the busiest seaports of India.[49][52] Akbar
Akbar
intended to link the maritime state with the massive resources of the Indo-Gangetic plains.[53] However, the ostensible casus belli was that the rebel Mirzas, who had previously been driven out of India, were now operating out of a base in southern Gujarat. Moreover, Akbar
Akbar
had received invitations from cliques in Gujarat
Gujarat
to oust the reigning king, which served as justification for his military expedition.[49] In 1572, he moved to occupy Ahmedabad, the capital, and other northern cities, and was proclaimed the lawful sovereign of Gujarat. By 1573, he had driven out the Mirzas who, after offering token resistance, fled for refuge in the Deccan. Surat, the commercial capital of the region and other coastal cities soon capitulated to the Mughals.[49] The king, Muzaffar Shah III, was caught hiding in a corn field; he was pensioned off by Akbar
Akbar
with a small allowance.[49] Having established his authority over Gujarat, Akbar
Akbar
returned to Fatehpur Sikiri, where he built the Buland Darwaza
Buland Darwaza
to commemorate his victories, but a rebellion by Afghan nobles supported by the Rajput ruler of Idar, and the renewed intrigues of the Mirzas forced his return to Gujarat.[53] Akbar
Akbar
crossed the Rajputana
Rajputana
and reached Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
in eleven days – a journey that normally took six weeks. The outnumbered Mughal army
Mughal army
then won a decisive victory on 2 September 1573. Akbar
Akbar
slew the rebel leaders and erected a tower out of their severed heads.[49] The conquest and subjugation of Gujarat
Gujarat
proved highly profitable for the Mughals; the territory yielded a revenue of more than five million rupees annually to Akbar's treasury, after expenses.[49] Akbar
Akbar
had now defeated most of the Afghan remnants in India. The only centre of Afghan power was now in Bengal, where Sulaiman Khan Karrani, an Afghan chieftain whose family had served under Sher Shah Suri, was reigning in power. While Sulaiman Khan scrupulously avoided giving offence to Akbar, his son, Daud Khan, who had succeeded him in 1572, decided otherwise.[54] Whereas Sulaiman Khan had the khutba read in Akbar's name and acknowledged Mughal supremacy, Daud Khan assumed the insignia of royalty and ordered the khutba to be proclaimed in his own name in defiance of Akbar. Munim Khan, the Mughal governor of Bihar, was ordered to chastise Daud Khan, but later, Akbar
Akbar
himself set out to Bengal.[54] This was an opportunity to bring the trade in the east under Mughal control.[55] In 1574, the Mughals seized Patna
Patna
from Daud Khan, who fled to Bengal.[54] Akbar
Akbar
returned to Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
and left his generals to finish the campaign. The Mughal army
Mughal army
was subsequently victorious at the Battle of Tukaroi
Battle of Tukaroi
in 1575, which led to the annexation of Bengal
Bengal
and parts of Bihar
Bihar
that had been under the dominion of Daud Khan. Only Orissa was left in the hands of the Karrani dynasty as a fief of the Mughal Empire. A year later, however, Daud Khan rebelled and attempted to regain Bengal. He was defeated by the Mughal general, Khan Jahan Quli, and had to flee into exile. Daud Khan was later captured and executed by Mughal forces. His severed head was sent to Akbar, while his limbs were gibetted at Tandah, the Mughal capital in Bengal.[54] Campaigns in Afghanistan and Central Asia[edit] See also: Akbar's conquest of Gujarat Following his conquests of Gujarat
Gujarat
and Bengal, Akbar
Akbar
was preoccupied with domestic concerns. He did not leave Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
on a military campaign until 1581, when the Punjab
Punjab
was again invaded by his brother, Mirza Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim.[54] Akbar
Akbar
expelled his brother to Kabul
Kabul
and this time pressed on, determined to end the threat from Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim once and for all.[54] In contrast to the problem that his predecessors once had in getting Mughal nobles to stay on in India, the problem now was to get them to leave India.[54] They were, according to Abul Fazl "afraid of the cold of Afghanistan."[54] The Hindu
Hindu
officers, in turn, were additionally inhibited by the traditional taboo against crossing the Indus. Akbar, however, spurred them on. The soldiers were provided with pay eight months in advance.[54] In August 1581, Akbar
Akbar
seized Kabul
Kabul
and took up residence at Babur's old citadel. He stayed there for three weeks, in the absence of his brother, who had fled into the mountains.[54] Akbar
Akbar
left Kabul
Kabul
in the hands of his sister, Bakht-un-Nisa Begum, and returned to India. He pardoned his brother, who took up de facto charge of the Mughal administration in Kabul; Bakht-un-Nis continued to be the official governor. A few years later, in 1585, Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim died and Kabul
Kabul
passed into the hands of Akbar once again. It was officially incorporated as a province of the Mughal Empire.[54] The Kabul
Kabul
expedition was the beginning of a long period of activity over the northern frontiers of the empire.[56] For thirteen years, beginning in 1585, Akbar
Akbar
remained in the north, shifting his capital to Lahore
Lahore
in the Punjab
Punjab
while dealing with challenges from beyond the Khyber Pass.[56] The gravest threat came from the Uzbeks, the tribe that had driven his grandfather, Babur, out of Central Asia.[54] They had been organised under Abdullah Khan Shaybanid, a capable military chieftain who had seized Badakhshan
Badakhshan
and Balkh from Akbar's distant Timurid relatives, and whose Uzbek troops now posed a serious challenge to the northwestern frontiers of the Mughal Empire.[54][57] The Afghan tribes on the border were also restless, partly on account of the hostility of the Yusufzai of Bajaur
Bajaur
and Swat, and partly owing to the activity of a new religious leader, Bayazid, the founder of the Roshaniyya sect.[56] The Uzbeks
Uzbeks
were also known to be subsidising Afghans.[58] In 1586, Akbar
Akbar
negotiated a pact with Abdullah Khan in which the Mughals agreed to remain neutral during the Uzbek invasion of Safavid held Khorasan.[58] In return, Abdullah Khan agreed to refrain from supporting, subsidising, or offering refuge to the Afghan tribes hostile to the Mughals. Thus freed, Akbar
Akbar
began a series of campaigns to pacify the Yusufzais and other rebels.[58] Akbar
Akbar
ordered Zain Khan to lead an expedition against the Afghan tribes. Raja Birbal, a renowned minister in Akbar's court, was also given military command. The expedition turned out to be a disaster, and on its retreat from the mountains, Birbal
Birbal
and his entourage were ambushed and killed by the Afghans at the Malandarai Pass in February 1586.[58] Akbar immediately fielded new armies to reinvade the Yusufzai lands under the command of Raja Todar Mal. Over the next six years, the Mughals contained the Yusufzai in the mountain valleys, and forced the submission of many chiefs in Swat and Bajaur.[58] Dozens of forts were built and occupied to secure the region. Akbar's response demonstrated his ability to clamp firm military control over the Afghan tribes.[58] Despite his pact with the Uzbeks, Akbar
Akbar
nurtured a secret hope of reconquering Central Asia from today's Afghanistan.[59] However, Badakshan and Balkh remained firmly part of the Uzbek dominions. There was only a transient occupation of the two provinces by the Mughals under his grandson, Shah Jahan, in the mid-17th century.[57] Nevertheless, Akbar's stay in the northern frontiers was highly fruitful. The last of the rebellious Afghan tribes were subdued by 1600.[57] The Roshaniyya movement was firmly suppressed. The Afridi and Orakzai
Orakzai
tribes, which had risen up under the Roshaniyyas, had been subjugated.[57] The leaders of the movement were captured and driven into exile.[57] Jalaluddin, the son of the Roshaniyya movement's founder, Bayazid, was killed in 1601 in a fight with Mughal troops near Ghazni.[57] Mughal rule over today's Afghanistan was finally secure, particularly after the passing of the Uzbek threat with the death of Abdullah Khan in 1598.[58] Conquests in the Indus Valley[edit] While in Lahore
Lahore
dealing with the Uzbeks, Akbar
Akbar
had sought to subjugate the Indus valley
Indus valley
to secure the frontier provinces.[58] He sent an army to conquer Kashmir
Kashmir
in the upper Indus basin when, in 1585, Ali Shah, the reigning king of the Shia
Shia
Chak dynasty, refused to send his son as a hostage to the Mughal court. Ali Shah surrendered immediately to the Mughals, but another of his sons, Yaqub, crowned himself as king, and led a stubborn resistance to Mughal armies. Finally, in June, 1589, Akbar
Akbar
himself travelled from Lahore
Lahore
to Srinagar to receive the surrender of Yaqub and his rebel forces.[58] Baltistan
Baltistan
and Ladakh, which were Tibetan provinces adjacent to Kashmir, pledged their allegiance to Akbar.[60] The Mughals also moved to conquer Sindh
Sindh
in the lower Indus valley. Since 1574, the northern fortress of Bhakkar had remained under imperial control. Now, in 1586, the Mughal governor of Multan
Multan
tried and failed to secure the capitulation of Mirza Jani Beg, the independent ruler of Thatta
Thatta
in southern Sindh.[58] Akbar responded by sending a Mughal army
Mughal army
to besiege Sehwan, the river capital of the region. Jani Beg mustered a large army to meet the Mughals.[58] The outnumbered Mughal forces defeated the Sindhi forces at the Battle of Sehwan. After suffering further defeats, Jani Beg surrendered to the Mughals in 1591, and in 1593, paid homage to Akbar in Lahore.[60] Subjugation of parts of Baluchistan[edit] As early as 1586, about half a dozen Baluchi chiefs, that were still under nominal Pani Afghan rule, had been persuaded to attend the imperial court and acknowledge the vassalage of Akbar. In preparations to take Kandahar
Kandahar
from the Safavids, Akbar
Akbar
ordered the Mughal forces to conquer the rest of the Afghan held parts of Baluchistan
Baluchistan
in 1595.[60][61] The Mughal general, Mir Masum, led an attack on the stronghold of Sibi, situated to the northwest of Quetta
Quetta
and defeated a coalition of local chieftains in a pitched battle.[61] They were made to acknowledge Mughal supremacy and attend Akbar's court. As a result, the modern-day Pakistani and Afghan parts of Baluchistan, including the areas of the strategic region of Makran
Makran
that lay within it, became a part of the Mughal Empire.[61] The Mughals now bordered Persian ruled Kandahar
Kandahar
on three sides.[61] Safavids and Kandahar[edit] Kandahar
Kandahar
was the name given by Arab historians to the ancient Indian kingdom of Gandhara.[62] It was intimately connected with the Mughals since the time of their ancestor, Timur, the warlord who had conquered much of Western, Central, and parts of South Asia in the 14th century. However, the Safavids considered it as an appanage of the Persian ruled territory of Khorasan and declared its association with the Mughal emperors
Mughal emperors
to be a usurpation. In 1558, while Akbar
Akbar
was consolidating his rule over northern India, the Safavid emperor, Tahmasp I, had seized Kandahar
Kandahar
and expelled its Mughal governor. For the next thirty years, it remained under Persian rule.[60] The recovery of Kandahar
Kandahar
had not been a priority for Akbar, but after his prolonged military activity in the northern frontiers, a move to restore Mughal rule over the region became desirable.[60] The conquests of Sindh, Kashmir
Kashmir
and parts of Baluchistan, and the ongoing consolidation of Mughal power over today's Afghanistan had added to Akbar's confidence.[60] Furthermore, Kandahar
Kandahar
was at this time under threat from the Uzbeks, but the Emperor of Persia, himself beleaguered by the Ottoman Turks, was unable to send any reinforcements. Circumstances favoured the Mughals.[60] In 1593, Akbar
Akbar
received the exiled Safavid prince, Rostam Mirza, after he had quarrelled with his family.[63] Rostam Mirza pledged allegiance to the Mughals; he was granted a rank (mansab) of commander of 5000 men and received Multan
Multan
as a jagir.[63] Beleaguered by constant Uzbek raids, and seeing the reception of Rostom Mirza at the Mughal court, the Safavid prince and governor of Kandahar, Mozaffar Hosayn, also agreed to defect to the Mughals. Mozaffar Hosayn, who was in any case in an adversary relationship with his overlord, Shah Abbas, was granted a rank of 5000 men, and his daughter Kandahari Begum
Kandahari Begum
was married to Akbar's grandson, the Mughal prince, Khurram.[60][63] Kandahar
Kandahar
was finally secured in 1595 with the arrival of a garrison headed by the Mughal general, Shah Bayg Khan.[63] The reconquest of Kandahar
Kandahar
did not overtly disturb the Mughal-Persian relationship.[60] Akbar
Akbar
and the Persian Shah continued to exchange ambassadors and presents. However, the power equation between the two had now changed in favour of the Mughals.[60] Deccan Sultans[edit] In 1593, Akbar
Akbar
began military operations against the Deccan Sultans who had not submitted to his authority. He besieged Ahmednagar Fort
Ahmednagar Fort
in 1595, forcing Chand Bibi
Chand Bibi
to cede Berar. A subsequent revolt forced Akbar
Akbar
to take the fort in August 1600. Akbar
Akbar
occupied Burhanpur
Burhanpur
and besieged Asirgarh Fort
Asirgarh Fort
in 1599, and took it on 17 January 1601, when Miran Bahadur Shah refused to submit Khandesh. Akbar
Akbar
then established the Subahs of Ahmadnagar, Berar and Khandesh
Khandesh
under Prince Daniyal. "By the time of his death in 1605, Akbar
Akbar
controlled a broad sweep of territory from the Bay of Bengal
Bengal
to Qandahar
Qandahar
and Badakshan. He touched the western sea in Sind and at Surat
Surat
and was well astride central India."[64] Administration[edit] Political government[edit] Akbar's system of central government was based on the system that had evolved since the Delhi
Delhi
Sultanate, but the functions of various departments were carefully reorganised by laying down detailed regulations for their functioning[citation needed]

