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Class VII - Social: Mughal empire
One Word Answer Questions:
Q) When did the Second Battle of Panipat take place?
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Q) When did battle of Khanua took place?
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Q) Who abolished the religious tax on non-muslims, the Jaziya?
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Q) Who was the mentor of Akbar?
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Q) Who was a descendant of Timur and Chengiz khan?
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Q) Who was defeated by Babur in the First Battle of Panipat?
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Q) Who was born in AD 1542 in Amarkot ?
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Q) In which year the Mughal empire stretched from Afghanistan to Bengal, and from Kashmir to the Deccan?
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Q) Akbar divided his empire into how many subas or provinces?
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Q) Who was a descendant of Timur and Chengiz khan?
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Q) When was the first battle of Panipat fought?
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Short Answer Questions:
Q) Write a short note on battle of Khanwa?
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Q) Write a short note on Humayun's return?
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Q) Write a short note on Sher shah suri?
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Q) Write a short note on Mansabdari system?
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Q) Write a short note on Akbar's conquests?
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Q) Write about the land revenue policy of Akbar?
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Q) Write about the Akbar's contribution to the Architecture?
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Q) What is Shah Jahan's campaign?
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Q) Who was Nur Jahan? Write two points about her.
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Q) Write about Aurangazeb's Deccan Policy?
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Long Answer Questions:
Q) Explain briefly about Akbar's administration?
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Q) Explain about Aurangzeb?
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Q) Explain briefly about Shah Jahan and his administration?
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Q) Explain briefly about Humayun?
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Q) Explain about Babur?
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Who were the Mughals?
  • The Mughals were from ruling families of Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan and Mongolia.
    Babur, the first Mughal emperor (1526 - 1530 AD), was forced toleave his ancestral throne due to an invasion by another ruler.
    After years of wandering, he seized Kabul in 1504 AD. In 1526 AD, he defeated the Sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi and captured Delhi and Agra.
The Mughal Empire (AD 1526-1857)

  • The Mughals were the last powerful descendants of the Mongols.
  • Under the inspired leadership of Babur, they took advantage of the absence of a strong central power to invade India and establish Mughal rule in Delhi.
  • The Mughal Empire in India lasted from the 16th century to mid 19th century AD, i.e. for around 250 years.
Relationship of the Mughals with other Rulers
  • Around the time when Mughals came to India, there were several kings and chiefs in all parts of the country.
  • The Mughals sought to bring them under their control.
  • They allowed the older rulers and chiefs to continue to rule over large parts of their old kingdoms and collected revenues from them.
  • But these rulers could not wage wars against each other and had to keep an army ready for the use of the Emperor
  • Mughal rulers campaigned constantly against rulers who refused to accept their authority.
  • But as the Mughals became powerful, many other rulers also joined them voluntarily.
  • The Rajputs are a good example of this. Many of them married their daughters into Mughal families and received high positions.
  • But many resisted as well. The Sisodiya Rajputs of Chittor refused to accept Mughal authority for a long time.
  • Once defeated, however, they were given their lands back as assignments. The careful balance between defeating but not removing their opponents enabled the Mughals to extend their influence over many kings and chieftains.
  • The Mughals married princesses of the local rulers as a mark of friendship. Jahangir's mother was the daughter of the Rajput ruler of Amber (modern Jaipur).
  • Shah Jahan's mother was the daughter of the Rajput ruler of Jodhpur
Mansabdars and Jagirdars
  • As the empire expanded to encompass different regions, the Mughals recruited diverse kinds of people.
  • From a smallnucleus of Turkish nobles, they expanded to include Iranians, Indian Muslims, Afghans, Rajputs, Marathas and othegroups.
  • Those who joined the Mughal service were enrolled as mansabdars (or rank holder).
  • They worked directly under the control of the emperor, who could allocate any work for them to do - like guarding his palace, governing a province, conquering a new kingdom or suppressing a rebellion.
  • The Mughals designed a political system in which the mansabdars could not act independently but had to follow the orders of the emperor.
  • You may remember that the Nayakas in Vijayanagara empire could become independent and powerful enough to declare themselves the kings.
  • The Mughals prevented this by constantly transferring the mansabdars from one place to another every two or three years.
  • Thus, a mansabdar could not get settled and powerful in any one place

