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treaure and stores to such an amount that even fancy is
pov>rless to imagine it, were taken as spoil.' A minaret was
buL of the heads of the slain, and Delhi and Agra were
proiptly occupied by the victors. 1

builings, which were destroyed by railway contractors in search of ballast.
Recitly, measures have been taken to preserve reverently what is left, and
an iscribed tablet has been put up.

1 "he account of Hemu's death in the text follows Badaoni (Lowe's
trail., vol. ii, p. 9). Abul Fazl, Faizi and the Tarikh-i-Daudi agree that
Aklr refused to strike. But Jahanglr, in his authentic Memoirs (Rogers
& Bveridge, voL i, p. 40), states that Akbar ' told one of his servants to cut
off is head '. Ahmad Yadgar (Elliot, v, 66) asserts that ' the Prince,
accrdingly, struck him, and divided his head from his unclean body '.

F3



168 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

French settlements. The French were late in making their
appearance on the Indian coasts, and never acquired direct
control of any considerable territory. Various early adven-
tures having proved to be failures, a strong association,
entitled La Compagnie des Indes, was formed in 1664 under
the patronage of King Louis XIV. But the French Govern-
ment failed to keep up a lively interest in the Company's
affairs, and French enterprise in India always suffered for
want of adequate support from home. However, Pondicherry
on the Madras coast, founded in 1674, became a nourishing
settlement, and still is a fairly prosperous town. After the
Napoleonic wars the French were permitted to retain or
recover Pondicherry and Karikal on the Madras coast, Mahe
on the west coast, Yanaon at the mouth of the Godavari, and
Chandernagore near Calcutta, over all of which the flag of
the French Republic still waves. These settlements are of no
political importance. The events of the contest between the
French and English for supremacy in Southern India will be
dealt with as incidents in the general history.



CHAPTER XVIII

The reign of Akbar : Todar Mall ; Abul Fazl.

Accession of Akbar. When Humayun died (ante, p. 159),
his eldest son Akbar, a boy of thirteen, was in the Panjab
with his guardian Bairam Khan, an officer much trusted by
Humayun, and then in command of an army engaged in the
pursuit of Sikandar Sur, one of the claimants to the throne.
Humayun's death was concealed for a few days in order to
allow of arrangements being made for Akbar 's accession. The
proper moment having come, the young prince was enthroned,
with such ceremony as was possible, at Kalanaur, a town then
of some importance, situated to the west of Gurdaspur. 1

1 The throne still exists. It is a plain brick structure, built on a masonry
platform. At a later date it was surrounded by a garden and ornamental



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 169

At the time of his enthronement Akbar had no kingdom.
News came in that Hemu had succeeded in taking both
Delhi and Agra. Hemu renounced his allegiance to Muham-
mad Adil Sur, the other claimant to the throne, then far away
to the east at Chunar near Mirzapur, and set up as an inde-
pendent king, under the title of Raja Bikramajit (Vikrama-
ditya), borne so often by famous Hindu monarchs of the
olden time. Timid counsellors advised retreat to Kabul,
but Bairam Khan resolved that the empire of Hindustan
was worth fighting for, and prepared to meet the foe. We
may feel assured that Akbar agreed to the decision.

Second battle of Pa nip at, November 5, 1556. The Hindu
claimant, ' with 1,500 elephants of war, and treasure without
end or measure, and an immense army, came to offer battle
at Panlpat ', on the field where Ibrahim Lodl and so many
gallant men had met their death thirty years before (ante,
p. 153). Hemu began badly by losing his artillery, but
relied chiefly, in the old Hindu fashion, on his elephants,
which delivered a terrifying charge. They were received
with a shower of arrows, one of which struck Hemu in the eye,
rendering him unconscious. His army then fled, and Hemu,
who still breathed, was captured. The boy Akbar refusing to
flesh his sword on a dying prisoner, Bairam Khan and some
of his officers dispatched him. * Nearly 1,500 elephants, and
treasure and stores to such an amount that even fancy is
powerless to imagine it, were taken as spoil.' A minaret was
built of the heads of the slain, and Delhi and Agra were
promptly occupied by the victors. 1

buildings, which were destroyed by railway contractors in search of ballast.
Recently, measures have been taken to preserve reverently what is left, and
an inscribed tablet has been put up.