The revenue department was headed by a wazir, responsible for all finances and management of jagir and inam lands. The head of the military was called the mir bakshi, appointed from among the leading nobles of the court. The mir bakshi was in charge of intelligence gathering, and also made recommendations to the emperor for military appointments and promotions. The mir saman was in charge of the imperial household, including the harems, and supervised the functioning of the court and royal bodyguard. The judiciary was a separate organisation headed by a chief qazi, who was also responsible for religious beliefs and practices

Taxation[edit] Akbar
Akbar
set about reforming the administration of his empire's land revenue by adopting a system that had been used by Sher Shah Suri. A cultivated area where crops grew well was measured and taxed through fixed rates based on the area's crop and productivity. However, this placed hardship on the peasantry because tax rates were fixed on the basis of prices prevailing in the imperial court, which were often higher than those in the countryside.[65] Akbar
Akbar
changed to a decentralised system of annual assessment, but this resulted in corruption among local officials and was abandoned in 1580, to be replaced by a system called the dahsala.[66] Under the new system, revenue was calculated as one-third of the average produce of the previous ten years, to be paid to the state in cash. This system was later refined, taking into account local prices, and grouping areas with similar productivity into assessment circles. Remission was given to peasants when the harvest failed during times of flood or drought.[66] Akbar's dahsala system is credited to Raja Todar Mal, who also served as a revenue officer under Sher Shah Suri,[67] and the structure of the revenue administration was set out by the latter in a detailed memorandum submitted to the emperor in 1582–83.[68] Other local methods of assessment continued in some areas. Land which was fallow or uncultivated was charged at concessional rates.[69] Akbar
Akbar
also actively encouraged the improvement and extension of agriculture. The village continued to remain the primary unit of revenue assessment.[70] Zamindars of every area were required to provide loans and agricultural implements in times of need, to encourage farmers to plough as much land as possible and to sow seeds of superior quality. In turn, the zamindars were given a hereditary right to collect a share of the produce. Peasants had a hereditary right to cultivate the land as long as they paid the land revenue.[69] While the revenue assessment system showed concern for the small peasantry, it also maintained a level of distrust towards the revenue officials. Revenue officials were guaranteed only three-quarters of their salary, with the remaining quarter dependent on their full realisation of the revenue assessed.[71] Military organisation[edit] Main article: Mansabdari

Mughal Army
Mughal Army
artillerymen during the reign of Akbar.

Akbar
Akbar
organised his army as well as the nobility by means of a system called the mansabdari. Under this system, each officer in the army was assigned a rank (a mansabdar), and assigned a number of cavalry that he had to supply to the imperial army.[67] The mansabdars were divided into 33 classes. The top three commanding ranks, ranging from 7000 to 10000 troops, were normally reserved for princes. Other ranks between 10 and 5000 were assigned to other members of the nobility. The empire's permanent standing army was quite small and the imperial forces mostly consisted of contingents maintained by the mansabdars.[72] Persons were normally appointed to a low mansab and then promoted, based on their merit as well as the favour of the emperor.[73] Each mansabdar was required to maintain a certain number of cavalrymen and twice that number of horses. The number of horses was greater because they had to be rested and rapidly replaced in times of war. Akbar
Akbar
employed strict measures to ensure that the quality of the armed forces was maintained at a high level; horses were regularly inspected and only Arabian horses were normally employed.[74] The mansabdars were remunerated well for their services and constituted the highest paid military service in the world at the time.[73] Capital[edit]

Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience) in Fatehpur Sikri

Akbar
Akbar
was a follower of Salim Chishti, a holy man who lived in the region of Sikri near Agra. Believing the area to be a lucky one for himself, he had a mosque constructed there for the use of the priest. Subsequently, he celebrated the victories over Chittor and Ranthambore by laying the foundation of a new walled capital, 23 miles (37 km) west of Agra
Agra
in 1569, which was named Fatehpur ("town of victory") after the conquest of Gujarat
Gujarat
in 1573 and subsequently came to be known as Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
in order to distinguish it from other similarly named towns.[44] Palaces for each of Akbar's senior queens, a huge artificial lake, and sumptuous water-filled courtyards were built there. However, the city was soon abandoned and the capital was moved to Lahore
Lahore
in 1585. The reason may have been that the water supply in Fatehpur Sikri
Fatehpur Sikri
was insufficient or of poor quality. Or, as some historians believe, Akbar
Akbar
had to attend to the northwest areas of his empire and therefore moved his capital northwest. Other sources indicate Akbar
Akbar
simply lost interest in the city[75] or realised it was not militarily defensible. In 1599, Akbar
Akbar
shifted his capital back to Agra
Agra
from where he reigned until his death. Economy[edit] Trade[edit] The reign of Akbar
Akbar
was characterised by commercial expansion.[76] The Mughal government encouraged traders, provided protection and security for transactions, and levied a very low custom duty to stimulate foreign trade. Furthermore, it strived to foster a climate conductive to commerce by requiring local administrators to provide restitution to traders for goods stolen while in their territory. To minimise such incidents, bands of highway police called rahdars were enlisted to parol roads and ensure safety of traders. Other active measures taken included the construction and protection of routes of commerce and communications.[77] Indeed, Akbar
Akbar
would make concerted efforts to improve roads to facilitate the use of wheeled vehicles through the Khyber Pass, the most popular route frequented by traders and travellers in journeying from Kabul
Kabul
into Mughal India.[77] He also strategically occupied the northwestern cities of Multan
Multan
and Lahore
Lahore
in the Punjab
Punjab
and constructed great forts, such as the one at Attock near the crossing of the Grand Trunk Road
Grand Trunk Road
and the Indus river, as well as a network of smaller forts called thanas throughout the frontier to secure the overland trade with Persia and Central Asia.[77] Coins[edit]

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Silver coin of Akbar
Akbar
with inscriptions of the Islamic declaration of faith, the declaration reads: "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."

Akbar
Akbar
was a great innovator as far as coinage is concerned. The coins of Akbar
Akbar
set a new chapter in India's numismatic history. The coins of Akbar's grandfather, Babur, and father, Humayun, are basic and devoid of any innovation as the former was busy establishing the foundations of the Mughal rule in India
India
while the latter was ousted by the Afghan, Farid Khan Sher Shah Suri, and returned to the throne only to die a year later. While the reign of both Babur
Babur
and Humayun
Humayun
represented turmoil, Akbar's relative long reign of 50 years allowed him to experiment with coinage. Akbar
Akbar
introduced coins with decorative floral motifs, dotted borders, quatrefoil and other types. His coins were both round and square in shape with a unique 'mehrab' (lozenge) shape coin highlighting numismatic calligraphy at its best. Akbar's portrait type gold coin (Mohur) is generally attributed to his son, Prince Salim (later Emperor Jahangir), who had rebelled and then sought reconciliation thereafter by minting and presenting his father with gold Mohur's bearing Akbar's portrait. The tolerant view of Akbar
Akbar
is represented by the 'Ram-Siya' silver coin type while during the latter part of Akbar's reign, we see coins portraying the concept of Akbar's newly promoted religion 'Din-e-ilahi' with the Ilahi type and Jalla Jalal-Hu type coins. The coins, left, represent examples of these innovative concepts introduced by Akbar
Akbar
that set the precedent for Mughal coins which was refined and perfected by his son, Jahangir, and later by his grandson, Shah Jahan. Diplomacy[edit] Matrimonial alliances[edit] The practice of giving Hindu
Hindu
princesses to Muslim
Muslim
kings in marriage was known much before Akbar's time, but in most cases these marriages did not lead to any stable relations between the families involved, and the women were lost to their families and did not return after marriage.[78][79][80] However, Akbar's policy of matrimonial alliances marked a departure in India
India
from previous practice in that the marriage itself marked the beginning of a new order of relations, wherein the Hindu
Hindu
Rajputs who married their daughters or sisters to him would be treated on par with his Muslim
Muslim
fathers-in-law and brothers in-law in all respects except being able to dine and pray with him or take Muslim
Muslim
wives. These Rajputs were made members of his court and their daughters' or sisters' marriage to a Muslim
Muslim
ceased to be a sign of degradation, except for certain proud elements who still considered it a sign of humiliation.[80]

Birth of Salim, the future emperor Jahangir

The Kacchwaha
Kacchwaha
Rajput, Raja Bihari Mal, of the small kingdom of Amer, who had come to Akbar's court shortly after the latter's accession, entered into an alliance by giving his daughter in marriage to the emperor. Bihari Mal was made a noble of high rank in the imperial court, and subsequently his son Bhagwant Das
Bhagwant Das
and grandson Man Singh also rose to high ranks in the nobility.[79] Other Rajput
Rajput
kingdoms also established matrimonial alliances with Akbar, but matrimony was not insisted on as a precondition for forming alliances. Two major Rajput
Rajput
clans remained aloof – the Sisodiyas of Mewar
Mewar
and Hadas of Ranthambore. In another turning point of Akbar's reign, Raja Man Singh
Man Singh
I of Amber went with Akbar
Akbar
to meet the Hada leader, Surjan Hada, to effect an alliance. Surjan accepted an alliance on the condition that Akbar
Akbar
did not marry any of his daughters. Consequently, no matrimonial alliance was entered into, yet Surjan was made a noble and placed in charge of Garh-Katanga.[79] Certain other Rajput
Rajput
nobles did not like the idea of their kings marrying their daughters to Mughals. Rathore Kalyandas threatened to kill both Mota Raja Rao Udaisingh and Jahangir
Jahangir
because Udai Singh had decided to marry his daughter to Jahangir. Akbar
Akbar
on hearing this ordered imperial forces to attack Kalyandas at Siwana. Kalyandas died fighting along with his men and the women of Siwana
Siwana
committed Jauhar.[81] The political effect of these alliances was significant. While some Rajput
Rajput
women who entered Akbar's harem converted to Islam, they were generally provided full religious freedom, and their relatives, who continued to remain Hindu, formed a significant part of the nobility and served to articulate the opinions of the majority of the common populace in the imperial court.[79] The interaction between Hindu
Hindu
and Muslim
Muslim
nobles in the imperial court resulted in exchange of thoughts and blending of the two cultures. Further, newer generations of the Mughal line represented a merger of Mughal and Rajput
Rajput
blood, thereby strengthening ties between the two. As a result, the Rajputs became the strongest allies of the Mughals, and Rajput
Rajput
soldiers and generals fought for the Mughal army
Mughal army
under Akbar, leading it in several campaigns including the conquest of Gujarat
Gujarat
in 1572.[82] Akbar's policy of religious tolerance ensured that employment in the imperial administration was open to all on merit irrespective of creed, and this led to an increase in the strength of the administrative services of the empire.[83] Another legend is that Akbar's daughter Meherunnissa was enamoured by Tansen
Tansen
and had a role in his coming to Akbar's court.[84] Tansen converted to Islam
Islam
from Hinduism, apparently on the eve of his marriage with Akbar's daughter.[85][86] Foreign relations[edit] Relations with the Portuguese[edit]

An Emperor shall be ever Intent on Conquest, Otherwise His enemies shall rise in arms against him.

Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar,

At the time of Akbar's ascension in 1556, the Portuguese had established several fortresses and factories on the western coast of the subcontinent, and largely controlled navigation and sea-trade in that region. As a consequence of this colonialism, all other trading entities were subject to the terms and conditions of the Portuguese, and this was resented by the rulers and traders of the time including Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.[87]

Death of Bahadur Shah of Gujarat
Bahadur Shah of Gujarat
at Diu, in front of the Portuguese in 1537[88]

