India: The Mughal Empire

Jalal ud-din Muhammad Akbar

Akbar: The Beginning

Jalal Ud-Din Muhammad Akbar, or Akbar the Great as he was more commonly known, was one of the greatest rulers of all time. He was the third Mughal emperor of India, and a very cunning general. He was born on October 15, 1542 and died October 27, 1605. His grandfather Babur was the first Mughal emperor, followed by his father Humayan. The throne had been stolen from Humayan by Sher Shah Suri who was impoverished and in exile when Akbar was born.

Humayan gained power for a few months before he died, leaving Akbar with the throne at just 13 years old. As a teenager, Akbar was already proving his worth by successfully winning control of northern India from the Afghans, and leading his army to gain even more land from the Hindi king Hemu. He did all this while maintaining balance throughout his kingdom.

Akbar: His Empire

Akbar was known as a very cunning general. In fact, by the time he had died, his empire had extended to Afghanistan in the north, Sindh in the west, Bengal in the east and the Godvari river in the south, which is 1 million square miles of land.

Akbar was an exceptional ruler. He didn't believe in high taxes, so he didn't enforce them. He divided up his empire, and appointed governors to enforce laws, and to sustain peace throughout the land. Akbar was very religiously tolerant, and he didn't force people to convert to Islam. All these factors lead to great loyalty from his people.
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Akbar: His Religion

During Akbar's rule, most of India followed the Hindu religion, as it still is today. Although a strict Muslim, Akbar was religiously curious, which led him to participate in many cultural festivals. He built temples for people to practice there religion, and he also discouraged the slaughter of cattle out of respect for the Hindu religion.

Akbar's views on the Hindu religion was despised by his court, but he was emperor, there was nothing they could do about it. Akbar also married a Hindu Rajput princess as an alliance, which was also looked down upon by his Muslim court, but his Hindu subjects were overjoyed, which led to great loyalty to there emperor.
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Akbar: His Architectural Accomplishments

Akbar also built many beautiful building masterpieces. He built the Agra Fort, which is also called the walled city, which is located right in front of the Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort is a great example Islamic architecture, with its red sandstone structure and white detailing.
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