The mansabdar's military responsibilities required him to maintain a specified number of horse riders or cavalrymen. The mansabdar brought his cavalrymen for review, got them registered, their horses branded and then received money to pay them as salary


A mansabdar's son could not become a mansabdar automatically. That is the transfer of power was not hereditary. The emperor decided whether to appoint the son as a mansabdar or not. In fact, he even took over all the property of the mansabdar on his death.

  • Mansabdars received their salaries as revenue assignments called jagirs, which were somewhat like Vijayangara Nayankaras.
  • But unlike the Nayakas, most mansabdars did not actually reside in or administer their jagirs.
  • They could only collect the revenue due from their jagir villages and send them to the emperor.
  • This was collected for them by their servants while the mansabdars themselves served in some other part of the country.
  • The jagir was administered by other officials directly under the emperor.
  • These officials tried to ensure that the jagirdars' agents did not collect more from the farmers than permitted.
  • The jagirs too were constantly transferred every two or three years.
  • In Akbar's reign, these jagirs were carefully assessed so that their revenues were roughly equal to the salary of the mansabdar.
  • By Aurangzeb's reign, there was a huge increase in the number of mansabdars, which meant a long wait before they received a jagir.
  • These and other factors created a shortage in the number of jagirs.
  • As a result, many jagirdars tried to extract as much revenue as possible while they had a jagir.
  • Aurangzeb was unable to control these developments in the last years of his reign and the farmers, therefore, suffered tremendously
Babur (AD 1526-1530)

  • Born in AD 1438 Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur was a descendant of Timur and Chengiz khan.
  • By the age of 21, Babur had conquered Kabul.
  • He was invited by Maharana Sangram Singh, the king of Mewar and Daulat khan Lodi, the governor of Punjab, to engage and defeat Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans.
  • Babur was a military genius who skillfully combined his artillery with his cavalry to win battles.
The First Battle Of Panipat (AD 1526)
  • Babur inflicted a crushing defeat on Ibrahim Lodi in the First battle of Panipat in AD 1526.
battle of panipat
The Battle Of Khanwa (AD 1527)
  • In AD 1527, Rana Sanga, angered by Babur's decision of not leaving India, formed a union of Rajput princes and led them in battle against Babur.
  • Babur and Rana Sanga met at at the Battle of Khanwa near Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Though Rana Sanga had a much larger force, Babur defeated them with his use of artillery and superior military tactics.
battle of khanua
Babur's Character
  • The main source of information about the rule of Babur and the nature of the man is the Baburnama- Babur's autobiography in Turki.
  • Babur was scholar, a shrewd observer and a poet with a sensitive understanding of the fine arts.
  • He died in AD 1530.
Humayun (AD 1530-1540 and 1555-1556)

  • Babur's son Humayun ascended the throne of Delhi in AD 1530.
  • Humayun tried to enlarge his empire by annexing present-day Gujarat, parts of Rajasthan and Bihar.
  • Though he was an able commander, he did not possess the sustained spirit and energy of his father.
  • Sher khan was the Afghan governor of present-day Bihar. In AD 1531, he declared his independence from Humayun.
  • Sher khan defeated Humayun in the Battle of Chausa in AD 1539.
  • humayun battle
  • In AD 1540, Sher khan dealt Humayun a final blow in the battle of Kannauj.
  • In AD 1555, Humayun made a second attempt to regain Delhi. He captured Lahore, and occupied Delhi and Agra.
  • He died the following year.
The short rule of sher shah suri (AD 1540-1545)
  • Sher khan, whose real name was Farid khan, assumed the title of Sher Shah Suri.
  • He established his capital in Delhi. In his short rule of five years, he proved to be a capable leader.
  • Sher shah was an excellent administrator who introduced many reforms. He brought crime under control.
  • Sher shah introduced the silver rupee, called the rupiya, as a standard mode of exchange. Gold coins called mohur and copper coins called dam where also minted by his government.
Humanyun's Return
  • India enjoyed peace and stability during the reign of Sher shah suri. Unfortunately, his successors did not have his capabilities as a ruler and administrator.
  • In AD 1555, Humayun took advantage of their weakness to invade India.
  • He captured Lahore, Agra, and Delhi.
  • Humayun, however did not rule for long after his return to power.
  • He died in AD 1556, he was succeeded by his son, Akbar.
Akbar The Great (AD 1556-1605)