In the year 1572 the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
annexed Gujarat
Gujarat
and acquired its first access to the sea after local officials informed Akbar
Akbar
that the Portuguese had begun to exert control in the Indian Ocean. Hence Akbar was conscious of the threat posed by the presence of the Portuguese and remained content with obtaining a cartaz (permit) from them for sailing in the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
region.[89] At the initial meeting of the Mughals and the Portuguese during the Siege of Surat
Surat
in 1572, the Portuguese, recognising the superior strength of the Mughal army, chose to adopt diplomacy instead of war. The Portuguese Governor, upon the request of Akbar, sent him an ambassador to establish friendly relations.[90] Akbar's efforts to purchase and secure from the Portuguese some of their compact artillery pieces were unsuccessful and thus Akbar
Akbar
could not establish the Mughal navy along the Gujarat coast.[91] Akbar
Akbar
accepted the offer of diplomacy, but the Portuguese continually asserted their authority and power in the Indian Ocean; in fact Akbar was highly concerned when he had to request a permit from the Portuguese before any ships from the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
were to depart for the Hajj
Hajj
pilgrimage to Mecca
Mecca
and Medina.[92] In 1573, he issued a firman directing Mughal administrative officials in Gujarat
Gujarat
not to provoke the Portuguese in the territory they held in Daman. The Portuguese, in turn, issued passes for the members of Akbar's family to go on Hajj
Hajj
to Mecca. The Portuguese made mention of the extraordinary status of the vessel and the special status to be accorded to its occupants.[93] In September 1579 Jesuits from Goa
Goa
were invited to visit the court of Akbar.[94] The emperor had his scribes translate the New Testament
New Testament
and granted the Jesuits freedom to preach the Gospel.[95] One of his sons, Sultan
Sultan
Murad Mirza, was entrusted to Antoni de Montserrat for his education.[96][97] While debating at court, the Jesuits did not confine themselves to the exposition of their own beliefs but also reviled Islam
Islam
and Muhammad. Their comments enraged the Imams and Ulama, who objected to the remarks, but Akbar
Akbar
ordered their comments to be recorded and observed the Jesuits and their behaviour carefully. This event was followed by a rebellion of Muslim
Muslim
clerics in 1581 led by Mullah Muhammad
Muhammad
Yazdi and Muiz-ul-Mulk, the chief Qadi
Qadi
of Bengal; the rebels wanted to overthrow Akbar
Akbar
and insert his brother Mirza Muhammad
Muhammad
Hakim ruler of Kabul
Kabul
on the Mughal throne. Akbar
Akbar
successfully defeated the rebels, but he had grown more cautious about his guests and his proclamations, which he later checked with his advisers carefully.[98] Relations with the Ottoman Empire[edit]

Portuguese ambush against the galleys of Seydi Ali Reis
Seydi Ali Reis
(Akbar's allies) in the Indian Ocean.

In 1555, while Akbar
Akbar
was still a child, the Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis visited the Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Humayun. In 1569, during the early years of Akbar's rule, another Ottoman Admiral Kurtoğlu Hızır Reis arrived on the shores of the Mughal Empire. These Ottoman admirals sought to end the growing threats of the Portuguese Empire
Portuguese Empire
during their Indian Ocean campaigns. During his reign Akbar
Akbar
himself is known to have sent six documents addressing the Ottoman Sultan
Sultan
Suleiman the Magnificent.[99][100] In 1576 Akbar
Akbar
sent a very large contingent of pilgrims led by Khwaja Sultan
Sultan
Naqshbandi, Yahya Saleh, with 600,000 gold and silver coins and 12,000 Kaftans of honour and large consignments of rice.[101][page needed] In October 1576 Akbar
Akbar
sent a delegation including members of his family, including his aunt Gulbadan Begum
Gulbadan Begum
and his consort Salima, on Hajj
Hajj
by two ships from Surat
Surat
including an Ottoman vessel, which reached the port of Jeddah
Jeddah
in 1577 and then proceeded towards Mecca
Mecca
and Medina.[102] Four more caravans were sent from 1577 to 1580, with exquisite gifts for the authorities of Mecca and Medina.[103][104] The imperial Mughal entourage stayed in Mecca
Mecca
and Medina
Medina
for nearly four years and attended the Hajj
Hajj
four times. During this period Akbar financed the pilgrimages of many poor Muslims from the Mughal Empire and also funded the foundations of the Qadiriyya
Qadiriyya
Sufi
Sufi
Order's dervish lodge in the Hijaz.[105] The Mughals eventually set out for Surat, and their return was assisted by the Ottoman Pasha
Pasha
in Jeddah.[106] Because of Akbar's attempts to build Mughal presence in Mecca
Mecca
and Medina, the local Sharif's began to have more confidence in the financial support provided by Mughal Empire, lessening their dependency upon Ottoman bounty.[105] Mughal-Ottoman trade also flourished during this period – in fact merchants loyal to Akbar
Akbar
are known to have reached and sold spices, dyestuff, cotton and shawls in the bazaars of Aleppo after arriving and journeying upriver through the port of Basra.[105] According to some accounts Akbar
Akbar
expressed a desire to form an alliance with the Portuguese, mainly in order to advance his interests, but whenever the Portuguese attempted to invade the Ottomans, Akbar
Akbar
proved abortive.[107][108] In 1587 a Portuguese fleet sent to attack Yemen was ferociously routed and defeated by the Ottoman Navy; thereafter the Mughal-Portuguese alliance immediately collapsed, mainly because of the continuing pressure by the Mughal Empire's prestigious vassals at Janjira.[109] Relations with the Safavid Dynasty[edit]

The Akbari Mosque, overlooking the Ganges

The Safavids and the Mughals had a long history of diplomatic relationship, with the Safavid ruler Tahmasp I
Tahmasp I
having provided refuge to Humayun
Humayun
when he had to flee the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
following his defeat by Sher Shah Suri. However, the Safavids differed from the Sunni
Sunni
Mughals and Ottomans in following the Shiite
Shiite
sect of Islam.[110] One of the longest standing disputes between the Safavids and the Mughals pertained to the control of the city of Qandahar
Qandahar
in the Hindukush
Hindukush
region, forming the border between the two empires.[111] The Hindukush
Hindukush
region was militarily very significant owing to its geography, and this was well-recognised by strategists of the times.[112] Consequently, the city, which was being administered by Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
at the time of Akbar's accession, was invaded and captured by the Persian ruler Husain Mirza, a cousin of Tahmasp I, in 1558.[111] Subsequent to this, Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
sent an envoy to the court of Tahmasp I
Tahmasp I
in an effort to maintain peaceful relations with the Safavids. This gesture was reciprocated and a cordial relationship continued to prevail between the two empires during the first two decades of Akbar's reign.[113] However, the death of Tahmasp I
Tahmasp I
in 1576 resulted in civil war and instability in the Safavid empire, and diplomatic relations between the two empires ceased for more than a decade. They were restored only in 1587 following the accession of Shah Abbas to the Safavid throne.[114] Shortly afterwards, Akbar's army completed its annexation of Kabul, and in order to further secure the north-western boundaries of his empire, it proceeded to Qandahar. The city capitulated without resistance on 18 April 1595, and the ruler Muzaffar Hussain moved into Akbar's court.[115] Qandahar continued to remain in Mughal possession, and the Hindukush
Hindukush
the empire's western frontier, for several decades until Shah Jahan's expedition into Badakhshan
Badakhshan
in 1646.[116] Diplomatic relations continued to be maintained between the Safavid and Mughal courts until the end of Akbar's reign.[117] Relations with other contemporary kingdoms[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
receives an embassy sent by Queen Elizabeth

Vincent Arthur Smith observes that the merchant Mildenhall was employed in 1600 while the establishment of the Company was under adjustment to bear a letter from Queen Elizabeth to Akbar
Akbar
requesting liberty to trade in his dominions on terms as good as those enjoyed by the Portuguese.[118] Akbar
Akbar
was also visited by the French explorer Pierre Malherbe.[119] Religious policy[edit]

Portrait of the Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Akbar
Akbar
invocation of a Dua
Dua
prayer.

Akbar, as well as his mother and other members of his family, are believed to have been Sunni
Sunni
Hanafi
Hanafi
Muslims.[120] His early days were spent in the backdrop of an atmosphere in which liberal sentiments were encouraged and religious narrow-mindedness was frowned upon.[121] From the 15th century, a number of rulers in various parts of the country adopted a more liberal policy of religious tolerance, attempting to foster communal harmony between Hindus and Muslims.[122] These sentiments were earlier encouraged by the teachings of popular saints like Guru
Guru
Nanak, Kabir
Kabir
and Chaitanya,[121] the verses of the Persian poet Hafez
Hafez
which advocated human sympathy and a liberal outlook,[123] as well as the Timurid ethos of religious tolerance in the empire, persisted in the polity right from the times of Timur
Timur
to Humayun, (the second emperor of the mughal empire), and influenced Akbar's policy of tolerance in matters of religion.[124] Further, his childhood tutors, who included two Irani Shias, were largely above sectarian prejudices, and made a significant contribution to Akbar's later inclination towards religious tolerance.[124] When he was at Fatehpur Sikri, he held discussions as he loved to know about others' religious beliefs. On one such day he got to know that the religious people of other religions were often bigots (intolerant of others religious beliefs). This led him to form the idea of the new religion, Sulh-e-kul meaning universal peace. His idea of this religion did not discriminate other religions and focused on the ideas of peace, unity and tolerance.[citation needed] Association with the Muslim
Muslim
aristocracy[edit]

The Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Akbar
Akbar
welcomes his son Prince Salim at Fatehpur Sikri, (Akbarnameh).

