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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

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Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

‫ذوالفقار علی ب ھٹو‬
‫ذوالفقار علي ُڀٽو‬

Prime Minister of Pakistan

In office
14 August 1973 – 5 July 1977

President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry

Preceded by Nurul Amin

Succeeded by Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq

President of Pakistan

In office
20 December 1971 – 13 August 1973

Prime Minister Nurul Amin

Preceded by Yahya Khan

Succeeded by Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry

Minister of Foreign Affairs

In office
20 December 1971 – 28 March 1977

President Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry

Preceded by Yahya Khan

Succeeded by Aziz Ahmed

In office
15 June 1963 – 12 September 1966

President Ayub Khan

Preceded by Muhammad Ali Bogra

Succeeded by Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada

Born 5 January 1928

Larkana, Bombay Presidency, British India

Died 4 April 1979 (aged 51)

Rawalpindi, Punjab,Pakistan

Political party Pakistan Peoples Party

Spouse(s) Nusrat Bhutto

Children Benazir Bhutto

Murtaza Bhutto
Sanam Bhutto
Shahnawaz Bhutto

Alma mater University of Southern California

University of California, Berkeley
Christ Church, Oxford
Lincoln's Inn

Religion Muslim-Shia[1]

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Urdu: ‫بھٹو‬ ‫ذوالفقار علی‬, Sindhi: ‫ذوالفقار علي ُڀٽو‬
, IPA: [zʊlfɪqɑːɾ ɑli bʱʊʈːoː]; 5 January
1928 – 4 April 1979) was a Pakistani politician who served as the fourth President of Pakistan from 1971 to
1973 and as the ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1973 to 1977. He was the founder of the Pakistan
Peoples Party (PPP), the largest and most influential political party in Pakistan. His daughter Benazir
Bhutto also served twice as prime minister. She wasassassinated on 27 December 2007.

Educated at the University of California, Berkeley, in the United States and University of Oxford in the United
Kingdom, Bhutto was noted for his economic initiatives and authoring Pakistan's nuclear programme. He was
executed in 1979 after the Supreme Court of Pakistan sentenced him to death for authorising the murder of
a political opponent,[2][3] in a move that many believe was done under the directives of General Muhammad Zia-

• 1 Early life

• 2 Political career

o 2.1 Foreign Minister

• 3 Pakistan Peoples Party

• 4 Leader of Pakistan

o 4.1 President of Pakistan

o 4.2 Father of the Nuclear program

o 4.3 Ordering military operation in Balochistan

o 4.4 Prime Minister of Pakistan

o 4.5 Popular unrest and military coup

o 4.6 Trial of the Prime Minister

• 5 Re-arrest and trial

• 6 Death sentence and appeal

• 7 Criticism and legacy

• 8 Works

• 9 Books on Bhutto

• 10 See also

• 11 References

• 12 External links

[edit]Early life
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born to Khursheed Begum née Lakhi Bai and Sir Shah Nawaz Bhutto. He was born in a
prominent Sindhi Muslim family.[6] Bhutto's father was a prominent political figure in the Indian colonial
government. Bhutto was born in his parent's residence near Larkanain what later became the province
of Sindh. He was their third child — their first one, Sikandar Ali, died from pneumonia at age seven in 1914 and
the second child, Imdad Ali, died of cirrhosisat the age of 39 in 1953.[7] His father was the prime minster of
junagadh state, who enjoyed an influential relationship with the officials of the British Raj. As a young boy,
Bhutto moved to Worli Seaface in Bombay (now Mumbai) to study at the Cathedral and John Connon School.
During this period, he also became a student activist in the League's Pakistan Movement. In 1943, his marriage
was arranged with Shireen Amir Begum (died 19 January 2003 in Karachi). He later left her, however, in order
to remarry. In 1947, Bhutto was admitted to the University of Southern California.
In 1949, Bhutto transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where he earned an honours degree
in political science. Here he would become interested in the theories of socialism, delivering a series of lectures
on the feasibility of socialism in Islamic countries.During this time, Bhutto's father, Sir Shahnawaz, played a
controversial role in the affairs of the state ofJunagadh (now in Gujarat). Coming to power in a palace coup as
the dewan, he secured the accession of the state to Pakistan, which was ultimately negated by Indian
intervention in December 1947.[8] In June 1950 Bhutto travelled to England to study law at Christ Church,
Oxford. Upon finishing his studies, he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in the year 1953 (the same school
at which Muhammad Ali Jinnah studied law) .

Bhutto married his second wife, the Iranian-Kurdish Begum Nusrat Ispahani who was a Shi'a Muslim,
in Karachi on 8 September 1951. Their first child, his daughter Benazir, was born in 1953. She was followed
by Murtaza in 1954, a second daughter, Sanam, in 1957, and the youngest child, Shahnawaz Bhutto, in 1958.
He accepted the post of lecturer at the Sindh Muslim College, from where he was also awarded an honorary
law degree by the then college President, Mr. Hassanally A. Rahman before establishing himself in a legal
practice in Karachi. He also took over the management of his family's estate and business interests after his
father's death.

[edit]Political career
In 1957, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto became the youngest member of Pakistan's delegation to the United Nations. He
would address the United Nations Sixth Committee on Aggression on 25 October 1957 and lead Pakistan's
deputation to the first United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea in 1958. In the same year, Bhutto
became the youngest Pakistani cabinet minister when he was given charge of the energy ministry by President
Muhammad Ayub Khan, who had seized power and declared martial law. He was subsequently promoted to
head the ministries of commerce, information and industries. Bhutto became a close and trusted advisor to
Ayub, rising in influence and power despite his youth and relative inexperience in politics. Bhutto aided Ayub in
negotiating the Indus Water Treaty with India in 1960. In 1961, Bhutto negotiated an oil exploration agreement
with the Soviet Union, which also agreed to provide economic and technical aid to Pakistan.

[edit]Foreign Minister

Sheikh Abdullah with Ayub Khan and Z.A.Bhutto 1964.

In 1962, he was appointed Pakistan's foreign minister. His swift rise to power also brought him national
prominence and popularity.

As foreign minister, Bhutto significantly transformed Pakistan's hitherto pro-Western foreign policy. While
maintaining a prominent role for Pakistan within the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization and the Central Treaty
Organization, Bhutto began asserting a foreign policy course for Pakistan that was independent of U.S.
influence. Bhutto criticised the U.S. for providing military aid to India during and after the Sino-Indian War of
1962, which was seen as an abrogation of Pakistan's alliance with the U.S. Bhutto worked to establish stronger
relations with the People's Republic of China.[10] Bhutto visited Beijing and helped Ayub negotiate trade and
military agreements with the Chinese regime, which agreed to help Pakistan in a large number of military and
industrial projects. Bhutto also signed the Sino-Pakistan Boundary Agreement on 2 March 1963 that transferred
750 square kilometres of territory from Pakistan-administered Kashmir to Chinese control. Bhutto asserted his
belief in non-alignment, making Pakistan an influential member in non-aligned organisations. Believing in pan-
Islamic unity, Bhutto developed closer relations with nations such as Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and other Arab

