Emperor Akbar – Administration, Rajput And Religious Policies

By Balaji

Updated on: February 17th, 2023

Emperor Akbar the Great was a Mughal (Indian) emperor who was known for his religious tolerance, imperial power, and support of the arts during the 16th century. Akbar signified to rulers of all nations that patience cannot be considered a flaw. The quality of open-mindedness is not parallel to indecisiveness. He is remembered and memorized as the finest ruler and has established history.

Akbar was the child of Nasiruddin Humayun and ascended as Emperor in 1556 when he was only 13 years old. After replacing his father Humayun at a key stage, he gradually expanded the Mughal Empire to encompass practically the whole Indian subcontinent. This article facilitates essential information about Emperor Akbar. The aspirants preparing for UPSC must possess comprehensive knowledge of Emperor Akbar’s life and reign.

Table of content

  • 1. Who was Akbar? (more)
  • 2. Akbar History (more)
  • 3. Consolidation of Mughal Empire Under Akbar (more)
  • 4. Administration of Akbar (more)
  • 5. Rajput Policy of Akbar (more)
  • 6. Religious Policy of Akbar (more)
  • 7. Art and Architecture During Akbar’s Reign (more)
  • 8. Navratnas of Akbar (more)
  • 9. Emperor Akbar – Legacy (more)
  • 10. Emperor Akbar – Death (more)
  • 11. Emperor Akbar for UPSC Exam (more)

Who was Akbar?

Emperor Akbar was accredited to be the greatest Mughal Emperor. He instituted numerous policies in favor of the native citizens. He was also acknowledged as the national monarch and mighty sovereign. He almost expanded the empire thrice than what he inherited from his ancestors. He fostered feelings of nationalism among his native citizens.

He defeated Maharana Pratap in the Battle of Haldighati and conquered major portions of Rajasthan. He instituted numerous policies in the administrations such as the land revenue administration, mansabdari system, and jagirdari system. He had a great interest in Art and Architecture. His mindset was later altered from orthodox to liberal and fostered doctrines of equality.

Akbar History

On October 14, 1542, in Sindh, Pakistan, the second Mughal Emperor Humayun, and his bride Hamida Banu Begam gave birth to Akbar. Despite having forefathers such as Genghis Khan and Timur, his family had been in flight relinquishing Babur‘s freshly founded realm.

  • Young Akbar was nurtured by an uncle in Afghanistan, while his parents were in exile in Persia.
  • He honed important talents such as hunting, but he never learned how to read. Nonetheless, Akbar had worked on numerous segments of history, philosophy, science and religion, as well as other disciplines, read to him throughout his life, and he could repeat entire passages from memory.
  • Humayan died in 1555, only a few months after taking back Delhi. At the age of 13, Akbar assumed the Mughal throne and then became Shahanshah (King of Kings). Bayram Khan, his boyhood protector and a great warrior/statesman served as his regent.

Consolidation of Mughal Empire Under Akbar

For geostrategic considerations and to keep bothersome warriors away from the capital, the new emperor embarked on an aggressive military expansion campaign. The Mughal army would go on to capture much of north India, encompassing what is now Pakistan, and Afghanistan in the years to come.

  • After numerous fights and rebellions, Akbar acquired the territories of Gwalior, Gondwana, and Malwa.
  • Akbar is also attributed to have conquered and led a series of battles in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar and Bengal.
  • The prime reason for rebellion in Bengal was due to the implementation of the dagh system.
  • Akbar captured major parts of Rajasthan, but he also established Rajput policy, The jizya policy expressing the dominance of the Muslims was scrapped. There was no antagonism between the Mughals and the Rajputs.

Administration of Akbar

Akbar established a very effective bureaucracy to administer his huge empire. He assigned mansabars, or military governors, in charge of several areas, who reported directly to him. As an outcome, he unified India’s several fiefdoms into a single empire that lasted until 1868.

  • The Central administration of Emperor Akbar is in accordance with the formation of the Government in accordance with the administration of Delhi Sultanate.
  • The Central administration comprises the Emperor, wazir, Mir Bakshi, Mir Saman, Chief Qazi, Sadrus Sudur, and Mutasibs.
  • In the provincial administration, the subas or provinces are segregated and segmented 12 subas. The stratification goes on to the division of the suba, sarkar, paragana, and village.

Land Revenue System of Akbar

Akbar established the system of land revenue system that was renowned as Zabti or Bandobast. The system was based on the land revenue system established by Sher Shah. Raja Todar Mal is accredited for modifying the administration of land revenue. It was renowned as Dahshala system.

  • The land has been segregated into four Polaj, Parauti, Chachar, and Banjar.
  • Certain officials were allocated the responsibility of collecting crores of dams.
  • The fixed revenue was based on the last ten years revenue. It was specified and fixed.
  • Akbar focused on major upliftments and improvements in the land revenue system.

Mansabdari System

The Mansabdari system was established by Akbar during his administration. The ranks were associated with all the officials. The ranks were stratified as 10-5000. The lowest being 10 and the highest rank was known to be 100.

  • Royal blood was allocated a higher rank.
  • The ranks were stratified into two types that were Zat and Sawar.
  • Sawar inferred the possession of the troops by an individual.
  • The sawars were mandated to take care of at minimum two troops.z
  • The appointments and promotions were guided by the Emperor.

Jagirdari System of Emperor Akbar

The main features of jagirdari system focused on allocating revenue to the specified territories to the nobles. This is an altered version of the Iqta of the Delhi sultanate. It forms an eminent part of the Mansabdari system. The jagirs were classified as the Tankha jagirs, Mashrut jagirs, and Altmagha jagirs. They possessed and inherited the rights over the lands. The zamindars also assisted in military services.

Rajput Policy of Akbar

The jizya policy that established the dominance of Muslims in the territory was scrapped by Akbar. He exchanged vows with the princess of Rajputs. They were made officials and also monitored military activities for several generations.

  • Raja Man Singh and Raja Bhagwan Das are accredited for being chosen for contributing to higher responsibilities.
  • The majority of the states of Rajasthan conceded to Akbar to rule their territories. Ranas of Mewar continued their aversion and led rebellions despite getting conquered numeorus times. Rana Pratap Singh was conquered in the Battle of Haldighati.
  • Rajputs were provided and facilitated with huge hospitality and kindness by Akbar.

Religious Policy of Akbar

The religious policy established by Akbar made his name imprinted in the leaves of history forever. He laid the fundamentals of equality and facilitated all citizens with equal rights. The Hindus served as the officials in his administration such as Todar Mal and Birbal.

  • He held a keen interest in philosophy and religion. His shift in mindset from orthodox to liberal made him establish the firm doctrines of equality. In Fatehpur Sikri, he conducted religious discussions to which scholars of varied religions were invited.
  • Later on the debates on religious practices were castigated as they led to grudges between the people of different religions.
  • Din-i-illahi was established which contained the noteworthy points of all the religions. He presented the “Infallibility Decree” to declare his possession of religious rights. A temple for his wife Jodha was built at his own palace despite facing aversions for his action.

Art and Architecture During Akbar’s Reign

Many remarkable art and architecture developed in the reign of Akbar such as the Fatehpur Sikri, and Buland Darwaja of Jama Masjid. The Tomb of Sikanadara was established by Akbar was later completed by his son Jahangir. The Persian translation of Ramayana and Mahabharata was also conducted during the reign of Akbar. Here is the list of establishments led by Akbar are as listed here-

  • Govindadeva at Vrindavan
  • Jahangir Mahal
  • Allahabad Fort
  • Agra Fort
  • Tomb of Sikanadara
  • Red Fort

Navratnas of Akbar

Nine of the courtiers were renowned to be the nine jewels of the Akbar. They were allocated numerous responsibilities and governed the administration of different departments. The table illustrates the list of the Navratnas of Akbar.

Navratnas of Akbar


Abul Fazl

Author of Akbarnama, Guided the army in the Deccan


Persian Poet


The great musician, he was crowned the title of Mian.

Raja Birbal

Religious advisor, part of military

Raja Todar Mal

Handled revenue system

Raja Man Singh

General who was highly trusted by Akbar

Fakir Aziao Din

Advisor, Sufi Mystic

Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan

Great poet

Mirza Aziz Koka

Subedar of Gujarat

Emperor Akbar – Legacy

Under the reign of Akbar, the walled cities covered the terrains of royal pleasure and comfort, aiming to dazzle the native rajas and advertise the eminence of his reign, expressing the ancestral love of the arts on a large scale. Akbar built the marvellous Red Fort beside the River Jamuna in the gorgeous capital city of Agra. Since then, Agra has become the storehouse for all of the riches and talent of one of the world’s most powerful civilizations.

Emperor Akbar – Death

Emperor Akbar, who was 63 years old at the time, was diagnosed with dysentery in October 1605. He died at the end of the month after suffering from illness. In the imperial capital of Agra, he was buried in the magnificent mausoleum.

The legacy of Akbar of possessing firm and central control. The tax policies permitted the commoners to formulate precedence that can evolve its roots from Gandhi’s thought. His passion and interest in the art forms presented a blended view of the Indian and Anatolian traditions they presented the epitome of Mughal excellence. Shah Jahan’s reign attained the highest pinnacle of synthesis and constructed the Taj Mahal.

Emperor Akbar for UPSC Exam

It is of high essentiality for the candidates to have a transparent view of the UPSC syllabus and its essential segments. Emperor Akbar and his life hold immense significance in terms of questions asked in the exam. Understanding and gaining knowledge of the subject will assist the candidates in leaping further in the exam.

The candidates must also be in touch with the questions asked in previous years around this topic. The complete elaboration of the topics and subjects will lead them in accomplishing their dreams.

Important Notes for UPSC
National Sample Survey Office State Human Rights Commission
Extremist Phase Industrial Sickness
Monsoon in India Left Wing Extremism
Rajput Dynasty 5th Schedule of Indian Constitution
Administration of Delhi Sulatante Sarvodaya Movement
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