Mughal Empire – Rulers, Fall of Empire and Complete Details

Mughal Empire – Rulers, Fall of Empire and Complete Details

The Mughal Empire traces its roots back to its founder, Babur, who ruled from 1526 to 1530. For a deeper understanding of the Mughal Empire, please refer to the article below.

Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire: The Mughal Dynasty is an iconic chapter in India’s history, celebrated for its magnificence, cultural amalgamation, and profound influence on the Indian subcontinent. The Mughal dynasty was founded by Babur (who reigned from 1526–30). He was a Chagatai Turkic prince and was descended from the Turkic conqueror Timur (Tamerlane) on his father’s side and Genghis Khan, on his mother’s side. Now, let’s delve into a comprehensive exploration of the Mughal Empire below.

Mughal Empire: Key Details

The key details of the Mughal Dynasty are tabulated below.

Name Mughal Dynasty Or Mughal Empire
Period 1526- 1857 AD.
Language Persian (Official Language), Zaban e Urdu e Mua’lla (the language of the ruling classes, later given official status), Arabic (for religious ceremonies), Chagatai Turkic
Religion Sunni Islam (Hanafi) (1526–1857), Din-i Ilahi (1582–1605)
  • Agra (1526–1540; 1555–1571; 1598–1648)
  • Fatehpur Sikri (1571–1585)
  • Lahore (May 1586 – 1598)
  • Shahjahanabad, Delhi (1648–1857)

Rulers of the Mughal Dynasty

Check out the table below to learn about the succession of rulers in the Mughal dynasty, spanning from Babur’s reign in the 16th century to Bahadur Shah II’s rule in the mid-1800s.

Emperor Reign
Babur 1526–1530
Humayun 1530–1540
Suri Dynasty 1540-1555
Humayun 1555–1556
Akbar 1556–1605
Jahangir 1605–1627
Shah Jahan 1627–1658
Aurangzeb 1658–1707
Bahadur Shah I (also known as Muazzam/Shah Alam) 1707–1712
Jahandar Shah 1712–1713
Furrukhsiyar 1713–1719
Rafi UL-Darjat 1719
Rafi Ud-Daulat 1719
Nikusiyar 1719
Muhammad Ibrahim 1720
Muhammad Shah (also called Rangeela) 1719–1720; 1720–1748
Ahmad Shah Bahadur 1748–54
Alamgir II 1754–1759
Shah Jahan III 1759
Shah Alam II 1759–1806
Akbar Shah II 1806–1837
Bahadur ShahII 1837–1857

Babur (1526–1530)
  • Babur was born in 1483 in Fargana(Afganistan).
  • He was the founder of the Mughal Empire, who introduced gunpowder in India.
  • Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat (AD 1526)
  • Defeated Rana Sanga (Sangram Singh) at the Battle of Khanwa (AD 1527)
  • Defeated Medini Rai of Chanderi at the Battle of Chanderi (AD 1528)
  • Defeated Mahmud Lodi at the Battle of Ghagra (AD 1529). This was the last Battle fought by Babur.
  • He wrote Tuzuk-i-Baburi (Autobiography of Babur) in the Turkish language.
  • Babur declared Jehad and adopted the title, Ghazi(After the Khanva War)
  • According to  Tuzuk-i-Baburi, Babur Died in 1530 in Lahore and was buried at Aram Bagh (Agra). Later his body was taken to Afghanistan (Kabul).
Humayun (AD 1530-1556)
  • Humayun was born on March 6, 1508, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
  • Humayun was the eldest son of Babur. He ascended to the throne of the Mughal Empire in 1530 after the death of his father.
  • Built Dinpanah in Delhi as his second capital.
  • Sher Shah Suri gradually gained power. He fought two battles with Humayun – The battle of Chausa (AD 1539) and another Battle of Kannauj (AD 1540) culminating in Humayun’s defeat.
  • Humayun spent 15 years in exile. He again invaded India in 1555 with the help of his officer Bairam Khan.
  • Humayun died in AD 1556 due to a fall from his library building’s stairs.
  • Gulbadan Begum, Humayun’s half-sister wrote Humayun-Nama.

