TN History Textbook: India Under The Mughals Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

UPSC: TN History Textbook: India Under The Mughals Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC

The document TN History Textbook: India Under The Mughals Notes | Study Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Must Read (Old & New) NCERTs for IAS Preparation.
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 Page 1


239
Economic and Social Life
The Mughal period saw important social and economic
developments. During this period, many European travelers and
traders came to India and their accounts contain a mine of information
about the socio-economic conditions of India. In general, they
described the wealth and prosperity of India and also the luxurious
life of the aristocratic classes. On the other side, they also mentioned
the poverty and sufferings of the ordinary people such as peasants
and artisans.
Mughal Nobility
The nobles of the Mughal period formed a privileged class.
Most of them were foreigners such as Turks and Afghans. But there
was tussle between them throughout this period. However, many of
them settled down in India and made it their permanent home. They
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The Causes for the Vellore Mutiny.
1. Economic and Social life under the Mughal Empire.
2. Mughal nobility and their way of life.
3. Agriculture and Trade.
4. Cultural Development – Art and Architecture.
5. Mughal paintings and Literature.
LESSON 21
INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
Page 2


239
Economic and Social Life
The Mughal period saw important social and economic
developments. During this period, many European travelers and
traders came to India and their accounts contain a mine of information
about the socio-economic conditions of India. In general, they
described the wealth and prosperity of India and also the luxurious
life of the aristocratic classes. On the other side, they also mentioned
the poverty and sufferings of the ordinary people such as peasants
and artisans.
Mughal Nobility
The nobles of the Mughal period formed a privileged class.
Most of them were foreigners such as Turks and Afghans. But there
was tussle between them throughout this period. However, many of
them settled down in India and made it their permanent home. They
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The Causes for the Vellore Mutiny.
1. Economic and Social life under the Mughal Empire.
2. Mughal nobility and their way of life.
3. Agriculture and Trade.
4. Cultural Development – Art and Architecture.
5. Mughal paintings and Literature.
LESSON 21
INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
241 240
red chillies came later in the eighteenth century. But, no new
agricultural technique was introduced during this period. However,
India was able to export food items like rice and sugar to the
neighbouring countries.
Growth of Trade
The Indian trading classes were large in numbers and spread
throughout the country. They were well organized and highly professional.
Seth, bohra traders specialized in long distance trade while local traders
were called banik. Another class of traders was known as banjaras,
who specialized in carrying bulk goods. The banjaras used to move to
long distances with their goods on the back of oxen. Bulk goods were
also taken through rivers on boats. The trading community did not belong
to one caste or religion. The Gujarathi merchants included the Hindus,
Jains and Muslims. In Rajasthan, Oswals, Maheshwaris and Agarwals
came to be called the Marwaris. Multanis, Khatris and Afghanis
conducted trade with central Asia. In south India, the Chettis on the
Coramandal coast and the Muslim merchants of Malabar were the
most important trading communities.
Bengal exported sugar, rice as well as delicate muslin and
silk. The Coramandal coast became a centre of textile production.
Gujarat was an entry point of foreign goods. From there, fine textiles
and silk were taken to north India. Indigo and food grains were
exported from north India through Gujarat. It was also the distribution
centre for the luxury products of Kashmir such as shawls and carpets.
The major imports into India were certain metals such as tin and
copper, war horses and luxury items such as ivory. The balance of
trade was maintained by the import of gold and silver. The growth
of foreign trade had resulted in the increased import of gold and
silver in the seventeenth century. The Dutch and English traders who
came to Gujarat during the seventeenth century, found that Indian
traders were alert and brisk.
readily assimilated themselves into the Indian society and culture.
At the same time they retained some of their personal traits. From
the time of Akbar, the Hindus, particularly the Rajputs were included
in the nobility. For example, mention may be made about Raja Man
Singh, Raja Birbal and Raja Todar Mal. Later, the Marathas also
joined the Mughal service and rose to the position of nobles.
The Mughal nobles were paid high salaries but their expenses
were also very high. Each noble maintained a large number of
servants, horses, elephants, etc. The nobles tried follow the luxurious
life style of the Mughal emperors. They wore fine clothes and ate
imported fruits. Costly jewels were worn by men and women. They
also made costly presents to the emperors.
Rural Masses
While the wealthy people wore silk and cotton clothes, the
poor people wore the minimum cloths. They suffer from insufficient
clothing even during the winter. Nikitin observed that the people of
Deccan were bare-footed. It might be due to high cost of leather.
Rice, millets and pulses were the staple food of the common people.
Fish was popular on the coastal region. While ghee and oil were
cheaper, salt and sugar were more expensive. As plenty of cattle
were kept by the rural people, milk and milk products were available
in plenty.
Agriculture
An estimate claims that the population of India at the beginning
of the seventeenth century was about 125 million. As plenty of land
was available for cultivation, agriculture was prosperous. A large
variety of crops such as wheat, rice, gram, barley, pulses were
cultivated. Commercial crops such as cotton, indigo, sugarcane and
oil-seeds were also cultivated. During the seventeenth century two
new crops, namely, tobacco and maize were added. Potato and
Page 3


