Study Notes for UPSC/PCS: Mughal Empire Part-2
Akbar (1556 - 1605)
Akbar ascends the throne at the age of 14
2nd Battle of Panipat between Hemu and Bairam Khan(khan-i-khannan). Hemu gets defeated in the battle
Akbar becomes independent at the age of 18 and dismisses Bairam Khan
Abolition of Jizyah tax
Foundation of Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra was laid
Mansabdari system introduced
Ibadatkhana was built
Battle of Haldihatti fought between Rana Pratap and the Mughal army led by Raja Man Singh
Dahsala Bandobast system introduced
Din-i-illahi – a new religion was propounded by Akbar which was s synthesis of values taken from several religions like Hinduism, Islam, Jainism etc. It was a move against religious orthodoxy and bigotry. He followed the policy of Sulh-kul or peace to all.
- Akbar was an illiterate person, but he was a patron of men of eminence. He maintained a Scholastic Assembly (Navratnas) in his court. They included the following personalities.
- Abul Fazal: Akbar’s court historian who wrote Akbar’s biographical works Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Namah.
- Abul Faizi: Persian poet and brother of Abul Fazal. He translated Mahabharata into Persian in name ‘Razam Namah’ and Bhaskaracharya’s mathematical work Leelavati into Persian.
- Mian Tansen: His original name was Ram Thanu Pande. He was the court Musician of Akbar. He composed a Raga, Rajdarbari in honour of Akbar.
- Birbal: His real name was Mahesh Das. He was the court jester of Akbar.
- Raja Todarmal: Raja Todarmal was Akbar’s finance or revenue minister. He formulated Akbar’s revenue system Zabti and Dashala systems. Raja Todermal also translated Bhagavatapurana into Persian.
- Maharaja Man Singh: Akbar’s military commander.
- Bhagawandas: Son of Bharmal
- Abdur Rahim Khankhana: Hindi Poet
- Mulla Do Pyaja
- Akbar started the Annual assessment system where land was assessed by Qanungos or hereditary holders of land and tax collected by Karoris.
- In 1580, a new system Dahsala (prices over last 10 years) were calculated. The land was measured using the Zabti system which was an improvement over the Dahsala system. It was also known as Todarmal’s Bandobast
- In Batai system, the production was divided in fixed proportions.
- In Nasaq system, rough calculation of Peasant’s payments over the past years was calculated and the empire’s share was fixed.
- Types of Cultivable Lands
- Polaj – land under cultivation every year
- Paratti – fallow land
- Chanchar – land fallow for 2-3 years
- Banjar – land fallow more than 2-3 years
- Taccavi – loans to the peasants
- Land divisions for the purpose of revenue
- Khalisa – lands kept separately to meet the expenses of the emperor
- Jagir – land was given to nobles or mansabdars to meet their expenses
- Inam – land was given to religious persons
Mansabdari System: This was introduced to maintain a huge army. Ranks (Mansabs) were awarded to nobles. They were divided into Zat (Personal status) and Sawar (Cavalryman required to maintain). Along with this, Dagh and Chehra system were also followed. Mansabdars were assigned Jagirs which they used to pay the salary of soldiers
- Wazir/Diwan – Head of Revenue department
- Subedar – Governor of a province
- Mir Bakshi – head of Military who was also the head of nobility
- Barids – Intelligence officers
- Waqia-navis – news reporters
- Mir Saman – in charge of imperial households and royal workshops (Karkhanas)
- Chief Qazi – head of Judicial departments
- Chief Sadr – responsible for charitable and religious endowments
- Diwan-i-am – open durbar
- Ghusal Khana – private consultation chamber
Architecture during Akbar’s period
- He built Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, Allahabad Fort, Humayun’s tomb and Fatehpur Sikri near Agra.
- At Fatehpur Sikri, Akbar built Ibadat Khana or Hall of Prayer in which he called selected theologians and mystics with whom he discussed religious and spiritual topics.
- Akbar built Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri in 1601 to commemorate his victory over Gujarat.
- He opened Ibadat Khana to people of all religions and took liberal views in discussing on religions.
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