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Akbar's military conquests

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Akbar's military conquests

Post by sandhya on 2014-03-12, 02:35


This is in continuation to the earlier thread on Akbar's reforms. This is about his military achievements. Akbar was a great imperialist who practically spent his whole life conquering one territory after another. When he ascended the throne in 1556, he could hardly be said to be the master of any territory. But because of his policy, wisdom and military skill, he laid the foundation of a vast empire.


The basis of his military prowess and authority was Akbar's skillful structural and organisational calibration of the Mughal Army.  The Mansabdari system has been acclaimed for its role in upholding Mughal power in the time of Akbar.  Akbar's army excelled in cannons, firearms, war elephants and was well known for fortifications.


1.Conquest of Delhi and Agra 1556 A.D.,
As a result of his success in the second battle of Panipat, Akbar occupied Delhi and Agra with the help of his regent Bairam Khan.
(This was mentioned in the introductory episode of the serial. It was shot very well in the movie too.)

2.Gwalior Ajmer and Jaunpur 1556-1560
For four years, Bairam Khan acted as a guardian for Akbar and added these territories in the Mughal Empire during this period.  In 1558, Akbar took possession of Ajmer,  the aperture to Rajputana. Late in the same year, a Mughal commander defeated and annexed Jaunpur in the eastern Gangetic valley. The Mughals had also besieged and defeated the Sur forces in control of Gwalior.
(This is also mentioned in the earlier episodes. Jallu earned the name Jallad during this time. )

3 Malwa 1560 - 62
In 1560, an expedition was sent against Baz Bahadur, the Afghan Ruler of Malwa. He was defeated by the Mughal Generals Aadham Khan and Pir Muhammad.  But Aadham Khan retained all the spoils and followed through with the Central Asian practice of slaughtering the surrendered garrison, their wives and children,  Akbar personally rode to Malwa to confront Adham Khan and relieve him of command.

(We saw all this in detail. . Wow! Jalal had his shamsheer () at AK's neck when our white witch MA pleaded on his behalf and Jalal as usual forgave. More so because MA destroyed proofs. Didn't Jallu look extremely good looking in that light blue dress in that episode? )

Pir Muhammad Khan was then sent in pursuit of Baz Bahadur but was beaten back.  Baz Bahadur temporarily regained control of Malwa until, in the next year, Akbar sent another Mughal army to invade and annex the kingdom.

(This happened only a few episodes ago.. AK and PM are in Malwa right now.)

Malwa became a province of  Akbar's regime. Later, Baz Bahadur  took service under Akbar

4. 1562 ...Akbar, as a part of his expansion policy entered into friendly and matrimonial alliances with many Rajput rulers. In 1562, he married the daughter of Raja Bharmal of Amer and Amer became a vassal state of the Mughal Sultanate.

(This is all that the general books mention of the most important aspect of our serial!)

5. 1564 Gondwana

Gondwana  a small state  in modern Madhya Pradesh, was ruled by Rani Durgavati, on behalf of her son Raja Vir Narayan. This hilly area in central India was of interest to the Mughals because of its herd of wild elephants. Akbar did not personally lead the campaign because he was preoccupied with the Uzbek rebellion, but left the expedition in the hands of Asaf Khan, the Mughal governor of Kara. Rani Durgavati offered tough resistance and fought bravely, but was defeated in the battle of Damoh while Raja Vir Narayan was slain at the Fall of Chauragarh, the mountain fortress of the Gonds.  Asaf Khan misappropriated the spoils of the war, was taken to task by Akbar, he fled and then came back and was given his position again.

(I  hope Rani Durgavati's story is shown by our CVs...).