239
Economic and Social Life
The Mughal period saw important social and economic
developments. During this period, many European travelers and
traders came to India and their accounts contain a mine of information
about the socio-economic conditions of India. In general, they
described the wealth and prosperity of India and also the luxurious
life of the aristocratic classes. On the other side, they also mentioned
the poverty and sufferings of the ordinary people such as peasants
and artisans.
Mughal Nobility
The nobles of the Mughal period formed a privileged class.
Most of them were foreigners such as Turks and Afghans. But there
was tussle between them throughout this period. However, many of
them settled down in India and made it their permanent home. They
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The Causes for the Vellore Mutiny.
1. Economic and Social life under the Mughal Empire.
2. Mughal nobility and their way of life.
3. Agriculture and Trade.
4. Cultural Development – Art and Architecture.
5. Mughal paintings and Literature.
LESSON 21
INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
241 240
red chillies came later in the eighteenth century. But, no new
agricultural technique was introduced during this period. However,
India was able to export food items like rice and sugar to the
neighbouring countries.
Growth of Trade
The Indian trading classes were large in numbers and spread
throughout the country. They were well organized and highly professional.
Seth, bohra traders specialized in long distance trade while local traders
were called banik. Another class of traders was known as banjaras,
who specialized in carrying bulk goods. The banjaras used to move to
long distances with their goods on the back of oxen. Bulk goods were
also taken through rivers on boats. The trading community did not belong
to one caste or religion. The Gujarathi merchants included the Hindus,
Jains and Muslims. In Rajasthan, Oswals, Maheshwaris and Agarwals
came to be called the Marwaris. Multanis, Khatris and Afghanis
conducted trade with central Asia. In south India, the Chettis on the
Coramandal coast and the Muslim merchants of Malabar were the
most important trading communities.
Bengal exported sugar, rice as well as delicate muslin and
silk. The Coramandal coast became a centre of textile production.
Gujarat was an entry point of foreign goods. From there, fine textiles
and silk were taken to north India. Indigo and food grains were
exported from north India through Gujarat. It was also the distribution
centre for the luxury products of Kashmir such as shawls and carpets.
The major imports into India were certain metals such as tin and
copper, war horses and luxury items such as ivory. The balance of
trade was maintained by the import of gold and silver. The growth
of foreign trade had resulted in the increased import of gold and
silver in the seventeenth century. The Dutch and English traders who
came to Gujarat during the seventeenth century, found that Indian
traders were alert and brisk.
readily assimilated themselves into the Indian society and culture.
At the same time they retained some of their personal traits. From
the time of Akbar, the Hindus, particularly the Rajputs were included
in the nobility. For example, mention may be made about Raja Man
Singh, Raja Birbal and Raja Todar Mal. Later, the Marathas also
joined the Mughal service and rose to the position of nobles.
The Mughal nobles were paid high salaries but their expenses
were also very high. Each noble maintained a large number of
servants, horses, elephants, etc. The nobles tried follow the luxurious
life style of the Mughal emperors. They wore fine clothes and ate
imported fruits. Costly jewels were worn by men and women. They
also made costly presents to the emperors.
Rural Masses
While the wealthy people wore silk and cotton clothes, the
poor people wore the minimum cloths. They suffer from insufficient
clothing even during the winter. Nikitin observed that the people of
Deccan were bare-footed. It might be due to high cost of leather.
Rice, millets and pulses were the staple food of the common people.
Fish was popular on the coastal region. While ghee and oil were
cheaper, salt and sugar were more expensive. As plenty of cattle
were kept by the rural people, milk and milk products were available
in plenty.
Agriculture
An estimate claims that the population of India at the beginning
of the seventeenth century was about 125 million. As plenty of land
was available for cultivation, agriculture was prosperous. A large
variety of crops such as wheat, rice, gram, barley, pulses were
cultivated. Commercial crops such as cotton, indigo, sugarcane and
oil-seeds were also cultivated. During the seventeenth century two
new crops, namely, tobacco and maize were added. Potato and
243 242
Akbar also built a palace-
cum-fort complex at Fatepur
Sikri (City of Victory), 36
kilometres from Agra. Many
buildings in Gujarathi and
Bengali styles are found in this
complex. Gujarathi style
buildings were probably built for
his Rajput wives. The most
magnificent building in it is the Jama Masjid
and the gateway to it called Buland Darwaza
or the Lofty Gate. The height of the gateway
is 176 feet. It was built to commemorate
Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. Other
important buildings at Fatepur Sikri are Jodh
Bai’s palace and Panch Mahal with five
storeys.
 During Akbar’s reign, the Humayun’s
tomb was built at Delhi and it had a massive
dome of marble. It may be considered the
precursor of the Taj Mahal. Akbar’s tomb at
Sikandara near Agra was completed by Jahangir. Nur Jahan built
the tomb of Itimaddaulah at Agra. It was constructed wholly of
white marble with floral designs
made of semi-precious stones on
the walls. This type of decoration
was called pietra dura. This
method became more popular
during the reign of Shah Jahan. The
pietra dura method was used on a
large scale in the Taj Mahal by
Cultural Development under the Mughals
The Mughal period witnessed a significant and widespread
development in cultural activity. It was manifest in the sphere of art
and architecture, painting, music and literature. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were blended with Turko-Iranian
culture which was brought into India by the Mughals.
Art and Architecture
The architecture of the Mughals includes the magnificent forts,
palaces, public buildings, mosques
and mausoleums. The Mughals
were fond of laying gardens with
running water. Some of the
Mughal gardens such as the Nishat
Bagh in Kashmir, the Shalimar
Bagh at Lahore and the Pinjore
garden in the Punjab have survived
even today. During the reign of
Sher Shah, the mausoleum at
Sasaram in Bihar and the Purana Qila near Delhi were built. These
two monuments are considered as the architectural marvels of
medieval India.
Large scale construction of buildings started with the advent
of Akbar. He built many forts and the
most famous one was the Agra Fort.
It was built in red sandstone. His other
forts are at Lahore and Allahabad.
The climax of fort-building reached its
climax during the reign of Shah Jahan.
The famous Red Fort at Delhi with its
Rang Mahal, Diwan-i-Am and
Diwan-i-Khas was his creation.
DIWAN-I-KHAS 
 
Fatepur Sikri
 
Buland  Darwaza
PANCH MAHAL 
Purana Qila
Page 4


239
Economic and Social Life
The Mughal period saw important social and economic
developments. During this period, many European travelers and
traders came to India and their accounts contain a mine of information
about the socio-economic conditions of India. In general, they
described the wealth and prosperity of India and also the luxurious
life of the aristocratic classes. On the other side, they also mentioned
the poverty and sufferings of the ordinary people such as peasants
and artisans.
Mughal Nobility
The nobles of the Mughal period formed a privileged class.
Most of them were foreigners such as Turks and Afghans. But there
was tussle between them throughout this period. However, many of
them settled down in India and made it their permanent home. They
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The Causes for the Vellore Mutiny.
1. Economic and Social life under the Mughal Empire.
2. Mughal nobility and their way of life.
3. Agriculture and Trade.
4. Cultural Development – Art and Architecture.
5. Mughal paintings and Literature.
LESSON 21
INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
241 240
red chillies came later in the eighteenth century. But, no new
agricultural technique was introduced during this period. However,
India was able to export food items like rice and sugar to the
neighbouring countries.
Growth of Trade
The Indian trading classes were large in numbers and spread
throughout the country. They were well organized and highly professional.
Seth, bohra traders specialized in long distance trade while local traders
were called banik. Another class of traders was known as banjaras,
who specialized in carrying bulk goods. The banjaras used to move to
long distances with their goods on the back of oxen. Bulk goods were
also taken through rivers on boats. The trading community did not belong
to one caste or religion. The Gujarathi merchants included the Hindus,
Jains and Muslims. In Rajasthan, Oswals, Maheshwaris and Agarwals
came to be called the Marwaris. Multanis, Khatris and Afghanis
conducted trade with central Asia. In south India, the Chettis on the
Coramandal coast and the Muslim merchants of Malabar were the
most important trading communities.
Bengal exported sugar, rice as well as delicate muslin and
silk. The Coramandal coast became a centre of textile production.
Gujarat was an entry point of foreign goods. From there, fine textiles
and silk were taken to north India. Indigo and food grains were
exported from north India through Gujarat. It was also the distribution
centre for the luxury products of Kashmir such as shawls and carpets.
The major imports into India were certain metals such as tin and
copper, war horses and luxury items such as ivory. The balance of
trade was maintained by the import of gold and silver. The growth
of foreign trade had resulted in the increased import of gold and
silver in the seventeenth century. The Dutch and English traders who
came to Gujarat during the seventeenth century, found that Indian
traders were alert and brisk.
readily assimilated themselves into the Indian society and culture.
At the same time they retained some of their personal traits. From
the time of Akbar, the Hindus, particularly the Rajputs were included
in the nobility. For example, mention may be made about Raja Man
Singh, Raja Birbal and Raja Todar Mal. Later, the Marathas also
joined the Mughal service and rose to the position of nobles.
The Mughal nobles were paid high salaries but their expenses
were also very high. Each noble maintained a large number of