Bhutto advocated hardline and confrontational policies against India over the Kashmir conflict and other issues.
A 17 day war broke out between Pakistan and India on 6 September 1965 known as the Indo-Pakistani War of
1965. This war was an aftermath of brief skirmishes that took place between March and August 1965 on the
international boundaries in the Rann of Kutch, Kashmir and Punjab. Bhutto joined Ayub in Tashkent to
negotiate a peace treaty with the Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Ayub and Shastri agreed to
exchange prisoners of war and withdraw respective forces to pre-war boundaries. This agreement was deeply
unpopular in Pakistan, causing major political unrest against Ayub's regime. Bhutto's criticism of the final
agreement caused a major rift between him and Ayub Khan. Initially denying the rumours, Bhutto resigned in
June 1966 and expressed strong opposition to Ayub's regime.[10]

[edit]Pakistan Peoples Party

Further information: Pakistani general election, 1970

Following his resignation, large crowds gathered to listen to Bhutto's speech upon his arrival in Lahore on 21
June 1967. Tapping a wave of anger and opposition against Ayub, Bhutto began travelling across the country
to deliver political speeches. In a speech in October 1966 Bhutto declared the PPP's beliefs, "Islam is our faith,
democracy is our policy, socialism is our economy. All power to the people."[11] On 30 November 1967 Bhutto
founded the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Lahore, establishing a strong base of political support in Punjab,
Sindh and amongst the Muhajir communities. Bhutto's party became a part of the pro-democracy movement
involving diverse political parties from all across Pakistan. PPP activists staged large protests and strikes in
different parts of the country, increasing pressure on Ayub to resign. Bhutto's arrest on 12 November 1968
sparked greater political unrest. After his release, Bhutto attended the Round Table Conference called by Ayub
in Rawalpindi, but refused to accept Ayub's continuation in office and the East Pakistani politician Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman's Six point movement for regional autonomy.

Following Ayub's resignation, the new president Gen. Yahya Khan promised to hold parliamentary elections on
7 December 1970. Bhutto's party won a large number of seats from constituencies in West Pakistan.
However, Sheikh Mujib's Awami League won an outright majority from the constituencies located in East
Pakistan. Bhutto refused to accept an Awami League government and famously promised to "break the legs" of
any elected PPP member who dared to attend the inaugural session of the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Capitalising on West Pakistani fears of East Pakistani separatism, Bhutto demanded that Sheikh Mujib form a
coalition with the PPP.[11] Under substantial pressure from Bhutto and other West Pakistani political parties,
Yahya postponed the inaugural session of the National Assembly after talks with Sheikh Mujib failed.[11] Amidst
popular outrage in East Pakistan, Major Ziaur Rahman declared the independence of "Bangladesh" on 26
March 1971 after Mujibur was arrested by the Pakistani Army, which had been ordered by Yahya to suppress
political activities. .[12] While supportive of the army's actions and working to rally international support, Bhutto
distanced himself from the Yahya regime. He refused to accept Yahya's scheme to appoint Bengali
politician Nurul Amin as prime minister, with Bhutto as deputy prime minister. Indian interventionin East
Pakistan led to the very bitter defeat of Pakistani forces, who surrendered on 16 December 1971. Bhutto and
others condemned Yahya for failing to protect Pakistan's unity. Isolated, Yahya resigned on 20 December and
transferred power to Bhutto, who became the president, army commander-in-chief as well as the first civilian
chief martial law administrator.[11]

[edit]Leader of Pakistan

Bhutto speaking in Simla.

As president, Bhutto addressed the nation via radio and television, saying "My dear countrymen, my dear
friends, my dear students, labourers, peasants… those who fought for Pakistan… We are facing the worst
crisis in our country's life, a deadly crisis. We have to pick up the pieces, very small pieces, but we will make a
new Pakistan, a prosperous and progressive Pakistan." He placed Yahya under house arrest, brokered a
ceasefire and ordered the release of Sheikh Mujib, who was held prisoner by the army. To implement this,
Bhutto reversed the verdict of Mujib's court trial that had taken place earlier, in which the presiding Brigadier-
GeneralRahimuddin Khan (later 4-star General) had sentenced Mujib to death. Appointing a new cabinet,
Bhutto appointed Lieutenant General Gul Hasan as Chief of Army Staff. On 2 January 1972 Bhutto announced
the nationalisation of all major industries, including iron and steel, heavy engineering, heavy electricals,
petrochemicals, cement and public utilities.[13] A new labour policy was announced increasing workers rights
and the power of trade unions. Although he came from a feudal background himself, Bhutto announced reforms
limiting land ownership and a government take-over of over a million acres (4,000 km²) to distribute to landless
peasants. More than 2,000 civil servants were dismissed on charges of corruption.[13] Bhutto also dismissed the
military chiefs on 3 March after they refused orders to suppress a major police strike in Punjab. He appointed
General Tikka Khan as the new Chief of the Army Staff in March 1972 as he felt the General would not interfere
in political matters and would concentrate on rehabilitating the Pakistan Army. Bhutto convened the National
Assembly on 14 April, rescinded martial law on 21 April and charged the legislators with writing a new

Bhutto visited India to meet Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and negotiated a formal peace agreement and the
release of 93,000 Pakistaniprisoners of war. The two leaders signed the Shimla Agreement, which committed
both nations to establish a new yet temporary Cease-fire Line in Kashmir and obligated them to resolve
disputes peacefully through bilateral talks.[13][14] Bhutto also promised to hold a future summit for the peaceful
resolution of the Kashmir dispute and pledged to recognise Bangladesh.[14] Although he secured the release of
Pakistani soldiers held by India, Bhutto was criticised by many in Pakistan for allegedly making too many
concessions to India. It is theorised that Bhutto feared his downfall if he could not secure the release of
Pakistani soldiers and the return of territory occupied by Indian forces.[15]Bhutto established an atomic power
development programme and inaugurated the first Pakistani atomic reactor, built in collaboration
withCanada in Karachi on 28 November. On 30 March, 59 military officers were arrested by army troops for
allegedly plotting a coup against Bhutto, who appointed then-Brigadier Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq to head a
military tribunal to investigate and try the suspects. The National Assembly approved the new constitution,
which Bhutto signed into effect on 12 April. The constitution proclaimed an "Islamic Republic" in Pakistan with a
parliamentary form of government.[16] On 10 August, Bhutto turned over the post of president to Fazal Ilahi
Chaudhry, assuming the office of prime minister instead.[13]

Bhutto officially recognised Bangladesh in July. Making an official visit to Bangladesh, Bhutto was criticised in
Pakistan for laying flowers at a memorial for Bangladeshi freedom fighters. Bhutto continued to develop closer
relations with China as well as Saudi Arabia and other Muslim nations. Bhutto hosted the Second Islamic
Summit of Muslim nations in Lahore between 22 February and 24 February in 1974.

Bhutto, however, faced considerable pressure from Islamic religious leaders to declare
the Ahmadiya communities as non-Muslims. Failing to restrain sectarian violence and rioting, Bhutto and the
National Assembly amended the constitution to that effect. Bhutto intensified his nationalisation programme,
extending government control over agricultural processing and consumer industries. Bhutto also, with advice
fromAdmiral S.M. Ahsan, inaugurated Port Qasim, designed to expand harbour facilities near Karachi.
However, the performance of the Pakistani economy declined amidst increasing bureaucracy and a decline in
private sector confidence. In a surprise move in 1976, Bhutto appointedMuhammad Zia-ul-Haq to replace Gen.
Tikka Khan, surpassing five generals senior to Zia.[17]

[edit]President of Pakistan

Richard Nixon and Bhutto in 1973

A Pakistan International Airlines flight was sent to fetch Bhutto from New York, who at that time was presenting
Pakistan's case before the United Nations Security Council on the East Pakistan Crises. Bhutto returned home
on 18 December 1971. On 20 December, he was taken to the President House in Rawalpindi where he took
over two positions from Yahya Khan, one as President and the other as Chief Martial Law Administrator. Thus
he was the first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator of the dismembered Pakistan.

