UPSC History The Mughal Empire Short Notes - The Mughals (1526-1540 and 1555-1857)

Short Notes - The Mughals (1526-1540 and 1555-1857)

Category : UPSC


The Mughals (1526-1540 and 1555-1857)




Ruling Period



Zahiniddin Muhammad Babur

1530 -1540 and 1555-1556


1556 - 1605   


1605 -1627   



Shah Jahan


Mohamamed Aurangzeb  

1707 [Mar 14 - Apr27)       

Qutib-ud-din A'zam Shah


Shah Alam Bahadur Shah-I

1712 -1713  


1713 - 1719   


1719 (Mar 1- Jun 7)

Rafi ul Darjat

1719 (Mar 30- Aug 13)      

Mohamamd Shah Nikusiyar

1719 (Jun 8- Sep 6)       

Mohammad Shah Jahan Sani


Mohammad Shah

1720 (Oct 12-Nov 19)

Mohammad Ibrahim

1748 - 1754  

Ahmad Shah Bahadur

1754 (Jun 3-Nov 29)

Alamgir II

1759 (Dec 11-Dec 25)

Shah Jahan III


Shah Alam II


Mohammad Akbar Shah II


Bahadur Shah Zafar


  • The Mughul era began with the Babur's victory over Ibrahim Lodi in the First Battle OfPampat in 1526.
  • Babur (AD 1526-30) Babur was the first Mughal Emperor of India. He was from the princely family of mixed Mongol and Turkish blood.
  • He defeated Mewar ruler Rana Sanga in the Battle Of Khanwa in 1527 and Medini Rai in the Battle of Chanderi (1528).
  • He died in 1530.
  • Babur wrote   his   biography Baburnama which is also known as Tuzk-e Babri.


Humayun (AD 1530-40 & 55-S6)


  • Humayun succeeded Babur at the young age of 23 in 1530.
  • He was defeated in the Battle of Chausa (1539) and Battle ofKanauj (1540) by Sher Shah Suri who became the ruler of Agra and Delhi.
  • The Humayun's Tomb was built by his widow Haji Begum in Delhi.
  • Humayun's sister Gulbadan Begum wrote
  • He died in 1556.
  • The real name of Sher Shah was Farid.
  • During the siege of the fort of Kalinjar one of the cannons accidentally went off killing him on 26th of May 1535.
  • He was buried in Sasaram [Bihar).
  • He built Purana Qila in Delhi.
  • He constructed important roads:
  • Grand Trunk (G.T.) road from Sunargaon to Peshawar.

(ii) Agra to Multan Via Burhanpur and Delhi.

(iii) Multan to Lahore.

(iv)Mandu to Agra.


Departments of central government

Diwan-e-Vizarat:             Financial matters.

Diwan-i-Arz :                  Department of Military affairs.

Diwan-i-Rasalat:             Religious and Foreign    matters.

Diwan-i-Ensha:               Royal orders.

Diwan-i-Barid:                Postal System.

Diwan-i-Qaza:                Chief Justice of the Empire


  • Bairam Khan became the Wakil of the kingdom with the title of Khan-i-Khana.


Akbar (AD 1556-1605)


  • Akbar was crowned at Kalanaur at the age of 13 years in 1556.
  • Akbar reoccupied Delhi and Agra in the second battle of Panipat with Hemu, a general ofAdil Shah in 1556.
  • Akbar’s armies had conquered Kashmir, Sindh, Orrisa, Central India and also conquered Gujarat (1572- 1573) and Bengal (1574-1576).
  • Akbar's last campaign was against Asirgarh, resulting in the annexation of Khandesi (1601).
  • He built the Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Bhagwan Das and Maan Singh enjoyed a privileged position in the Mughal court.
  • Akbar built many buildings like Agra Fort (1565), Lahore Palace (1572), Fatehpur Sikri, Buland Darwaza and Allahabad Fort (1583).
  • He died in 1605.


Main Events During the reign of Akbar



  Major Events


Abolition of Slavery


Abolition of Pilgrimage Tax.


Abolition of Jaziya.


Ibadatkhana was built in Fatehpur Sikri


Parliament of Religions in Ibadatkhana.


Proclamation of "Marhar'


Proclamation of Tauhid-i-illahi.


Entire empire divided into 12 provinces [After victory of south it became 15)


?Dahsala system' introduced by Todarmal.


?Mansabdari .system' introduced After victory over Gujarat.



Nine Jewels or Nav-Ratnas of Akbar

Abdul Rahim - Hindi Scholar

Abdul Fazal - Chief Advisor

Birbal - Wittiness

Tansen - Singer

Todar Mal - Finance Minister

Mullah Do Piaza - Advisor

Raja Man Singh - General [Senapati)

Faizi - Poet

Hamim Humam – Physician


Jahangir (AD 1605-1627)


  • The real name of Jahangir was Salim.
  • jahangir married Mehr-un-Nisa who assumed the title of' Nur Jahan' (Light of the world)
  • jahangir's most irksome foe was the Rana of Mewar, Amar Singh who finally capitulated in 1613 AD to Khurram's forces.
  • He conquered three Kingdoms - Mewar, Kangra and Abmadnagar in South India.
  • His wife Nur Jahan built Itimad-ud- Daula's (another name ofMirza Ghiyas Beg] Marble tomb at Agra.
  • He built Moti Mahal in Lahore and his own Mausoleum at Shahdara (Lahore).
  • He crushed the rebellion of his own son Khusro and made him blind.
  • His son Khurram (Shah Jahan) rebelled against him at the end of his reign.