servants, horses, elephants, etc. The nobles tried follow the luxurious
life style of the Mughal emperors. They wore fine clothes and ate
imported fruits. Costly jewels were worn by men and women. They
also made costly presents to the emperors.
Rural Masses
While the wealthy people wore silk and cotton clothes, the
poor people wore the minimum cloths. They suffer from insufficient
clothing even during the winter. Nikitin observed that the people of
Deccan were bare-footed. It might be due to high cost of leather.
Rice, millets and pulses were the staple food of the common people.
Fish was popular on the coastal region. While ghee and oil were
cheaper, salt and sugar were more expensive. As plenty of cattle
were kept by the rural people, milk and milk products were available
in plenty.
Agriculture
An estimate claims that the population of India at the beginning
of the seventeenth century was about 125 million. As plenty of land
was available for cultivation, agriculture was prosperous. A large
variety of crops such as wheat, rice, gram, barley, pulses were
cultivated. Commercial crops such as cotton, indigo, sugarcane and
oil-seeds were also cultivated. During the seventeenth century two
new crops, namely, tobacco and maize were added. Potato and
243 242
Akbar also built a palace-
cum-fort complex at Fatepur
Sikri (City of Victory), 36
kilometres from Agra. Many
buildings in Gujarathi and
Bengali styles are found in this
complex. Gujarathi style
buildings were probably built for
his Rajput wives. The most
magnificent building in it is the Jama Masjid
and the gateway to it called Buland Darwaza
or the Lofty Gate. The height of the gateway
is 176 feet. It was built to commemorate
Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. Other
important buildings at Fatepur Sikri are Jodh
Bai’s palace and Panch Mahal with five
storeys.
 During Akbar’s reign, the Humayun’s
tomb was built at Delhi and it had a massive
dome of marble. It may be considered the
precursor of the Taj Mahal. Akbar’s tomb at
Sikandara near Agra was completed by Jahangir. Nur Jahan built
the tomb of Itimaddaulah at Agra. It was constructed wholly of
white marble with floral designs
made of semi-precious stones on
the walls. This type of decoration
was called pietra dura. This
method became more popular
during the reign of Shah Jahan. The
pietra dura method was used on a
large scale in the Taj Mahal by
Cultural Development under the Mughals
The Mughal period witnessed a significant and widespread
development in cultural activity. It was manifest in the sphere of art
and architecture, painting, music and literature. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were blended with Turko-Iranian
culture which was brought into India by the Mughals.
Art and Architecture
The architecture of the Mughals includes the magnificent forts,
palaces, public buildings, mosques
and mausoleums. The Mughals
were fond of laying gardens with
running water. Some of the
Mughal gardens such as the Nishat
Bagh in Kashmir, the Shalimar
Bagh at Lahore and the Pinjore
garden in the Punjab have survived
even today. During the reign of
Sher Shah, the mausoleum at
Sasaram in Bihar and the Purana Qila near Delhi were built. These
two monuments are considered as the architectural marvels of
medieval India.
Large scale construction of buildings started with the advent
of Akbar. He built many forts and the
most famous one was the Agra Fort.
It was built in red sandstone. His other
forts are at Lahore and Allahabad.
The climax of fort-building reached its
climax during the reign of Shah Jahan.
The famous Red Fort at Delhi with its
Rang Mahal, Diwan-i-Am and
Diwan-i-Khas was his creation.
DIWAN-I-KHAS 
 
