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1556-1605 - Conquests of Akbar

India History Map - 1605In 1504 Prince Baber, a descendant of Tamerlane and Chenghis Khan, acquired the kingdom of Kabul, and in 1522 added Kandahar to his possessions. At the invitation of Daulat Lodi, a discontented governor of the Punjab, and encouraged by Sanga, the rana of Chitor, Baber invaded India and defeated and killed Ibrahim Lodi in the first battle of Panipat (1526), occupied Delhi, and took Agra. The rana of Chitor at first offered him assistance with a view of recovering for himself the ancient Eajput supremacy over Hindustan. But discovering that Baber intended to establish an empire of his own, he turned against the invader and marched against him at the head of his feudal lords, but suffered a defeat at Sikri near Agra (1527).

In the following year the important Rajput fortress of Chanderi was taken, and the opposition of the Hindus was crushed. Baber, before his death (1530), brought the whole of Hindustan under his power. Humayun, his son and successor, was, after nine year's reign, defeated at Baxar by Sher Shah, an Afghan, and Hindustan came once more under Afghan rulers from 1539 to 1555. Humayun fled to Persia, and re-established his authority in Afghanistan. In 1555 he invaded India and, with the help of Persian troops, won the battle of Sirhind.

He was succeeded by his son, the famous Akbar (1556-1605). In 1556 the second battle of Panipat was fought, in which the Afghan power in Hindustan was for ever broken and the Moghul supremacy established. In the course of his long reign Akbar conquered all Hindustan and extended his empire into the Dekkan. Gondwana, however, seems to have been only loosely connected with the Empire. Akbar gained over the Eajputs by inducing them to recognise him as their overlord. But the rana of Chitor, who had hitherto been the feudal superior of all the Eajputs, scorned the idea of acknowledging a suzerain and organised a resistance. Akbar attacked Chitor and forced it to surrender, while Udai Singh, the rana, fleeing to the Aravalli hills, founded Udaipur where he succeeded in maintaining his independence.

Abkar divided his realm into provinces or "subahs" ruled by viceroys or " subahdars," while the districts were placed in the hands of deputies or "nawabs". The list of Abkar's provinces is as follows :2—1. Kabul—2. Lahore—3. Multan—4. Delhi—5. Agra —6. Oudh—7. Allahabad—8. Ajmere—9. Gujerat —10. Malwa—11. Behar—12. Bengal—13. Khandesh—14. Berar—15. Ahmadnagar—16. Orissa— 17. Kashmir—18. Sindh.

The four Dekkani sultans had hitherto lived in constant warfare among themselves and against the princes of Gujerat, Malwa, Khandesh, and Vijayanagar; but at length they became united against the mighty Hindu supremacy of the South, and at Talikot (1565) fought a decisive battle, which was followed by the utter and ruthless destruction of Vijayanagar. The surviving princes of the Vijayanagar dynasty retired first to Penaconda and, when that security failed them, to Chandragiri. But their supremacy had passed away. They sank down to the level of merely local rajas, while one after another the chiefs of the south assumed their independence only a few of them still nominally acknowledging the Vijayanagar kings as their overlords.

Berar was annexed by Ahmednagar in 1524 and Bidar by Bijapur in 1529. Bijapur at Akbar's time was bounded on the north by the Nira river, and (before the southern conquests) extended along the coast from Bankot to Cape Eama; on the east the districts of Eaichur (Eedgeer), Mulkaid, and Bidar divided it from Golconda; Akalkot, Naldrag, and Kalyan became frontier-provinces alternately overrun by the troops of the various adjacent states. In the south the principal strongholds taken possession of were Adoni (Udni), Dharwar, and Bankapur; while many chiefs south of the Tungabhadra, as far down as Mysore (reduced in 1593) and Malabar (subdued in 1593), became tributary to the Adil Shah.

The kings of Qolconda also occupied large tracts Though Akbar had reduced Ahmadnagar and imprisoned its lawful prince, Malik Amber, an Abyssinian nobleman, set up a rival prince and governed in his name the remaining territory of the Nizam Shahi dynasty, holding his own against the imperial armies. He founded the town of Kirki (afterwards Aurangabad), but his chief stronghold was Daulatabad. The boundaries of his territories were continually shifting, but seem to have extended to the Arabian Sea.

In 1589 Ibrahim Kutb Shah founded the town of Haidarabad.



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