The new President inherited a disheartened war-weary nation. In this dark hour, he addressed the nation and
promised to fight back. Bhutto's intentions to restore national confidence were in several shapes. He spoke
about democracy, a new Constitution, and a modified federal and parliamentary system. He reached out to
opposition leaders Abdul Wali Khan and Mufti Mahmud, signing an agreement regarding lifting the emergency
and allowing opposition governments to be formed. He took steps to stabilise the situation by successfully
negotiating the return of the 93,000 prisoners of warand a peaceful settlement with India. He took steps to
ameliorate poverty and to revitalise the economy, industry and agriculture.
He gave the third Constitution to the country and established civilian authority over the armed forces in the
political setup. In early 1972, Bhutto nationalised ten categories of major industries and withdrew Pakistan from
the Commonwealth of Nations and S.E.A.T.O. On 1 March, he introduced extensive land reforms. On 2 July
1972, he signed the Simla Agreement with India for exchange of the occupied territories and release of
Prisoners of War.

After the 1973 Constitution was promulgated, Bhutto was elected by the House to be the Prime Minister, and
he was sworn in on 14 August 1973.

[edit]Father of the Nuclear program

Further information: Project-706

Bhutto meeting with Iranian Queen Farah Pahlavi, 1972

Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was the founder of Pakistan's nuclear programme. In October 1965, the then-Foreign
Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited Vienna when Munir Ahmad Khaninformed him of the status
of India's nuclear program and the options Pakistan had to develop its own nuclear capability. Both agreed on
the need for Pakistan to develop a nuclear deterrent to meet India's nuclear capacity.

After India's nuclear test on May 1974. Bhutto sensed a great danger for Pakistan. In a press conference held
on May 1974, shortly after India's nuclear test. Prime Minister Bhutto said "even if we have to eat grass, we will
make nuclear bombs". On the 20 January of 1972, Prime Minister Bhutto rallied a conference
of nuclear scientists and nuclear engineers at Multan. At the Multan Conference, where 283 scientists
attended, Prime Minister Bhutto said:" Look, we're going to have the bomb. He asked them "Can you give it to
me? And how long will it take it to make a bomb?". The scientists replied: "Oh, yes, yes, You can have it."
There was a lively debate on the time needed to make the bomb, and finally one scientist dared to say that
maybe it could be done in five years. Prime Minister Bhutto smiled, lifted his hand, and dramatically thrust
forward three fingers and said: "Three years, I want it in three years". The atmosphere suddenly became
electric. It was then that one of the junior scientist-dr. S.A.Butt (a nuclear chemist), who underMunir Ahmad
Khan's guiding hand would come to play a major role in making the bomb possible – jumped to his feet and
clamoured for his leader's attention. Dr. S.A Butt Replied: "It can be done in three years". Prime Minister Bhutto
was very much amused and he said: "Well, much as I appreciate your enthusiasm, this is a very serious
political decision, which Pakistan must make, and perhaps all Third World countries must make one day,
because it is coming. So can you do it?" And the scientist replied, "Yes, we can do it, given the resources and
given the facilities". ”Bhutto's answer was simple, "I shall find you the resources and I shall find you the

Its militarisation was initiated in January 1972 and, in its initial years, was implemented by General Tikka Khan.
The Karachi Nuclear Power Plant was inaugurated by Bhutto during his role as President of Pakistan at the end
of 1972. Long before, as Minister for Fuel, Power and National Resources, he has played a key role in setting
up of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. Wanting a capable administrator, Bhutto sought Lieutenant
General Rahimuddin Khan to chair the commission, which Rahimuddin declined.[19] Instead Prime Minister
Bhutto chose a U.S trained nuclear engineer Mr. Munir Ahmad Khan as chairman of Pakistan Atomic Energy
Commission (PAEC), Munir Ahmad Khan was a close friend of his. The Kahuta facility was also established by
the Bhutto Administration, and brought under nuclear scientist Dr.Abdul Qadeer Khan and the Pakistan Army
Corps of Engineers' Lieutenant General Zahid Ali Akbar Khan.

A book written by Maulana Kausar Niazi, a close confidant of Bhutto, gives a somewhat different perspective.
The Atomic Energy commission officials had misguided Bhutto and he sought on a along journey to try to get
Nuclear fuel reprocessing plant from France. It was on a later advice of A.Q.Khan that no fuel existed to
reprocess, Bhutto tried to show he was still interested in that expensive route and was relieved when Kissinger
persuaded the French to cancel the deal. By the time Bhutto was ousted little had been done and Pakistani
nukes were actually made under Zia's era, under the watchful eyes of several generals including Ishaq Khan.

It has been speculated recently in the press that Qadeer Khan's uranium enrichment designs were used by the
Chinese in exchange for Uranium Hexafluoride and some weapons grade uranium . Later on this weapons
grade uranium was offered back to the Chinese as the Pakistanis used their own materials.

[edit]Ordering military operation in Balochistan

Main article: Baloch insurgency and Rahimuddin's stabilization

Following the secession of East Pakistan, calls for the independence of Balochistan by Baloch
nationalists grew. Surveying the political instability, Bhutto's central government sacked two provincial
governments within six months, arrested the two chief ministers, two governors and forty-four MNAs and
MPAs, obtained an order from the Supreme Court banning the National Awami Party on the recommendation
ofAkbar Bugti, and charged everyone with high treason to be tried by a specially constituted Hyderabad
tribunal of handpicked judges. In January 1973, Bhutto ordered the army to suppress a rising insurgency in the
province of Balochistan and dismissed the governments in Balochistan and the North-West Frontier
Province once more.[13] Following the alleged discovery of Iraqi arms in Islamabad in February 1973, Bhutto
dissolved the Provincial Assembly of Balochistan. The operation, under General Tikka Khan, soon took shape
in a five-year conflict with the Baloch separatists. The sporadic fighting between the insurgency and the army
started in 1973 with the largest confrontation taking place in September 1974. The Iranian military, fearing a
spread of the greater Baloch resistance in Iran, also aided the Pakistani military.[20]Among Iran's contribution
were 30 Huey cobra attack helicopters and $200 million in aid.[21]

[edit]Prime Minister of Pakistan

After the promulgation of the 1973 Constitution, the elections for the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of
Senate, Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly were to be undertaken. The 1973 Constitution
had adopted a federal parliamentary system for the country in which the President was only a figurehead and
the real power lay with the Prime Minister. Z. A. Bhutto was sworn in as the Prime Minister of the country on
August 14, 1973, after he had secured 108 votes in a house of 146 members. Fazal Ilahi Chaudhry was
elected as the President under the new Constitution. During his period, six amendments were carried out in the
1973 Constitution. The First Amendment led to Pakistan's recognition and diplomatic ties with Bangladesh. The
Second Amendment in the constitution declared the Ahmadis as non-Muslims, and defined the term non-
Muslim.[22] The rights of the detained were limited under the Third Amendment while the powers and jurisdiction
of the courts for providing relief to political opponents were curtailed under the Fourth Amendment. The Fifth
Amendment passed on 15 September 1976, focused on curtailing the power and jurisdiction of the Judiciary.
This amendment was highly criticised by lawyers and political leaders. The main provision of the Sixth
Amendment extended the term of the Chief Justices of the Supreme Court and the High Courts beyond the age
of retirement. This Amendment was made in the Constitution to favour the then Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court who was supposed to be a friend of Bhutto.