Fatepur Sikri
 
Buland  Darwaza
PANCH MAHAL 
Purana Qila
245 244
Illustrations of Persian versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana
were produced in miniature form. Many other Indian fables became
the miniature paintings in the Art Studio established by Akbar.
Historical works such as Akbar Nama also remained the main themes
of Mughal paintings. The most important work is Hamznama, which
consisted 1200 paintings. Indian colours such as peacock blue,
Indian red began to be used.
Mughal paintings reached its climax during the reign of
Jahangir. He employed a number of painters like Abul Hasan, Bishan
Das, Madhu, Anant, Manohar, Govardhan and Ustad Mansur. Apart
from painting the scenes of hunting, battles and royal courts, progress
was made in portrait painting and paintings of animals. Many albums
containing paintings and calligraphy were produced during the
Mughal period. Later, the influence of European painting could be
seen.
Music had also developed under the Mughals. Akbar
patronized Tansen of Gwalior. Tansen composed many ragas.
Jahangir and Shah Jahan were also fond of music.
Language and Literature
Persian language became widespread in the Mughal Empire
by the time of Akbar’s reign. Abul Fazl was a great scholar and
historian of his period. He set a style of prose writing and it was
followed by many generations. Many historical works were written
during this period. They include Ain-i-Akbari and Akabar Nama
authored by Abul Fazl. The leading poet of that period was his
brother Abul Faizi. The translation of Mahabharata into the Persian
language was done under his supervision. Utbi and Naziri were the
two other leading Persian poets.
Jahangir’s autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri was famous for
its style. He also patronized many scholars like Ghiyas Beg, Naqib
Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal is considered
a jewel of the builder’s art. It
contains all the architectural forms
developed by the Mughals. The
chief glory of the Taj is the massive
dome and the four slender minarets.
The decorations are kept to the
minimum.
Mosque building had reached its peak during Shah Jahan’s
reign. The Moti Masjid at Agra was built entirely in white marble.
The Jama Masjid at Delhi was built in red stone.
The Mughal architectural traditions continued in the eighteenth
and early nineteenth century. Their influence in the provincial
kingdoms is clearly visible. Many features of Mughal tradition can
be seen in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.
Paintings and Music
The contribution of Mughals to the
art of painting was remarkable. The
foundation for the Mughal painting was laid
by Humayun when he was staying in Persia.
He brought with him two painters – Mir
Sayyid Ali and Abdal Samad to India.
These two painters became famous during
Akbar’s reign. Akbar commissioned the
illustrations of several literary and religious
texts. He invited a large number of painters
from different parts of the country to his
court. Both Hindus and Muslims joined in
this work. Baswan, Miskina and Daswant attained great positions
as Akabar’s court artists.
TAJ MAHAL 
 
