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The Mughal Empire

Updated on February 6, 2014

Mughals were the powerful descendants of the great Mongol warriors, Ghengis Khan and Timur, The Mughals ruled large portion of Indian subcontinent. Mughals were Absolute monarchs ruled from Agra initially and later shifted their capital to Delhi. They began their reign in 1526, when Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi, their glory continued till Aurangzeb's death in 1706. Later some of the weak successors continued to rule in name until 1857.

Why Mughals came to India?

Mughal dynasty in India was established by Babur. He succeeded his father as ruler of Farghana (present-day Uzbekistan). In 1497, Babur attacked the city of Samarkand (Uzbek) after several months he succeeded in capturing it. Meanwhile, a rebellion amongst nobles captured power at Farghana. As Babur was marching to recover Farghana, his troops deserted in Samarkand. He lost both Farghana and Samarkand. Later Babur made many attempts to capture Samarkand but completely failed. He escaped from there crossed the snowy Hindu Kush mountains and with the little army he had, captured the city of Kabul. Later after two years a revolt came in Kabul some of his leading generals drove him out of city, soon he returned and was successful in capturing Kabul again. But still Babur has got no permanent settlement to establish his kingdom.

How Mughal Empire was established in India?

After many chain of events when Babur was ruling over Kabul he once has got an invitation from Rana Sangha (Maharana Sangram Singh the ruler of Mewar state, India) to join in alliance with him against Ibrahim Lodhi of the Great Delhi Sultanate. Now Babur's attention increasingly turned towards India and he lost all hopes of recovering Fergana and conquering Samarkand. Rana Sangha who came to know that Babur has an intention of settling permanently in India and establishing a dynasty withdrew his support to him. Babur came with all the forces he had against Ibrahim Lodhi later he realised that he had no support of Rana Sangha but still continued to battle against Ibrahim Lodhi with the little army he had. In 1526 Babar invaded India and defeated Ibrahim Lodhi at Panipat (The first battle of Panipat). However, to secure his newly founded kingdom, he had to face the Rana Sanga of Mewar state, at the Battle of Khanwa. Though Rana Sanga offered stiff resistance but was defeated. Thus the Great Mughal Empire was established in India by Babur.

Greatest Mughal Emperors

Mughal Emperor
Real Name
Zahir-ud-din Muhammad
30 April 1526 – 26 December 1530
Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun
26 December 1530 – 27 January 1556
Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar
27 January 1556 – 27 October 1605
Nur-ud-din Muhammad Salim
15 October 1605 – 8 November 1627
Shah Jahan
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram
8 November 1627 – 2 August 1658
Muhy-ud-din Muhammad Aurangzeb
31 July 1658 – 3 March 1707

Zahir-ud-din Muhammad Babur

Born - 1483, Died - 1531.

Reign - 1526 to 1530.

He was the founder of the Mughal Dynasty in India. He defeated Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi Sultanate in the First Battle of Panipatin 1526. Later consolidated the Mughal power in India by defeating the Rajputs under the leadership of Rana Sanga of Mewar in the Battle of Khanwain 1527 and also by defeating the Afghans in the Battle of Ghagara in 1529. In 1530, He died while going to Kabul. Babur wrote "Tuzuk-i-Baburi" (Memories of Babur) in Turkish language; and composed poems which were collected in a work known as 'Diwan'.


Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun

Born - 1508, Died - 1556.
Reign - 1530 to 1540


1555 to 1556.

Eldest son of Babur, Humayun succeeded to a kingdom which was surrounded by hostile forces in the east by Afghan chiefs of Bihar Sher Khan and Bengal Nusrat Shah, in the south by Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and in the North-west by Kamran, his brother. His first confrontation was with Sher Khan (later Sher Shah) at Chunar in 1532 wherein Sher Khan pretended submission. In 1535-36 Humayun conquered Malwa and Gujarat and immediately lost the two. He occupied Bengal in 1538. He was defeated in the hands of Sher Khan in the Battle of Chausa in 1539 and again in the Battle of Bilgram (also known as Battle of Kanauj) in 1540 and then he was exiled from India from 1540 to 1555. He reconquered India by defeating the Afghans in 1555 with the help of the Safavid rulers of Iran. Humayun died in an accident while coming down the steps of a library in 1556.


Jalal ud-din Muhammed Akbar

Born - 1542, Died - 1605.
Reign - 1556 to 1605.

