Mughal Emperors like Babur, Akbar, Jahangir, and Shahjahan have ranked the Mughal Empire into the list of very few great empires of India. Following list is giving an insight into the reign of all 15 Mughal Emperors.
Mughal Emperors (AD 1526-1707)
Babur (AD 1526-1530)
- Founder of Mughal Empire, who introduced gunpowder in India; defeated Ibrahim Lodhi in the First Battle of Panipat (AD 1526); Rana Sanga (Sangram Singh) at Battle of Khanwa (AD 1527) and Medini Rai of Chanderi at Battle of Chanderu (AD 1528) and Mahmud Lodhi at Battle of Ghahra (AD 15629); he wrote Tuzuk-i-Baburi in Turkish language. Babur declared Jehad and adopted the title Ghazi.
- Died in 1530 and was buried at Aram Bagh (Agra). Later his body was taken to Aryan Bagh (Kabul).
Humayun (AD 1530-1556)
- Built Dinpanah at Delhi as his second capital.
- Sher Shah Suri gradually gained power who fought two battles with Humayun, are Battle of Chausa (AD 1539) and another Battle of Kannauj (AD 1540) culminating into Humayun’s defeat. Passed 15 years in exile; again invaded Indian in 1555 with the help of his officer Bairam Khan. 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)
- Coroneted at the young age of 14 by Bairam Khan; 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 Gujarat victory in AD 1572.
- Married to Harkha Bai, daughter of Rajput ruler Bharmal.
- He is known as greatest among Mughal Emperors.
Jahangir (AD 1605-1627)
- Executed the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan Dev.
- Greatest failure was loss of Kandahar to Persia in AD 1622.
- Married Mehr-un-Nisa in AD 1611 and conferred the title of Nurjahan on her; had a chain of justice outside his palace in Agra (called Zanzir-i-Adil).
- Captain Hawkins and Sir Thomas Roe visited his court.
- Famous painters in his court-Abdul Hassan, Ustad Mansur and Bishandas.
Shahjahan (AD 1628-1658)
- Annexed Ahmadnagar while Bijapur and Golconda accepted his over lord-ship. Secured Kandahar (AD 1639),
- Two Frenchmen, Bernier and Tavernier and an Italian adventurer Manucci visited his court;
- Built Moti Masjid and Taj Mahal at Agra, Jama Masjid and Red Fort at Delhi; his reign is considered the Golden Age of the Mughal Empire.
Also Read: SHAHJAHAN (1628-1659)
Aurangzeb Alamgir (AD 1658-1707)
- Aurangzeb became victorious after the brutal war of succession among his brother Dara, Shuja and Murad.
- Rebellions during his rule-Jat Peasantry at Mathura, Satnami peasantry in Punjab and Bundelas in Bundelkhand. Ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur executed in AD 1675.
- He was called ‘Darvesh’ or a ‘Zinda Pir’. He forbade
- He built Moti Masjid within Red Fort, Delhi; and the Jami or Badshahi mosque at Lahore.
Later Mughal Emperors
- Bahadur Saha – I (1707-1712) – Original name was Muazzam; Title-Shah Alam – I
- Jahandar Shah (1712-1713) – He ascended the throne with the help of Zulfikar Khan; abolished Jaziya.
- Farrukhsiyar (1713-1719)
- Muhammas Shah (1719-1748) – Nadir Shah invaded India and took away Peacock throne and Kohinoor diamond.
- Ahmed Shah (1748-1754) – Ahmad Shah Abdali (General of Nadir Shah) marched towards Delhi and the Mughals ceded Punjab and Multan.
- Alamgir (1754-1759) – Ahmad Shah occupied Delhi. Later, Delhi was plundered by Marathas.
- Shah Alam -II (1759-1806) – Could not enter Delhi for 12 years.
- Akbar – II (1806-1837) – Pensioner of East India Company.
- Bahadur Shah – II (1837-1857) – He was last among Mughal Emperors who was made premier during the 1857 Revolt.
Also Read: Administrative Structure under the Mughals