India in the 16th century had numerous unpopular rulers, both Muslim and Hindu, with an absence of common bodies of laws or institutions. External developments also played a role in the rise of the Mughal Empire. The circumnavigation of Africa by the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1498 allowed Europeans to challenge Arab control of the trading routes between Europe and Asia. In Central Asia and Afghanistan, shifts in power pushed Babur of Ferghana (in present-day Uzbekistan) southward, first to Kabul and then to India. The Mughal Empire lasted for more than three centuries. The Mughal Empire was one of the largest centralized states in premodern history and was the precursor to the British Indian Empire.

The Mughals maintained the largest standing army of that time. Just one estimate: In 1628 there 200,000 salaried cavalrymen, 8000 mansabdars, 7000 ahadis and mounted  musketeers were stationed at the imperial capital, besides the armies of the nobles, mansabdars and the princes. In many instances they had the fastest moving army as well. Akbar was able to cover a distance of 500 .

miles (normally it took twenty-one days), in nine days to crush a rebellion (this feat was never repeated).
nMughal dynamism depended on its military conquest, so much that some historians call it “a war state (J F Richards). Mughal emperors made little apology for attacking the neighbouring rulers and they regarded the
adjoining territories either as tributaries or enemies.
The Mughal emperors, especially Akbar, created a special image of himself, and some of his personal qualities and virtues later served as a model for his successors (more details when legitimization process will be discussed).
THE MINISTERS (some about mughal period)
officials  and their ministries namely: Diwan  in charge of finance and revenue, Mir Bakshi in charge of army and intelligence, Qazi in charge of  judiciary  and patronage and Mir-i-Saman in charge of the royal household, and its central workshops, buildings, roads and canals throughout the empire.


Every official in the Mughal empire, high or low, had a rank or a mansab. Their status, duties, pay and importance were graded accordingly. Technically, all mansabdars had to maintain a military contingent for which they were paid. All other officials were paid in cash. During Akbar’s time the official bearing a decimal rank of 500 were ranked as a noble
or umara. But by the end of the seventeenth century the mansabdars with 1000 rank were accorded the status of a umara.
All mansabdars had dual ranks and they were remunerated on that basis. The successful regulation of the mansabs and the salary assignment (jagirdari system) can be truly termed as a Mughal phenomenon.
All Mughal officials received a dual rank when they joined the Mughal imperial service. That was zat (personal salary) and sawar (payment for the military contingent). For example the mansab of Prince Salim (Jahangir) was 5000 zat/5000 sawar. What does it mean: Prince Salim’s personal salary was based on his mansab of 5000 zat and for 5000 sawar, he had to maintain a military contingent.


After the reign of Akbar when the highest ranking mansabdars who had reached the maximum limit in their mansab had nothing to aspire for. For this reason there were some changes in the mansabdari system.
The quota of the contingent which each mansabdar had to maintain was lowered and there were further reductions in the contingent if the mansabdars were posted on the frontiers or far away places.
Du-aspa and sih-aspa categories: For example the mansab of Ali Mardan Khan (1628) was 7000/7000 du-aspa (His personal rank was 7000 but for his 7000 contingent he had to maintain only 66% of troops)
If the sih-aspa category was added then the mansabdar had to maintain 33% of his contingent.
The crisis in the mansabdari system was becoming obvious by the time of Shahjahan. The zat rank of the mansabdars starting exceeding their sawar rank and had crossed the maximum limit of 7000. A mansabdar could have a mansab of 20,000/ 5000. (will be elaborated).
Historical Date Of India
British found Calcutta
1690 ad
Mughal defeat the Maratha at Jini but Rajaram escapes to the his capital Satara
1698 ad
Guru Gobind Singh creates the Sikh armed wing of the Akalis .
1699 ad
Jai Singh becomes rajput of Amber in Rajastan
1699 ad
Maratha's king Rajaram dies and is succeeded by his four-year old son Shambhaji II, with queen Tara Bai as regent
1700 ad
the assassination of the Sikh guru Govind Singh starts a Sikh insurrection against the Mughal in Punjab led by the ascetic Banda .
1709 ad
Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah dies and is succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah, the protege of amir Zulfikar Khan, who becomes the new wazir
1712 ad
Maratha peshwa Balaji Vishwanath dies and Shahu appoints his son Baji Rao to succeed him
1719 ad
Mughal wazir Sayyid Abdullah Khan is overthrown and killed
1720 ad
Mughal governor Nizam-ul-Mulk defeats and kills Deccan governor Mubariz Khan and founds the Asaf Jahi dynasty in Hyderabad .
1724 ad
Muhammad Khan seizes power in the Mughal state of Bengal and Orissa.
1727 ad
Nayak dynasty ends in south India (Madurai is bought by the British).
1736 ad
Next History Date  
1761: Afghani invaders by Ahmad Durani defeat the Marathas at Panipat, thus starting the decline of the Maratha empire
1764: Britain expands to Bengal and Bihar
1769: a famine kills ten million people in Bengal .
1772: Britain chooses Calcutta as the capital of India .
1773: Warren Hastings, governor of Bengal (India), establishes a monopoly on the sale of opium .
1776: Marathas conquer Mysore
1783: Oman acquires the port of Gwadar
1794: Marathas conquer Delhi
1796: Holland cedes Ceylon (Sri Lanka) to Britain
1713: Muguhal emperor Jahandar Shah and his wazir Zulfikar Khan are overthrown by Farrukhsiyar, who becomes the new emperor, and Sayyid Abdullah Khan, who becomes the new wazir .
1714: Jai Singh is appointed governor of Malwa by the Mughal
1715: Banda is captured by the Mogul and the Sikh insurrection ends
1715: Muguhal emperor Farrukhsiyar marries the daughter of Ajit Singh
1715: Mughal emperor Farrukhsiyar appoints Mubariz Khan as governor of the Deccan, that becomes an autonomous state

1713: the prime minister (peshwa) of Maratha, Balaji Vaishvanath, becomes the real ruler of the Maratha kingdom and the peshwa becomes a hereditary title while queen Tara Bai moves her court to Kolhapur 1716: Banda is publicly executed in Delhi
1719: Mogul wazir Sayyid Abdullah Khan and his brother assassinate the Mogul emperor and install Muhammad Shah on the throne with help from Maratha peshwa Balaji Vishwanath, who obtains recognition of his independence