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Mughal Empire

Dancers at the Mughal courtDancers at the Mughal court The Mughal Empire was founded in 1526, when Babur, a ruler from Afghanistan, and his invading army took victory over the Sultanate of Delhi at the Battle of Panipat. Babur could trace his ancestry back to the Mongol emperors Tamerlane and Genghis Khan, who ruled a vast Asian empire in the 13th and 14th centuries. He became the first of the six Great Mughals who ruled over an empire that stretched across almost the whole of modern India. The Mughal rulers were Muslims, while the majority of their subjects were Hindus. The Mughal Empire in India lasted until 1858, when it was taken over by the British.

Akbar the Great riding an elephantAkbar the Great riding an elephant

Akbar the Great

Babur’s grandson, Akbar, is considered to be the greatest of the Mughal emperors. He came to power in 1556 when he was only 13 years old. He set up a centralized system of government that helped to develop a strong economy. In order to encourage peace among his subjects, his policies tolerated all religions. He was also a great patron of art and culture, creating a library of 24,000 volumes.Fatehpur Sikri, capital from 1571 to 1585Fatehpur Sikri, capital from 1571 to 1585
Map of the growth of the Mughal EmpireMap of the growth of the Mughal Empire

Later rulers

At its peak in the mid-17th century, the Mughal Empire had more than 150 million inhabitants—nearly a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

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