AKBAR (1556-1603)

Akbar (1556-1603) succeeded his father Humayun at the young age of 13 years. The emperor being minor, Bairam Khan worked as his regent. Hemu, the leader of Sur Afghans, who had captured Delhi and Agra, immediately after Akbar’s accession, was defeated by the Mughal army in the Second Battle of Panipat in 1556 and was subsequently slain by Bairam Khan. In 1560 he assumed personally the reins of government and dismissed Bairam Khan. Akbar, by his diplomacy, won over all the Rajput princes except Rana Udai Singh of Mewar whose son Rana Pratap Singh like his father continued to defy the Mughal authority till his death in 1597 despite his defeat in 1567 in Battle of Haldighati. In pursuance of his policy of befriending Hindus, he married Jodhabai, the daughter of Raja BihariMaloi Jaipur who gave birth in 1569 to Salim, Akbar’s only son and heir. A Sufi saint Salim Shah Chisti is believed to have blessed Akbar with the son In honour of the saint, he shifted his capital from Agra to Fatehpur Sikri where the saint lived. The imperial court remained there from 1570 to 1585. In 1581 he proclaimed a new religion named Din-e-llahi which although represented the good points of all religions, could not succeed. Birbal was the only Hindu who joined it. Akbar died in 1605 at Agra and was buried in a tomb built by the Emperor himself at Sikandra near Agra.

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