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The Mughal Dynasty                   [1526 AD - 1556 AD]

The Mughal period can be called a second classical age in northern India. In this cultural development, the Indian traditions were amalgamated with the Turko-Iranian culture, brought to the country by the Mughals. The Mughal rulers of India kept up the closest of contacts with Iran and there was a stream of scholars and artists coming over the frontiers to seek fame and fortune at the brilliant court of the Great Mughal, Babar.

Babar (1526 AD - 1530 AD)

Babar founder of the Mughal dynasty, was the king of Kabul. He was invited to India to fight against Ibrahim Lodhi. He was the first king to bring artillery to India and succeeded because of :
The cavalry that he had brought from central Asia, which was new to the Indian army,
He arranged soldiers in such a way that they could be easily moved from one part to the other
He was a good general.

Before his death, he had made himself the master of the Punjab, Delhi and the Ganga plains as far as Bihar. He wrote Tuzuk-i-Babari an autobiography, containing a lively description of India, in Turkish

Humayun (1530 AD - 1556 AD)

He inherited a vast unconsolidated empire and an empty treasury. He also had to deal with the growing power of the Afghan Sher Shah, from the east, who had Bihar and Bengal under him. Sher Shah defeated Humayun in Kannauj (1540 AD) and Humayun passed the next twelve years in exile. In 1555, after Sher Shah's death, Humayun regained the throne from his weak successor.

Akbar, his son, succeed him in 1556 AD, and consolidated the empire. He was such a good builder that the edifice he had erected lasted for another hundred years inspite of inadequate successors.

There was great encouragement of Indian culture, occasionally with variations and additions to it. Indian music was adopted as a whole and with enthusiasm by the Muslim Courts and the nobility. Some of its greatest masters have been Muslims. Literature and poetry were also encouraged and among the noted poets in Hindi some were Muslims. Ibrahim Adil Shah, the ruler of Bijapur, wrote a treatise in Hindi on Indian music.

There were many contacts with India during this period and the Arabs learnt much of Indian mathematics, astronomy and medicine. And yet, it would appear, that the initiative for all these contacts came chiefly from the Arabs and though the Arabs learnt much from India, the Indians did not learn much from the Arabs. Delhi flourished as an imperial capital for the Mughals and spread southwards.

It is wrong and misleading to talk of a Muslim invasion of India or of the Muslim period in India, just as it would be wrong to refer to the coming of the British to India as a Christian invasion, or to call the British period in India as a Christian period. Through choice or circumstances or both, the Afghan rulers and those who had come with them, merged into India. Their dynasties became completely Indianised with their roots in India, looking upon India as their homeland, and the rest of the world as foreign.