Akbar Successors: The decline of the Mughal Empire continued throughout the 18th century, with regional powers and European colonial forces exerting increasing influence. By the mid-18th century, the empire had fragmented, and the British East India Company became a dominant force in India, leading to the eventual end of Mughal rule.
After the death of Emperor Akbar in 1605, several of his successors ascended to the Mughal throne. The Mughal Empire continued under the rule of Akbar’s descendants for several generations. Here are the immediate successors of Akbar:
1. Jahangir (1605-1627):
- Jahangir, whose birth name was Nur-ud-din Muhammad Salim, was the eldest son of Akbar and Mariam-uz-Zamani.
- He is known for his love of art, culture, and poetry. His reign is often associated with the flourishing of Mughal art, including the work of the famous painter Abu’l-Fazl.
- Jahangir’s reign saw the consolidation of Mughal power in India, but it was also marked by conflicts, including the rebellion of his son Khusrau and diplomatic relations with the British East India Company.
2. Shah Jahan (1628-1658):
- Shah Jahan, born as Khurram, was Jahangir’s son and the fifth Mughal emperor.
- He is most famous for commissioning the construction of the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
- Shah Jahan’s reign is often referred to as the “Golden Age of the Mughal Empire” due to its architectural achievements and cultural richness.
- However, it was also marked by conflicts with his sons, particularly Aurangzeb, who later became a significant figure in the Mughal dynasty.
3. Aurangzeb (1658-1707):
- Aurangzeb, whose birth name was Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad, was Shah Jahan’s third son.
- His reign is known for its religious orthodoxy and expansion of the Mughal Empire to its greatest territorial extent, including the Deccan and parts of South India.
- Aurangzeb’s policies, including the reimposition of the jizya tax on non-Muslims and the destruction of Hindu temples, have been a subject of historical debate and criticism.
- His rule saw prolonged conflicts, including the War of Succession with his brothers, which had a lasting impact on the stability of the empire.
4. Bahadur Shah I (1707-1712):
- Bahadur Shah I, also known as Shah Alam I, was Aurangzeb’s son.
- His reign was relatively short and marked by efforts to stabilize the empire after the long and tumultuous reign of Aurangzeb.
5. Jahandar Shah (1712-1713):
- Jahandar Shah was Bahadur Shah I’s son and briefly ruled as emperor.
- His reign was marked by a lack of effective governance, and he was eventually deposed and executed.
6. Farrukhsiyar (1713-1719):
- Farrukhsiyar was the grandson of Bahadur Shah I and the great-grandson of Aurangzeb.
- His reign was characterized by conflicts with the Sayyid brothers, who held significant power in his court.
- Farrukhsiyar was eventually deposed by the Sayyid brothers.
7. Other Successors:
- The Mughal Empire saw a series of short-lived rulers and periods of instability during the 18th century, including the reigns of Muhammad Shah (1719-1748), Ahmad Shah Bahadur (1748-1754), and Shah Jahan III (1757-1760).
By Team Learning Mantras