Updated | April 30, 2017 18:42 IST
Akbar was one of the greatest Kings of India. He made many reforms and introduced many new schemes in the administration. He founded a new religion, Din-i-Ilahi. Akbar, Abu’l Fath Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar, was the son of Emperor, Humayun and Queen, Hamida Banu Begum. He was born on 15th October 1542 in Umerkot, India.
Akbar became Emperor at the age of 13, on 14th February 1556 and he was the third Mughal Emperor. Loyal, Bairam Khan was appointed as regent to Akbar. Under the regency of Bairam Khan, Akbar attained stability in the region. Bairam Khan took the control of Northern Indian from the Afghans and became victorious in leading the army against Hindu King, Hemu at the Second Battle Of Panipat.
Akbar childhood was in the household of his paternal uncles, Kamran Mirza and Aksari Mirza because his father, Humayun was defeated by Sher Shah Suri in the battle of Kanauj in May 1540. After the defeat, Humayun was in flight. Later the Hindu ruler, Rana Prasad granted refuge to Humayun and his pregnant wife, Hamid Banu Begum.
Humayun recaptured Delhi with the military support of Persian ruler, Shah Tahmasp I and soon he died due to an untimely accident after he reclaimed his throne. Akbar became Emperor at 13 under the regent of Humayun’ Loyal General, Bairam Khan.
Akbar married to his cousin, Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, daughter of his paternal uncle, Hindal Mirza in November 1551.
Under his reign, Akbar brought glory days for Mughal empire by crushing the enemies and expanding his empire Kabul, Deccan territories, Kandahar, Delhi and parts of Punjab. Especially the second battle of Panipat against Hindu ruler, Hemu or Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, which was the beginning of glory days for the Mughal reign. He killed Afghan contender to the throne, Muhammed Adil in a battle in the same year. Akbar who thought of enmity with the most powerful Rajputs was not good to the supremacy of him was appealed to Rajput people by ruling in a spirit of cooperation and tolerance despite he won the battles against Rajputs, Rani Durgavati and Rana Pratap etc. had experienced the valor and greatness of these great Rajput rulers.
Akbar also formed matrimonial alliances with Hindu Princesses including Jodha Bhai of Jaipur and other princesses of Bikaner and Jaisalmer. He also never forced the India’s majority Hindu population to convert to Islam. He abolished the taxes on non-Muslims, translating Hindu literature and participated in Hindu festivals.
He revised tax system in 1574 and separated revenue collection from the military administration. He appointed different heads namely Wazir, Mir Bakshi and Mir Saman.
Wazir was responsible for all financial and managemental activities related to Jagir and Inam lands whereas Mir Bakshi, the military head was responsible for appointing the leading nobles of the court, military appointments, and gathering of intelligence information for the security of the empire.
The Mir Saman was responsible for monitoring the court and royal bodyguard and the imperial household including harems. Finally, Chief Qazi in charge of religious beliefs and practices, a separate organization of the Judiciary.
Akbar divided entire empire into 15 Subas and each province was governed by Subadar beside other regional post mirroring that in the center. The Subas were divided into Sarkars and the Sarkars were further divided into Parganas. Each Pargana consisted of several villages which were governed by Muqaddam, Patwari, and Chowkidar beside a Panchayat.
He suggested a new religious path Din-i-ilahi in 1582, which depicted the secular ideas of Akbar and his desire to achieve peace, unity, and tolerance.Din-i-illahi features non-killing of animals, Belief in one god etc.
Despite some section of people were against the Din-i-illahi, but Akbar gained the belief of Hindus who worship cattle.Din-i-ilahi was combined elements of many religions including Islam, Hinduism, and Zoroastrianism.
Patronage of Arts:
Akbar was appreciated arts, culture etc. He encouraged poets, musicians, artists, philosophers and engineers in his royal courts. Nava Ratnas or Nine Gems in Akbar court were very famous including Abul Fazl, who wrote Akbar’ biography in three volume book ‘Akbarnama’, Abul Faizi was a poet and scholar, brother of Abul Fazl; Miya Tansen- singer and musician, Raja Birbal-poet, singer, and advisor; Raja Todar Mal- Finance Minister, Raja Man Singh- celebrated lieutenant, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana- a poet, Fagir Aziao Din and Mullah Do Piaza were both advisors.
Akbar died in 1605. He never recovered after got attacked with dysentery on 3rd October 1605 and died in his 63rd year on 27th October 1605. His body was buried at a Mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra.
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