. Akbar(born Oct. 15, 1542, Umarkot, Sindh [India] died 1605, Agra), greatest of the Mughal emperors of India, who reigned from 1556 to 1605 and who extended Mughal power over most of the Indian subcontinent. In order to preserve the unity of his empire, Akbar adopted programs that won the loyalty of the non Muslim populations of his realm. He reformed and strengthened his central administration and also centralized his financial system and reorgan
Akbars Early Life
. Akbar was born to the second Mughal Emperor Humayan and his teenaged bride Hamida Banu Begum on October 14, 1542 in Sindh, now in Pakistan. Although his ancestors included both Genghis Khan and Timur (Tamerlane), the family was on the run after losing Baburs newly established empire. Humayan would not regain northern India until 1555.With his parents in exile in Persia, little Akbar was raised by an uncle in Afghanistan, with help from a series o
Akbar Takes Power
. In 1555, Humayan died just months after retaking Delhi. Akbar ascended the Mughal throne at the age of 13, and became Shahanshah (King of Kings). His regent was Bayram Khan, his childhood guardian and an outstanding warrior statesman.The young emperor almost immediately lost Delhi once more to the Hindu leader Hemu. However, in November of 1556, Generals Bayram Khan and Khan Zaman I defeated Hemus much larger army at the Second Battle of Panipat.
Intrigue and Further Expansion
. Although he was out from under Bayram Khans control, Akbar still faced challenges to his authority from within the palace. The son of his nursemaid, a man called Adham Khan, killed another adviser in the palace after the victim discovered that Adham was embezzling tax funds. Enraged both by the murder and by the betrayal of his trust, Akbar had Adham Khan thrown from the parapets of the castle. From that point forward, Akbar was in control of his
Akbars Governing Style
. In order to control his vast empire, Akbar instituted a highly efficient bureaucracy. He appointed mansabars, or military governors, over the various regions; these governors answered directly to him. As a result, he was able to fuse the individual fiefdoms of India into a unified empire that would survive until 1868.Akbar was personally courageous, willing to lead the charge in battle. He enjoyed taming wild cheetahs and elephants, as well. This
Matters of Faith and Marriage
. From an early age, Akbar was raised in a tolerant milieu. Although his family was Sunni, two of his childhood tutors were Persian Shias. As an emperor, Akbar made the Sufi concept of Sulh e Kuhl, or peace to all, a founding principle of his law.Akbar displayed remarkable respect for his Hindu subjects and their faith. His first marriage in 1562 was to Jodha Bai or Harkha Bai, who was a Rajput princess from Amber. As with the families of his later
. As Akbar solidified his rule over northern India, and began to extend his power south and west to the coast, he became aware of the new Portuguese presence there. Although the initial Portuguese approach to India had been all guns blazing, they soon realized that they were no match militarily for the Mughal Empire on land. The two powers made treaties, under which the Portuguese were allowed to maintain their coastal forts, in exchange for which
. The first battle fought by Akbar was against Sikandar Shah Suri of Punjab. However, when Akbar was busy leading assault against Sikandar Shah, Hemu, a Hindu warrior, launched an attack on Delhi, which was then under the regency of Tardi Beg Khan. Tardi fled from the city and Hemu claimed the capital. On the advice of his general, Bairam, Akbar launched an attack on Delhi and reclaimed the city. On 5th November 1556, Akbar the Great fought the Sec
. Akbar first attacked Malwa, a state of strategic and economic importance commanding the route through the Vindhya Range to the Deccan plateau and containing rich agricultural land; it fell to him in 1561.Toward the zealously independent Hindu Rajputs (warrior ruling class) inhabiting rugged, hilly Rajasthan, Akbar adopted a policy of conciliation and conquest. Successive Muslim rulers had found the Rajputs dangerous, however weakened by disunity.
