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The Mughal Empire

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              In 1526, Babur, a descendant of Timur and Chengis Kahn from Fergana Valley (present day Uzbekistan) swept across the Khyber Pass and established the Mughal Empire which covered modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Babar ruled until 1530, and was succeeded by his son Humayun, but it is Humayun's son, Akbar the Great, who is conventionally described as the ‘glory of the empire’. Akbar reigned from 1556 to 1605, and extended his empire as far to the west as Afghanistan, and as far south as the Godavari river. Akbar, though a Muslim, is remembered as a tolerant ruler, started a new faith,  which was an attempt to blend Islam with Hinduism, Christianity, Jainism, and other faiths.

The courtly culture of the Mughals flourished under Jahangir’s rule. His son Shahjahan exhibiting a degree of centralized control rarely matched before. Shah Jahan left behind an extraordinarily rich architectural legacy, which includes the TajMahal and the old city of Delhi, Shahjahanabad. The later part of the seventeenth century the Mughal empire was beginning to disintegrate in the times of Aurangajeb. He tried to establish complete Muslim dominance, and as a result several historical temples were destroyed during this period.

         The Mughal dynasty ruled most of the Indian subcontinent by 1600; it went in to a slow decline after 1707. The Mughals suffered severe blow due to invasions from Marathas and  Afghans  due to which the Mughal dynasty were reduced to puppet rulers by 1757 and was finally defeated during India's first war of Independence in 1857.

          Mughal period marked a vast social change in the subcontinent as the Hindu majority were ruled over by the Mughal emperors, most of the them showed religious tolerance, liberally patronizing Hindu culture. The famous emperor Akbar, the grandson of Babar, tried to establish a good relationship with the Hindus. They attempted to fuse their Turko-Persian culture with ancient Indian styles, creating a unique Indo-Saracenic architecture.