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Mughal Dynasty

Agra tourism Indian history is incomplete without talking about Mughal dynasty.The Mughal Empire in India lasted from 1526 to 1858. The Mughal dynasty was established by able Muslim rulers who came from the present day Uzbekistan. The Mughal rule in India saw the country being united as one single unit and being administered less than one single powerful ruler. During the Mughal period, art and architecture flourished and many beautiful monuments were constructed. The rulers were skillful warriors and admirers of art as well. You shall find more information about the famous Mughal rulers in our related sections.

Mughal Empire Timeline
Period Description
1517 - 1526 Rule of Ibrahim Lodhi
1526 First battle of Panipat took place. In this period Babur stayed in Agra Fort.
1526 - 1530 Mughal rule established by Babur.
1530 Humayun was crowned in Agra Fort.
1530 - 1540 Rule of Mughal emperor Humayun. He was crowned at Jami Masjid in Agra. In this period, mosque was built at Kachhpura, across the Yamuna river, from the fort.
1540 Humayun was defeated by Sher shah and Suri dynasty rule begins from Agra fort.
1540 - 1555 Suri rulers ruled from Agra fort.
1555 - 1556 Humayun defeated Islam Shah and regained control over Agra. Humayun ruled from Agra fort.
1556 - 1605 Mughal emperor Akbar's ruling period. Fatehpur Sikri developed during this period and Agra renamed as Akbarabad.
1558 Akbar shifted his capital from Delhi to Agra.
1573 Fatehpur Sikri came into existence, after completion of construction work.
1573 Re-construction of Agra fort completed and renamed from Badalgarh to Red fort of Agra.
1605 - 1627 Ruling period of emperor Jahangir.
1627-1628 Shahryar Mirja, short-term rule. Later killed by younger brother Shah Jahan.
1628 - 1658 Rule of Shah-jahan. Taj Mahal came into existence, in his ruling period.
17-June-1631 Mumtaz Mahal died in Burhanpur district of Madhya Pradesh state in Central India.
1632-1653 Period of Taj Mahal construction, from beginning to completion.
1658 - 1707 Rule of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, over Agra.
22 Jan 1666 Shah Jahan died in Agra Fort, at the age of 74.
1707-1707 Rule of Azam Shah who was assassinated by Bahadur Shah-I.
1707 - 1712 Rule of Bahadur Shah-1.
1712-1713 Rule of Jahandar Shah.
1713-1719 Rule of Farrukhsiyar.
1719 - 1719 Rule of Rafi-ul-darjat
1719 - 1719 Rule of Shah Jahan-II
1719 - 1748 Rule of Muhammed Shah
1748 - 1754 Rule of Ahmed Shah Bahadur
1754 - 1759 Rule of Alamgir-II
1759 - 1760 Rule of Shah Jahan - III
1760 - 1806 Rule of Shah Alam-II, in exile.
1758 Maratha forces seize power in Delhi and appointed their governor at Agra.

Mughal Dynasty
Babur was the first Mughal in India. He was stay in Agra at the time of Panipat war. He establishes a great dynasty of Mughals. From the latter half of the 16th century they expanded their kingdom from Agra and Delhi until in the 17th century they controlled nearly the entire subcontinent. They imposed structures of administration and ideas of governance that outlasted their rule, leaving a political legacy that succeeding rulers of the subcontinent could not ignore.

Emperor Babur
Emperor Babur has been known as the founder of Mughal Empire in India. He was born on 14th February, 1483 at a town called Andijan that is located in the present day Uzbekistan. He belonged to the Mongol tribe that also embraced Turkish and Persian. In 1526 he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi and his Afghan supporters, at (First) Panipat (War) and captured Delhi and Agra. The establishment of an empire in the Indo-Gangetic valley by Babur was a threat to Rana Sanga. In 1530, Babur died at the age of just 47. His eldest son Humayun fought off an attempt to seat his aunt's husband as emperor and assumed the throne. Babur's body was returned to Kabul, Afghanistan, nine years after his death, and buried in the Bagh-e Babur.

Emperor Humayun was the second Mughal emperor who ruled India. He was named Nasiruddin Humayun and was born on 6th March, 1508. He was declared emperor in the year 1530 and ascended the throne at the age of 22. Emperor Humayun lost the kingdom as soon as he gained it as he was inexperienced in handling a large empire. Sher Khan defeated Humayun which made him forced to flee to Iran. In Iran Humayun received help from the Safavid Shah. He recaptured Delhi in 1555 but died in an accident the following year.