. Previous Indian governments had been weakened by the disintegrating tendencies characteristic of pre modern states the tendency of armies to split up into the private forces of individual commanders and the tendency of provincial governors to become hereditary local rulers. Akbar combatted these trends by instituting comprehensive reforms that involved two fundamental changes. First, every officer was, at least in principle, appointed and promote
Personality and assessment
. Akbar maintained a luxurious and brilliant court at which elaborate ceremonies emphasized his distance from other men, though he was careful to cultivate public opinion outside court circles. Every morning at dawn he stood at an open window to be seen and reverenced by the people. Foreign observers commented on the graceful manner in which he accepted little gifts from the people and showed himself ready to hear the complaint of any man who dared
. Akbar was accorded the epithet the Great due to his many accomplishments,among which was his record of unbeaten military campaigns that both established and consolidated Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent. The basis of this military prowess and authority was Akbars skillful structural and organisational calibration of the Mughal army.The Mansabdari system in particular has been acclaimed for its role in upholding Mughal power in the time of A
. Akbar was a follower of Salim Chishti, a holy man who lived in the region of Sikri near Agra. Believing the area to be a lucky one for himself, he had a mosque constructed there for the use of the priest. Subsequently, he celebrated the victories over Chittor and Ranthambore by laying the foundation of a new walled capital, 23 miles (37 km) west of Agra in 1569, which was named Fatehpur (town of victory) after the conquest of Gujarat in 1573 and
Din i Ilahi
. Akbar was deeply interested in religious and philosophical matters. An orthodox Muslim at the outset, he later came to be influenced by Sufi mysticism that was being preached in the country at that time, and moved away from orthodoxy, appointing to his court several talented people with liberal ideas, including Abul Fazl, Faizi and Birbal. In 1575, he built a hall called the Ibadat Khana (House of Worship) at Fatehpur Sikri, to which he invited t
Akbar the Polemic
. It is widely known that unlike his processors and successors, Akbar was tolerant towards all religions. It is less known that in 1563, Akbar was the king who repealed the law to collect tax from Hindu pilgrims if they visited their holy places. He had a liberal attitude towards all religions. This liberal attitude also helped him a lot in the expansion of his territory. Later, he went on lay the foundation of a new religion Din e Illahi. Althoug
Akbar the Expansionist
. After Akbar had established the Mughal Empire in the northern India, he commenced the expansion of his territorial boundary to the southern part of India. As a result, such was the might of his empire that it stretched from Sindh in the western part of India to Bengal in the eastern part of India and from present day Afghanistan to the Godavari basin in south. His tolerant and liberal attitude towards other faiths also helped him a great deal in
Akbar the Architect
. Akbar, apart from being an able administrator and founder of a religion, was also fond of great architectural structures. During his reign, he built many great architectural masterpieces and this also became a legacy for the Mughal rulers. It is evident from the fact that his successors Jahangir and Shah Jahan went on to build many architectural masterpieces. On his watch, Akbar made many historical monuments like Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri, Bulan
Akbars trustable the Navratanas
. Akbar was a great patron of art and culture. Hence, his court was home to many extraordinary talents from the field of arts and culture. Among his trustable, he had a special category of men called as the Navratanas or the nine gems. Each of these nine gems was genius in his own right. The most notable among them was Birbal, whose is well known for his wit. Another was Tansen, who was a singer. It is said that he could bring the clouds to rain wi
Akbar the Intellectual
. Having spent most of his childhood in exile and also being dyslexic, Akbar could read and write but he had a flair for learning and art. He always used to remain in the company of intellectuals and religious leaders. It was because of this only that his court was graced by the presence of the most extraordinary talented individuals of all the times. To keep himself ahead of times, he continuously involved himself in the process of knowledge acqui
Akbar the Warrior
. To accomplish his expansionist ideas, Akbar didnt only have a liberal attitude that could win the heart of people but he also had all the attributes of a warrior. In the second battle of Panipat, Hemu suffered a huge defeat at the hands of Akbar. He was also victorious in the Battle of Talikota fought in 1576. Akbar also defeated Rana Pratap of Chittod in a battle. Since his childhood, Akbar grew to be fearless.
Akbar the Hunter
. Another attribute of the persona of Akbar was his fearlessness due to which he became a hunter. His courage made hunting a passion for him and his derived great pleasure from hunting. Initially, he was accompanied by his trustable when he went for hunting but later he started going alone for hunting. He also liked to keep wild animals as pets. He relished hunting lions, cheetahs, black bucks, tigers and also elephants sometimes.
Akbar the Administrator
. Akbars administrative acumen was well displayed by his Mansabdari System. This was a system of administration introduced by Akbar to divide the whole territory into small regions and appoint Mansabars to control over the small regions. This system is the model for the present day federal system of governance which is practiced in many countries throughout the world. He was an able administrator in the sense that he could not only retain the huge
Akbar the Statesman
. Akbar was more than an able administrator in the sense that he could foresee that the path for future of his kingdom lied in creating a social order that could endure the differences of caste, creed, culture and religion. He served as a peoples king who had mastered the art of governing a nation state well before the concept of nation state came into being. It is because of this rule is known as the Golden period of Mughal Empire.
. Akbars legacy of religious toleration, firm but fair central control and liberal tax policies that gave commoners a chance to prosper established a precedent in India that can be traced forward in the thinking of later figures such as Mohandas Gandhi. His love of art led to the fusion of Indian and Central Asian Persian styles that came to symbolize the height of Mughal achievement, in forms as varied as miniature painting and grandiose architect
. In October of 1605, the 63 year old Emperor Akbar suffered a serious bout of dysentery. After being sick for three weeks, he passed away at the end of that month. The emperor was buried in a beautiful mausoleum in the royal city of Agra.