Mughal Gemstone
Painting
Page 5


239
Economic and Social Life
The Mughal period saw important social and economic
developments. During this period, many European travelers and
traders came to India and their accounts contain a mine of information
about the socio-economic conditions of India. In general, they
described the wealth and prosperity of India and also the luxurious
life of the aristocratic classes. On the other side, they also mentioned
the poverty and sufferings of the ordinary people such as peasants
and artisans.
Mughal Nobility
The nobles of the Mughal period formed a privileged class.
Most of them were foreigners such as Turks and Afghans. But there
was tussle between them throughout this period. However, many of
them settled down in India and made it their permanent home. They
Learning Objectives
Students will acquire knowledge about
1. The Causes for the Vellore Mutiny.
1. Economic and Social life under the Mughal Empire.
2. Mughal nobility and their way of life.
3. Agriculture and Trade.
4. Cultural Development – Art and Architecture.
5. Mughal paintings and Literature.
LESSON 21
INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS
241 240
red chillies came later in the eighteenth century. But, no new
agricultural technique was introduced during this period. However,
India was able to export food items like rice and sugar to the
neighbouring countries.
Growth of Trade
The Indian trading classes were large in numbers and spread
throughout the country. They were well organized and highly professional.
Seth, bohra traders specialized in long distance trade while local traders
were called banik. Another class of traders was known as banjaras,
who specialized in carrying bulk goods. The banjaras used to move to
long distances with their goods on the back of oxen. Bulk goods were
also taken through rivers on boats. The trading community did not belong
to one caste or religion. The Gujarathi merchants included the Hindus,
Jains and Muslims. In Rajasthan, Oswals, Maheshwaris and Agarwals
came to be called the Marwaris. Multanis, Khatris and Afghanis
conducted trade with central Asia. In south India, the Chettis on the
Coramandal coast and the Muslim merchants of Malabar were the
most important trading communities.
Bengal exported sugar, rice as well as delicate muslin and
silk. The Coramandal coast became a centre of textile production.
Gujarat was an entry point of foreign goods. From there, fine textiles
and silk were taken to north India. Indigo and food grains were
exported from north India through Gujarat. It was also the distribution
centre for the luxury products of Kashmir such as shawls and carpets.
The major imports into India were certain metals such as tin and
copper, war horses and luxury items such as ivory. The balance of
trade was maintained by the import of gold and silver. The growth
of foreign trade had resulted in the increased import of gold and
silver in the seventeenth century. The Dutch and English traders who
came to Gujarat during the seventeenth century, found that Indian
traders were alert and brisk.
readily assimilated themselves into the Indian society and culture.
At the same time they retained some of their personal traits. From
the time of Akbar, the Hindus, particularly the Rajputs were included
in the nobility. For example, mention may be made about Raja Man
Singh, Raja Birbal and Raja Todar Mal. Later, the Marathas also
joined the Mughal service and rose to the position of nobles.
The Mughal nobles were paid high salaries but their expenses
were also very high. Each noble maintained a large number of
