Portal:Mughal Empire

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Mughal Empire

Mughal empire under Aurangzeb

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 and ruled by a dynasty of Mongol and Chagatai-Turkic origin.

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.

The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the founder Babur's victory over Ibrahim Lodi in the first Battle of Panipat (1526). It reached its peak extent under Aurangzeb, and declined rapidly after his death (in 1707) under a series of ineffective rulers as well as due to Aurangzeb's extremism. The empire's collapse followed heavy losses inflicted by the smaller army of the Maratha Empire in the Deccan Wars (1680–1707), which encouraged the Nawabs of Bengal, Bhopal, Oudh, Carnatic, Rampur, and the Nizam of Hyderabad to declare their independence from the Mughals. Following the Third Anglo-Maratha war in 1818, the Mughal emperor became a pensioner of the Raj, and the empire, its power now limited to Delhi, lingered on until 1857, when it was effectively dissolved after the fall of Delhi during the Indian Rebellion that same year.

The Mughal emperors were Central Asian Turko-Mongols from modern-day Uzbekistan, who claimed direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur. At the height of their power in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, they controlled much of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul & Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million (quarter of the world's population), over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).

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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 Babur 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 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

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