Akbar


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Related to Akbar: Aurangzeb, Shah Jahan

Akbar

(ăk`bär), 1542–1605, MughalMughal
or Mogul
, Muslim empire in India, 1526–1857. The dynasty was founded by Babur, a Turkic chieftain who had his base in Afghanistan. Babur's invasion of India culminated in the battle of Panipat (1526) and the occupation of Delhi and Agra.
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 emperor of India (1556–1605); son of HumayunHumayun
or Homayun
, 1507–56, second Mughal emperor of India (1530–56), son and successor of Babur. In 1535, pressed by enemy incursions into Rajasthan, Humayun defeated the formidable Bahadur Shah of Gujarat.
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, grandson of BaburBabur
[Turk.,=lion], 1483–1530, founder of the Mughal empire of India. His full name was Zahir ud-Din Muhammad. A descendant of Timur (Tamerlane) and of Jenghiz Khan, he succeeded (1494) to the principality of Fergana in central Asia.
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. He succeeded to the throne under a regent, Bairam Khan, who rendered loyal service in expanding and consolidating the Mughal domains before he was summarily dismissed (1560) by the young king. Akbar, however, continued the policy of conquest. A magnetic personality and an outstanding general, he gradually enlarged his empire to include Afghanistan, Baluchistan, and nearly all of the Indian peninsula north of the Godavari River. To unify the vast state, he established a uniform system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating the conquered chieftains. Having defeated the RajputsRajputs
[Sanskrit,=son of a king], dominant people of Rajputana, an historic region now almost coextensive with the state of Rajasthan, NW India. The Rajputs are mainly Hindus (although there are some Muslim Rajputs) of the warrior caste; traditionally they have put great value
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, the most militant of the Hindu rulers, he allied himself with them, giving their chiefs high positions in his army and government; he twice married Rajput princesses.

Although he was himself illiterate, Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur SikriFatehpur Sikri
or Fathpur Sikri
, historic city (1991 pop. 25,446), Uttar Pradesh state, N India. It was founded (1569) by the Mughal emperor Akbar to honor the Muslim saint Shaikh Salim Chishti, who had foretold the birth of Akbar's son and heir, Jahangir.
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 were centers of the arts, letters, and learning. He was much impressed with Persian culture, and because of him the later Mughal empire bore an indelible Persian stamp. Apparently disillusioned with orthodox Islam and hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, he promulgated (1582) the Din-i-Ilahi [divine faith], an eclectic creed derived from Islam, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as prophet, but had an influence outside the court. Akbar, generally considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors, was succeeded by his son JahangirJahangir
or Jehangir
, 1569–1627, Mughal emperor of India (1605–27), son of Akbar. He continued his father's policy of expansion. The Rajput principality of Mewar (Udaipur) capitulated in 1614.
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.

Bibliography

See biography by V. A. Smith (2d rev. ed. 1966); R. Krishnamurti, Akbar, the Religious Aspect (1961).

Akbar

called Akbar the Great. 1542--1605, Mogul emperor of India (1556--1605), who extended the Mogul empire to include N India
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