Akbar (AD 1556-1605)
  • Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar popularly known as Akbar succeeded Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India.
  • Considered to be one of the greatest rulers of all time.
  • Defeated Hemu at the Second Battle of Panipat (AD 1556) with the help of Bairam Khan
  • Conquered Malwa (AD 1561) defeating Baz Bahadur followed by Garh-Katanga (ruled by Rani Durgawati), Chittor (AD 1568), Ranthambhor, and Kalinjar (AD 1569), Gujarat (AD 1572), Mewar (Battle of Haldighati, AD 1576 Akbar and Rana Pratap), Kashmir (AD 1586), Sindh (AD 1593) and Asirgarh (AD 1603).
  • Buland Darwaza was constructed at Fatehpur Sikri after its victory over Gujarat in AD 1572.
  • Akbar married Harka Bai (also known as Jodha Bai), the daughter of Rajput ruler Bharmal.
  • Akbar abolished Jaziyah (AD 1564).
  • He believed in Sulh-i-Kul (peace to all), built Ibadat Khana (Hall of prayer) at Fatehpur Sikri; issued ‘Degree of Infallibility (AD 1579); formulated religious order Din-i-Ilahi (AD 1582). Birbal was the first to embrace it.
  • The land revenue system was called the Todar Mal Bandobast or Zabti System measurement of land, classification of land, and fixation of rent; and introduced the Mansabdari System (holder of rank) to organize nobility and army.
  • The Navratnas included Todar Mal, Abul Fazal, Faizi, Birbal, Tansen, Abdur Rahim Khana-i-Khana, Mullah-do-Pyaza, Raja Man Singh and Fakir Aziao-Din.
  • Akbar died on 27 October 1605 due to dysentery. His body was buried at his mausoleum in Sikandra, Agra.
Jahangir (AD 1605-1627)
  • During Jahangir’s rule, the British East India Company was granted trading rights in India.
  • Executed the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjun Dev.
  • His greatest failure was the loss of Kandahar to Persia in AD 1622.
  • Jahangir married Mehr-un-Nisa in AD 1611 and conferred the title of Nurjahan on her.
  • He established Zanjir-i-Adal at Agra Fort for the seekers of royal justice.
  • Captain Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe visited his court.
  • In the later years of his rule, Jahangir’s health declined, and his son Khurram (Shah Jahan) effectively took over the administration.
  • Jahangir passed away on October 28, 1627, in Rajauri, while on his way to Kashmir.
Shahjahan (AD 1628-1658)
  • Shahjahan had an insatiable passion for building
  • Under his rule, the Taj Mahal of Agra and the Jama Masjid of Delhi, among other monuments, were erected.
  • His reign marked the cultural zenith of Mughal rule.
  • His military expeditions brought the empire to the brink of bankruptcy.
  • His sons commanded large armies on different fronts.
  • During his reign, the Marwari horse was introduced.
  • The Taj Mahal, the eternal love monument is located in Agra. Shah Jahan commissioned its construction as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Arjumancl Bano Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal, in 1631.
  • A rebellion of the Sikhs led by Guru Hargobind took place. Shah Jahan ordered the destruction of the Sikh temple in Lahore.
Aurangzeb (Alamgir) (AD 1658-1707)
  • Aurangzeb was the son of Mumtaz and Shahjahan.
  • Aurangzeb became victorious after the brutal war of succession between his brothers Dara, Shuja, and Murad.
  • Rebellions during his rule – Jat Peasantry at Mathura, Satnami peasantry in Punjab, and Bundelas in Bundelkhand.
  • The annexation of Marwar in AD 1658 led to a serious rift between the Rajput and Mughals after the death of Raja Jaswant Singh.
  • The ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by him in AD 1675.
  • Mughal conquests reached a territorial climax during his reign.
  • It stretched from Kashmir in the North to Jinji in the South, from the Hindukush in the West to Chittagong in the East.
  • He was called Darvesh or Zinda Pir. He forbade Sati. Conquered Bijapur (AD 1686) and Golconda (AD 1687) and reimposed Jaziya in AD 1679.
  • He built Biwi ka Makbara on the tomb of his queen Rabaud-Durrani at Aurangabad; Moti Masjid within Red Fort, Delhi; and the Jami or Badshahi Mosque at Lahore.

Other Mughal Rulers

Bahadur Shah I (1707-12) 
  • The original name was Muazzam
  • Title, Shah-e-Bekhabar.
  • Promote a friendly relationship with Marathas and Rajputs
Jahandar Shah (1712-13) 
  • He ascended the throne with the help of Zulfikar Khan (Wazir).
  • Abolished Jijiya.
  • A Prostitute “LAL KUAR” dominated his court
Farrukhsiyar (1713-19) 
  • He lacked the ability and knowledge to rule independently.
  • His reign saw the emergence of the Sayyid Brothers (known as kingmakers).
  • Abdulla Khan-Wazir
  • Hussain Ali-Senapati
  • 1717-Issued Golden Farman to East India Company for free trade
  • Farrukhsiyar executed Banda Bahadur ( A Sikh leader)
Muhammad Shah (1719-48) 
  • Became the emperor with the help of the Saiyad Brothers
  • Nadir Shah invaded India and took away the Peacock throne and Kohinoor diamond.
  • Title- Rangeela
  • The emergence of the independent state in his period
Ahmed Shah (1748-54) 
  • Ahmed Shah Abdali (General of Nadir Shah) marched towards Delhi and the Mughals ceded Punjab and Multan.
  • He worked under the guidance of Rajmata  “Udam Bai”
Alamgir (1754-59) 
  • Ahmed Shah occupied Delhi Later, Delhi was plundered by Marathas.
Shah Alam II (1759-1806) 

  • Original NAME: Aligohar
  • Panipat War: (1761)
  • Buxar War (1764)
  • Treaty of Allahabad (1765)
  • Could not enter Delhi for 12 years.
  • 1788: Gulam Kadir make him blind
Akbar II (1806-37)
  • Pensioner of East India Company.
  • Gave the title “Raja” to Ram Mohan Roy
Bahadur Shah II (1837-57) 
  • Nickname: Jafar
  • The last Mughal Emperor was made premier during the 1857 Revolt.
  • 1862-death in Rangoon (Myanmar)
Fall of the Mughal Empire
Historians have offered numerous explanations for the rapid collapse of the Mughal Empire. Emperors lost authority and control of the empire, as the widely scattered imperial officers lost confidence in the central authorities, and made their deals with local men of influence. The successors were weak and incompetent. Another reason is the multiple wars that were fought in quick succession. Due to this Marathas and other regional powers started to grow and made it difficult for the Mughals to control their empire. The decline of the Mughal Empire led to a decline in agricultural productivity, which drove up food prices.