1 The account of Hemu's death in the text follows Badaoni (Lowe's
transl., vol. ii, p. 9). Abul Fazl, FaizI and the Tdrikh-i-Ddudi agree that
Akbar refused to strike. But Jahanglr, in his authentic Memoirs (Rogers
& Beveridge, voL i, p. 40), states that Akbar ' told one of his servants to cut
off his head '. Ahmad Yadgar (Elliot, v, 66) asserts that ' the Prince,
accordingly, struck him, and divided his head from his unclean body '.

F3



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 171

Occupation of Ajmer, Gwalior, and Jaunpur. Akbar was
now firmly seated on the throne of the sultans of Delhi,
which had been occupied for a few years by his father and
grandfather, but he had yet many fights to wage before he
could feel himself emperor of Hindustan. During the next
three years the claimants belonging to the Sur dynasty were
defeated, and Ajmer, Gwalior, and Jaunpur were occupied.
Bairam Khan, with the title of Khan-i-Khanan, governed on
behalf of Akbar as Regent or Protector.

Dismissal and death of the regent. In March, 1560, young
Akbar, conscious of the powers of budding manhood, and
spurred on by the ladies of the court, determined to free
himself from the control of his too-masterful regent, and sent
a message to Bairam Khan, requiring him to proceed on
pilgrimage to Mecca, in these terms : ' As I was fully assured
of your honesty and fidelity, I left all important affairs
of State in your hands and thought only of my own plea-
sures. I have now determined to take the reins of govern-
ment into my own hands, and it is desirable that you should
make the pilgrimage to Mecca upon which you have been
so long intent. A suitable jdglr out of the parganas of
Hindustan will be assigned for your maintenance, the re-
venues of which shall be transmitted to your agent.' The
regent yielded to this imperious command and surrendered
the insignia of office, but, on second thoughts, attempted
rebellion. He was defeated, pardoned, and sent off to Mecca.
He arrived at Patan in Gujarat, and was there stabbed to
death by an Afghan, whose father had been executed by his
orders. Thus was Akbar freed from his Bismarck, and left
at liberty for forty-five years to carry out his policy of con-
verting a military occupation into an ordered empire.

Akbar's wars. But when we speak of an ' ordered empire '
we must not think of a country as peaceful as the India of the

De Laet agrees that ' the unworthy deed ' was done by Akbar's hand (Dc
Imperio Magni Mogolis, 1631, 2nd issue, p. 174). It is difficult to decide
which of the stories is true. I am disposed to believe Ahmad YadgSr.



present day. Throughout Akbar's long reign the sword was
never sheathed, and the great nobles were never at rest.
The detailed chronicles of the time are full of stories of
intrigues, murders, rebellions, and wars. Akbar himself,
although terrible in his hot wrath, was of a merciful and
forgiving disposition, and rarely allowed himself to be tempted
to the commission of deeds of cruelty. His generals often
displayed the old Mongol ferocity, and even Badaom, who
was not easily shocked, was horrified at the bloodthirsty
proceedings of Pir Muhammad Khan during the reduction of
Malwa in the early years of the reign. The main interest of
Akbar's notable rule lies, not in his numerous wars, which
were like other wars, but in his personal character and his
unique policy.

Siege of Chitor, 1567-8. Among the most famous military
feats of the reign was the storming of the Rajput fortress of
Chitor (ante, p. 133), the siege of which lasted for four months,
from October, 1567, to February, 1568. The operations of
the besiegers were under the personal direction of Akbar,
who himself shot the Rajput commander, Jaimall, through
the head. That shot decided the fate of the fortress. The
defenders quitted the walls, and saved the honour of their
wives and daughters by the awful rite of johar, or sacrifice
by fire. Then they devoted themselves to death, fighting in
every house and for every foot of ground, until they were
all slain. The Rana was not in the fortress during the siege,
but remained in hiding, and subsequently transferred his
capital to Udaipur. Within the following two years Akbar
compelled the surrender of Ranthambhor in Rajputana and
Kalanjar in Bundelkhand, then considered two of the strongest
forts in India.

Reduction of Gujarat. The next great military operation
undertaken was the conquest of Gujarat, which had long been
independent (ante, p. 133), and was occupied only temporarily
by Humayun in 1535. But that transitory conquest effected
by his father was enough to give Akbar a pretext for an effort



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 173

to re-annex the kingdom, and so to make himself master of
Western India to the sea -coast. The imperial designs were
furthered by dissensions among the local nobles. The annexa-
tion was carried out without very much fighting, and the
unheroic king, Muzaffar Shah, was found hiding in a corn-
field. He was treated with contemptuous lenity and given a
pension of thirty or forty rupees a month. After some years
he escaped and gave much trouble until he committed suicide.

