Portal:Mughal Empire

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The Mughal Empire (Persian: گورکانیان‎, translit. Gūrkāniyān; Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, translit. Mughliyah Saltanat) or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by a Muslim dynasty with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, but with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; only the first two Mughal emperors were fully Central Asian, while successive emperors were of predominantly Rajput and Persian ancestry. The dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its traits and customs.

The Mughal Empire at its peak extended over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent and parts of Afghanistan. It was the second largest empire to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning approximately four million square kilometres at its zenith, after only the Maurya Empire, which spanned approximately five million square kilometres. The Mughal Empire ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, and around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic power, accounting for 24.4% of world GDP, and the world leader in manufacturing, producing 25% of global industrial output up until the 18th century. The Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age" and one of the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires (along with the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Persia).

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Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India.

Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the worldly remains of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal stands on the southern bank of the Yamuna River. The mausoleum is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India" and remains as one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a symbol of India’s rich history.

Regarded by many as the best example of the Mughal architecture, it is a perfect blend combining elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish as well as Indian architectural styles.

The famed mausoleum complex of white domed marble of the Taj Mahal actually is an integrated complex of many structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed in about 22 years, in 1653, employing around 20,000 artisans and craftsmen throughout the empire. The construction was entrusted to a board of architects, the chief architect probably being Ustad Ahmad Lahauri.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, Taj Mahal attracts some 3 million people a year for visit. Read more...

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Facts about Mughal Empire

The extent of Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire (Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, Mug̱ẖliyah Salṭanat), self-designated as Gurkani (Persian: گورکانیان‎, Gūrkāniyān), was a Persianate empire extending over large parts of the Indian subcontinent. The foundation of the empire was laid in 1526 in the First Battle of Panipat which was fought between Anuj and the Delhi Sultanate ruler Ibrahim Lodhi.

In the early 16th century, northern India, being then under mainly Muslim rulers, fell to the superior mobility and firepower of the Mughals. The resulting Mughal Empire did not stamp out the local societies it came to rule, but rather balanced and pacified them through new administrative practices and diverse and inclusive ruling elites, leading to more systematic, centralized, and uniform rule. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic identity, especially under Akbar, the Mughals united their far-flung realms through loyalty, expressed through a Persianised culture, to an emperor who had near-divine status.

Babur (14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530)

  • Babur's full name was Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur. 'Zahir-ud-din' translates as 'Defender of the Faith'. The word Babur means 'tiger'.
  • Babur was the son of Umer Shaeikh Mirza, the ruler of Fergana. Babur ascended the throne at a young age of twelve in 1495.
  • He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose the city of Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand. In 1501, in his attempt to recapture both cities he was defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan. In 1504, he conquered Kabul. Babur formed a partnership with Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of central Asia, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Uzbeks. After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to creating his empire in north India.
  • Babur was invited by Sangram Singh (Rana Sanga), Alam Khan Lodhi and Daulat Khan Lodhi to invade India and defeat the Lodhi ruler - Ibrahim Lodhi
  • Babur bore the royal titles Badshah and al-ṣultānu 'l-ʿazam wa 'l-ḫāqān al-mukkarram pādshāh-e ġāzī.
  • Notable among Babur's sons are HumayunKamran Mirza and Hindal Mirza.
  • Babur was buried in Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan,as he wished.

Humayun (6 March 1508–27 January 1556)

  • Humayun's full name was Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun.
  • Humayun was an inexperienced ruler when he came to power. His half-brother Kamran Mirza inherited Kabul and Lahore, the northernmost parts of their father's empire. Mirza was to become a bitter rival of Humayun.
  • Humayun lost Mughal territories to the Pashtun noble, Sher Shah Suri, but regained them 15 years later with Safavid aid.
  • His peaceful personality, patience and non-provocative methods of speech earned him the title ’Insān-i-Kamil (Perfect Man), among the Mughals.
  • When Babur had become ill, some of the umrah (nobles) had tried to install his uncle, Mahdi Khwaja, as ruler.
  • He and his army rode out through and across the Thar Desert, after defeat from Sher Shah Suri. In many accounts Humayun mentions how he and his pregnant wife, Hamida, had to trace their steps through the desert at the hottest time of year. All the wells had been filled with sand by the nearby Hindu inhabitants in order to starve and further exhaust the Mughals, leaving them with nothing but berries to eat. When Hamida's horse died, no one would lend the Queen (who was now eight months pregnant) a horse, so Humayun did so himself, resulting in him riding a camel for six kilometres. Humayun was later to describe this incident as the lowest point in his life.
  • Humayun's son Akbar was born in the palace of a Hindu ruler, Rana Prasad, at Umerkot.
  • Humayun seeked refuge from Shah Tahmasp of Persia after he was defeated by Sher Shah Suri. The meeting of the two monarchs is depicted in a famous wall-painting in the Chehel Sotoun (Forty Columns) palace in Esfahan.
  • In the year 1540, Humayun met the Ottoman Admiral Seydi Ali Reis. During their discussions in the Durbar, Humayun asked which of the two empires was bigger and Seydi Ali Reis, stated that the Ottoman Empire was "ten times bigger", Humayun was very inspired and he turned towards his nobles and remarked without resentment: "Indeed Suleiman the Magnificent, deserves to be called the only Padshah on Earth".
  • His full title as Emperor of the Mughal Empire was Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram, Jam-i-Sultanat-i-haqiqi wa Majazi, Sayyid al-Salatin, Abu'l Muzaffar Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun Padshah GhaziZillu'llah.
  • His tomb, which was commissioned by his favourite and devoted chief wife, Bega Begum, stands in Delhi, where he was later buried in a grand way.


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