The Bhutto Government carried out a number of reforms in the industrial sector. His reforms were twofold;
nationalisation, and the improvement of workers' rights. In the first phase, basic industries like steel, chemical
and cement were nationalised. This was done in 1972. The next major step in nationalisation took place on 1
January 1974, when Bhutto nationalised all banks. The last step in the series was the most shocking; it was the
nationalisation of all flour, rice and cotton mills throughout the country. This nationalisation process was not as
successful as Bhutto expected. Most of the nationalised units were small businesses that could not be
described as industrial units, hence making no sense for the step that was taken. Consequently, a considerable
number of small businessmen and traders were ruined, displaced or rendered unemployed. In the concluding
analysis, nationalisation caused colossal loss not only to the national treasury but also to the people of

During his period as the Prime Minister, a number of land reforms were also introduced. The important land
reforms included the reduction of land ceilings and introducing the security of tenancy to tenant farmers. The
land ceiling was fixed to 150 acres (0.61 km2) of irrigated land and 300 acres (1.2 km2) of non-irrigated land.
Another step that Bhutto took was to democratise Pakistan's Civil Service.

Bhutto introduced socialist economic reforms while working to prevent any further division of the country.
Absolute poverty was sharply reduced, with the percentage of the population estimated to be living in absolute
poverty falling from 46.50% by the end of military rule to 30.78% by 1979–80. The land reform programme
provided increased support to landless tenants, and development spending was substantially, particularly on
health and education, in both rural and urban areas, and provided ‘material support’ to rural wage workers,
landless peasants, and urban wage workers.[23]

[edit]Popular unrest and military coup

Main article: Hyderabad tribunal

Further information: Federal Security Force

Bhutto began facing considerable criticism and increasing unpopularity as his term progressed.[24] Initially
targeting leader of the oppositionAbdul Wali Khan and his opposition National Awami Party (NAP). Despite the
ideological similarity of the two parties the clash of egos both inside and outside the National Assembly became
increasingly fierce and started with the Federal governments decision to oust the NAP provincial government in
Balochistan for alleged secessionist activities[25] and culminating in the banning of the party and arrest of much
of its leadership after the death of Hayat Khan Sherpao, a close lieutenant of Bhutto, in a bomb blast in the
frontier town of Peshawar.

Dissidence also increased within the PPP and the murder of dissident leader Ahmed Raza Kasuri's father led
to public outrage and intra-party hostility as Bhutto was accused of masterminding the crime. Powerful PPP
leaders such as Ghulam Mustafa Khar openly condemned Bhutto and called for protests against his regime.
The political crisis in the NWFP and Balochistan intensified as civil liberties remained suspended and an
estimated 100,000 troops deployed there were accused of human rights abuses and killing large numbers of

On 8 January 1977 many opposition political parties grouped to form the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA).
Bhutto called fresh elections and the PNA participated in those elections with full force and managed to
contest the elections jointly even though they had grave differences in their opinions and views. The PNA faced
defeat but did not accept the results, accusing their opponents of rigging the election. They first claimed rigging
on 14 seats and finally on 40 seats in the national assembly and boycotted provisional elections turn out in
national elections was of highest degree. Provincial elections were held amidst low voter turnout and an
opposition boycott, violent PNA declare the newly-elected Bhutto government as illegitimate. Muslim leaders
such as Maulana Maududi called for the overthrow of Bhutto's regime.[24]Intensifying political and civil disorder
prompted Bhutto to hold talks with PNA leaders, which culminated in an agreement for the dissolution of the
assemblies and fresh elections under a form of government of national unity.[26] However on 5 July 1977 Bhutto
and members of his cabinet were arrested by troops under the order of General Zia.[13] It is generally believed
that the coup took place on the pretext of unrest despite Bhutto having reached an agreement with the

General Zia announced that martial law had been imposed, the constitution suspended and all assemblies
dissolved and promised elections within ninety days. Zia also ordered the arrest of senior PPP and PNA
leaders but promised elections in October. Bhutto was released on 29 July and was received by a large crowd
of supporters in his hometown of Larkana. He immediately began touring across Pakistan, delivering speeches
to very large crowds and planning his political comeback. Bhutto was arrested again on 3 September before
being released on bail on 13 September. Fearing yet another arrest, Bhutto named his wife, Nusrat, president
of the Pakistan People's Party. Bhutto was imprisoned on 17 September and a large number of PPP leaders
and activists arrested and disqualified from contesting in elections.

[edit]Trial of the Prime Minister

Bhutto's trial began on 24 October on charges of "conspiracy to murder" Ahmed Raza Kasuri.[27] On 5 July 1977
the military, led by GeneralMuhammad Zia-ul-Haq, staged a coup. Zia relieved prime minister Bhutto of power,
holding him in detention for a month. Zia pledged that new elections would be held in 90 days. He kept
postponing the elections and publicly retorted during successive press conferences that if the elections were
held in the presence of Bhutto his party would not return to power again.[28]

Upon his release, Bhutto travelled the country amid adulatory crowds of PPP supporters. He used to take the
train travelling from the south to the north and on the way, would address public meetings at different stations.
Several of these trains were late, some by days, in reaching their respective destinations and as a result Bhutto
was banned from travelling by train. The last visit he made to the city of Multan in the province of Punjab
marked the turning point in Bhutto's political career and ultimately, his life. In spite of the administration's efforts
to block the gathering, the crowd was so large that it became disorderly, providing an opportunity for the
administration to declare that Bhutto had been taken into custody because the people were against him and it
had become necessary to protect him from the masses for his own safety.

[edit]Re-arrest and trial

On 3 September the Army arrested Bhutto again on charges of authorising the murder of a political opponent in
March 1974. A 35-year-old politician Ahmed Raza Kasuri tried to run as a PPP candidate in elections, despite
having previously left the party. The Pakistan Peoples Party rebuffed him. Three years earlier, Kasuri and his
family had been ambushed, leaving Kasuri's father, Nawab Mohammad Ahmad Khan, dead. Kasuri claimed
that he was the actual target, accusing Bhutto of being the mastermind. Kasuri later claimed that he had been
the victim of 15 assassination attempts.

Bhutto was released 10 days after his arrest due to a judge, Justice KMA Samadani, finding the evidence
"contradictory and incomplete." Justice Samadani had to pay for this; he was immediately removed from the
court and placed at the disposal of the law ministry. Three days later Zia arrested Bhutto again on the same
charges, this time under "martial law." When the PPP organised demonstrations among Bhutto's supporters,
Zia cancelled the upcoming elections.

Bhutto was arraigned before the High Court of Lahore instead of in a lower court, thus automatically depriving
him of one level of appeal. The judge who had granted him bail was removed. Five new judges were appointed,
headed by Chief Justice of Lahore High Court Maulvi Mushtaq Ali, who denied bail. The trial lasted five months,
and Bhutto appeared in court in a dock specially built for the trial.

Proceedings began on 24 October 1977. Masood Mahmood, the director general of the Federal Security Force
(since renamed the Federal Investigation Agency), testified against Bhutto. Mahmood had been arrested
immediately after Zia's coup and had been imprisoned for two months prior to taking the stand. In his
testimony, he claimed Bhutto had ordered Kasuri's assassination and that four members of the Federal
Security Force had organised the ambush on Bhutto's orders.