servants, horses, elephants, etc. The nobles tried follow the luxurious
life style of the Mughal emperors. They wore fine clothes and ate
imported fruits. Costly jewels were worn by men and women. They
also made costly presents to the emperors.
Rural Masses
While the wealthy people wore silk and cotton clothes, the
poor people wore the minimum cloths. They suffer from insufficient
clothing even during the winter. Nikitin observed that the people of
Deccan were bare-footed. It might be due to high cost of leather.
Rice, millets and pulses were the staple food of the common people.
Fish was popular on the coastal region. While ghee and oil were
cheaper, salt and sugar were more expensive. As plenty of cattle
were kept by the rural people, milk and milk products were available
in plenty.
Agriculture
An estimate claims that the population of India at the beginning
of the seventeenth century was about 125 million. As plenty of land
was available for cultivation, agriculture was prosperous. A large
variety of crops such as wheat, rice, gram, barley, pulses were
cultivated. Commercial crops such as cotton, indigo, sugarcane and
oil-seeds were also cultivated. During the seventeenth century two
new crops, namely, tobacco and maize were added. Potato and
243 242
Akbar also built a palace-
cum-fort complex at Fatepur
Sikri (City of Victory), 36
kilometres from Agra. Many
buildings in Gujarathi and
Bengali styles are found in this
complex. Gujarathi style
buildings were probably built for
his Rajput wives. The most
magnificent building in it is the Jama Masjid
and the gateway to it called Buland Darwaza
or the Lofty Gate. The height of the gateway
is 176 feet. It was built to commemorate
Akbar’s victory over Gujarat. Other
important buildings at Fatepur Sikri are Jodh
Bai’s palace and Panch Mahal with five
storeys.
 During Akbar’s reign, the Humayun’s
tomb was built at Delhi and it had a massive
dome of marble. It may be considered the
precursor of the Taj Mahal. Akbar’s tomb at
Sikandara near Agra was completed by Jahangir. Nur Jahan built
the tomb of Itimaddaulah at Agra. It was constructed wholly of
white marble with floral designs
made of semi-precious stones on
the walls. This type of decoration
was called pietra dura. This
method became more popular
during the reign of Shah Jahan. The
pietra dura method was used on a
large scale in the Taj Mahal by
Cultural Development under the Mughals
The Mughal period witnessed a significant and widespread
development in cultural activity. It was manifest in the sphere of art
and architecture, painting, music and literature. In this cultural
development, Indian traditions were blended with Turko-Iranian
culture which was brought into India by the Mughals.
Art and Architecture
The architecture of the Mughals includes the magnificent forts,
palaces, public buildings, mosques
and mausoleums. The Mughals
were fond of laying gardens with
running water. Some of the
Mughal gardens such as the Nishat
Bagh in Kashmir, the Shalimar
Bagh at Lahore and the Pinjore
garden in the Punjab have survived
even today. During the reign of
Sher Shah, the mausoleum at
Sasaram in Bihar and the Purana Qila near Delhi were built. These
two monuments are considered as the architectural marvels of
medieval India.
Large scale construction of buildings started with the advent
of Akbar. He built many forts and the
most famous one was the Agra Fort.
It was built in red sandstone. His other
forts are at Lahore and Allahabad.
The climax of fort-building reached its
climax during the reign of Shah Jahan.
The famous Red Fort at Delhi with its
Rang Mahal, Diwan-i-Am and
Diwan-i-Khas was his creation.
DIWAN-I-KHAS 
 