He was very young when he succeeded to the throne of the Mughal Empire. He defeated Hemu (General of Mohammad Adil, the last Sur ruler) in the second battle of Panipat in 1556 and consolidated his position. He ruled the kingdom in the initial days under the guardianship of Bairamkhan and later took the entire charge and got freedom to implement his plans in the administration. Akbar conquered many kingdoms like Malwa in 1561, Gondwana in 1574-76, Orissa in 1592, Khandesh and Ahmadnagar from 1593-1601, Kabul in 1581, Sindh in 1591, Kandhar in 1595 and Baluchistan in 1596 and extended his frontier in the North-West. Akbar faced resistance from Rajputs of Mewar but they were defeated in the battle of Haldighat in 1576 in which Rana Pratap gallantly fought for his motherland.


Nur-ud-din Salim Jahangir

Born - 1569, Died - 1627.
Reign - 1605 to 1627.

He succeeded his father as ruler of the Mughal Empire. He married Nur Jahan in 1611. He ended the campaign against, and the final peace with Rana Amar Singh of Mewar was concluded in 1615 (Amar Singh succeeded Rana Pratap in 1597). From 1622-24 there was a rebellion of Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan) it was suppressed and pardon was granted by Jahangir. Jahangir was famous for his patronage of painting. He wrote "Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri" in Persian.

Shah Jahan
Shah Jahan

Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram Shah Jahan

Born - 1592, Died - 1666.
Reign - 1627 to 1658.

Shah Jahan suceeded Jahangir. He annexed the Ahmadnagar in 1633. He Concluded treaties with Bijapur and Golkonda in 1636 by which these Deccan states recognized the Mughal supremacy. While he was ill, there was a war of succession among his four sons from 1656 to 58. Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangazeb, who killed all his brothers in the war of succession. During the reign of Shah Jahan Mughal architecture reached its peak, the most important of his buildings being Taj Mahal at Agra, it was built in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, Red Fort, Jama Masjid at Delhi etc.


Abul Muzaffar Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir

Born - 1618, Died - 1707.
Reign - 1658 to 1707.

Third son of Shah Jahan, Aurangazeb came to power by murdering his brothers (Dara, Shuja and Murad) and imprisoning his father. He conquered and annexed Bijapur in 1686 and Golkonda in 1687. He tackled a rebellion of the Jats under Gokla, Rajaram and Churaman from 1669 to 1691 and Satnami Rebellion in 1672 was also supressed successively. Rebellion of the Sikhs raised after the execution of Guru Tej Bahadur, the 9th Sikh guru, by Aurangazeb and the rebellion of the Sikhs led by Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th guru, who also founded the Khalsa in 1699 were suppressed. Maratha Rebellion was also suppressed later Shivaji (Maratha head) visited Mughal court where he felt insulted and again rebelled back, he was imprisoned and later shivaji escaped. Son of Shivaji, Sambhaji was executed by Aurangazeb in 1687 later there was a resistance from Marathas under Rajaram from 1689 to 1707. Aurangazeb died at Aurangabad in 1707. He totally reversed the Akbar's liberal policies, re-imposition of the Jizya in 1679, etc.

Aurangzeb's death in 1706 set off the rapid decline of the empire. His successors were weak and increasingly became mere tools in the hands of the nobles. Taking advantage of this, the Rajputs, the Sikhs and the Afghans openly defied the authority of the Mughal Emperor. The governors of Hyderabad, Bengal, and Avadh established independent kingdoms and the Marathas became stronger. Real political power in the 18th century shifted to the hands of the new kingdoms, but Mughal emperors continued to rule in name until 1857.

Greatest Mughal Emperor

Who is the Greatest Mughal Emperor?

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    • profile image

      tahir mehmood ayaz 

      11 months ago

      what is the actual name of mughal impre

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      very good

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • profile image

      Dilip C 

      6 years ago

      Thanks a lot, in this short summary even lay man can understand the history of Mugal.

      Thanks a lot again

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Very usefull research site ! Recommend it to anyone.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      very good historical facts and giving knowledge to the students

    • profile image

      saiesh pethe 

      7 years ago

      nice facts

    • jodhpur profile image


      8 years ago from JODHPUR

      very useful... g8 article.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      It is nice hub that describes the glorious as well as the tragic period of Mughal Empire in the Indian Union.

    • gajanis786 profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent historical facts.......very good hub.Thanks.


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