(Notes) Civil Services (Prelims) Examination : Mughal Empire - I Quick Revision Notes (I)

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Quick Revision Notes


Mughal Empire - I (Indian History)

1. Mughals belonged to a branch of the Turks named after Chaghtai, the second son of Chingez Khan, the famous Mongol leader.

2. The foundation of the Mughal empire in India was laid by Babur, who was a Chaghtai Turk. He descended from his father’s side from Timur and was connected on his mother’s side with Chingez Khan.

3. In 1494, at the age of 11 years, Babur inherited the small principality of Farghana, now a province of Chinese Turkistan.

4. Babur was later deprived of his own patrimony of Farghana and had to spend his days as homeless wanderer for about a year. During this time, while staying with a village headman, he heard the story of Timur’s exploits in India from a old lady and this inspired him to begin preparations to conquer India.

5. Babur occupied Kabul in 1504 and after this it took him 12 years to advance into the heart of India.

6. Daulat Khan, the most powerful noble of Punjab, who was discontended with Ibrahim Lodhi, invited Babur to invade India.

7. Babur occupied Lahore in 1524 but had to retreat to Kabul after Daulat Khan turned against him once he realised that Babur had no desire to give up his Indian conquests.

8. Babur attacked and occupied Punjab again in November 1525.

9. On April 21, 1526, Babur proceeded against Ibrahim Lodhi and met him at Panipat (First Battle of Panipat). Although Ibrahim Lodhi’s troops were vastly superior, Babur managed a victory by superior strategy and use of artillery, and quickly occupied  Delhi and Agra.

10. The first battle of Panipat marked the foundation of Mughal ominion in India.

11. Babur faced the toughest resistance to his expansion plans from the Rajput king Rana Sangha.

12. Rana Sangha, along with rulers of Marwar, Amber, Gwalior, Ajmer and Chanderi, as also Sultan Mahmood Lodi, whom Rana Sangha had acknowledged as ruler of Delhi, met Babur in a decisive contest at Kanhwa, a village near Agra, on March 16, 1527. The aim was to prevent the imposition of another foreign yoke on India. Babur triumphed over them by using similar tactics as in Panipat. Another major reason for defeat of Indian forces was non-joining of several Afghan chiefs.

13. While the battle of Panipat marked the defeat of titular Sultan of Delhi, the battle of Kanhwa resulted in defeat of the powerful Rajput confederacy.

14. Babur met the allied Afghans of Bihar and Bengal on the banks of Gogra, near Patna, and inflicted a crushing defeat on them on May 6, 1529. This battle led to a considerable portion of northern India submitting to him.

15. Babur died at Agra, at the age of 47, on December 26, 1530. His body was first laid at Arambagh in Agra, but was later taken to Kabul, where it was buried in one of his favourite gardens.

16. During his four-year stay in India, Punjab, territory covered by United Provinces, and North Bihar were conquered by Babur. Rajput State of  Mewar also submitted to him.

17. Babur’s Memoirs were translated into Persian by Abdur Rahim Khan-i- Khananni at the time of Akbar in 1590.

18. Babur’s son Humayun ascended the throne of India three days after Babur’s death.

19. Humayun was devoid of wisdom and discretion, as well as strong determination and perseverance of his father. Thus, as a king he was a failure.

20. Six months after his accession, Humayun besieged the fortress of Kalinjar in Bundelkhand, gained a decisive victory over Afghans at Douhrua and drove out Sultan Mahmood Lodhi from Jaunpur, and even defeated Bahadur Shah of Gujarat. His victories, however, were short-lived due to weakness of his character.

21. Humayun’s forces were defeated by Afghan ruler Sher Shah Suri at Chaunsa near Buxar in June 1539.

22. On May 17, 1540, the Mughals and the Afghans met again opposite Kannauj. Humayun’s hopelessly demoralised army was defeated at the battle, commonly known as battle of Kannauj—also known as battle of the Ganges or Bilgram. Thus, the sovereignty of India once more passed to the Afghans. Humayun had to leave the life of a wanderer for 15 years.

23. The intense rivalry of Humayun’s brothers—Kamran, Askari and Hindal— also made it difficult for Humayun to pool all his resources and fight back. 24. During his wanderings in deserts of Sindh in 1952, Humayun married Hamida Banu Begum, daughter of Sheikh Ali Amber Jaini, who had been a preceptor of Humayun’s brother Hindal.

25. On November 23, 1542, Humayun was blessed with a son, Akbar, at Amarkot.

26. Amarkot’s Hindu chief Rana Prasad promised Humayun help to conquer Thatta and Bhakker.

27. Humayun, however, could not conquer Bhakker, nor could he secure asylum. He, thus, left India and threw himself on the generosity of Shah Tahmashp of Persia.

28. Shah of Persia helped Humayun with a force of 14,000 men on his promising to confirm to Shia creed, to have the Shah’s name proclaimed in his Khutba and to cede Kandhar to him on his success.

29. With Persian help Humayun captured Kandhar and Kabul in 1545 but refused to cede Kandhar to Persia.

30. Civil war among the Suris, afterthe death of Sher Shah Suri, gave Humayun an excellent opportunity to reclaim the throne of Delhi. In February 1555, he captured Lahore, and after a few months captured Delhi and Agra also.

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