  • Akbar was born in AD 1542 in Amarkot when his father was fugitive there.
  • Akbar was only 13 years old when he was crowned emperor in AD 1556.
  • His tutor and mentor, Bairam Khan, took care of the administration of the empire till Akbar was 18.
  • When Humayun died, two of Sher Shah's nephew - Adil Shah and Sikandar Shah- tried to take back Delhi.
  • Hemu,Adil Shah's able general, occupied Delhi and Agra. Bairam khan and Akbar met Hemu in the fiercely fought SECOND BATTLE OF PANIPAT in AD 1556 and defeated him.
  • Akbar then shifted his capital to Agra.
Akbar's conquests
  • Akbar was an ambitious man.
  • He established a strong administrative system. He also followed a policy of religious tolerance, thereby ensuring the support of the Rajputs and the Sikhs.
  • By AD 1601, the Mughal empire stretched from Afghanistan to Bengal, and from Kashmir to the Deccan.
  • Akbar was helped in the discharge of his administrative duties by his cabinet.
  • The cabinet consisted of several senior officers.
  • The wazir, who was similar to a prime minister, was the principal advisor to the emperor.
  • The diwan, who was in charge of revenue and finance, was similar to the finance minister.
  • The mir bakshi, was the pay master of the army.
  • The qazi was the highest judicial head, next only to the emperor.
  • The sadr-i-sudar was in charge of religious endowments.
Provincial Government
  • Akbar divided his empire into 15 subas or provinces, each headed by a governor or subedar.
  • The provinces were divided into sarkars or districts; each sarkar consisted of several parganas, and several villages made up a pargana.

  • Provincial Government Chat
  • Military administration- the mansabdari system
  • The bring about great order in the system of military administration.
  • Akbar introduced the mansabdari system, i.e., a system which consisted of a hierarchy of ranks or offices, in AD 1574.
Military Administration - The Mansabdari System
  • To bring about greater order in the system of military administration, Akbar introduced the mansabdari system, a system which consisted of a hierarchy of ranks or offices, in AD 1574. Mansab in Arabic means 'rank'.
  • Every civil or military official was given a jagir or piece of land according to this zat or rank.
  • The mansabdars drew their salaries from the revenue of the land.
  • A new gradation called savar was introduced to define how many cavalry a military commander was expected to maintain.
  • Akbar also followed the system of dagh-wa-chehra or branding of horses and rolls with the description of the men to avoid forgery.
Land revenue policy
  • Akbar adopted Sher Shah's system of land revenue.
  • Raja Todar Mal was appointed the chief revenue officer. Todar Mal introduced the dashala system.
Under the dashala system:
  • The quality of the land was considered before fixing the land revenue. The land was divided into four groups depending on its fertility, and the number of times it was cultivated in a year.
  • The revenue to be paid in a year was calculated on the basis of a 10 year average of the yield and the prices of the different crops.
  • The state took one-third of the average yield.
  • The revenue could be paid in cash or kind.
Rajput policy
  • Akbar gave important posts to Rajputs and other Hindus in his administration.
  • Raja Todar Mal, Raja Birbal, Raja Bihari Mal, his son Bhagwan Das and grandson Man Singh were some of the Rajputs who held important positions in Akbar's court.
Religious policy
  • Akbar was a liberal ruler who believed in the equality and unity of all religions.
  • He employed Hindus in his government and gave many of them high ranks.
  • He abolished the religious tax on non-muslims, the Jaziya.
  • Art and culture under Akbar
  • Akbar was great patron of art.
  • He was known for the brilliance of the court he maintained.
  • In his court were the navaratnas or nine jewels.
  • Akbar was a prolific builder.
  • An outstanding example of architecture during Akbar's rule is the new capital he built at Fatehpur Sikri.
Art And Culture Under Akbar
  • Akbar was a great patron of art. He was known for the brilliance of the court he maintained.
  • In his court were the navaratnas or 'nine jewels'.
  • They included Mian Tansen, the court singer and musician, Adul Fazl, the court poet andchronicler, Birbal, who was known for his wit and wisdom, Todar Mal, and Man Singh, a renowned general.
  • Abul Fazl was the wazir and historiographer in Akbar's court, best known for his work, the Akbarnama. It is a rich source of information about Akbar and his life.
A Closer Look at Akbar's Policies