The four alleged assassins were arrested and later confessed. They were brought into court as "co-accused"
but one of them recanted his testimony, declaring that it had been extracted from him under torture. The
following day, the witness was not present in court; the prosecution claimed that he had suddenly "fallen ill".

Bhutto's defence challenged the prosecution with proof from an army logbook the prosecution had submitted. It
showed that the jeep allegedly driven during the attack on Kasuri was not even in Lahore at the time. The
prosecution had the logbook disregarded as "incorrect." During the defence's cross-examination of witnesses,
the bench often interrupted questioning. The 706-page official transcript contained none of the objections or
inconsistencies in the evidence pointed out by the defence. Former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who
attended the trial, wrote:

The prosecution's case was based entirely on several witnesses who were detained until they confessed, who
changed and expanded their confessions and testimony with each reiteration, who contradicted themselves
and each other, who, except for Masood Mahmood... were relating what others said, whose testimony led to
four different theories of what happened, absolutely uncorroborated by an eyewitness, direct evidence, or
physical evidence.[citation needed]
When Bhutto began his testimony on 25 January 1978, Chief Justice Maulvi Mustaq closed the courtroom to all
observers. Bhutto responded by refusing to say any more. Bhutto demanded a retrial, accusing the Chief
Justice of bias, after Mustaq allegedly insulted Bhutto's home province. The court refused his demand.

[edit]Death sentence and appeal

Funeral prayer for Z.A Bhutto

On 18 March 1978, Bhutto wasn't declared guilty of murder but was sentenced to death. Bhutto did not seek an
appeal. While he was transferred to a cell in Rawalpindi central jail, his family appealed on his behalf, and a
hearing before the Supreme Court commenced in May. Bhutto was given one week to prepare. Bhutto issued a
thorough rejoinder to the charges, although Zia blocked its publication. Chief Justice S. Anwarul Haq adjourned
the court until the end of July 1978, supposedly because five of the nine appeals court judges were willing to
overrule the Lahore verdict. One of the pro-Bhutto judges was due to retire in July.

Chief Justice S. Anwarul Haq presided over the trial, despite being close to Zia, even serving as Acting
President when Zia was out of the country. Bhutto's lawyers managed to secure Bhutto the right to conduct his
own defence before the Supreme Court. On 18 December 1978, Bhutto made his appearance in public before
a packed courtroom in Rawalpindi. By this time he had been on death row for 9 months and had gone without
fresh water for the previous 25 days. He addressed the court for four days, speaking without notes.

The appeal was completed on 23 December 1978. On 6 February 1979, the Supreme Court issued a guilty
verdict, a decision reached by a bare 4-to-3 majority. The Bhutto family had seven days in which to appeal. The
court granted a stay of execution while it studied the petition. By 24 February 1979 when the next court hearing
began, appeals for clemency arrived from many heads of state. Zia said that the appeals amounted to "trade
union activity" among politicians.

On 24 March 1979 the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. Zia upheld the death sentence. Bhutto was
hanged at Central jail, Rawalpindi, on 4 April 1979,[29] and is buried in Village Cemetery at Garhi Khuda Baksh.

[edit]Criticism and legacy

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto remains a controversial figure in Pakistan. While he was hailed for being a nationalist, Bhutto
was roundly criticised for opportunism and intimidating his political opponents. He gave Pakistan its third
constitution, oversaw Pakistan's nuclear programme, held peace talks with neighbour India and was more of
an Internationalist with a secular image.[13] His socialist policies are blamed for slowing down Pakistan's
economic progress owing to poor productivity and high costs. Bhutto is also criticised for human rights abuses
perpetrated by the army in Balochistan.[13] Many in Pakistan's military, notably the former president Gen. Pervez
Musharaf condemn Bhutto for having caused the crisis that led to the Bangladesh Liberation War. In spite of all
the criticism—and subsequent media trials—Bhutto still remains the most popular leader of the country.[13]
Bhutto's action against the insurgency in Balochistan is blamed for causing widespread civil dissent and
calls for secession.[32] Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology is named for him; his daughter
was chairman of its board of trustees.[33] His family remained active in politics, with first his wife and then his
daughter becoming leader of the PPP political party. His daughter, Benazir Bhutto, was twice prime minister of
Pakistan, and was assassinated on 27 December 2007, while campaigning for 2008 elections.


 Peace-Keeping by the United Nations, Pakistan Publishing House, Karachi, 1967

 Political Situation in Pakistan, Veshasher Prakashan, New Delhi, 1968

 The Myth of Independence, Oxford University Press, Karachi and Lahore, 1969

 The Great Tragedy, Pakistan People's Party, Karachi, 1971

 Marching Towards Democracy, (collections of speeches), 1972

 Politics of the People (speeches, statements and articles), 1948–1971

 The Third World: New Directions, Quartet Books, London, 1977

 My Pakistan, Biswin Sadi Publications, New Delhi, 1979

 If I am Assassinated, Vikas, New Delhi, 1979

 My Execution, Musawaat Weekly International, London, 1980

 New Directions, Narmara Publishers, London, 1980

[edit]Books on Bhutto

 Ali, Tariq (2006). Leopard and the Fox.

 Burki, S. J. (1980). Pakistan Under Bhutto.

 Wolpert, Stanley (1993). Zulfi Bhutto of Pakistan.

 Fallaci, Oriana (1988). Interview with History. ISBN 0395252237.

 Mody, Piloo. Zulfi My friend.

 The Mirage of Power, Dr Mubashir Hasan

 Bhutto, Trial and Execution, Victoria Schofield

 The Great Tragedy, Jang Publishers Press (1993)

 Raza, Syed Mehdi (2003). Zulfi My Inspiration.

 Nasr, Vali (2006). The Shia Revival: How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future.

 Mera Lahoo, Mr. Farrukh Sohail Goindi

 Bhutto Key Akhri 323 Din, Colonel Rafi

[edit]See also

 Movement for Restoration of Democracy

 Benazir Bhutto

 Murtaza Bhutto

 Ghinwa Bhutto

 Hyderabad tribunal

 Constitution of Pakistan

 Asghar Khan

 Mufti Mahmud

 Malik Anwer Ali Noon

 Sherbaz Mazari


1. ^ Asr, Vali (2007). The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future. W. W.

Norton. pp. 88–90. ISBN 978-0393062113.

2. ^ Blood, Peter Blood (editor) (1994). "Pakistan – ZIA UL-HAQ". Pakistan: A Country Study.

Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "... hanging ... Bhutto for

complicity in the murder of a political opponent..."

3. ^ "Deposed Pakistani PM is executed". BBC On This Day (British Broadcasting Corporation). 4

April 1979. Retrieved 28 December 2007. "sentenced to death for the murder of a political opponent"

4. ^ "Zulfikar Ali Bhutto". Britannica Concise. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Retrieved 28 December

2007. "Gen. Zia-ul-Haq seized power and had Bhutto imprisoned and later executed."

5. ^ Schofield, Victoria (19 February 2000). "Bhutto: the final act". Dawn (Karachi). Retrieved 29

December 2007. "flimsy murder charge"

6. ^ Benazir Bhutto: Pakistani prime minister and activist By Mary Englar

7. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica 2006. He is hailed by many to have been the greatest leader that

Pakistan has ever had – a true people's politician, hero, leader – selfless and brave till the very

end.. "Bhutto, Zulfikar Ali" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

8. ^ Gandhi, Rajmohan (1991). Patel: A Life. India: Navajivan. pp. 291–93. ASIN B0006EYQ0A.

