Sunday, February 10, 2008

INTRODUCTION


Akbar was born on October 15,1542, at the Rajput Fortress of Umarkot in Sind where the Mughal Emperor Humayun and his recently wedded wife, Hamida Banu Begum were taking refuge. Soon they were transferred to State of Rewa (in present day Madhya Pradesh) where Akbar grew up in village of Mukundpur. Akbar and prince Ram Singh who later became Maharaja of Rewa grew up together and stayed close friends forever. In 1540, Humayun had been driven into exile, following decisive battles, by the Afghan leader Sher Shah.[11] Akbar did not go to Persia with his parents, and was raised for a time instead by his uncle Askari and his wife in the rugged country of Afghanistan rather than in the splendor of the Persian court. He spent his youth learning to hunt, run and fight, but he never learned to read or write, the sole exception in Babur's line.[12] Nonetheless, Akbar matured into a well-informed ruler, with refined tastes in the arts, architecture and music, a love for literature, and a breadth of vision that tolerated other opinions.
Following the chaos over the succession of Islam Shah (Sher Shah's son), Humayun reconquered Delhi in 1555, leading an army partly provided by his Persian ally Shah Tahmasp. Only a few months later, Humayun died from an accident falling down the stairs of his library (probably Feb 9, one of the ascension dates for Akbar; Gregorian date Feb 19). Bairam Khan cleverly concealed the report of Humayun's death in order to prepare for the unopposed succession of Akbar to the throne. Akbar succeeded his father on February 14, 1556 Gregorian Feb 24, while in the midst of a war against Sikandar Shah for the reclamation of the Mughal throne. Here, in Kalanaur(Gurdaspur, Punjab) the 13 year old Akbar donned a golden robe and Dark Tiara and sat on a newly constructed platform, which still stands[2], and was proclaimed "Shahanshah" (Persian for "King of Kings").The mosque built at the time of Akbar can still be seen and the place where he prayed can be visited.

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