6. Chittore  1567-1568

The Mughals had already established domination over parts of northern Rajputana in Mewar, Ajmer and Nagoor. (The aread that were under the Subedari of Shariffu before the fake pregnancy track and which Jalal split and gave individually) Now, however, Akbar was determined to drive into the heartlands of Rajputana. Most Rajput states accepted Akbar's suzerainty. But the ruler of Mewar,Udai Singh however, remained outside the imperial fold.
In 1567, Akbar moved to reduce the Chittor fort in Mewar. The fortress-capital of Mewar was of great strategic importance as it lay on the shortest route from Agra to Gujarat. Udai Singh retired to the hills of Mewar, leaving two Rajput warriors, Jaimal and Fatta. For four months, (Oct 1567 to Feb 1568) the Rajputs successfully kept the Mughals at bay. Akbar himself escaped death many times. On 23rd Feb 1568, Jaimal was fatally wounded by a shot from Akbar's gun. The Rajput  women committed jauhar and the men fought very bravely, but Chittore ultimately fell to the Mughals.
Udai Singh then founded the city of Udaipur but his illustrious son Maharana Pratap (our ever-'green' dress warrior ...when will the CVs give our MP a different coloured new dress?) and grandson Amar Singh bravely defied the Mughals throughout their lives.
7. 1569 - 1570   Ranthambhor, Khalinjar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur
After Chittore, the Ranthambor fortress, one of the most powerful ones was captured followed by  Khalinjar, Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur. The rulers of Bikaner and Jaisalmer married their daughters to Akbar.
(Kyun Jalal kyun? Aren't the overflowing numbers in the harem enough?)
8. 1572-73 Gujarat
Akbar's next military objectives were the conquest of Gujarat and Bengal, which connected India with the trading centres of Asia, Africa, and Europe through the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal respectively.
Gujarat, with its coastal regions, possessed areas of rich agricultural production in its central plain; an impressive output of textiles and other industrial goods, and the busiest seaports of India. Gujarat was attacked in 1572, and its ruler Muzaffar Shah was found hiding in the cornfield who submitted with least resistance. However, when Akbar returned, Muzaffar Shah started to give trouble. Akbar came back in 1573  and crushed the revolt with a heavy hand. The Buland Darwaza was built in FS to commemorate this victory.
9. 1574-76 Bihar and Bengal
Daud Khan the Afghan ruler of Bihar and Bengal refused to accept the suzerainty of Akbar. Expeditions were sent in 1574 and then again in 1576 to defeat him and Bihar and Bengal were annexed.  Munim Khan, the Mughal governor of Bihar, was ordered to defeat Duad Khan, but later, Akbar himself set out to Bengal. This was an opportunity to bring the trade in the east under Mughal control.
10. 1585-86 Kabul
Kabul  was under Akbar's half-brother Mirza Haakim (Our Jalal's love guru - ). However Mirza Haakim troubled Akbar and tried to invade Punjab in 1581 (On no! can our chocolate baby, chubby cute, complan boy do this to his bhai jaan) which was thwarted by Akbar. When Mirza Hakim died in 1585, Kabul was annexed to the Mughal Empire completely.
11.1586-95 Kaskmir Sind and Kandhar
The beautiful valley of Kashmir was added to the Mughal Empire when Bhagwan Das defeated its ruler Yusuf Shah in 1586. In 1591, In 1591, Abdul Rahim Khanekhana defeated the ruler of Sind Mirza Fani Beg and annexed Sind to the Mughal Empire. (Seems our cutie Rahim had his Momma dearest's flair for poetry and his papa dearest's flair for military expertise too.). Then it became easy for Akbar to defeat the Shah of Persia and conquer Kandahar.
12.1595-1601 The Deccan
Akbar was the first Mughal Monarch to pay attention to the Deccan. He tried to bring the various states of the Deccan under him - like Khandesh, Ahmadnagar, Bijapur and Golconda and succeeded. ( The story of Chand Bibi of Ahmadnagar who stood up to the Mughals is a popular one in Amar Chitra Katha).
(All these are about the main and interesting conquests of Akbar. There are many many more that I have left out as I didn't want the post to sound like a big  history essay.)
There is a dialogue in the serial in which Jalal says that he was a sipahi first. The sipahi in him was alive and active till his final days. While explaining about the Ratanpur Qila, he said that he conquered more than what he saw from the tallest tower of the fort. He had infact conquered more than anyone foresaw, given the diversity, complexity and strength of those he faced...He not just conquered, but he administered his sultanate very ably and left behind a legacy and an imprint in the History of India, equalled by very few kings after him.
PS: These details are to the best of my knowledge and understanding. Friends, you are welcome to correct if inaccurate and  add  facts and anectodes.

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Re: Akbar's military conquests

Post by --sumana13-- on 2014-03-12, 07:49

Thanks for sharing Sandhya .. These are priceless gems that you share so generously here in Dhwani ..
 Thumbsup  hpee

Adding this post of yours to the History thread ..

Last edited by --sumana13-- on 2014-03-12, 18:06; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Akbar's military conquests

Post by JAISMINE on 2014-03-12, 12:48

Thnx sooooooooo much for sharing such intresting facts. long hug ...I looooove such posts r a treat 4 me.. hpee


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Re: Akbar's military conquests

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