During the early part of his reign, Akbar
Akbar
adopted an attitude of suppression towards Muslim
Muslim
sects that were condemned by the orthodoxy as heretical.[125] In 1567, on the advice of Shaikh Abdu'n Nabi, he ordered the exhumation of Mir Murtaza Sharifi Shirazi – a Shia buried in Delhi
Delhi
– because of the grave's proximity to that of Amir Khusrau, arguing that a "heretic" could not be buried so close to the grave of a Sunni
Sunni
saint, reflecting a restrictive attitude towards the Shia, which continued to persist till the early 1570s.[126] He suppressed Mahdavism in 1573 during his campaign in Gujarat, in the course of which the Mahdavi leader Bandagi Miyan Sheik Mustafa was arrested and brought in chains to the court for debate and released after eighteen months.[126] However, as Akbar
Akbar
increasingly came under the influence of pantheistic Sufi
Sufi
mysticism from the early 1570s, it caused a great shift in his outlook and culminated in his shift from orthodox Islam
Islam
as traditionally professed, in favour of a new concept of Islam
Islam
transcending the limits of religion.[126] Consequently, during the latter half of his reign, he adopted a policy of tolerance towards the Shias and declared a prohibition on Shia- Sunni
Sunni
conflict, and the empire remained neutral in matters of internal sectarian conflict.[127] In the year 1578, the Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
Akbar
Akbar
famously referred to himself as:

Emperor of Islam, Emir of the Faithful, Shadow of God on earth, Abul Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar
Akbar
Badshah Ghazi (whose empire Allah perpetuate), is a most just, most wise, and a most God-fearing ruler.

In 1580, a rebellion broke out in the eastern part of Akbar's empire, and a number of fatwas, declaring Akbar
Akbar
to be a heretic, were issued by Qazis. Akbar
Akbar
suppressed the rebellion and handed out severe punishments to the Qazis. To further strengthen his position in dealing with the Qazis, Akbar
Akbar
issued a mazhar, or declaration, that was signed by all major ulemas in 1579.[128][129] The mahzar asserted that Akbar
Akbar
was the Khalifa of the age, a higher rank than that of a Mujtahid: in case of a difference of opinion among the Mujtahids, Akbar
Akbar
could select any one opinion and could also issue decrees that did not go against the nass.[130] Given the prevailing Islamic sectarian conflicts in various parts of the country at that time, it is believed that the Mazhar
Mazhar
helped stabilize the religious situation in the empire.[128] It made Akbar
Akbar
very powerful because of the complete supremacy accorded to the Khalifa by Islam, and also helped him eliminate the religious and political influence of the Ottoman Khalifa over his subjects, thus ensuring their complete loyalty to him.[131] Throughout his reign Akbar
Akbar
was a patron of influential Muslim
Muslim
scholars such as Mir Ahmed Nasrallah Thattvi and Tahir Muhammad Thattvi.[citation needed] Whenever Akbar
Akbar
would attend congregations at a mosque the following proclamation was made:[132]

The Lord to me the Kingdom gave, He made me wise, strong and brave, He guides me through right and truth, Filling my mind with the love of truth, No praise of man could sum his state, Allah Hu Akbar, God is Great.

Din-i-Ilahi[edit] Main article: Din-i-Ilahi

Akbar
Akbar
holds a religious assembly of different faiths in the Ibadat Khana in Fatehpur Sikri.

Akbar
Akbar
was deeply interested in religious and philosophical matters. An orthodox Muslim
Muslim
at the outset, he later came to be influenced by Sufi mysticism that was being preached in the country at that time, and moved away from orthodoxy, appointing to his court several talented people with liberal ideas, including Abul Fazl, Faizi and Birbal. In 1575, he built a hall called the Ibadat Khana
Ibadat Khana
("House of Worship") at Fatehpur Sikri, to which he invited theologians, mystics and selected courtiers renowned for their intellectual achievements and discussed matters of spirituality with them.[121] These discussions, initially restricted to Muslims, were acrimonious and resulted in the participants shouting at and abusing each other. Upset by this, Akbar opened the Ibadat Khana
Ibadat Khana
to people of all religions as well as atheists, resulting in the scope of the discussions broadening and extending even into areas such as the validity of the Quran
Quran
and the nature of God. This shocked the orthodox theologians, who sought to discredit Akbar
Akbar
by circulating rumours of his desire to forsake Islam.[128] Akbar's effort to evolve a meeting point among the representatives of various religions was not very successful, as each of them attempted to assert the superiority of their respective religions by denouncing other religions. Meanwhile, the debates at the Ibadat Khana
Ibadat Khana
grew more acrimonious and, contrary to their purpose of leading to a better understanding among religions, instead led to greater bitterness among them, resulting in the discontinuance of the debates by Akbar
Akbar
in 1582.[133] However, his interaction with various religious theologians had convinced him that despite their differences, all religions had several good practices, which he sought to combine into a new religious movement known as Din-i-Ilahi.[134][135]

Silver square rupee of Akbar, Lahore
Lahore
mint, struck in Aban month of Ilahi

Some modern scholars claim that Akbar
Akbar
did not initiate a new religion but instead introduced what Dr. Oscar R. Gómez
Oscar R. Gómez
calls the transtheistic outlook from tantric Tibetan Buddhism,[136] and that he did not use the word Din-i-Ilahi.[137] According to the contemporary events in the Mughal court Akbar
Akbar
was indeed angered by the acts of embezzlement of wealth by many high level Muslim
Muslim
clerics.[138] The purported Din-i-Ilahi
Din-i-Ilahi
was more of an ethical system and is said to have prohibited lust, sensuality, slander and pride, considering them sins. Piety, prudence, abstinence and kindness are the core virtues. The soul is encouraged to purify itself through yearning of God.[139] Celibacy was respected, chastity enforced, the slaughter of animals was forbidden and there were no sacred scriptures or a priestly hierarchy.[140] However, a leading Noble of Akbar's court, Aziz Koka, wrote a letter to him from Mecca
Mecca
in 1594 arguing that the discipleship promoted by Akbar
Akbar
amounted to nothing more than a desire on Akbar's part to portray his superiority regarding religious matters.[141] To commemorate Din-e-Ilahi, he changed the name of Prayag
Prayag
to Allahabad (pronounced as ilahabad) in 1583.[142][143] It has been argued that the theory of Din-i-Ilahi
Din-i-Ilahi
being a new religion was a misconception that arose because of erroneous translations of Abul Fazl's work by later British historians.[144] However, it is also accepted that the policy of sulh-e-kul, which formed the essence of Din-i-Ilahi, was adopted by Akbar
Akbar
not merely for religious purposes but as a part of general imperial administrative policy. This also formed the basis for Akbar's policy of religious toleration.[145] At the time of Akbar's death in 1605 there were no signs of discontent amongst his Muslim
Muslim
subjects, and the impression of even a theologian like Abdu'l Haq was that close ties remained.[146] Relation with Hindus[edit] Akbar
Akbar
decreed that Hindus who had been forced to convert to Islam could reconvert to Hinduism
Hinduism
without facing the death penalty.[147] In his days of tolerance he was so well liked by Hindus that there are numerous references to him, and his eulogies are sung in songs and religious hymns as well.[148] Akbar
Akbar
practised several Hindu
Hindu
customs. He celebrated Diwali, allowed Brahman priests to tie jewelled strings round his wrists by way of blessing, and, following his lead, many of the nobles took to wearing rakhi (protection charms).[149] He renounced beef and forbade the sale of all meats on certain days.[149] Even his son Jahangir
Jahangir
and grandson Shahjahan
Shahjahan
maintained many of Akbar's concessions, such as the ban on cow slaughter, having only vegetarian dishes on certain days of the week, and drinking only Ganges
Ganges
water.[150] Even as he was in the Punjab, 200 miles away from the Ganges, the water was sealed in large jars and transported to him. He referred to the Ganges
Ganges
water as the "water of immortality."[150] It was rumoured that each night a Brahman priest, suspended on a string cot pulled up to the window of Akbar's bedchamber, would captivate the emperor with tales of Hindu
Hindu
gods.[149] Relation with Jains[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
triumphantly enters Surat.