Emperor Akbar
One of the greatest Mughal emperors to have ruled India was Akbar. He was popularly known as Akbar the Great because of his ability to rule efficiently and skillfully. Akbar was born on 23rd November, 1542 when his father Humayun and mother Hamida Bano were wandering in Iran. Akbar defeated the remnants of the Pashtuns, and brought some previously unequalled Hindu regions under Timurid control. He also gained control over Rajput through diplomacy and marriage alliances. Akbar was an enthusiastic patron of literature, poetry, architecture, science, and painting. Although he was a committed Muslim, Akbar encouraged religious tolerance and sought wisdom from holy men of all faiths. He became known as "Akbar the Great."His reign can be divided into three periods:
1556-1570: Military campaigns were launched against the Suris and other Afghans, against the neighbouring kingdoms of Malwa and Gondwana, and to suppress the revolt of Mirza Hakim and the Uzbegs. In 1568 the Sisodiya capital of Chittor was seized and in 1569 Ranthambore. 1570-1585: military campaigns in Gujarat were followed by campaigns in the east in Bihar, Bengal and Orissa.
1585-1605: expansion of Akbar's empire. Qandahar was seized from the Safavids, Kashmir was annexed, as also Kabul. Campaigns in the Deccan started and Berar, Khandesh and parts of Ahmednagar were annexed.

Emperor Jahangir strengthened the Mughal Empire in India after his father Akbar. Jahangir was born on 31st August, 1569 and was named Nuruddin Salim Jahangir. Nuruddin has been derived from Arabic which means "light of faith". Jahangir is a Persian word which means "world conqueror". Military campaigns started by Akbar continued. The Sisodiya ruler of Mewar, Amar Singh, accepted Mughal service. Less successful campaigns against the Sikhs, the Ahoms and Ahmadnagar followed. Akbar's son, Jahangir, ruled the Mughal Empire in peace and prosperity from 1605 until 1627.

Shah Jahan
Emperor Shahjahan was the fifth Mughal ruler of India. He was born on 5th January, 1592 and it is said that during the reign of Shahjahan, the Mughal Empire prospered greatly like never before. The name Shahjahan has been derived from Persian and it means "Emperor of the World". Mughal campaigns continued in the Deccan under Shahjahan. The Afghan noble Khan Jahan Lodi rebelled and was defeated. In the north-west, the campaign to seize Balkh from the Uzbegs was unsuccessful and Qandahar was lost to the Safavids. He was very fond of architecture and many monuments were constructed in his reign. The 36-year-old Shahjahan inherited an incredible empire in 1627, but any joy he felt would be short lived. Just four years later, his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their fourteenth child. The emperor went into deep mourning and was not seen in public for a year. As an expression of his love, Shahjahan commissioned the building of a magnificent tomb for his dear wife. Designed by the Persian architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, and constructed of white marble, the Taj Mahal is considered the crowning achievement of Mughal architecture.

Shahjahan's third son, Aurangzeb, seized the throne and had all of his brothers executed after a protracted succession struggle in 1658. At the time, Shah Jahan was still alive, but Aurangzeb had his sickly father confined to the Fort at Agra. Shahjahan spent his declining years gazing out at the Taj, and died in 1666. Aurangzeb annexed the Muslim Deccan kingdoms of Vijaypura (Bijapur) and Golkunda and thereby brought the empire to its greatest extent, but his political and religious intolerance laid the seeds of its decline. He excluded Hindus from public office and destroyed their schools and temples, while his persecution of the Sikhs of the Punjab turned that sect against Muslim rule and roused rebellions among the Rajputs, Sikhs, and Marathas. The heavy taxes he levied steadily impoverished the farming population, and a steady decay in the quality of Mughal government was thus matched by a corresponding economic decline. When Aurangzeb died in 1707, he had failed to crush the Marathas of the Deccan, and his authority was disputed throughout his dominions.

Bahadur Shah
Aurangzeb was succeeded by his son Muazzam, who ascended the throne as Bahadur Shah I in 1707. His reign was just 5 years till 1712, and during this time he tried to get rid of the strict edicts of his father. He was not able to eliminate Jazia but supported music, now people could hear the songs again. He tried to establish peace with the Sikhs and Marathas. He died in 1712, when he was overseeing the repair works at Shalimar Gardens at Lahore. He was followed by his son Jahandar Shah.

Other Successors
After Aurangzeb There was none of a great Emperor in Mughal Dynasty. It was declining day by day. As the authority of the Mughal emperor slowly declined, his servants emerged as powerful centers of power in the regions. They constituted new dynasties and held command of provinces like Hyderabad and Awadh but still were loyal to Mughals. By the 18th century the provinces of the empire had consolidated their independent political identities. The last Mughal remnant Bahadur Shah Zafar was not lucky enough to die in the land which his forefathers had ruled for centuries. By 1813, the British government decided to remove the East India Company's power and monopoly, forcing the company to work on behalf of the British government. In 1857, Indian citizens took part in the Indian Rebellion, which caused the British colonial office to exile the final Mughal Emperor, Bahadur Shah II.

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