The beginning of the Mughal empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in the First Battle of Panipat (1526). During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was briefly interrupted by the Suri Empire established by Sher Shah Suri. The “classic period” of this Empire began in 1556, with the ascension of Akbar to the throne.
The Mughal Empire or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turko-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur, and with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the first two emperors of this dynasty had both parents of Central Asian ancestry, while successive emperors were of predominantly Persian and some Rajput ancestry. The dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs.
The Foundation of the Mughal Empire
All Mughal emperors were Muslims; Akbar, however, propounded a syncretic religion in the latter part of his life called Din-i Ilahi, as recorded in historical books like Ain-i-Akbari and Dabistan-i Mazahib. The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in native societies during most of its existence, rather co-opting and pacifying them through conciliatory administrative practices and syncretic, inclusive ruling elite, leading to more systematic, centralized, and uniform rule.
Traditional and Newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats, and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.
The Mughal empire seemed to be at its best under the reign of Emperor Akbar. Emperor Akbar was a potential expansionist as well as kind of secular in his later days. However, many critics of Mughals don’t agree with fact that Akbar was secular in his later days. Still, in terms of ruling the reign, he was best among all Mughals Emperors who all seem to be burdened with the lavish and leisure of being an Emperor.
Jahangir took the throne from his father who somehow managed the prestige of Mughal. But all the efforts were made by Akbar for consolidating the Empire starts deteriorating under his reign. Jahangir seemed to titular Emperor as it could be noted that all of his decisions were influenced by his wife Nur Jahan. This ultimately leads to curiousness for hunting the throne of Jahangir by his son Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan is only famous for commissioning numerous forts and monuments which only drained the national treasury. He failed to stop was of succession for the throne among his children. Shah Jahan spent most of his life with his queens rather than court or war-arena.
Aurangzeb won the war of succession after killing most of his brother, and that can be seen as the decline of the Mughals in India. Aurangzeb was orthodox in nature which was quite clear from his anti-Hindu policy and rise of independent states against Mughals due to his religious policy. Aurangzeb spent most of his time in the war, especially in Deccan. Like his father Shah Jahan, he also failed to give break to the war of succession among his children. After Aurangzeb, almost all Emperor was waste and burden on themselves. In a later section, we will learn about this empire in detail.