BABUR (1526 – 1530)
- Being the first of the Mughals, he defeated Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and introduced gunpowder in India.
- Defeated Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga) of Mewar in the Battle of Khanua in 1527.
- Defeated another Rajput ruler, Medini Rai (of Chanderi) in the Battle of Chanderi in 1528.
- Defeated the Afghan chiefs under Mahmud Lodi (brother of Ibrahim Lodi) in the Battle of Ghagra in 1529.
- Died in 1530. Buried at Aram Bagh in Agra; later his body was taken to Aram Bagh, Kabul.
- His memoir, the Tazuk-i-Baburi in Turkish language is a classic of world literature.
HUMAYUN (1530 – 1556)
- He did a blunder by dividing his empire among his three brothers- Kamran, Hindal & Askari.
- Built Dinpanah at Delhi as his second capital.
- Sher Shah Suri gradually gained power during his time.
- He was attacked by Sher Shah at Chausa (Battle of Chausa) in 1539, but escaped.
- But in the Battle of Kannauj (or Bilgrama) in 1540, he was defeated by Sher Shah and had to flee.
- Passed nearly 15 years (1540 – 1555) in exile.
- Had the chance to return in 1555. Bairam Khan, his most faithful officer, helped him in this.
- Died in 1556, due to a fall from his library building stairs (Sher Mandal, Delhi) seven months after he captured Delhi.
- Gulbadan Begum, his half-sister, wrote Humayun-nama.
AKBAR (1556 – 1605)
- He was coronated when he was just 14 years old.
- Bairam Khan represented him in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 against Hemu Vikramaditya. Hemu was defeated.
- Between 1566 – 1560, Akbar ruled under Bairam Khan’s regency.
- Married Raja Bharmal’s daughter in 1562 which paved the way for friendship between Rajputs and Mughals (except Mewar).
- Won Gujarat in 1572. It was in order to celebrate his victory that Akbar got the Buland Darwaza constructed at Fatehpur Sikri.
- Fought Battle of Haldighati with Maharana Pratap in which Maharana was defeated.
- Built Ibadatkhana (Hall of prayer) at Fatehpur Sikhri.
- Formulated an order called Din-i-Ilahi or Tauhind-i-Ilahi in 1582. Birbal, Abul Fazal and Faizi joined the order.
- His land Revenue system was known as Todar Mal Bandobast or Zabti System.
- Also introduced the Mansabdary System to organise the nobility as well as the army.
JAHANGIR (1605 – 1627)
- He executed the fifth Sikh guru, guru Arjun Dev, who had helped the revolting prince Khusrau.
- His greatest failure was the loss of Kandahar to Persia in 1622.
- The most important event in Jhangir’s life was his marriage to Mehr-un-Nisa, the widow of Sher Afghani in 1611. The title of Nur-Jahan was conferred on her.
- Had a Chain of Justice outside his palace in Agra (called Zanjir-i-Adil).
- Captain Hawkins (1608-11) and Sir Thomas Roe (1615-1619) visited his court.
- Tobacco growing started during his reign. It was brought by the Portuguese.
- Painting reached its zenith during his reign.
SHAH-JAHAN (1628 – 1658 )
- His reign is named as ‘Golden Age’ of the Mughal Empire.
- 2 Frenchmen, Bernier and Tavernier, and an Italian adventurer Manucci visited India during his reign.
- Built Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid at Agra. Jama Masjid and Red Fort at Delhi, etc.
- There was a brutal war of succession among his four sons (Dara, Shuja, Aurangzeb and Murad) during the last days of his reign. Shahjahan liked Dara, but Aurangzeb came out victorious. Thus, he had to spend last 8 years of his life in prison.
AURANGZEB ALAMGIR ( 1658 – 1707 )
- In his rule, various rebellions took place – Jat peasantry at Mathura, Satnami peasantry in Punjab and Bundelas at Bundelkhand.
- He caused serious rift in the Mughal – Rajput alliance by his policy of annexation of Marwar in 1639 after the death of Raja Jaswant Singh.
- In 1675, he ordered the arrest and execution of ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur.
- The Mughal conquests reached the territory climax during his reign, as Bijapur (1686) and Golcunda (1687) were annexed to the Mughal Empire. The Mughal empire stretched from Kashmir in the north to Jinji in the south, from the Hindukush in the west to Chittagong in the east.
- He was called a ‘ Darvesh’ or a ‘Zinda Pir’. He also forbade sati.
- The empire lost power after Aurangzeb’s rule. His successors were weak and incapable rulers.
- Ambitious nobles became direct contenders of power after Aurangzeb. The Sayyid brothers (also known as King-Makers) put three principles on the throne.
- One of the generals of Nadir Shah, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India repeatedly between 1748 – 1767. He defeated the Marathas in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. In this battle, Marathas were led by Sadashiv Rao Bhau, while the Peshwa at that time was Balaji Bajirao.
- A later Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II joined hands with Mir Qasim of Bengal and Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh in the Battle of Buxar against the British in 1764. They were defeated by the British.
THE SURI DYNASTY
SHER SHAH SURI (1540 – 1545 )
- This short-lived dynasty, founded by Sher Shah Suri, ruled in Delhi (North India) from 1540 – 1555.
- Real name was Farid. Given the title Sher Shah by Babur Khan Lohani (Governor of Bihar) who appointed him Vakil (deputy).
- Became the master of Delhi after the exit of Humayun.
- Died in 1545 while campaining against Kalinjhar Fort.
- Introduced the silver ‘Rupaya’ and the copper ‘Dam’ and abolished all old and mixed metal currency.
- Built his tomb at Sasaram.
- Built a new city at the bank of Yamuna river (present day Purana Qila).
- Malik Mohammad Jaisi composed Padmavat (in Hindi) during his reign.