Page:A Brief History of the Indian Peoples.djvu/138

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134 THE MUGHAL DYNASTY. The Reign of Akbar {continued'). 1586. Conquest of Kashmir ; its final revolt quelled in 1592. 1592. Conquest and annexation of Sind to the Mughal Empire. 1594. Subjugation of Kandahar, and consolidation of the Mughal Empire over all India north of the Vindhyas as far as Kabul and Kandahar. 1595. Unsuccessful expedition of Akbar's army into the Deccan against Ahmadnagar under his son, Prince Murad. 1599. Second expedition against Ahmadnagar by Akbar in person, who captures the town, but fails to establish Mughal rule. 1601. Annexation of Khandesh, and return of Akbar to Northern India. 1605. Akbar's death at Agra. Akbar the Great, 1556-1605. — Akbar the Great, the real founder of the Mughal Empire as it existed for one and a half centuries, succeeded his father at the age of fourteen. Born in 1542, his reign lasted for almost fifty years, from 1556 to 1605, and was therefore contemporary with that of our own Queen Elizabeth (1558-1603). His father, Humayiin, left but a small kingdom in India, not so large as the present British Province of the Punjab : Akbar expanded that small kingdom into an Indian Empire. At the time of Humayun's death, Akbar (a mere boy) was absent in the Punjab, under the guardianship of Bairam Khan, fighting the revolted Afghans. Bairam, a Turkoman by birth, had been the support of the exiled Huma- yiin, and held the real command of the army which restored him to his throne at P&nfpat. He now became the . regent for the youthful Akbar, under the honoured title of Khan Baba, equivalent to ' the King's Father.' Brave and skilful as a general, but harsh and overbearing, he raised many enemies ; and Akbar, having endured four years of thraldom, took advantage of a hunting party to throw off his minister's yoke (1560). The fallen regent, after a struggle between his loyalty and his resentment, revolted, was defeated, and pardoned. Akbar granted him a liberal pension; and Bairam was in the act of starting on a pilgrimage to Mecca, when he fell beneath the knife of an Afghan assassin, whose father he had slain in battle. Akbar's Work in India. — The reign of Akbar was a reign of pacification. On his accession in 1556 he found India split up into petty Hindu and Muhammadan kingdoms, and seething with discordant elements; on his death in 1605, he bequeathed it an almost united empire. The earlier invasions by Turks,