Akbar
Akbar
regularly held discussions with Jain
Jain
scholars and was also greatly impacted by some of their teachings. His first encounter with Jain
Jain
rituals was when he saw a procession of a Jain
Jain
Shravaka named Champa after a six-month-long fast. Impressed by her power and devotion, he invited her guru, or spiritual teacher, Acharya Hiravijaya
Hiravijaya
Suri to Fatehpur Sikri. Acharya
Acharya
accepted the invitation and began his march towards the Mughal capital from Gujarat.[151] Akbar
Akbar
was impressed by the scholastic qualities and character of the Acharya. He held several inter-faith dialogues among philosophers of different religions. The arguments of Jains against eating meat persuaded him to become a vegetarian.[152] Akbar
Akbar
also issued many imperial orders that were favourable for Jain
Jain
interests, such as banning animal slaughter.[153] Jain
Jain
authors also wrote about their experience at the Mughal court in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts that are still largely unknown to Mughal historians.[154] The Indian Supreme Court
Indian Supreme Court
has cited examples of co-existence of Jain and Mughal architecture, calling Akbar
Akbar
"the architect of modern India" and that "he had great respect" for Jainism. In 1584, 1592 and 1598, Akbar
Akbar
had declared "Amari Ghosana", which prohibited animal slaughter during Paryushan
Paryushan
and Mahavir Jayanti. He removed the Jazia tax from Jain
Jain
pilgrim places like Palitana.[155] Santichandra, disciple of Suri, was sent to the Emperor, who in turn left his disciples Bhanuchandra and Siddhichandra in the court. Akbar
Akbar
again invited Hiravijaya
Hiravijaya
Suri's successor Vijayasena Suri in his court who visited him between 1593 and 1595.[citation needed] Akbar's religious tolerance was not followed by his son Jahangir, who even threatened Akbar's former friend Bhanuchandra.[156] Historical accounts[edit] Personality[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
hunting with cheetahs, c. 1602

Akbar's reign was chronicled extensively by his court historian Abul Fazl in the books Akbarnama
Akbarnama
and Ain-i-akbari. Other contemporary sources of Akbar's reign include the works of Badayuni, Shaikhzada Rashidi and Shaikh Ahmed Sirhindi. Akbar
Akbar
was a warrior, emperor, general, animal trainer (reputedly keeping thousands of hunting cheetahs during his reign and training many himself), and theologian.[157] Believed to be dyslexic, he was read to everyday and had a remarkable memory.[158] Akbar
Akbar
was said to have been a wise emperor and a sound judge of character. His son and heir, Jahangir, wrote effusive praise of Akbar's character in his memoirs, and dozens of anecdotes to illustrate his virtues.[159] According to Jahangir, Akbar
Akbar
was "of the hue of wheat; his eyes and eyebrows were black and his complexion rather dark than fair". Antoni de Montserrat, the Catalan Jesuit who visited his court described him as follows: "One could easily recognize even at first glance that he is King. He has broad shoulders, somewhat bandy legs well-suited for horsemanship, and a light brown complexion. He carries his head bent towards the right shoulder. His forehead is broad and open, his eyes so bright and flashing that they seem like a sea shimmering in the sunlight. His eyelashes are very long. His eyebrows are not strongly marked. His nose is straight and small though not insignificant. His nostrils are widely open as though in derision. Between the left nostril and the upper lip there is a mole. He shaves his beard but wears a moustache. He limps in his left leg though he has never received an injury there."[160]

Akbar
Akbar
plays draughts with living pieces at Fateh pur Sikri, 1575

Akbar
Akbar
was not tall but powerfully built and very agile. He was also noted for various acts of courage. One such incident occurred on his way back from Malwa to Agra
Agra
when Akbar
Akbar
was 19 years of age. Akbar
Akbar
rode alone in advance of his escort and was confronted by a tigress who, along with her cubs, came out from the shrubbery across his path. When the tigress charged the emperor, he was alleged to have dispatched the animal with his sword in a solitary blow. His approaching attendants found the emperor standing quietly by the side of the dead animal.[161] Abul Fazl, and even the hostile critic Badayuni, described him as having a commanding personality. He was notable for his command in battle, and, "like Alexander of Macedon, was always ready to risk his life, regardless of political consequences". He often plunged on his horse into the flooded river during the rainy seasons and safely crossed it. He rarely indulged in cruelty and is said to have been affectionate towards his relatives. He pardoned his brother Hakim, who was a repented rebel. But on rare occasions, he dealt cruelly with offenders, such as his maternal uncle Muazzam and his foster-brother Adham Khan, who was twice defenestrated for drawing Akbar's wrath.[162] He is said to have been extremely moderate in his diet. Ain-e-Akbari mentions that during his travels and also while at home, Akbar
Akbar
drank water from the Ganges
Ganges
river, which he called 'the water of immortality'. Special
Special
people were stationed at Sorun and later Haridwar
Haridwar
to dispatch water, in sealed jars, to wherever he was stationed.[163][better source needed] According to Jahangir's memoirs, he was fond of fruits and had little liking for meat, which he stopped eating in his later years. Akbar
Akbar
also once visited Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna in the year 1570, and gave permission for four temples to be built by the Gaudiya Vaisnavas, which were Madana-mohana, Govindaji, Gopinatha and Jugal Kisore. To defend his stance that speech arose from hearing, he carried out a language deprivation experiment, and had children raised in isolation, not allowed to be spoken to, and pointed out that as they grew older, they remained mute.[164] Hagiography[edit] During Akbar's reign, the ongoing process of inter-religious discourse and syncretism resulted in a series of religious attributions to him in terms of positions of assimilation, doubt or uncertainty, which he either assisted himself or left unchallenged.[165] Such hagiographical accounts of Akbar
Akbar
traversed a wide range of denominational and sectarian spaces, including several accounts by Parsis, Jains and Jesuit missionaries, apart from contemporary accounts by Brahminical and Muslim
Muslim
orthodoxy.[166] Existing sects and denominations, as well as various religious figures who represented popular worship felt they had a claim to him. The diversity of these accounts is attributed to the fact that his reign resulted in the formation of a flexible centralised state accompanied by personal authority and cultural heterogeneity.[165] Akbarnāma, the Book of Akbar[edit] Main article: Akbarnama

Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
presenting Akbarnama
Akbarnama
to Akbar, Mughal miniature

The Akbarnāma (Persian: اکبر نامہ‎), which literally means Book of Akbar, is an official biographical account of Akbar, the third Mughal Emperor
Mughal Emperor
(r. 1542–1605), written in Persian. It includes vivid and detailed descriptions of his life and times.[167] The work was commissioned by Akbar, and written by Abul Fazl, one of the Nine Jewels (Hindi: Navaratnas) of Akbar's royal court. It is stated that the book took seven years to be completed and the original manuscripts contained a number of paintings supporting the texts, and all the paintings represented the Mughal school of painting, and work of masters of the imperial workshop, including Basawan, whose use of portraiture in its illustrations was an innovation in Indian art.[167] Marriages[edit] Akbar's first wife and chief consort was his cousin, Princess Ruqaiya Sultan
Sultan
Begum,[23][4] the only daughter of his paternal uncle, Prince Hindal Mirza,[168] and his wife Sultanam Begum. In 1551, Hindal Mirza died fighting valorously in a battle against Kamran Mirza's forces. Upon hearing the news of his brother's death, Humayun
Humayun
was overwhelmed with grief.[19] Out of affection to the memory of his brother, Humayun betrothed Hindal's nine-year-old daughter Ruqaiya to his son Akbar. Their betrothal took place in Kabul, shortly after Akbar's first appointment as a viceroy in the province of Ghazni.[20] Humayun conferred on the imperial couple, all the wealth, army, and adherents of Hindal and Ghazni
Ghazni
which one of Hindal's jagir was given to his nephew, Akbar, who was appointed as its viceroy and was also given the command of his uncle's army.[21] Akbar's marriage with Ruqaiya was solemnized near Jalandhar, Punjab, when both of them were 14-years-old.[22] Childless herself, she adopted Akbar's favorite grandson, Prince Khurram (the future emperor Shah Jahan). She died on 19 January 1626.[169] His second wife was the daughter of Abdullah Khan Mughal.[170] The marriage took place in 1557 during the siege of Mankot. Bairam Khan did not approve of this marriage, for Abdullah's sister was married to Akbar's uncle, Prince Kamran Mirza, and so he regarded Abdullah as a partizan of Kamran. He apposed the match until Nasir-al-mulk made him understand that opposition in such matters was unacceptable. Nasir-al-mulk arranged an assembledge of pleasure and banquet of joy, and a royal feast was provided.[171] His third wife was his cousin, Salima Sultan
Sultan
Begum,[170] the daughter of Nur-ud-din Muhammad
Muhammad
Mirza and his wife Gulrukh Begum also known as Gulrang, the daughter of Emperor Babur. She was at first betrothed to Bairam Khan
Bairam Khan
by Humayun. After Bairam Khan's death in 1561, Akbar married her himself the same year. She died childless on 2 January 1613.[172] In 1562, he married the daughter of Raja Bihari Mal, ruler of Amer. The marriage took place when Akbar
Akbar
was on his way back from Ajmer
Ajmer
after offering prayers to the tomb of Moinuddin Chishti. Bihari Mal had conveyed to Akbar
Akbar
that he was being harassed by his brother-in-law Sharif-ud-din Mirza (the Mughal hakim of Mewat). Akbar insisted that Bihari Mal should submit to him personally, it was also suggested that his daughter should be married to him as a sign of complete submission.[173] She was entitled Mariam-uz-Zamani
Mariam-uz-Zamani
after giving birth to Akbar's eldest surviving son, Prince Salim (the future emperor Jahangir). She died on 19 May 1623.[174] His next marriage took place in 1564 to Raziya Begum, the daughter of Miran Mubrak Shah, the ruler of Khandesh. In 1564, he sent presents to the court with a request that his daughter be married by Akbar. Miran's request was acceded and an order was issued. Itimad Khan was sent with Miran's ambassadors, and when he came near the fort of Asir, which was Miran's residence. Miran welcomed Itimad with honor, and despatched his daughter with Itimad. A large number of nobles accompanied her. The marriage took place in September 1564 when she reached Akbar's court.[175] As dowry, Mubarak Shah ceded Bijagarh and Handia to his imperial son-in-law.[176] He married another Rajput
Rajput
princess in 1570, who was the daughter of Kahan, the brother of Rai Kalyan Mal Rai, the ruler of Bikanir. The marriage took place in 1570, when Akbar
Akbar
came to this part of the country. Kalyan made a homage to Akbar, and requested that his brother's daughter be married by him. Akbar
Akbar
accepted his proposal, and the marriage was arranged. He also married the daughter of Rawal Har Rai, the ruler of Jaisalmer
Jaisalmer
in 1570.[177] Rawal had sent a request that his daughter be married by Akbar. The proposal was accepted by Akbar. Raja Bahgwan Das was despatched on this service. The marriage ceremony took place after Akbar's return from Nagor.[178] She was the mother of Princess Mahi Begum, who died on 8 April 1577.[179] Another of his wives was the daughter of Sultan
Sultan
Mahmud of Bhakkar, who was known as 'Bhakkari Begum'.[180] On 2 July 1572, Akbar's envoy I'timad Khan reached Mahmud's court to escort his daughter to Akbar. I'timad Khan brought with him for Sultan
Sultan
Mahmud an elegant dress of honour, a bejewelled scimitar-belt, a horse with a saddle and reins and four elephants. Mahmud celebrated the occasion by holding extravagant feasts for fifteen days. On the day of wedding, the festivities reached their zenith and the ulema, saints and nobles were adequately honoured with rewards. Mahmud offered 30,000 rupees in cash and kind to I'timad Khan and farewelled his daughter with a grand dowry and an impressive entourage.[181] She came to Ajmer
Ajmer
and waited upon Akbar. The gifts of Sultan
Sultan
Mahmud, carried by the delegation were presented to the ladies of the imperial harem.[182] His ninth wife was Qasima Banu Begum,[170] the daughter of Arab Shah. The marriage took place in 1575. A great feast was given, and the high officers, and other pillars of the state were present.[183] In 1577, the Rajah of Dungarpur State
Dungarpur State
petitioned a request that his daughter might be married to Akbar. Akbar
Akbar
had regard to his loyalty and granted his request.[184] Rai Loukaran and Rajah Birbar, servants of the Rajah were sent from Dihalpur to do the honour of conveying his daughter. The two delivered the lady at Akbar's court where the marriage took place on 12 July 1577.[185] His eleventh wife was Bibi Daulat Shad.[170] She was the mother of Princess Shakr-un-Nissa Begum, and Princess Aram Banu Begum[186] born on 2 January 1585.[187] His next wife was the daughter of Shams Chak, a Kashmiri. The marriage took place on 3 November 1592. Shams belonged to the great men of the country, and had long cherished this wish.[188] In 1593, he married the daughter of Qazi
Qazi
Isa, and the cousin of Najib Khan. Najib told Akbar
Akbar
that his uncle had made his daughter a present for him. Akbar
Akbar
accepted his representation and on 3 July 1593 he visited Najib Khan's house and married Qazi
Qazi
Isa's daughter.[189] Death[edit]