Fatepur Sikri
 
Buland  Darwaza
PANCH MAHAL 
Purana Qila
245 244
Illustrations of Persian versions of Mahabharata and Ramayana
were produced in miniature form. Many other Indian fables became
the miniature paintings in the Art Studio established by Akbar.
Historical works such as Akbar Nama also remained the main themes
of Mughal paintings. The most important work is Hamznama, which
consisted 1200 paintings. Indian colours such as peacock blue,
Indian red began to be used.
Mughal paintings reached its climax during the reign of
Jahangir. He employed a number of painters like Abul Hasan, Bishan
Das, Madhu, Anant, Manohar, Govardhan and Ustad Mansur. Apart
from painting the scenes of hunting, battles and royal courts, progress
was made in portrait painting and paintings of animals. Many albums
containing paintings and calligraphy were produced during the
Mughal period. Later, the influence of European painting could be
seen.
Music had also developed under the Mughals. Akbar
patronized Tansen of Gwalior. Tansen composed many ragas.
Jahangir and Shah Jahan were also fond of music.
Language and Literature
Persian language became widespread in the Mughal Empire
by the time of Akbar’s reign. Abul Fazl was a great scholar and
historian of his period. He set a style of prose writing and it was
followed by many generations. Many historical works were written
during this period. They include Ain-i-Akbari and Akabar Nama
authored by Abul Fazl. The leading poet of that period was his
brother Abul Faizi. The translation of Mahabharata into the Persian
language was done under his supervision. Utbi and Naziri were the
two other leading Persian poets.
Jahangir’s autobiography, Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri was famous for
its style. He also patronized many scholars like Ghiyas Beg, Naqib
Shah Jahan. Taj Mahal is considered
a jewel of the builder’s art. It
contains all the architectural forms
developed by the Mughals. The
chief glory of the Taj is the massive
dome and the four slender minarets.
The decorations are kept to the
minimum.
Mosque building had reached its peak during Shah Jahan’s
reign. The Moti Masjid at Agra was built entirely in white marble.
The Jama Masjid at Delhi was built in red stone.
The Mughal architectural traditions continued in the eighteenth
and early nineteenth century. Their influence in the provincial
kingdoms is clearly visible. Many features of Mughal tradition can
be seen in the Golden Temple at Amritsar.
Paintings and Music
The contribution of Mughals to the
art of painting was remarkable. The
foundation for the Mughal painting was laid
by Humayun when he was staying in Persia.
He brought with him two painters – Mir
Sayyid Ali and Abdal Samad to India.
These two painters became famous during
Akbar’s reign. Akbar commissioned the
illustrations of several literary and religious
texts. He invited a large number of painters
from different parts of the country to his
court. Both Hindus and Muslims joined in
this work. Baswan, Miskina and Daswant attained great positions
as Akabar’s court artists.
TAJ MAHAL 
 
Mughal Gemstone
Painting
247 246
MODEL QUESTIONS
I. Choose the correct answer.
1. Panch Mahal is at
(a) Delhi (b) Agra
(c) Lahore (d) Fatepur Sikri
2. Tansen belonged to
(a) Persia (b) Gujarat
(c) Ajmer (d) Gwalior
II. Fill in the blanks.
1. Hamzanama is a compilation of …….
2. Akbar patronized the musician called ……
III. Match the following.
1. Abul Fazl a) Padshanama
2. Inayat Khan b) Akbar Nama
3. Abdul Hamid Lahori c) Translation of
   Mahabharata into Persian
4. Abul Faizi d) Shah Jahan Nama
IV. Find out the correct statement. One statement alone is
right.
a) New agricultural technique was introduced during the Mughal
period.
b) New crops like tobacco and maize were introduced in the
seventeenth century.
c) Salt and sugar were cheaper in the Mughal period.
d) Rice, barley and pulses were the commercial crops.
Learning Outcome
After learning this lesson the students will be able to explain
1. Socio-economic life under the Mughals.
2. The social and economic life of the nobles and also the
rural masses.
3. Agriculture and trade under the Mughals – chief exports
and imports.
4. Cultural development during the Mughals.
5. Art and architecture, palaces, forts, mosques and Mughal
gardens.
6. Development of Mughal Paintings and their significance.
7. Growth of language and literature.
Khan and Niamatullah. Shah Jahan also patronized many writers
and historians like Abdul Hamid Lahori, author of Padshah Nama
and Inayat Khan who wrote Shah Jahan Nama. His son Dara Shikoh
translated the Bhagavat Gita and Upanishads into the Persian
language. Many historical works were written during the reign of
Aurangazeb. Famous dictionaries of the Persian language were also
compiled during the Mughal period.
Regional languages such as Bengali, Oriya, Rajasthani and
Gujarathi had also developed during this period. Many devotional
works including the Ramayana and Mahabharata were translated
into regional languages. From the time of Akbar, Hindi poets were
attached to the Mughal court. The most influential Hindi poet was
Tulsidas, who wrote the Hindi version of the Ramayana, the
Ramcharitmanas.
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