Shah Jahan


  • Shah Jahan became emperor in 1627 and exhibited modernization as a ruler.
  • He faced revolts in thq Deccan and Bundelkhand by Jujhar Singh, the son of Bir Singh Bundela.
  • He was married to the daughter of Asaf Khan named Arjumand Bano Begum, also known as Mumtaz Mahal.
  • He built the Taj Mahal in Agra and the jama Masjid (sand stone) in Delhi.
  • Ustad Isa was the master architect under whose guidance the Taj Mahal was designed and constructed in Agra.
  • He built the Red Fort and Taqt-i-Taus (Peacock Throne) in Shahjahanabad.


Auranzeb (AD 1658-1707)


  • Aurangzeb was also called as Zinda Pir [the living saint). '
  • He had to face many problems such as problems of the Marathas in the Deccan, the )ats, and Satnamis and Rajputs in north India, and that of Chip Khans and Sikh in the north-west.
  • His direct attention was concentrated on the affairs north India but during 1681, the affairs of the South Central around the rise of the Marathas power under Shivaji.
  • The Mughul conquest reached a climax during his reign.
  • The second coronation of Aurangzeb took place when he defeated Dara [1659).
  • He forbade inscription of Kalma on the coins and banned music in the court.
  • He ended Jarokha Darsha , celebration of Navroz but Jaziya (tax on non- Muslims) was reintroduced by him.
  • Prince Azam Shah built Bibi Ka Makbara, which is the tomb of his mother Rabbia-u'1-Daurani at Aurangabad (1651-1661 AD).
  • He died in 1707 AD.


The Later Mughals


  • Muazzam ascended the Mughal throne with the title of Bahadur Shah.
  • He pursued pacifist policy and was called Shah Bekhabar.
  • He also assumed the title of Shah Alam
  • Other successors of the Mughal Empire: Jahandar Shah, Farrukhsiyar, Mohammad Shah, Ahmed Shah, Alamgir, Shah Alam II, Akbar Shah II, Bahadur Shah Zafar [1837-1862).
  • Farrukhsiyar ascended the throne with help of Sayyid brothers, Abdullah Khan and Hussain Khan.
  • Nadir Shah raided India in 1738-39 and took away the peacock throne and Kohinoor diamond during the reign of Mohammad Shah (1719-48).
  • The Battle of Buxar (1764) was fought during the reign of Shah Alam II.
  • Bahadur Shah Zafar was the last Mughal king.
  • He was proclaimed the Emperor by the rebellions during the revolt of 1857 and was deported to Rangoon following the 1857 rebellion.
  • Famous painters: Khwaja Abdul Samad, Mir Saiyyad Ali, Mansoor, etc.
  • Tansen was the musician of Akbar's court.
  • Principal articles of export to Europe and other countries were indigo, opium, pepper, etc.
  • Articles of import were horses, Chinese porcelain .and African slaves, etc.
  • Aurangzeb's death in 1707 caused the rapid decline of Mughal empire.


Women of the Mughal Family

Gulbadan Begum: the sister of Humayun.

Noor Jahan (Meherunnisa): Wife of Jahangir,    daughter of Ghiyas Beg (Idmatuddaula).

Mumtaz Mahal (Anjumand Banu Begum): Wife of Shah Jahan, mother of 14 children.

Jahan Ara: Daughter of Shah Jahan.

Rabiaul-Daurani    (Dilras    Banu Begum): The first wife of Aurangzeb.


Mughal Buildings & Builder

Humayun's Tomb (Delhi) : Bega Begum

Buland Darwaza (Fatehpur Sikri) : Akbar

Shalimar Bagh (Srinagar) : Jahangir

Akbar's Tomb (Sikandara, Agra) :

Began by Akbar and finished by Jahangir.

Tomb of ltmaduddaula (Agra): NurJahan

Tomb of Jahangir (Shahdara Bagh,

Lahore ):Shah Jahan

Taj Mahal (Agra) : Shah Jahan

Red Fort (Delhi) : Shah Jahan

Shalimar Gardens (Lahore): Shah Jahan

Bibi Ka Maqbara (Aurangabad) :Azam Shah

Salim Chisti's Tomb (Fatehpur Sikri): Akbar


Name of the Book Author

Tuzk-i-Babari: Babar

Humayun Namah : Gulbadan Begum

Akbarnama, Aini Akbari: Abul Fazi

TuzkiJahangiri: Jahangir

Shah Jahan Namah : Inayat Khan

Padshah Namah (about Shah Jahan): Abdul Hamid Lahori

Alamgirnama (about Aurangzeb): Mirza Muhammad Kazim


Battles Fought Between

1st Battle of Panipat (1526) : Babur and Ibrahim Lodhi

Battle ofKhanwa (1527) : Babur and Rana Sunga.

Battle of Chausa (1539) : Sher Shah Suri and Humayun

2nd Battle of Panipat (1556) : Akbar and Hemu

Battle of Haldighati (1576) : Raja Maan Singh [Mughal army] and Rana Pratap

Battle of Samugarh (1658) : Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh

Battle of Khanwa (1659) : Aurangzeb and brother Shah Shuja

Battle of Karnal (1739) : Nadir Shah and Muhammad Shah[Mughal)


Foreign Travellers



Marco Polo      

Pandya kingdom


Ibn Batuta   

Muhammad bin Tughlaq


Nicolo Conti 

Deva Raya I


Abdur Razaq  

Deva Raya II



Bahmani kingdom



Krishna Deva Raya


Ralph Fitch



William Hawkins



Thomas Roe



Peter Mundy

Shah Jahan








Nicolo Manucci    



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