The Mughals - history, features and interesting facts.
The Ganges valley is often called the “cradle of civilization”, since here humanity created its own states long before the ancient Hellas appeared on the world map. Therefore, it is not surprising that, until now, historians have studied with great interest the heritage left on the territory of modern India by the peoples who once lived here.
One of the most striking pages of this story is the era of the Great Moguls, who created a truly unique empire that united peoples and reconciled people with different religions. Nothing of the kind existed in India before, which arouses even greater interest in the fragments of this state, the descendants left in the inheritance. Surprisingly, historians say that the Mughal dynasty, who ruled over the Indian subcontinent for more than three centuries, was formed absolutely by accident. And under a certain set of circumstances, the development of events would have followed a different spiral.However, history does not have a subjunctive mood, so the State of the Great Moguls went down in history as a powerful empire, about which even today scientists speak with great admiration.
A few words about the Mongol Empire
The Mughal Empire was formed approximately in the first quarter of the sixteenth century and existed until the eighteenth century. The state was a legacy of the Timurids and was formed on the fragments of the Delhi Sultanate. Surprisingly, throughout its existence, the empire had very blurred boundaries. At the same time, they were constantly changing, so today scientists can quite roughly name the territories occupied by the Great Moguls.
Historians claim that the empire stretched to the lands of such modern states as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and partially Afghanistan. This alone gives an idea of how vast was the empire created by the fugitive heir of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. This boy is considered the founder of the Great Mogul, therefore, by his name the entire ruling dynasty is often called baburids.
I would like to note that the Mughals themselves never called themselves that word.It was first used by the British, who considered the Mughals of all Muslims living in India. The name quickly became fixed, and the people of Babur entered history as the Great Mughals.
But to be historically accurate, the state was founded by different tribes of Central Asia. The representatives of the Turkic, Mongolian and other ethnic groups headed by Babur entered the territory of modern India and managed to stay there for several centuries.
Separately, I would like to mention one feature of the ruling dynasty of the Great Moguls. Its representatives were fluent in two languages. They freely expressed themselves in the Turkic and Persian languages, which indicates a reverent attitude to their roots.
Titles of the ruling dynasty
It is known that the Mughal Empire possessed incalculable wealth. Its rulers built the extraordinary beauty of the building, and the interior of the palaces had no equal in luxury in the world. It is quite natural that there were several titles for representatives of the ruling dynasty. All of them created a kind of ornate image, giving the ruler stateliness and symbolizing his special status.
The first and most significant title, adopted by Babur, sounds like the Mughal Padish (in scanwords, this topic is asked questions). This is what the Europeans say about the rulers of the empire, but the original title sounds a little different - Padshah-i-Ghazi. If you make a translation, then we can say that the representatives of the ruling dynasty called themselves as follows - the sovereign, the sovereign of kings and the warrior of Islam. However, this is not the full title of the Mughal.
To the already well-known Padshah-i-Gazi, an ornate set of words “Shahanshah-i-Sultanate-ul-Hindiya-va-l-Mughalia” was added. In the West, there were several options for its translation. But most often this title sounded like “the king of kings of Mongolian India”.
In addition to the titles already listed, each ruler added his own ones, which characterize him from the best side. The most famous among them are the following:
- al-Sultan al-Azam - the great sultan;
- al-Hakan al-Mukarram - revered kagan;
- Amir al-Muminin - the sovereign of the faithful;
- Zillullah is the shadow of Allah;
- Abul-Fatah - father of victories;
- Jalal ad-Din - the greatness of faith;
- Abul Muzaffar - victorious;
- Malik-ul-Sultanate - King of Kings.
This is not a complete list of titles of the rulers of the empire. The Mughal Padishah (scanwords often confused by such questions as even recognized scholars of history) carried several titles at the same time. Sometimes they occupied two or even three lines in a document.
Medieval India: a period of strife and strife
In the Middle Ages, India did not have a strong state on its territory, uniting most of the territory. Under the rule of one or another ruler, people gathered, forming small, numerous states. However, their enmity did not allow to create a powerful empire. The Rajahs and Maharajas, the governors of their states, sought to seize new territories and were not ready for dialogue.
In the fifth century, foreign invaders began to invade the territory of modern India. Despite the weakness of the majority of rulers, foreigners did not manage to gain a foothold in the Indian lands. Although these attempts continued throughout the century.
In the sixth and seventh centuries, attempts were made to unite several nations under the rule of one ruler. However, such states existed only until the death of their creator,then they fell apart as a result of the struggle of the heirs for power.