Surat ; suppression of revolt, 1573. The important fortress
of Surat was taken in the early part of 1573, after investment
for a month and a half. On this occasion the emperor for
the first time came into contact with the Portuguese, who
sent an embassy from Goa to meet him. At Cambay he had
his first look on the sea. In June Akbar returned to Sikri
near Agra, and was hardly back when reports were received
of a revolt in the newly conquered kingdom. He made all
necessary military arrangements with the utmost quickness,
and starting himself from Sikri in August, mounted on a swift
dromedary, covered the 800 miles between that place and
the outskirts of Ahmadabad in nine days. The rebels, who
could hardly believe the news of his arrival, were defeated
after a hard fight, and Akbar returned to Sikri on October 6,
after an absence of forty-three days. It would be difficult
to find in history an example of equally rapid and decisive
action by the sovereign of a great monarchy. Sikri was given
the name of Fathpur, ' the city of victory,' and became the
usual residence of the court until 1584.

Baud, king of Bengal. Bengal, as we have seen (ante,
p. 131), had been independent, usually under Muhammadan
kings, since the fourteenth century. Sulaiman, an able
monarch, whose general, Raju, surnamed Kala Pahar, had
plundered the temple of Jagannath and overrun Orissa,
acknowledged a nominal dependence on Akbar. When he
died in 1572 he was succeeded, after an interval of dispute, by
his son Daud, who was not disposed to submit to the Mughal
power. He is described as ' a dissolute scamp, who knew



174 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

nothing of the business of governing ' . Akbar, while engaged
in Gujarat, kept his eye on the affairs of Bengal, and as soon
as he had arranged the business in the west, commissioned
Todar Mall to undertake the subjugation of the east.

Defeat and death of Baud, 1576. In 1574, during the height
of the rainy season, Akbar in person appeared on the scene
near Patna, defeated Daud, and occupied Patna, where
immense booty was taken. Daud escaped into Orissa, and
at the beginning of 1575 Akbar returned to Fathpur-Sikri.
Soon afterwards the king of Bengal was forced to consent
to do homage and pay tribute, but quickly broke his engage-
ments. Next year (July, 1576) he was captured by the
imperial officers and put to death. Thus ended the inde-
pendent kingdom of Bengal. But when historians speak of
independent Bengal, the phrase must be understood as
referring only to the independence of the kingdom from the
control of the rulers of Delhi and Agra. In those days the
Hindu population of the province was of little account, and
possessed no authority, the kings and chiefs who fought the
sultans and Padshahs of the north-west being usually foreign
chiefs of Afghan origin.

Rajput rising ; battle of Gogunda, 1576. During the pro-
gress of the operations in Bengal the emperor's forces had to
contend with a formidable uprising in Rajputana, under the
leadership of Rana Partab Singh of Udaipur. He was
defeated in June 1576 by Man Singh at Gogunda (also
known as Haldighat), north of Udaipur, in a hotly contested
battle, vividly described by the historian Badaom, who took
an active part in it. Arrangements were made to curb the
Rajputs by building fifty blockhouses (thdnas) in the hills,
but the Udaipur country was never really subdued. In fact,
Partab Singh gradually recovered possession of most of his
country before Akbar's death.

Result of twenty years' war. In 1576, twenty years after
the second battle of Panipat, Akbar had succeeded in making
himself the lord paramount of all India proper to the north



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 175

of the Vindhyas, exacting a more or less complete and willing
obedience from innumerable turbulent feudatories. But
fighting never ceased, and the imperial generals had much to
do in Bengal and Bihar until 1586. Those provinces were
not wholly quieted until 1592.

Revolt of Bengal and Bihar in 1579. A serious rebellion
in Bengal, which began in 1579, was caused partly by the
anger, of the Muhammadan nobles at the harsh measures of
the imperial officials, who cut down their revenue-free grants,
and partly by resentment against Akbar's growing hostility
to Islam. That hostility, which had its root in his early
studies of Sufism, may be said to have become marked from
1574 when Abul Fazl came to court, and to have come to
a head in 1579 when Akbar compelled the leading theologians
to admit the right of the emperor to pass rulings on matters
of religion. That remarkable decree will be cited in full
presently. It is mentioned here because it was closely
connected with the revolt of Bengal and other disturbances.
The rebels in Bengal desired to replace Akbar by his more
orthodox half-brother, Muhammad Hakim of Kabul. Ulti-
mately the Bengal rebellion was suppressed.