Gate of Akbar's mausoleum at Sikandra, Agra, 1795

On 3 October 1605, Akbar
Akbar
fell ill with an attack of dysentery (possibly from drinking contaminated water from the Ganges
Ganges
river), 1 which he never recovered from. He is believed to have died on or about 27 October 1605, after which his body was buried at a mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra.[190] Seventy-six years later, in 1681, a group of austere Hindu
Hindu
rebels known as the Jats, rebelling against the Mughal Empire, robbed the gold, silver and fine carpets within the tomb, desecrating Akbar's mausoleum.[191] Akbar's great-grandson, Aurangzeb, pursued oppressive policies and gave orders to demolish Hindu
Hindu
temples.[192][193][64] The rebellious Jats rose against his policies under the leadership of Raja Ram Jat, they took the control of Agra
Agra
fort after defeating Mughal forces. Jats ransacked Akbar's tomb, plundered and looted all the gold, jewels, silver and carpets, whilst destroying other things. He even, in order to avenge his father Gokula's death, plundered Akbar's tomb, looted it, opened Akbar's grave and dragged Akbar's bones and burned them in retaliation.[194][195][196][197][198] Jats also shot off the tops of the minarets on the gateway to Akbar's Tomb and melted down two silver doors from the Taj Mahal.[199][200][201][202] Legacy[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
remains a popular historical figure in many parts of South Asia.

Akbar
Akbar
left a rich legacy both for the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
as well as the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
in general. He firmly entrenched the authority of the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
in India
India
and beyond, after it had been threatened by the Afghans during his father's reign,[203] establishing its military and diplomatic superiority.[204] During his reign, the nature of the state changed to a secular and liberal one, with emphasis on cultural integration. He also introduced several far-sighted social reforms, including prohibiting sati, legalising widow remarriage and raising the age of marriage. Folk tales revolving around him and Birbal, one of his navratnas, are popular in India. Bhavishya Purana
Bhavishya Purana
is a minor Purana
Purana
that depicts the various Hindu
Hindu
holy days and includes a section devoted to the various dynasties that ruled India, dating its oldest portion to 500 CE and newest to the 18th century. It contains a story about Akbar
Akbar
in which he is compared to the other Mughal rulers. The section called " Akbar
Akbar
Bahshaha Varnan", written in Sanskrit, describes his birth as a "reincarnation" of a sage who immolated himself on seeing the first Mughal ruler Babur, who is described as the "cruel king of Mlecchas (Muslims)". In this text it is stated that Akbar
Akbar
"was a miraculous child" and that he would not follow the previous "violent ways" of the Mughals.[205][206] Citing Akbar's melding of the disparate 'fiefdoms' of India
India
into the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
as well as the lasting legacy of "pluralism and tolerance" that "underlies the values of the modern republic of India", Time magazine included his name in its list of top 25 world leaders.[12] In popular culture[edit]

Music

The violin concerto nicknamed "Il Grosso Mogul" written by Antonio Vivaldi in the 1720s, and listed in the standard catalogue as RV 208, is considered to be indirectly inspired by Akbar's reign. See also "Il gran mogul concerto".

Films and television

Akbar
Akbar
was portrayed in the award-winning 1960 Hindi
Hindi
movie Mughal-e-Azam
Mughal-e-Azam
(The great Mughal), in which his character was played by Prithviraj Kapoor. Akbar
Akbar
was portrayed by Hrithik Roshan
Hrithik Roshan
in the 2008 Bollywood
Bollywood
film Jodha Akbar. Akbar
Akbar
and Birbal
Birbal
were portrayed in the Hindi
Hindi
series Akbar- Birbal
Birbal
aired on Zee TV
Zee TV
in late 1990s where Akbar's role was played by Vikram Gokhale. A television series, called Akbar
Akbar
the Great, directed by Akbar
Akbar
Khan was aired on DD National
DD National
in the 1990s. Since 2013-2015, a television series, called Jodha Akbar
Jodha Akbar
aired on Zee TV, in which the role of Akbar
Akbar
was played by actor Rajat Tokas. Akbar
Akbar
was portrayed by Uday Tikekar in EPIC channel's critically acclaimed historical drama Siyaasat (based on the novel The Twentieth Wife). In Sony TV's historical drama Bharat Ka Veer Putra - Maharana Pratap, Akbar
Akbar
was at first portrayed by Krip Suri and later by Avinesh Rekhi. Akbar
Akbar
is portrayed by Kiku Sharda
Kiku Sharda
in BIG Magic's sitcom Akbar
Akbar
Birbal. Abhishek Nigam portrayed Akbar
Akbar
in BIG MAGIC's historical drama Akbar — Rakht Se Takht Tak Ka Safar.[207]

Fiction

Akbar
Akbar
is a principal character in Indu Sundaresan's award-winning historical novel The Twentieth Wife (2002) as well as in its sequel The Feast of Roses (2003). A fictionalised Akbar
Akbar
plays an important supporting role in Kim Stanley Robinson's 2002 novel, The Years of Rice and Salt. Akbar
Akbar
is also a major character in Salman Rushdie's 2008 novel The Enchantress of Florence. Bertrice Small
Bertrice Small
is known for incorporating historical figures as primary characters in her romance novels, and Akbar
Akbar
is no exception. He is a prominent figure in two of her novels, and mentioned several times in a third, which takes place after his death. In This Heart of Mine the heroine becomes Akbar's fortieth "wife" for a time, while Wild Jasmine and Darling Jasmine centre around the life of his half-British daughter, Yasaman Kama Begum (alias Jasmine). In Kunal Basu's The Miniaturist, the story revolves around a young painter during Akbar's time who paints his own version of the Akbarnamu Akbar
Akbar
is mentioned as 'Raja Baadshah' in the Chhattisgarhi
Chhattisgarhi
folktale of "Mohna de gori kayina" Akbar
Akbar
is the main character in Empire of the Moghul: Ruler of the World by Alex Rutherford, the third book in a quintet based on the five great Mughal Emperors of the Mughal Dynasty.