9. ^ Interview with Vali Nasr

10. ^ a b US Country Studies. "Ayub Khan" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

11. ^ a b c d e US Country Studies. "Yahya Khan and Bangladesh" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

12. ^ Blood, Archer, Transcript of Selective Genocide Telex, Department of State, United States

13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k US Country Studies. "Zulfikar Ali Bhutto" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

14. ^ a b Frank, Katherine (2002). Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi. USA: Houghton Mifflin.

pp. 346. ISBN 0-395-73097-X.

15. ^ Frank, Katherine (2002). Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi. USA: Houghton Mifflin.

pp. 347. ISBN 0-395-73097-X.

16. ^ Story of Pakistan. "Ouster of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

17. ^ In the summer of 1976, General Zia, who had superseded seven senior lieutenant-generals, told

Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto: "Sir I am so grateful to you for appointing me Chief of Army Staff. Not only

myself, but may future generations will be eternally grateful to you for singling me out for such a great

honor, and this is a favour which I can never forget." The Herald, July 1992

18. ^ Shabbir, Usman (May 2004). "Remembering Unsung Heroes: Munir Ahmed Khan". Defence

Journal. Retrieved 4 April 2010.

19. ^ Maulana Kausar Niazi The Last Days of Premier Bhutto p.61

20. ^ BBC, News page (17 January 2005). "Pakistan risks new battlefront". BBC News. Retrieved 8

April 2006.

21. ^ Waiting for the Worst: Baluchistan, 2006

22. ^ "Constitution (Second Amendment) Act, 1974". Retrieved 30 May 2010.

23. ^ Trade liberalization and regional disparity in Pakistan by Muhammad Shoaib Butt and Jayatilleke

S. Bandara

24. ^ a b Story of Pakistan. "Ouster of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November 2006.

25. ^ Militarism and the State Pakistan: Military Intervention by Eqbal Ahmed (Le Monde Diplomatique,

October 1977)

26. ^ Mazari, Sherbaz(2000) A Journey into disillusionment

27. ^ Frank, Katherine (2002). Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi. USA: Houghton Mifflin.

pp. 438. ISBN 0-395-73097-X.

28. ^ Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Biography and Analysis

29. ^ "Zulfikar Ali Bhutto News & Articles on washingtonpost.com".[dead link]

30. ^ Zulifikar Ali Bhutto's Memorial Page at Find A Grave. Retrieved on 16 December 2008.

31. ^ Taheri, Amir (18 October 2006). "In the Line of Fire: A Memoir" (PHP). Retrieved 7 November


32. ^ Frank, Katherine (2002). Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi. USA: Houghton Mifflin. pp. 438

He also enacted tax relief for the country’s poorest agricultural workers and placed ceilings on land

ownership. During his tenure there was a massive transfer of resources towards the dominant rural

economy by setting higher prices for agricultural products. [1]. ISBN 0-395-73097-X.

33. ^ "Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST)". Retrieved 29

December 2007. "The Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST) is a fully

Chartered Institute established through a Legislative Act of the Pakistan Assembly (Sindh Act No. XI of

1995) and is approved and recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan, as a degree

granting institution."

[edit]External links

Wikimedia Commons has

media related to: Zulfikar Ali

Wikiquote has a collection of

quotations related
to: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

 Shaheed Bhutto's Official Web Site

 Pakistan Peoples Party Official Website

 Pakistan Peoples Party Official Website

 Bhutto Speeches Video (Only for broadband viewers)

 Video clip speech of Prime Minister Z A Bhutto's after the Indian nuclear explosion of 1974

 Video in UN Security Council

 Audio---History Channel

 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto founder of Pakistan Peoples Party

 The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

 Biography

 Video of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto

 Video news report after Bhutto's execution – BBC

 Alter Ego Productions: The Leopard and The Fox

 Annotated bibliography for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues

 The Phenom; Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto

Bahadur Shah II
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bahadur Shah II

17th Mughal Emperor of India

Reign 28 September 1837 – 14 September 1857 (19 years, 351


Predecessor Akbar Shah II

Successor Mughal Empire abolished
Descendants: Sons and daughters, few descendents live to
this day.

Spouse Ashraf Mahal

Akhtar Mahal
Zeenat Mahal
Taj Mahal

Full name

Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar

House Timurid

Father Akbar Shah II

Mother Lalbai

Born 24 October 1775

Delhi, Mughal Empire

Died 7 November 1862 (aged 87)

Rangoon, British Burma

Burial 7 November 1862

Rangoon, British Burma

Religion Islam

Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar (Urdu: ‫ظفر‬ ‫ج اْلدین محمد ُبہادر شاہ‬
ُ ‫سرا‬
ِ ‫)ابو ظفر‬, also
known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II (Urdu: ‫دوم‬ ‫( )بہادر شاہ‬October 1775 – 7 November 1862) was
the last of the Mughal emperors in India, as well as the last ruler of theTimurid Dynasty. He was the son
of Akbar Shah II and Lalbai, who was a Hindu Rajput. He became the Mughal Emperor upon his father's death
on 28 September 1837. Zafar ( Urdu: ‫) ظفر‬, meaning “victory”[1] was his nom de plume (takhallus) as an Urdu
poet. Even in defeat it is traditionally believed that he said[2]

‫غازیوں میں بو رھےگی جب تلک ایمان کی‬

‫تخت لندن تک چلےگی تیغ ھندوستان کی‬ ”
Ghāzioń méń bū rahegi jab talak imān ki; Takht-e-London tak chalegi tégh Hindustan
“ ki ”
As long as there remains the scent of faith in the hearts of our heroes, so long shall the sword of
“ Hindustan flash before the throne of London ”
Zafar's father, Akbar Shah II, ruled over a rapidly disintegrating empire between 1806 to 1837. It was during his
time that the East India Company dispensed with the illusion of ruling in the name of the Mughal monarch and
removed his name from the Persian texts that appeared on the coins struck by the company in the areas under
their control.

Bahadur Shah Zafar who succeeded him was not Akbar Shah Saani’s choice as his successor. Akbar Shah
was, in fact, under great pressure by one of his queens, Mumtaz Begum to declare her son Mirza Jahangir as
the successor. Akbar Shah would have probably accepted this demand but Mirza Jahangir had fallen afoul of
the British and they would have none of this.[citation needed]


• 1 As emperor

• 2 Religious


• 3 Zafar Mahal

• 4 Events of 1857

• 5 Legacy

• 6 Family

• 7 Epitaph

• 8 See also

• 9 References

• 10 External


[edit]As emperor
Bahadur Shah Zafar presided over a Mughal empire that barely extended beyond Delhi's Red Fort. The British
were the dominant political and military power in 19th-century India. OutsideBritish India, hundreds of kingdoms
and principalities, from the large to the small, fragmented the land. The emperor in Delhi was paid some
respect by the British and allowed a pension, the authority to collect some taxes, and to maintain a small
military force in Delhi, but he posed no threat to any power in India. Bahadur Shah II himself did not take an
interest in statecraft or possess any imperial ambitions.
Bahadur Shah Zafar was a noted Urdu poet. He wrote a large number of Urdu ghazals. While some part of his
opus was lost or destroyed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857-1858, a large collection did survive, and was
later compiled into the Kulliyyat-i Zafar. The court that he maintained, although somewhat decadent and
arguably pretentious for someone who was effectively a pensioner of the British East India Company, was
home to several Urdu writers of high standing, including Ghalib, Dagh, Mumin, and Zauq.

In 1858 Bahadur Shah Zafar had warned the Indian people against this policy of the British. The Shahi Firman
issued on May 12, 1857 declared:

To all the Hindus and Muslims of India, Taking my duty by the people into consideration at this hour, I have
decided to stand by my people. Whoever shows cowardice at this delicate hour, or whoever in innocence will
help the cunning English, believing in their promises, he would stand disillusioned very soon. He should
remember that the English will pay him for his faithfulness to them in the same manner as they have paid the
rulers of Oudh. It is the imperative duty of Hindus and Mussalmans to join the revolt against the English. They
should work and be guided by their leaders in their towns and should take steps to restore order in the country.
It is the bounden duty of all people that they should, as far as possible, copy out this Firman and display it at all
important places in the towns. But before doing so, they should get themselves armed and declare war on the
English.[citation needed]

[edit]Religious attitudes
Bahadur Shah Zafar was a devout Sufi. Zafar was himself regarded as a Sufi Pir and used to accept murids or
pupils. The loyalist newspaperDelhi Urdu Akhbaar once called him one of the leading saints of the age,
approved of by the divine court. Prior to his accession, in his youth he made it a point to live and look like a
poor scholar and dervish, in stark contrast to his three well dressed dandy brothers, Mirza Jahangir, Salim and
Babur. In 1828, when Zafar was 53 and a decade before he succeeded the throne, Major Archer
reported, "Zafar is a man of spare figure and stature, plainly apparelled, almost approaching to meanness. His
appearance is that of an indigent munshi or teacher of languages".[3]

As a poet and dervish, Zafar imbibed the highest subtleties of mystical Sufi teachings. At the same time, he
was deeply susceptible to the magical and superstitious side of Orthodox Sufism. Like many of his followers, he
believed that his position as both a Sufi pir and emperor gave him tangible spiritual powers. In an incident in
which one of his followers was bitten by a snake, Zafar attempted to cure him by sending a "seal of Bezoar" (a
stone antidote to poison) and some water on which he had breathed, and giving it to the man to drink.[4]

A panorama in 12 folds showing the procession of the Emperor Bahadur Shah to celebrate the feast of the 'Id, 1843.

The emperor also had a staunch belief in ta'aviz or charms, especially as a palliative for his constant complaint
of piles, or to ward off evil spells. During one period of illness, he gathered a group of Sufi pirs and told them
that several of his wives suspected that some party or the other had cast a spell over him. Therefore, he
requested them to take some steps to remedy this so as to remove all apprehension on this account. They
replied that they would write off some charms for him. They were to be mixed in water which when drunk would
protect him from the evil eye. A coterie of pirs, miracle workers and Hindu astrologers were in constant
attendance to the emperor. On their advice, he regularly sacrificed buffaloes and camels, buried eggs and
arrested alleged black magicians, in addition to wearing a special ring that cured indigestion. On their advice,
he also regularly donated cows to the poor, elephants to the sufi shrines and a horse to the khadims or clergy
of Jama Masjid.[4]

Marriage certificate of Bahadur Shah II (r. 1837-57) with Zinat Mahal Begam, on 18 November 1840

Autograph of Bahadur Shah of Delhi dated 29th April 1844.

Zafar consciously saw his role as a protector of his Hindu subjects, and a moderator of extreme Muslim
demands and the intense puritanism of many of the Orthodox Muslim sheikhs of the Ulema. In one of his
verses, Zafar explicitly stated that both Hinduism and Islam shared the same essence. This syncretic
philosophy was implemented by his court which came to cherish and embody a multicultural composite Hindu-
Islamic Mughal culture. For instance, the Hindu elite used to frequently visit the dargah or tomb of the
great Sufi pir, Nizam-ud-din Auliya. They could quote Hafezand were very fond of Persian poetry. Their
children, especially those belonging to the administrative Khatri and Kayasth castes studied under maulvis and
attended the more liberal madrasas, bringing food offerings for their teachers on Hindu festivals. On the other
hand, the emperor's Muslim subjects emulated him in honouring the Hindu holy men, while many in court,
including Zafar himself, followed the old Mughal custom, originally borrowed from high class Hindus, of only
drinking the water from the Ganges.[5]

Zafar and his court used to celebrate Hindu festivals. During the spring festival of Holi, he would spray his
courtiers, wives and concubines with different coloured paints, initiating the celebrations by bathing in the water
of seven wells. The autumn Hindu festival of Dusshera was celebrated in the palace by the distribution
of nazrs or presents to Zafar's Hindu officers and the colouring of the horses in the royal stud. In the evening,
Zafar would then watch the Ram Lila processions annually celebrated in Delhi with the burning of giant effigies
of Ravana and his brothers. He even went to the extent of demanding that the route of the procession be
changed so that it would skirt the entire flank of the palace, allowing it to be enjoyed in all its glory. On Diwali,
Zafar would weigh himself against seven kinds of grain, gold, coral, etc., and directed their distribution among
the city's poor.[6]

He was reputedly known to have profound sensitivities to the feelings of his Hindu subjects. One evening, when
Zafar was riding out across the river for an airing, a Hindu waited on the king and disclosed his wish to become
a Muslim. Hakim Ahsanullah Khan, Zafar's prime minister flatly denied this request and the emperor had him
removed from his presence. During the Phulwalon ki Sair or Flower-sellers fair held annually at the ancient Jog
Maya Temple and the Sufi dargah of Qutb Sahib, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki in Mehrauli, Zafar declared that he
would not accompany the pankah into the shrine as he could not accompany it into the temple. On a separate
occasion, a mob of 200 Muslims showed up at the royal palace demanding to be allowed to slaughter cows,
which are holy to Hindus, in Eid. To this, Zafar angrily replied that the religion of Muslims did not depend upon
the sacrifice of cows.[7]

The Delhi Ulema and Bahadur Shah Zafar staunchly disdained each other. Zafar perceived the Muslim sheikhs
to be narrow minded. One evening's entertainment at the Palace consisted of Kadir Baksh impersonating a
Maluvi in the presence of the king. Zafar was reportedly so pleased that he ordered Mahbub Ali Khan, the chief
eunuch to give him the usual present. On the other hand, many of the Delhi maulvis and their followers
considered the king to be a mushrik or heretic. They were of the opinion that it was not right to pray in the
mosques that were frequented by the emperor or were under royal patronage. Zafar was devoted to Ali (son-in-
law of the Islamic prophet Muhammed) and the festival of Muharram was celebrated with great enthusiasm in
the palace, with the king listening to the marsiya mourning poems. This led to persistent rumors that Zafar had
actually converted to the Shiite sect of Islam, which were seen as heretical by the Sunni Muslim clergy. This led
to Zafar receiving several outraged delegations from the Delhi ulema threatening to take the ultimate sanction
of excluding his name from the Friday prayers, effectively excommunicating him and delegitimising his rule, if
the rumor ever proved true.[7]

[edit]Zafar Mahal
Zafar Gate of Zafar Mahal, Mehrauli, today

Closely woven into the history of the last remains of Mughal rule is the history of Zafar Mahal inMehrauli, a
locality of Delhi. Zafar Mahal was originally built by Akbar II, but it was his son, Bahadur Shah Zafar, who
constructed the gateway and added to the palace in the mid-19th century. Mehrauli was then a popular venue
for hunting parties, picnics and jaunts, and the dargah was an added attraction. The emperor visited often with
his retinue - and stayed in royal style at Zafar Mahal.Another interesting feature of Zafar Mahal is that it literally
spans centuries. A plastered dome near the gate is probably 15th century; other sections are relatively newer
and show definite signs of Western influences. There is, for instance, a fireplace in one of the walls that stands
near the Moti Masjid. And the staircase to the balcony is a wide one with low steps - very unlike the steep,
narrow staircases of most Indian Islamic architecture.

