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

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Quick Revision Notes


Mughal Empire - II (Indian History)

1. The second Battle of Panipat marked the real beginning of the Mughal Empire in India.

2. Bairam Khan remained the protector and guardian of Akbar during the initial reign of Akbar.

3. Akbar’s mother Hamida Banu Begum, and his foster mother Maham Anaga urged Akbar to get rid of the Regent, Bairam Khan. In 1560, Akbar openly expressed his desire to take the reigns of the empire in his own hands and dismissed him.

4. Bairam Khan submitted his resignation and desired to proceed to Mecca. On his way to Mecca, Bairam was stabbed to death by Lohani Afghan, whose father had been killed by Mughal troops under the command of Bairam Khan.

5. Akbar followed a policy of conquest for the expansion of his empire until the capture of Asirgarh in January 1601. He achieved the political unification of the whole of northern and central India by frequent annexations extending over 40 years.

6. Akbar realised the value of Rajput alliance in his task of building up an Empire in India and tried, as far as possible, to conciliate the Rajputs and secure and ensure their active cooperation in almost all activities. The Empire of Akbar can be said to be an outcome of the coordination of Mughal prowess and diplomacy and Rajput valour and service.

7. Mewar, however, gave stiff resistance to Mughal forces. Rana Sanga, the ruler of Mewar, kept the torch of independence burning. However, after his death, his weak son, Uday Singh, could not hold against the Mughals and Akbar finally besieged the fort of Chittor in October 1567. But, the victory did not come his way easily. Rana Sanga’s brave followers, Jaimnall and Patta, gave stiff resistance. The entire garrison, to the last man, died fighting. The Rajput women performed the rite of Jauhar.

8. Victory at Chittor resulted in other Rajput chiefs to submit to Akbar. But Mewar continued to defy. Uday Singh continued to retain his independence even after losing the capital. After his death, Mewar found a true leader in Rana Pratap.

9. The imperial invasion of territory of Rana Pratap took place in April 1576, under troops commanded by Man Singh, the ruler of Amber, and Asaf Khan. A furious battle was fought at the pass of Haldighati. Rana Pratap was defeated by the Mughal forces. His life was, however, saved by the selfless devotion of the chief of Jhala, who drew upon himself the attack of Mughal forces by declaring himself to be the Rana. Rana mounted his favourite horse Chetak and fled to the hills, from where he continued his resistance to the Mughal forces and also managed to recover some of the lost territory. Rana Pratap’s son tried to continue the resistance after his father’s death but was finally defeated in 1599 by Mughal forces led by Man Singh.

10. After annexing Ranthambhor and Kalinjar in 1569, the Mughals subjugated Gujarat. In 1572, Akbar marched in person against Gujarat and defeated all opposition.

11. Gujarat turned out to be one of the most profitable sources of income for the Mughal empire, chiefly through the re-organisation of its finances and revenues by Todar Mal.

12. In 1585, Kabul was formally annexed to the Delhi empire after the death of Mirza Muhammad Hakim, stepbrother of Akbar who governed Kabul as an independent ruler.

13. Bhagwan Das and Kasim Khan were deputed by Akbar to conquer Kashmir. They defeated its Sultan Yusuf Shah in 1586 and annexed Kashmir to the Empire.

14. By 1595, Akbar made himself undisputed ruler of an area extending from Hindukush to Brahamputra, and from Himalayas to the Narmada.

15. With an ideal of an all-India Empire, Akbar sought to bring the Deccan Sultanates, Ahmadnagar, Bijapur, Golkunda and Khandesh under his hegemony. He also wanted to utilise his control over Deccan as means of pushing the Portuguese to the sea. Thus, his Deccan policy was purely imperialistic in origin and outlook and not influenced by religious considerations, as was the case with Shah Jehan and Aurangzeb.

16. Akbar sent a large army under Bairam Khan’s son Abdur Rehman and his second son Prince Murad to annex Ahmadnagar. The city was besieged in 1595, but not before splendid courage and extraordinary resolution shown by Chand Bibi, a queen of Bijapur. Under a treaty with Chand Bibi, Berar was ceded to Akbar’s forces and the boy king of Ahmadnagar agreed to the overlordship of Akbar. The kingdom could be annexed to the empire only during the reign of Shah Jehan.

17In July 1599, Akbar himself marched to the south and captured Burhanpur, the capital of Khandesh and laid siege to the mighty fortress of Asirgarh. Akbar seduced the Khandesh officers by money to get the doors of the fort opened. This was the last conquest of Akbar.

18. In 1601, Akbar returned to Agra to deal with his rebellious son Salim.

19. On October 17, 1605 Akbar died following severe dysentery. His mausoleum is located at Sikandra.

20. Akbar observed the external forms of the Sunni faith until 1575, when his association with Shaikh Mubarak and his two sons, Faizi and Abul Fazal, produced change in  his views.

21. Akbar got a building called Ibadat-Khana or the House of Worship constructed at Fatehpur Sikri, with a view to discussing philosophical and theological questions.

22. Hari Vijaya Suri, Vijaya Sen Suri and Bhanuchandra Upadhaya were prominent Jain teachers who were called by Akbar to attend the philosophical and theological discussions.

23. Akbar floated a new religion, called Din-i-Ilahi, based on his discussions with people of different religions.

24. Akbar abolished the pilgrim tax in the eighth year of his reign, and the jaziya in the ninth year.

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