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Akbar, The Great

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Akbar, The Great
October 15, 1542 - October 27, 1605 AD = 63 yrs
[Adapted from]

Akbar was the son of Humaayoon (son of Baabar) and Hameedaa Begam. He had only one half brother named Hakeem. Akbar's full name was Jalaluddeen Muhammad Akbar Gaazee. He was born on 15 October 1542 in the fort of Umarkot, Sindh Province. He died on 27 Oct 1605 – of stomach ailment. He came to the power in 1556. He was only 13-years old when he was proclaimed Baadshaah (Emperor). He inherited the throne with no other claimants and he ruled India for 40 years – 1556–1605.

He married a Hindu Raajpoot Princess of Aamber (now Jaipur), Jodhaa Baaee, in 1562, at the age of 20 years. She was the mother of Jahaangeer too. He also married the daughter of Raajaa of Jaisalmer, Raajsthaan, and also the niece of Raajaa of Beekaaner, also Raajsthaan – both Hindu Raajpoot princesses. He had more than 33 wives, among one of them was from Tibbat too. He allowed all his wives to practice their religion and beliefs.

He had three sons - Saleem (later Jahaangeer born on Aug 30, 1569; Muraad born in 1570; and Daniyal born 1572 – all from different mothers. Both Muraad and Daniyal died of alcoholism – Muraad died in 1599 at the age of 29 and Daniyal died in 1603 at the age of 31.

His great specialty was that he was a great statesman and a brilliant administrator and a politician of reconciliation. He not only married himself to Hindu and other religion's women but encouraged his other people also to do the same. He enjoyed elephant fights, hunts, initiating and introducing fashion and styles (according to Abul Fazal). Set up an Art Department at Fatehpur Seekaree, UP, with a large number of Hindu painters along with 2 Persian painters – Mir Sayyad Alee and Abdu us-Sammad. Their art may be seen in his court - a combination of Persian and Indian style. Main work of the painters was to illustrate manuscripts. Later on Abdu us-Sammad was given a status of one of Nava Ratna in his court. He was a brilliant calligrapher and designers of imperial coins. He even created a library of 24,000 volumes of manuscripts. Set up a translation department. Commissioned translations of Atharv Ved, Raamaayan and Mahaabhaarat. Taansen – Master of Music in Akbar’s court.

He had nine wise men in his court. They were famous as the Nava Ratna (nine gems). His most loyal officials and friends were Hindu. He had appointed two Raajpoot princes as his Generals - his Deevaan (1) Raajaa Todar Mal and (2) Raajaa Maan Singh. Two are his well-known courtiers – (3) Abul Fazal and (4) Birbal. (5) Taansen and (6) Faiz were musician and poet respectively. Others were (7) Daswant - a great painter
(8) Abdu us-Samad - a brilliant calligrapher and designer of Imperial coins; (9) Mir Fareh-ullah Shirazi - financier, philosopher, physician and astronomer.
Abul Fazal’s two works – Akbar-e-naamaa and Aaeeney-Akbaree are the accounts of Akbar’s court.

He was a workaholic, an insomniac (seldom slept more than 3 hours a night), liked only one meal a day and only drank Gangaa water.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 10/20/12