In the eleventh century, Muslims took advantage of the strife. They were able to penetrate the territory of India and seize a large amount of land. Two centuries later, most of the peninsula was captured by Muslim troops. Thus the Delhi Sultanate was formed with the capital in the city of Delhi.
The new state has almost completely destroyed all the cultural monuments of Indian civilization. Temples and shrines were destroyed, and in their place were built mosques and other religious buildings.
The power of the Muslims was so strong that their army was able to offer decent resistance to the Mongols in the thirteenth century. However, after a century the foundations of the state could shake Tamerlane, this led to the weakening of the sultanate. He lost part of his territories and by the first quarter of the sixteenth century became the basis for the emergence of a new strong empire created by the Great Moguls in India.
Babur: the founder of the dynasty
This historical figure is rightfully considered the father of all the Great Moguls. He is credited with creating an empire.However, in reality, he only created all the prerequisites for the future in the whole world to start talking about the greatness of the Mughals. But this fact does not in any way implore Babur's contribution to changing the history of his people, although it is still surprising how the boy could do this, who was left all alone and forced to flee from his native country.
Where did the Great Moguls come from? Scientists say that Babur was a native of modern Uzbekistan. His mother and father belonged to renowned clans, and the young timurid fully inherited the aggression, ambition and militancy of his great ancestors. At about twelve years old, he was left without parents, but the young man managed to create an army in two years and was already called "the lord of Samarkand".
This victory turned his head, despite the fact that Babur managed to stay only for four months. Soon he was driven out of there and forced to flee to the lands of Afghanistan in disgrace. There, the young man again showed his inflexible character and conquered Kabul. However, thoughts about Samarkand did not leave him. A few more times he made attempts to return home, but they all did not bring him success.Moreover, Babur’s perseverance forced the ruler of Samarkand to pursue him.
As a result, the young man moved towards India, where he set out to create his own empire, from the power that would have shuddered the world.
The birth of a new state
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Babur, along with the army, approached the borders of Central Asia. His army was not large - it numbered only twenty thousand people. However, the young man was clever and managed to equip his army with equipment that gave him an undeniable advantage in battle. Babur had his own artillery, and protected her carts, fastened together by powerful chains. Thanks to the tactics of a talented young man managed to defeat a more numerous army of the Delhi Sultanate. After several years of fighting, Babur entered Delhi, which was the last page in the history of the sultanate.
But then, on the shards of the old state, the Mughal Empire was born. Its creation lasted for several more decades, and by the time of his death Babur had left his sons quite significant lands stretching as far as the Amu Darya.
Historians believe that the first Great Mogul can not be considered a full-fledged founder of the empire.He, who laid its foundations, did not manage to create the state he dreamed of. Unfortunately, his successor failed.
In the history of the empire there were more than fifteen rulers. Many of them went down in history as brilliant leaders and military strategists, however, there were also those who, by right of blood, and not by deeds, bore the title of Great Mogul. These include some historians and the son of Babur - Humayun.
He came to power immediately after the death of his father and ruled the country for about twenty-six years. However, he failed to strengthen the state, although Humayun had considerable experience in land management. Indeed, during the reign of his father, he was already appointed governor of the Great Moguls in the provinces.
Distinguished by his good disposition and mercy, he gave some of his powers to his brothers, thereby deciding the fate of his empire. The fact is that seeing the weakness of power, the Afghan rulers sowed discord among the provinces and actively intervened in the political affairs of the state.
In the end, this led to military conflicts that continued throughout the life of Humayun. He then managed to win, then again defeated.However, with all his desire to retain power, he failed. The Afghan invaders invaded India and pushed Humayun back. For fifteen years the empire was ruled by Surida.
Great Akbar - the true founder of the Mongol Empire
Babur's grandson was born in the period of constant military campaigns. The boy's childhood was spent traveling, which left a serious imprint on his character and upbringing. Akbar showed a great inclination towards military affairs. He skillfully managed with a tool and showed himself an excellent strategist. By the age of twelve, the boy was already a skilled warrior and became a full participant in the campaign against India.
He proved to be very successful for the Great Moguls, and the power again returned to their hands. However, Humayun did not enjoy his triumph for a long time - after about two years he fell from a steep staircase and died as a result of a severe injury to the skull. The throne was ascended by a fourteen-year-old Akbar, who later became a great ruler.
The son of Humayun ruled almost half a century and created a great empire where all nations peacefully coexisted and the provinces flourished. Historians believe that the most important goal of Akbara was to unite lands and achieve peace in the annexed territories.A major achievement of his policy is the cessation of the existence of Muslim states. All of them gradually became part of the empire. Akbar tried to act with persuasion, but in case of need he also used force. He also dealt with Indian rajas, who soon became loyal vassals of the Great Mogul.
Akbar paid much attention to culture. He had great respect for alien traditions and religions. This was especially true of the cultural heritage of the Indians. Their sacred texts, the ruler ordered to translate into Persian. Despite the differences between religious beliefs in the country, the ruler was able to maintain peace between confessions. He did not forbid them to perform their rites except those that were accompanied by cruelty and human sacrifice.
In order to completely eliminate religious conflicts in the empire, Akbar spent a lot of time creating a new religion based on five beliefs. During the life of the Great Mogul, it was almost completely formed and introduced at the official level.
Board of sons and grandsons of Akbar
In the seventeenth century, power in the empire passed to Selim.He was the eldest son of Akbar and his rightful heir. In the last years of his father’s rule, the young man rushed to power, displaying his belligerent character. All twenty-two years spent under his rule, the empire waged constant wars. Most of the trips were successful, and he managed to expand the borders of the state.
After the death of Selim for more than thirty years, the successor to the empire was his successor Jahan. His rise to power was marked by a massacre. By order of a young man, all his brothers and many relatives were killed in cold blood. Despite this, he went down in history as a brilliant ruler.
Jahan ruled the empire with a firm hand and was known as a fair check. He devoted a lot of time to the development of the state and its culture. During his campaign not only military campaigns were carried out, but also structures of amazing beauty were erected everywhere. The most famous of these is the Taj Mahal, built in honor of his beloved wife.
European travelers enthusiastically described the magnificent receptions, which were arranged by Jahan. The empire received fabulous incomes, and the ruler could afford almost any jewelry.Historians consider this period the height of the power of the empire, after which its natural decline began.
In the fifty-eighth year of the seventeenth century, Jahan’s son rebelled against his father and imprisoned him. Aurangzeb was the third son and could not officially claim the throne, but it was he who became the ruler of the empire. For nearly thirty years, he tried to lead her to prosperity, but he failed to adequately manage the legacy of her ancestors.
Aurangzeb could not coexist peacefully with the Hindus, who tried to declare their independence and leave the empire. Despite attempts to suppress the rebellion, he continued to grow and spread. As a result, he was headed by one of the sons of the Shah.
Towards the end of Aurangzeb’s reign, the empire’s position was shaken. Its decomposition was obvious, and the final fall was a matter of time.
Up until the twenties of the eighteenth century, the empire was leaps and bounds moving toward its decay. None of the rulers had the strength and support of his subjects to keep power in their hands for a long time. All ascended to the throne thanks to the commanders and, if necessary, they were overthrown overnight. All of them were just puppets in capable hands.But due to its wealth, the empire still retained a semblance of well-being.
The fall of the Mongol Empire
The main residence of the Great Moguls was the city of Delhi, which was once the center of the Delhi Sultanate. Until the beginning of the eighteenth century, the shahs still managed to govern the state from here. But gradually the provinces began to declare their independence and it became increasingly difficult to resolve issues from Delhi.
By the fortieth year of the eighteenth century, the empire had lost some of its territories due to separatist sentiments. Seeing the weakening of the state, Persians and Afghans began to raid its borders. Their armies devastated vast territories, whose population became slaves.
Gradually, the British began to interfere in the imperial affairs. Fighting with them was not a victory for the shahs. In the end, they had to agree to cooperation and to let the British into their lands. All this happened against the backdrop of the struggle between Muslim and Hindu communities. The former power of the empire was rapidly melting.
In the fifty-eighth year of the nineteenth century, British troops entered Delhi on the pretext of suppressing an uprising against their presence in India. This was the last day of the Mughal capital and their empire.
A few words about the capital
Telling the history of the empire, it is impossible not to mention the residence of the Great Moguls. Delhi has always been considered the official capital, but the shahs themselves used different cities for this purpose.
Most often the court moved to Agra and Lahore. These cities were considered major in the empire and were often rebuilt at the request of the Shah, who transferred his residence here. Often the rulers of the empire lived for a long time in Kabul.
Interestingly, the empire, which had no clear boundaries, could not decide on the capital either. This fact is considered quite symbolic.
Instead of conclusion
The Mughal Empire in India had a significant impact on the development of all the peoples of the peninsula. Hindus until now reject this fact and argue that their land itself has changed all foreign invaders. And yet, the main historical monuments are the heritage of the Great Moguls.