The Mughal Empire (Persian: ????? ????, Shahan-e Mogul; Urdu: ????? ?????; selfdesignation: ???????

, Gurkani),[2][3] or Mogul (also Moghul) Empire in former En glish usage, was an Indian imperial power that ruled a large portion of the Indi an subcontinent which began in 1526, invaded and ruled most of South Asia by the late 17th and early 18th centuries and ended in the mid-19th century.[4] The Mughal Emperors were descendants of the Timurids, and at the height of their power around 1700, they controlled most of the Indian Subcontinent extending from Bengal in the east to Balochistan in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kave ri basin in the south.[5] Its population at that time has been estimated as betw een 110 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles).[1] The "classic period" of the Empire started in 1556 with the accession of Jalalud din Mohammad Akbar, better known as Akbar the Great. It ended with the death and defeat of Emperor Aurangzeb in 1707 by the rising Hindu Maratha Empire ,[6] alt hough the dynasty continued for another 150 years. During this period, the Empir e was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different reg ions. All the significant monuments of the Mughals, their most visible legacy, d ate to this period which was characterised by the expansion of Persian cultural influence in the Indian subcontinent, with brilliant literary, artistic, and arc hitectural results. Following 1725 the empire declined rapidly, weakened by wars of succession, agra rian crises fueling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance, the rise of the Maratha, Durrani, and Sikh empires and finally British colonialism. The last king, Bahadur Zafar Shah II, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi , was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The name Mughal is derived from the original homelands of the Timurids, the Cent ral Asian steppes once conquered by Genghis Khan and hence known as Moghulistan, "Land of Mongols". Although early Mughals spoke the Chagatai language and maint ained Turko-Mongol practices, they were essentially Persianized.[7] They transfe rred the Persian literature and culture[7] to India, thus forming the base for t he Indo-Persian culture.[7] The Mughal Empire was the dominant power in the Indi an subcontinent between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1858, when it was supplanted by the Briti sh Raj. The dynasty is sometimes referred to as the Timurid dynasty as Babur was descended from Timur. The Mughal dynasty was founded when Babur, hailing from Ferghana (Modern Uzbekis tan), invaded parts of northern India and defeated Ibrahim Shah Lodhi, the ruler of Delhi, at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526. The Mughal Empire superseded the Delhi Sultanate as rulers of northern India. In time, the state thus founded by Babur far exceeded the bounds of the Delhi Sultanate, eventually encompassin g a major portion of India and earning the appellation of Empire. A brief interr egnum (1540 1555) during the reign of Babur's son, Humayun, saw the rise of the Af ghan Suri Dynasty under Sher Shah Suri, a competent and efficient ruler in his o wn right, and Hindu king Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, also called Hemu. However, Sh er Shah's untimely death and the military incompetence of his successors enabled Humayun to regain his throne in 1555. However, Humayun died a few months later, and was succeeded by his son, the 13-year-old Akbar the Great. The greatest portions of Mughal expansion was accomplished during the reign of A kbar (1556 1605). The empire was maintained as the dominant force of the present-d ay Indian subcontinent for a hundred years further by his successors Jahangir, S hah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. The first six emperors, who enjoyed power both de jure and de facto, are usually referred to by just one name, a title adopted upon hi s accession by each Emperor. The relevant title is bolded in the list below. Akbar the Great initiated certain important policies, such as religious liberali sm (abolition of the jizya tax), inclusion of Hindus in the affairs of the empir e, and political alliance/marriage with the Hindu Rajput caste, that were innova tive for his milieu; he also adopted some policies of Sher Shah Suri, such as th e division of the empire into sarkar Rajs, in his administration of the empire. These policies, which undoubtedly served to maintain the power and stability of

Other adversaries included Sikh Empire and Hyderabad Nizams. rather than "Emperor of India". Begin ning with Bahadur Shah I. who followed a more strict interpr etation of Islam and followed a stricter policy of intolerance to the practice o f religions than his own. Ahoms of Assam. but there alw ays existed strong independent Hindu kingdoms which maintained their sovereignty and offered stiff resistance to Mughal expansion. the Mughal capital. Aurangzeb spent nearly his entire career seeking to expand his realm into the Deccan and south India. The power was mostly centred around Delhi. They deposed the last Mughal Empe ror in 1857 and exiled him to Burma. which formed a momentous chapter in the history of India. only the guards of the Red Fort were spared to serve with the King Of Delhi. . Bahadur Shah Zafar (mostly symbo lically. the bl ind and powerless Shah Alam II formally accepted the protection of the British E ast India Company. These were preserved by his two immediat e successors but were discarded by Aurangzeb. The British had already begun to refer to the weakened Empero r as "King of Delhi". The greater portion of the emp ire's territories in India passed to the Marathas. the British decided to abolish the institution altogether. who repeatedly sacked Delhi. Assam in the east. Furthermore. Rajputs. Map show ing territories in 1700 and 1792 After the emperor Aurangzeb's death in 1707. None theless. being initially controlled by sundry courtiers and later b y various rising warlords. Thus the Mughal dyna sty came to an end. w hich was for historical reasons considered a strategic stronghold. the empire fell into decline. the Mughal Emperors progressively declined in power an d became figureheads. as t he blood lines of the original Mughals are now mixed with the other muslim popul ations of India and have South-Asian identities which are stronger than any orig inal Turkic or Mongoloid origins. Sikhs of Punjab. In 1857. this venture sapped the resources of the empire while provoking strong resistanc e from the Marathas. as he was just a figurehead for the purpose of rebellion). which avoided the uncomfortabl e implication that British sovereignty was outranked by the Indian monarch. who sacked Delhi reducing the once powerful and mighty empire to just a lone city before falling to the Briti sh. as the Hindu populace had shown resistance to the Islamic conquest i n its years in the Indian subcontinent.the empire. The term Mughal in the current socio-political context also does not have decisive meaning. In 1804. Ahoms in Assam su ccessfully resisted the Mughal invasions. Decline Sikh and Maratha states gained territory after Mughal empire's decline. After some rebels in the Sepoy Rebellion decla red their allegiance to Shah Alam's descendant. where he died in 1862. In the 18th century. the Empire suffered the depredat ions of invaders like Nadir Shah of Persia and Ahmed Shah Abdali of Afghanistan. It is interesting to note in this regard that while the Mughals ruled I ndia for a nearly three hundred years they never ruled the complete geographical extent of the Indian subcontinent. The once glorious and migh ty Mughal army was disbanded in 1805 by the British. for a few decades afterward the BEIC continued to rule the areas under its control as the nominal servants of the emperor and in his name. eve n these courtesies were disposed. the last battle being the Battle of Sa raighat. There are still many Mughals living in the Indian Subcontinent.