The broad features of administration were laid down by Akbar and were elaborately discussed by his friend and member of his court, Abul Fazl in his book the Akbar Nama.

  • While Akbar was at Fatehpur Sikri (near Agra) during the 1570s, he initiated important discussions on religion with the Muslim scholars, Brahmins, Jesuit priests who were Roman Catholics, and Zorastrians.
  • He was interested in the religion and social customs of different people.
  • Akbar wanted to bring together people of diverse faiths. This eventually gave Akbar the idea of sulh-i kul or "universal peace".
  • This idea of tolerance did not discriminate among people of different religions in his kingdom.
  • Instead, it focused on a system of ethics - honesty, justice, peace - that was universally applicable.
  • Abul Fazl helped Akbar in framing a vision of governance around this idea of sulh-i kul.
  • The Emperor would work for the welfare of all subjects irrespective of their religion or social status.
  • This principle of governance was followed by Jahangir and Shah Jahan as well.
  • Aurangzeb deviated from this policy and tried to project himself as favouring only Sunni Muslims.
  • People of other religions felt anguished by this policy of Aurangzeb.
Jahangir (AD 1605-1627)

  • Prince Salim, the eldest son of Akbar, ascended the throne of Delhi as the fourth Mughal ruler amidst rebellion and plotting by this own son Khusrau.
  • During the reign of Jahangir, a number of Europeans, like the Portuguese, the British and the Dutch, had begun to make their presence felt in India and other countries bordering the Indian Ocean.
Nur jahan
  • In AD 1611, Jahangir married Mihrunnisa, the widow of Sher Afgan Jagirdar of Bengal.
  • He made her his chief queen with the title of Nur Jahan.
  • The issue of coins
  • Jahangir issued many silver and gold coins, some bearing images only of him, and many with images of his wife Nur jahan.
  • The last days of Jahangir
  • Jahangir wrote his autobiography called Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri.
Nur jahan
Shah jahan (AD 1628-1658)
  • Prince Khurram, when he ascended the throne, took the title of Shahabuddin Mohammed Shah Jahan.
  • He was born in AD 1592 to the Hindu princess Bhanmati, the daughter of Rana Udai Singh of Mewar.
  • Shah Jahan married Nur Jahan's niece- Mumtaz Mahal.
Shah jahan's Campaigns
  • Shah Jahan led successful military campaign against Mewar, Kangra and the Deccan kingdoms.
Shah jahan
  • Shah Jahan was a master builder. When Mumtaz Mahal died in AD 1631, Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to house the tomb of his beloved wife.
The administration of shah jahan
  • Shah Jahan restored the 'mansabdari' system started by Akbar, which had falled into disuse in Jahangir's time.
The end of Shah jahan's rule
  • In AD 1657, Shah Jahan fell seriously ill. His four sons, Dara shikoh, Shuja, Murad and Aurangzeb, battled for the right to succeed their father.
  • Aurangzeb emerged the winner.
Aurangzeb (AD 1658-1707)

