Mughal Empire is an important topic asked in the History Section of General Awareness. It is asked in various Defence Exams such as CAPF (AC), CDS, AFCAT, Air Force Group X & Y, etc.
Many important questions are asked on this topic. For proper understanding, we have divided the topic into smaller parts. Here we will be discussing the reign of Babur, Humayun & Shershah Suri.
Mughal Empire: Babur, Humayun & Shershah Suri (Sur Empire)
Below is a timeline of the Mughal Empire:
1526 – 1530 AD
Founder of Mughal empire after the Ist Battle of Panipat
1530 – 1540 AD
1555 – 1556 AD
He was defeated by Sher Shah
1540 – 1555 AD
Sher Shah defeated Humayun and ruled from 1540-45 AD
IInd Battle of Panipat
Akbar Vs. Hemu
1556 – 1605 AD
Established Din-i-Illahi, expanded Mughal empire
1605 – 1627 AD
Captain William Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe visited the Mughal court
1628 -1658 AD
The pinnacle of Mughal empire and art and architecture
1658 – 1707 AD
Beginning of the decline of the Mughal empire
1707 – 1857 AD
Decline and disintegration of the Mughal empire with gaining strength of the British
Babur (1526 - 1530)
- Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire in India, traced his ancestry to the Timurid dynasty.
- In 1517 Ibrahim Lodi succeeded Sikander Lodi.
- Embassies from Daulat Khan and Rana Sanga inviting Babur to displace Ibrahim Lodhi led to the 1st Battle of Panipat in 1526.
- Babur used an Ottoman (Rumi) device in this war.
- Babur also heavily used Gunpowder in this war, though it was known in India in earlier times.
- The Battle of Khanwa (1527) was fought between Rana Sanga and Babur. With the defeat of Sanga, Babur’s position got strengthened in the Gangetic plains.
- He declared the war as a Jihad and assumed the title Ghazi after his victory.
- Babur composed Tuzuk-i-Baburi, a Masnavi and the Turkish translation of a well-known Sufi work. Tuzuk-i-Baburi was translated into Persian as Baburnama by Abdur Rahim Khankhana.
- Babur also established a tradition of Gardening by laying out a number of formal gardens with running water.
- He built two mosques, one at Kabulibagh, Panipat and another in Sambhal, Rohilkhand
Humayun (1530 – 1540 and 1555 - 1556)
- Humayun became the Mughal Emperor on 29 December 1530 at the age of 23.
- In the Battle of Chausa, 1539, Humayun was defeated for the first time by Shershah Suri.
- In the next year (1540) Shershah completely defeated Humayun in the Battle of Kanauj and founded the Sur dynasty.
- After the lapse of 15 years, Humayun re-captured the Empire by defeating the last Sur ruler Sikandar Shah Suri in the Battle of Sirhindh, 1555, after which he ruled only for 6 months.
- The period from 1540 to 1555 is known as the period of the temporary eclipse of the Mughal.
- Humayun died by an accidental fall from the staircase of his Library ‘Din Panah’ at the Purana Kila in Delhi on 24 January 1556.
- Humayun was an accomplished mathematician and astronomer. He earned the title Insan-i-Kamil (Perfect Man), among the Mughals
- Humayun’s biography Humayun Namah was written by Humayun’s sister Gulbadan Begum. The language used to write this biography was a mixture of Turkish and Persian.
Architecture during Humayun’s Period
- The Purnakwila was constructed by Humayun but its construction was completed by Shershah.
- Humayun’s tomb is situated in Delhi (first building in India having double domes) which was built by Haji Begum
- Humayun tomb is known as the predecessor of Tajmahal because Taj was modelled after this, also known as a dormitory of the house of Timur. Mirak Mirza Ghias was its architect.
- In 1533 Humayun built the city of Dinpanah (world refuge) in Delhi.
Sher Shah Suri (Sur Empire)
- Shershah’s original name was Farid.
- His family came to India from Afghanistan.
- In the Battle of Chausa, 1539, Sherkhan defeated Humayun for the first time and assumed the name Shershah.
- Later in 1540 he completely defeated Humayun in the Battle of Kanauj and founded the Sur dynasty.
- Shershah constructed the Grand Trunk Road from Sohargaon to Attock (Calcutta to Amritsar) He introduced the National Highway concept for the first time in India. Now the Grand Trunk Road is known as Shershah Suri Marg. Its part from Delhi to Amritsar is known as National Highway -1.
- He also built roads from Agra to Jodhpur and Chittoor and Lahore to Multan. He built Sarais at a distance of every two Kos. These sarais later developed into Market towns, Qasbas. They were also used as stages for news-services, Dak-Chowkis.
- He built the Purana Qila in Delhi (its Construction was started by Humayun) and his own Mausoleum (Tomb) at Sasaram in Bihar.
- He also constructed the Khooni Darwaza (blood-stained gate) the gateway of Firozshah Kotla in Delhi.
Economy and Administration
- He was the first ruler to introduce Silver Rupiya (one Rupiya was equal to 64 dams) and gold coin Ashrafi.
- Administrative divisions:
- Iqta – Province under Haqim or Amin
- Sarkar – District under Shiqdar-i-Shiqadaran or Munsif-i-Munsifan
- Pargana – Taluk under Shiqdar or Munsif
- Gram – Village under Muqqadam or Amil
- He made local Muqaddams/Zamindars responsible for local crimes
- Hindi poet Malik Muhammed Jayasi completed his Padmavat, during his reign.
More from us: