Nine Gems of Akbar: Navratnas of Akbar

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

Navratnas of Akbar or the nine gems of Akbar were nine of the most illustrious courtiers in the court of Mughal Emperor Akbar. This article will provide information about Navratnas of Akbar within the context of the IAS Exam. This is an important part of the GS paper I of the UPSC exam.

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The nine gems or Navratnas of Akbar’s court were Birbal, Tansen, Abul Fazl, Faizi, Todar Mal, Raja Man Singh, Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, Fakir Aziao-Din and Mullah Do Piaza. They were proficient in various fields and highly regarded by the emperor himself. Below, you can read about all the nin gems of Akbar’s court.

Navratnas of Akbar

Raja Birbal

Birbal was born as Mahesh Das into a Hindu family in Uttar Pradesh. Known for his wit and clever repartees, Akbar is said to have been very fond of him. Birbal was also a poet. Stories of Akbar and Birbal are famous in India as stories of wit and moral values. Birbal adopted Din-i Ilahi, the religion founded by Akbar. Birbal died in an ambush by a rebel tribe in 1586 having served Akbar for about 30 years.

Mian Tansen

Tansen was the chief musician of Akbar’s court and is considered one of the greatest singers whose contribution to Hindustani classical music is immense. He is also called “Sangeet Samrat”. He joined the court of Akbar at the age of 60. He is said to have composed several new ragas and also improvised many musical instruments. Even today, many Gharanas of north Indian classical music trace their lineage to him.

Abul Fazl

Abul Fazl was the grand vizier of Akbar and is most known for his work Akbarnama, the biography of Emperor Akbar. He also translated the Bible into Persian. He was a scholar who was well-versed in Persian, Arabic, Sufism and Greek philosophy. He was assassinated in 1602.


Faizi was the court poet of Emperor Akbar. He was Abul Fazl’s elder brother. Faizi was appointed by the emperor as a tutor to his sons. He became one of the confidants and great favourites of Akbar and occasionally accompanied him on his expeditions and visited Bengal, Punjab and Kashmir.

Raja Todar Mal

Todar Mal was the finance minister of Akbar. He was also the Vakil-us-Sultanat of the empire. Born into a Hindu family in Uttar Pradesh, Todal Mal first worked for Sher Shah Suri and then for the Mughals. As finance minister, he introduced a new revenue system called Zabt and a new tax called dahsala. Todal Mal’s revenue collection approach was a model for future Mughal rulers as well for the British.

Raja Man Singh

He was a Rajput prince who became the Maharana of Amber (1589 – 1614) and also the Subahdar of Bengal for three terms. He served in Akbar’s imperial army and fought many important battles. He is well-known for reestablishing the Jagannath Temple at Puri.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana

He was a composer of Hindustani couplets and also wrote books on astrology. Rahim was the son of Akbar’s mentor Bairam Khan. Apart from being a poet, he was also a general in Akbar’s army. He translated Babur’s autobiography Baburnama into Persian. (It was written in Chagatai Turkic). He also wrote books on astrology in Sanskrit, a language he was well-versed in.

Fakir Aziao-Din

Fakir Aziao-Din was the religious minister at Akbar’s court. He advised the emperor on topics connected to religion.

Mullah Do Piyaza

Mullah Do Piaza was Akbar’s vizier and advisor. In folk tales, he is often portrayed as Birbal’s rival.



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