MUGHAL INDIA

The Mughal Empire, founded in 1526, was the most powerful Islamic state to rule in India. It was at its most prosperous during the 17th century, when fine buildings such as the TAJ MAHAL were constructed.

Table 49. THE MUGHAL EMPIRE

1526 Babur founds Mughal Empire
1556 Akbar the Great begins reign
1605 Jahangir becomes emperor
1628 Shah Jahan comes to power
1659 Aurangzeb seizes the throne
1675 Sikhs rise against Mughal rule
1707 Start of Mughal decline
1857 Last emperor

WHO WERE THE MUGHALS?

Mughal means “Mongol.” Babur, the Asian invader who founded the empire, was descended from Mongol warlords. Under the Mughal emperors, roads were built, trade prospered, and the arts flourished.

WHERE WAS THE MUGHAL EMPIRE?

The Mughals governed northern India, and at times their rule extended from Afghanistan in the west to Bengal in the east. The emperor Aurangzeb moved the capital from Agra to Delhi and pushed the empire’s borders far to the south.

WHO CHALLENGED MUGHAL RULE?

The Mughals had to fight against Afghans and many regional Hindu rulers. The early Muslim emperors allowed all kinds of religious worship, but Aurangzeb offended Hindus and caused the Sikhs to rebel. He also clashed fiercely with the west coast kingdom of the Marathas and its ruler, Sivaji. However, it was the growing political power of British traders in India that brought about the final decline and collapse of the Mughal Empire in the 18th century.

TAJ MAHAL

The most famous monument of Mughal architecture is the Taj Mahal. It was built in the 17th century by Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife, Mumtaz-i Mahal, who died in childbirth.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE TO BUILD THE TAJ MAHAL?

The Taj Mahal was begun in 1632 and completed 22 years later. About 20,000 people were employed, including Asia’s finest craftsmen. Famous for its perfect symmetry, it is exactly as wide as it is high, and the dome is the same height as its façade.

TAJ MAHAL

The domes, minarets, and arches of the Taj Mahal are reflected in still water. The walls of white marble are inlaid with over 43 varieties of precious stones.

FIND OUT MORE

Gupta India
Mauryan India

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

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