Annexation of Kabul, 1585. Muhammad Hakim Mirza,
who was born at Kabul in 1554, and so was twelve years
junior to Akbar, had been recognized from infancy as the
nominal ruler of the Kabul province, which was actually
administered by various nobles in succession, apparently in
practical independence. In 1582 Muhammad Hakim, who
had hopes of winning his brother's Indian throne, invaded
the Pan jab, but was repulsed and obliged to accept Akbar's
suzerainty. His death, due to drink, in July 1585, enabled
Akbar to include Kabul in his dominions as a Suba or province.

Lahore, Akbar's capital for fourteen years. The death of
his brother and other pressing affairs made it necessary for
the emperor to move towards the north-west. Starting from
Fathpur-Sikri in August 1584, he reached Attock (Atak-
Banaras) towards the end of December. He remained in the



176 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

north until November 1598, making Lahore his capital for
nearly fourteen years. At the end of 1585 four imperial armies
were in motion, directed severally against the tribesmen in the
Khyber Pass on the road to Kabul, the Yusufzi of the Pesha-
war country, the Bal5chis, and Kashmir, which kingdom
Akbar was resolved to annex. Early in 1586 the force
operating against the Yusufzi suffered a severe defeat, the
slain including Raja Birbal, the Brahman, one of Akbar's
dearest and most intimate friends. The tribesmen were
sternly chastised, but not subdued.

Conquest of Kashmir, 1586-7 ; and Sind. From the time
of Babur, the Mughal sovereigns of India had felt a desire to
possess the delightful valley of Kashmir, but neither Babur
nor Humayun had leisure to undertake the conquest of the
country. A cousin 1 of Babur's, Haidar Mirza Doghlat, the
celebrated author of the history entitled Tarikh-i-Rashidi,
made himself master of it, and ruled well and wisely for
eleven years, until 1551. In 1572 the reigning king, also
a Musalman, made a formal recognition of the supremacy of
Akbar, by consenting that his name should be recited as that
of the sovereign in the public prayers. But then, and for many
years afterwards, Akbar was far too busy in Gujarat, Bengal,
and elsewhere to be able to attend to Kashmir. He could not
attempt the conquest of the mountain kingdom until he had
made his position in the plains fairly safe. When he was free
to make the attempt, a pretext for interference was easily
found. The occupation was effected by Akbar's generals
without excessive difficulty in 1586-7, and from that time
Kashmir became an integral part of the Mughal empire,
attached to the Suba of Kabul. A little later, after a tedious
campaign, the province of Sind, partially subdued in 1588,
was finally conquered, and united with the Suba of Multan.
Kandahar was taken from the Persians in 1594.

Result of forty years' wars. By 1596 Akbar was master
of the whole of Northern India, from the Bay of Bengal on the
east of the Arabian Sea on the west, as well as of the Indus



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 177

valley, and the greater part of the present kingdom of Afghan-
istan. The conquest of the south remained. But that great
design was not destined to be accomplished, except to a small
extent.

Preparations for invasion of the Deccan. Akbar's long-
cherished designs on the Deccan were much aided by the
dissensions of the local princes and nobles, who were unable
to form a firm league among themselves to withstand the
common foe. The ordinary political strife was made more
bitter by sectarian quarrels of the Shiah with the Sunm
Muhammadans. In 1591 Akbar sent embassies to the four
kingdoms of the Deccan, Khandesh, Bijapur, Golkonda or
Hyderabad, and Ahmadnagar, to demand recognition of his
authority. The sultan of the small state of Khandesh
submitted readily, and thus secured for the emperor free
passage by the Burhanpur and Asirgarh road, but the other
kingdoms refused to do homage.

Siege of Ahmadnagar, 1595. Traitorous invitations
smoothed the path of the Mughals, and in December 1595
the emperor's second son, Prince Murad, invested Ahmad-
nagar. The imperialist operations were weakened by discord
between the prince and his colleague, Abdurrahim Khan-i-
Khanan. the son of Bairam Khan, regent in Akbar's youth.
The defence was heartened by the gallantry of a woman,
Chand Bibi, a lady of the royal house, rightly called Chand
Sultan, who donned armour, and sword in hand held the breach
made by the besiegers' mines. The attempt to storm failed,
and Murad withdrew when Chand Bibi agreed to cede Berar.

Fall of Ahmadnagar, 1600. In the autumn of 1600, Chand
Bibi meantime having been murdered, Ahmadnagar was again
besieged and taken by Prince Daniyal, Akbar's youngest son.
The emperor formally constituted a new Suba, or government,
under the name of Ahmadnagar, but, as a matter of fact, tho
greater part of the kingdom remained under the rule of
members of the local royal family, and was not really annexed
until 1637, in the reign of Shahjahan.