  • Born in AD 1618, Aurangzeb was the third son of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
Aurangzeb's empire
  • The empire of Aurangzeb was the biggest anyone had ever ruled in India.
  • In his long rule (AD 1658-1707) of almost 50 years, Aurangzeb was almost always at war with one ruler or the other.
Religious Policy
  • A devout Muslim, Aurangzeb firmly believed that it was his duty to strengthen Islam in the empire.
  • He discontinued the policy of religious tolerance followed by the earlier Mughal rulers.
  • He reimposed the Jaziya, the religious tax on non-muslims that Akbar had abolished.
Rajput policy
  • Aurangzeb lost his loyalty and support of the Rajputs.
  • He also lost money, time and many of his generals.
Deccan policy
  • Aurangzeb spent 26 years of his life and reign in the Deccan.
  • This brought him into direct confrontation with the rising power of the Marathas.
  • Aurangzeb won the kingdoms of Bijapur in AD 1681 and Golconda in AD 1687.
Aurangzeb character
  • Aurangzeb followed the law and traditions prescribed to Muslims.
  • He did not indulge in any food, drink or dress that was prohibited in the Koran.
  • Ritual practices like prayers and fasting were strictly followed. However, Aurangzeb was also said to be suspicious in nature, cunning, and cold in temperament.
  • His ability as a general declined in later years.
The Mughal Empire in the 17th Century and there after
  • The administrative and military efficiency of the Mughal Empire led to economic and commercial prosperity.
  • International travellers described it as the fabled land of wealth.
  • But the same visitorswere also appalled at the state of poverty that existed in contrast to the greatest wealth.
  • The inequalities were glaring. Documents from the twentieth year of Shah Jahan's reign inform us that the highest ranking mansabdars were only 445 in number out of a total of 8,000.
  • This small number - a mere 5.6 per cent of the total number of mansabdars - received 61.5 per cent of the total estimated revenue of the empire as salaries for themselves and their troopers
  • The Mughal emperors and their mansabdars spent a great deal of their income on salaries and goods.
  • The scale of revenue collection left very little for money for investment in the hands of the primary producers - the peasant and the artisans.
  • The poorest amongst them had barely enough resources for existence and could hardly invest in tools and supplies to increase productivity
  • The wealthier peasantry and artisanal groups, the merchants and bankers profited in this period.
  • The enormous wealth and resources commanded by the Mughal nobility (elite) made them an extremely powerful group of people in the late seventeenth century.
  • As the authority of the Mughal emperor slowly declined, his subordinates emerged as powerful centres of power in the regions.
  • They constituted new dynasties and held command of provinces like Hyderabad and Awadh.
  • Although they continued to recognise the Mughal emperor in Delhi as their master, by the eighteenth century the provinces of the empire had consolidated their independent political identities
Asaf Jahis of Hyderabad 1724-1948
  • After the weakening of the Mughal Empire in 1720s , the Mughal Governors asserted their independence.
  • One of them was the Subedar of the Deccan, Chin Qulich Khan, also known as the Nizam-Ul- Mulk.
  • He was the founder of the Asaf Jahi dynasty of the Hyderabad State in 1724.
  • NizamUl- Mulk ruled for 24 years (1724-1748). Among the Asaf Jahi rulers there were seven kings, who ruled from 1724 to 1948.
  • The Nizams constantly fought the Marathas and the rulers of Mysore to carve the independent state of Hyderabad. Due tothese reasons, they became dependent on the British and lost their independent status.
  • They undertook the colonial modernisation under the influence of the British Officials.
  • The British loved the Hyderabadculture. During late 19th Century Hyderabad embarked on development.
  • Salar Jung was the PrimeMinister of the Nizams between 1853 and 1883, who imbibed colonial development schemes.
  • (You will read more about him in the next lesson). The sixth Nizam, Mir MahabubAli Pasha's period marked with a number of reforms.
  • The Asafia Library, Victoria Memorial Orphanage, Mahabubia GirlsSchool were established.
  • During the Musi floods in 1908 he personally supervised therelief operations, offered prayers to the god and provided shelter to the victims.
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