Following 1725 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explainedas caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religiousintolerance, and British colonialism. The lastEmperor ,Bahadur Shah II, whose rule wasrestricted to the city of Delhi,was imprisoned and exiled by theBritishafter theIndian Rebellionof 1857.The classic period of the Empire starts with the accession of Jalaluddin Mohammad, better known as Akbar the Great, in 1556, and ends with the death of Emperor Aurangzebin 1707,although the Empire continued for another 150 years. During this period, the Empire was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different regions. All the significantmonuments of the Mughals, their most visible legacy, date to this period.
The foundation for the Baburids empire was established around the early 1500s by theTimurid princeBabur , when he took control of theDoaband eastern regions of Khorasancontrolling thefertileSindhregion and the lower valley of theIndus River .
To secure his newly founded kingdom,Babur then had to face theRajputconfederacy led byRana Sangaof Chittor , at theBattle of Khanwa. These early military successes of the Turks, achieved by an army much smaller than itsopponents, have been attributed to their cohesion, mobility,horse-mounted archers, and use of artillery.
Babur's sonHumayunsucceeded him in 1530 but suffered major reversals at the hands of thePashtunSher Shah Suriand effectively lost most of the fledgling empire before it could grow beyond a minor regional state. From 1540 Humayun became a ruler in exile, reaching the Courtof theSafavidruler in 1542 while his forces still controlled some fortresses and small regions.But when thePashtunsfell into disarray with the death of Sher Shah Suri, Humayun returnedwith a mixed army, raised more troops and managed to reconquer Delhiin 1555.Humayun crossed the rough terrain of Makranwith his wife, but left behind their infant sonJalaluddinto spare him the rigours of the journey.Akbar , as Jalaluddin would be better known inhis later years, was born in theRajputtown of UmerkotinSindhwhere he was raised by hisuncle Askari. There he became an excellent outdoorsman, horseman, and hunter, and learned thearts of war.The resurgent Humayun then conquered the central plateau around Delhi, but months later diedin an accident, leaving the realm unsettled and in war. Akbar succeeded his father on14 February1556, while in the midst of a war againstSikandar Shah Surifor the throne of Delhi. He soonwon his eighteenth victory at age 21 or 22. The rump remnant began to grow, then it grewconsiderably. He became known as
, as he was a wise ruler, set fair but steep taxes. Heinvestigated the production in a certain area and taxed inhabitants 1/5 of their agricultural produce. He also set up an efficient bureaucracy and was tolerant of religious differences whichsoftened the resistance by the conquered.Jahangir , the son of BaburidsEmperor Akbar ruled the empire from 1605–1627. In October 1627,Shah Jahan ,son of BaburidsEmperor Jahangir succeeded to the throne, where he inheriteda vast and rich empire inIndia. At mid-century this was perhaps the greatest empire in the world.Shah Jahan commissioned the famousTaj Mahal(1630–1653) inAgraas a tomb for his wife