178 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

Siege and capture of Aslrgarh, January 1601. Meantime,
the little state of Khandesh, which had been friendly to
Akbar in 1591, had become hostile in consequence of local
revolutions. The ruler of this kingdom possessed the strong-
hold of Aslrgarh, situated north-east of Burhanpur on a spur
of the Satpura range, and thus commanded the main road
to the Deccan. The capture of this fortress, the strongest in
India, was necessary for the progress and safety of the imperial
army. The siege accordingly was begun early in 1600 and
lasted for more than eleven months, until January 1601
(Ilahi year 45), when an outbreak of pestilence within the
walls rendered the place untenable. In 1820 the same fortress
surrendered to Sir John Malcolm after a bombardment of
eleven days.

The last of Akbar's conquests. The taking of Ahmadnagar
and Aslrgarh closes the long roll of the victories of Akbar,
who was unable to make further progress in the subjugation
of the south. His force was now spent, and the record of the
last four years of his strenuous life leaves on the mind a painful
impression of disillusion, disappointment, sorrow, and failure.
Akbar returned to Agra during the year which witnessed the
fall of Aslrgarh, leaving his youngest son Daniyal as viceroy
of the southern and western provinces. Khandesh was
renamed Dandesh in compliment to the prince.

Akbar's unworthy sons. Prince Daniyal, a good-for-nothing,
drunken sot, was undeserving of the paternal favour, and
died from the effects of drink a few months before his father
passed away. The same vice had destroyed Prince Murad six
years earlier. The eldest son, Prince Salim, although equally
intemperate, had a stronger constitution than his brothers,
and survived to become the successor of Akbar.

Rebellion of Prince Salim. Salim, in accordance with many
evil precedents, was eager to anticipate the course of nature
and usurp his father's place. Akbar, well informed concern-
ing his traitorous designs, endeavoured to keep him employed
by commissions to hunt down rebels in Rajputana and Bengal,



THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761 179

but the prince would neither come to court nor proceed to
execute the imperial orders. He continued to sulk and play
the tyrant at Allahabad, and at last, in 1601, there assumed
the imperial titles and took possession of the treasures of
Bihar.

Murder of Abul Fazl by order of Salim. A little later, in
August 1602, Salim inflicted a deadly wound on his father's
feelings by causing a Bundela robber-chieftain to waylay and
murder Shaikh Abul Fazl, the guide, philosopher, and friend of
the emperor. ' If Salim ', said Akbar, ' wished to be emperor,
he might have killed me and spared Abul Fazl.' Ultimately,
through the mediation of Sultan Sallmah Begam, widow of the
regent Bairam Khan, who long before had become one of
Akbar's many consorts, a peace was patched up, and Salim
was induced to come tb court.

Salim nominated as successor. By this time, Akbar, much
affected by the death of his youngest, and the ingratitude
of his first-born son, and further weakened by indulgence in
the dangerous consolations of opium, was failing visibly.
Raja Man Singh and several other influential nobles, who
dreaded the assumption of absolute power by Salim, sought
to set him aside and substitute his son Khusru. But these
schemes came to naught. No absolutely trustworthy account
of the last days of Akbar exists. The long story usually
quoted is that told in the so-called Memoirs of Jahangir
as translated by Price, a document largely falsified and wholly
without authority. The best evidence is that of the Dutch
writer van den Broecke (in De Laet, 1628 or 1629), who
based his work on an official chronicle. He states that

' the King, while hopes of his recovery still existed, was
visited by Prince Salim, on whose head he placed his own
turban, girding him at the same time with the sword of his
own father Humayun.'

That simple statement may be accepted as probably true.
Assuming its truth, the failure of the plot in favour of Khusru
is explained by the natural unwillingness of the nobles to



180 THE MUGHAL EMPIRE FROM 1526 TO 1761

defy the expressed will of the great monarch whom they had
obeyed for so long.

Death of Akbar. Akbar, then almost sixty-three solar years
of age, died at Agra on October 15, 1605, in the presence of
a crowd of anxious nobles. Salim does not seem to have
been present. The partisans of Khusru made a feeble
attempt to put their candidate forward, but Raja Ramdas
declared for Salim and settled the question by posting
a strong guard of Rajput cavalry over the immense treasure
in the fort, which included nearly two hundred millions of
rupees' worth of coin, in addition to great sums stored in
six other fortresses. Salim 's succession was thus secured.
On the third day Raja Man Singh and the Khan-i-Azam


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