Video games

Akbar
Akbar
is featured in the video game Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword as a "great general" available in the game. Akbar
Akbar
is also the AI Personality of India
India
in the renowned game Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.

See also[edit]

Akbar
Akbar
II Dulla Bhatti List of people known as The Great Shahjahan Ashoka

Notes[edit]

^ a b c Official sources, such as contemporary biographer Abu'l-Fazl, record Akbar's birth name and date as Jalal ud-din Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar
Akbar
and 15 October 1542 respectively. However, based on recollections of Humayun's personal attendant Jauhar, historian Vincent Arthur Smith holds that Akbar
Akbar
was born on November 23, 1542 (the fourteenth day of Sha'aban, which had a full moon) and was originally named Badr ud-din ("The full moon of religion"). According to Smith, the recorded date of birth was changed at the time of Akbar's circumcision ceremony in March 1546 in order to throw off astrologers and sorcerers, and the name accordingly changed to Jalal ud-din ("Splendour of Religion")[15]

References[edit]

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Sultan
Begam, the daughter of Mirza Hindal and wife of His Majesty Arsh-Ashyani [Akbar], had passed away in Akbarabad. She was His Majesty's chief wife. Since she did not have children, when Shahjahan
Shahjahan
was born His Majesty Arsh-Ashyani entrusted that "unique pearl of the caliphate" to the begam's care, and she undertook to raise the prince. She departed this life at the age of eighty-four.  ^ Lal, Ruby (2005). Domesticity and power in the early Mughal world. Cambridge University Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-521-85022-3.  ^ Burke, S. M. (1989). Akbar, the greatest Mogul. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers. p. 142.  ^ a b Ballhatchet, Kenneth A. "Akbar". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 17 July 2017.  ^ Black, Antony (2011). The History of Islamic Political Thought: From the Prophet to the Present. Edinburgh University Press. p. 245. ISBN 9780748688784.  ^ Eraly, Abraham (2000). Emperors of the Peacock Throne : The Saga of the Great Mughals. Penguin books. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-14-100143-2.  ^ " Akbar
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Bibliography[edit]

Ali, M. Athar (2006). Mughal India: Studies in Polity, Ideas, Society and Culture. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-569661-5.  Chandra, Satish (2007). History of Medieval India. New Delhi: Orient Longman. ISBN 978-81-250-3226-7.  Chua, Amy (2007). Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance--and Why They Fall. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-51284-8.  Collingham, Lizzie (2006). Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-532001-5.  Habib, Irfan (1997). Akbar
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Akbar
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Akbarnama
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Further reading[edit]

Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak
Akbar-namah Edited with commentary by Muhammad Sadiq Ali (Kanpur-Lucknow: Nawal Kishore) 1881–3 Three Vols. (Persian) Abu al-Fazl ibn Mubarak Akbarnamah Edited by Maulavi Abd al-Rahim. Bibliotheca Indica Series (Calcutta: Asiatic Society
Asiatic Society
of Bengal) 1877–1887 Three Vols. (Persian) Henry Beveridge (Trans.) The Akbarnama
Akbarnama
of Ab-ul-Fazl Bibliotheca Indica Series (Calcutta: Asiatic Society
Asiatic Society
of Bengal) 1897 Three Vols. Haji Muhammad
Muhammad
'Arif Qandahari Tarikh-i-Akbari (Better known as Tarikh-i-Qandahari) edited & Annotated by Haji Mu'in'd-Din Nadwi, Dr. Azhar 'Ali Dihlawi & Imtiyaz 'Ali 'Arshi (Rampur Raza Library) 1962 (Persian) Martí Escayol, Maria Antònia. "Antoni de Montserrat in the Mughal Garden of good government European construction of Indian nature", Word, Image, Text: Studies in Literary and Visual Culture, ed. Shormistha Panja et al., Orient Blackswan, New Delhi, 2009. ISBN 978-81-250-3735-4 Satyananda Giri, Akbar, Trafford Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1-4269-1561-1 John Correia-Afonso, Letters from the Mughal court, Bombay, 1980. Augustus, Frederick (1890). The Emperor Akbar, a contribution towards the history of India
India
in the 16th century (Vol. 1). Translated by Annette Susannah Beveridge. Thacker, Spink and Co., Calcutta.  Augustus, Frederick (1890). Gustav von Buchwald, ed. The Emperor Akbar, a contribution towards the history of India
India
in the 16th century (Vol. 2). Translated by Annette Susannah Beveridge. Thacker, Spink and Co., Calcutta.  Malleson, Colonel G. B. (1899). Akbar
Akbar
And The Rise Of The Mughal Empire. Rulers of India
India
series. Oxford at the Clarendon Press.  Garbe, Dr. Richard von (1909). Akbar
Akbar
- Emperor of India. A Picture of Life and Customs from the Sixteenth Century. The Opencourt Publishing Company, Chicago. 

Akbar, Emperor of India
India
by Richard von Garbe 1857–1927 - (ebook)

The Adventures of Akbar
Akbar
by Flora Annie Steel, 1847–1929 -(ebook) Havell, E. B. (1918). The History of Aryan Rule In India
India
from the earliest times to the death of Akbar. Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York.  Moreland, W. H. (1920). India
India
at the death of Akbar: An economic study. Macmillan & Co., London.  Monserrate, Father Antonio (1922). The commentary of Father Monserrate, S.J., on his journey to the court of Akbar. Oxford University Press.  Shrivastava, A. L. (1957). A short history of Akbar
Akbar
the Great. Shiva Lal Agarwala. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Akbar
Akbar
I.

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Akbar, Jellaladin Mahommed.

Jalaluddin Muhammad
Muhammad
Akbar
Akbar
The Great

Akbar, Emperor of India
India
by Richard von Garbe at Project Gutenberg History of the friendship between Akbar
Akbar
and Birbal The Drama of Akbar
Akbar
by Muhammad
Muhammad
Husain Azad from 1922

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 3264079 LCCN: n80002413 ISNI: 0000 0000 8569 9324 GND: 118644181 SUDOC: 028180275 BNF: cb12006732f (data) NDL: 00620250 SNAC: w6zk7fpc

Akbar Timurid Dynasty Born: 14 October 1542 Died: 27 October 1605

Regnal titles

Preceded by Humayun Mughal Emperor 1556–1605 Succeeded by Jahangir

v t e

Mughal Empire

Emperors

Babur Humayun Akbar Jahangir Shah Jahan Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
(Alamgir) Muhammad
Muhammad
Azam Shah Bahadur Shah I Jahandar Shah Farrukhsiyar Rafi ud-Darajat Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
II Muhammad
Muhammad
Shah Ahmad Shah Bahadur Alamgir II Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
III Shah Alam II Akbar
Akbar
II Bahadur Shah II

Battles and conflicts

Battle of Panipat (1526) Gujarat
Gujarat
conquest Battle of Khanwa Battle of Ghaghra Siege of Sambhal Battle of Panipat (1556) Battle of Thanesar Siege of Chittorgarh Siege of Ranthambore Battle of Tukaroi Battle of Raj Mahal Battle of Haldighati Battle of Bhuchar Mori Siege of Kandahar Mughal–Safavid War (1622–23) Siege of Orchha Mughal–Safavid War (1649–53) Battle of Samugarh Battle of Khajwa Suppression of Tilpat rebellion Ahom–Mughal conflicts Siege of Purandhar Tibet–Ladakh–Mughal War Mughal–Maratha Wars

Siege of Bijapur Siege of Jinji

Child's War Siege of Golconda Battle of Karnal Third Battle of Panipat Battle of Buxar Siege of Delhi

Architecture

Taj Mahal Gardens of Babur Fatehpur Sikri

Tomb of Salim Chishti

Humayun's Tomb Red Fort Lahore
Lahore
Fort Jahangir
Jahangir
Mahal Lalbagh Fort Akbar's Tomb Agra
Agra
Fort Chawk Mosque Shalimar Gardens Achabal Gardens Jahangir's Tomb Bibi Ka Maqbara Badshahi Mosque Shahi Bridge Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan
Mosque, Thatta Sheesh Mahal Sunehri Masjid Tipu Sultan
Sultan
Mosque Wazir Khan Mosque more

Adversaries

Ibrahim Lodi Rana Sanga Sher Shah Suri Hemu Maharana Pratap Malik Ambar Gokula Pratapaditya Shivaji Lachit Borphukan Khushal Khattak Sir Josiah Child Guru
Guru
Gobind Singh Henry Every Bajirao I Nader Shah Hector Munro

Provinces

Bengal
Bengal
Subah Gujarat
Gujarat
Subah

See also

Art Cuisine Culture Flag Gardens Language Military Painting Persians Tribe Weapons Timurid dynasty

family tree

Successor states

Maratha Empire Rajput
Rajput
states Jats Sikh Empire Nawabs of Bengal Awadh Nizam of Hyderabad Carnatic Kingdom of

.