The balcony, with its 'jharokha’ windows, is where the emperor and his family could look out over the road. In
Bahadurshah’s time, the main Mehrauli-Gurgaon road passed in front of Zafar Mahal, and all passersby were
expected to dismount as a sign of respect for the emperor. When the British refused to comply, Bahadurshah
solved the problem creatively - he bought the surrounding land and diverted the road so that it would pass well
away from Zafar Mahal! The Phool Walon Ki Sair gradually turned into a major three day celebration during the
time when Bahadur Shah Zafar, son and successor to Akbar Shah Saani ruled from Delhi.

Zafar used to move his court to a building adjacent to the Shrine of Khwaja Bakhtiyar Kaki and stayed
at Mehrauli for a week during the celebrations. The building where he stayed during the period was originally
built by his father and Zafar added an impressive gate and a Baaraadari to the structure and renamed it Zafar

The celebrations spread out in different parts of Mehrauli with the Jahaz Mahal, (a Lodhi period structure, that
was once in the middle of theHauz-e-Shamsi but is now at one end of the much depleted Hauz, becoming a
center where Qawwali mehfils would be organised while the Jharna, built by Firoz Shah Tughlaq and later
added to by Akbar Shah II became a place where the women of the court relaxed.

[edit]Events of 1857

Capture of Bahadur Shah Zafar and his sons by William Hodson at Humayun's tombon 20 September 1857

Bahadur Shah Zafar in 1858, just after his show trial inDelhi and before his departure for exile in Rangoon. This is possibly
the only photograph ever taken of a Mughal emperor.

As the Indian rebellion of 1857 spread, Sepoy regiments seized Delhi. Seeking a figure that could unite all
Indians, Hinduand Muslim alike, most rebelling Indian kings and the Indian regiments accepted Zafar as
the Emperor of India.[8], under whom the smaller Indian kingdoms would unite until the British were defeated.
Zafar was the least threatening and least ambitious of monarchs, and the legacy of the Mughal Empire was
more acceptable a uniting force to most allied kings than the domination of any other Indian kingdom.

When the victory of the British became certain, Zafar took refuge at Humayun's Tomb, in an area that was then
at the outskirts of Delhi, and hid there. British forces led by Major William Hodson surrounded the tomb and
compelled his surrender on 20 September 1857. The next day British officer William Hodson shot his sons
Mirza Mughal, Mirza Khizr Sultan, and grandson Mirza Abu Bakr under his own authority at the Khooni
Darwaza (the bloody gate) near Delhi Gate. On hearing the news Zafar reacted with shocked silence while his
wife Zeenat Mahal was content as she believed her son was now Zafar's heir.

Begum Zeenat Mahal, wife of Bahadur Shah Zafar

Numerous male members of his family were killed by British forces, who imprisoned or exiled the surviving
members of the Mughal dynasty. After a show trial, Zafar himself was exiled to Rangoon, Burma
(now Yangon, Union of Myanmar) in 1858 along with his wife Zeenat Mahal and some of the remaining
members of the family. His departure as Emperor marked the end of more than three centuries of Mughal rule
in India.

Bahadur Shah died in exile on 7 November 1862. He was buried near the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, at
the site that later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah.[9] His wife Zeenat Mahal died in 1886.[10]

In a marble enclosure adjoining the dargah of Sufi saint, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli, an empty grave
or Sardgah marks the site where he had willed to be buried along with some of his Mughal
predecessors, Akbar Shah II, Bahadur Shah I (also known as Shah Alam I) and Shah Alam II.


In 1959, the All India Bahadur Shah Zafar Academy was founded expressly to spread awareness of his
contribution to the first major anti-British movement in India. Several movies in Hindi or Urduhave depicted his
role during the rebellion of 1857. Roads bearing his name are found in New Delhi, Lahore, Varanasi, and other
cities. A statue of Bahadur Shah Zafar has been erected at the Vijayanagaram palace in Varanasi.
In Bangladesh, the Victoria Park in old Dhaka has been renamed "Bahadur Shah Zafar Park". And in
several Pakistani cities, avenues, roads, shopping centres, and other landmarks carry the name of the last
Mughal emperor.


Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, eldest son of Bahadur Shah II, February 1856. (d. 10th July 1856)[11]

Sons of Bahadur Shah. On the left is Jawan Bakht, and on the right is the Mirza Shah Abbas.

Bahadur Shah Zafar is known to have had four wives. His wives were: [12]

 Begum Ashraf Mahal

 Begum Akhtar Mahal

 Begum Zeenat Mahal

 Begum Taj Mahal

Zafar had six legitimate sons, including:

 Mirza Dara Bakht Miran Shah

 Mirza Shah Rukh

 Mirza Fath-ul-Mulk Bahadur (alias Mirza Fakhru)

 Mirza Mughal

 Mirza Khazr Sultan

 Jawan Bakht

 Mirza Quaish

 Mirza Shah Abbas

He also had four legitimate daughters, including:

 Rabeya Begum

 Begum Fatima Sultan

 Kulsum Zamani Begum

 Raunaq Zamani Begum (possibly a granddaughter)

Most of his sons and grandsons were killed during or in the aftermath of the rebellion of 1857. Of those who
survived, the following four lines of descent are known:

 Delhi line—son: Mirza Fath-ul-Mulk Bahadur (alias Mirza Fakhru); grandson: Mirza Farkhunda Jamal;
great-grandchildren: Ahmad Shah, Hamid Shah and Begum Qamar Sultan; Children of Ahmad Shah:
Farrukh Mirza, Nadir Mirza, Mirza Taimur, Akbar Shah and Mohammad Shah Taimur; Children of Farrukh
Mirza: Parvez Mirza, Javed Mirza, Mulahat Mirza, Zahid Mirza, Shahid Mirza; Children of Mohammad Shah
temuri: Mirza Babar Shah Temuri, Mirza Birjees Shah Temuri, Sabahat Temuri, Mirza Zafar Shah Temuri,
Saira temuri and Mirza Azfar Shah Temuri.Children of Mirza Zafar Shah Temuri: Hoor Temuri, Zuhaab
Mirza Temuri, Harris Mirza Temuri

 Howrah line—son: Jawan Bakht, grandson: Jamshid Bakht, great-grandson: Mirza Muhammad Bedar
Bakht (married Sultana Begum).

 Varanasi line -- [Shah Alam Ameer of Delhi, Son: Mirza Jahaandar Shah Alais Mirza Khan Bakht
(Married - Jahanbaad Begum)], [Ali Gohar Mirza Ali Bahadur had five sons], [Mirza Kazim Bakht married
Birjis Ara Begum, Son: Mirza Yousuf Bakht married Hasina Sultan Begum, Grandson: Mirza Zaheeruddin
Alim Bakht married Khurshid Laqah Begum (had five sons - two daughters), Great Grandson: Mirza Daud
Bakht married Fakhre Ara Kaniz Mehndi Begum (D/O. Late Mobarrak Bakht Mirza Illyas Hussain Bahadur,
grandson of late king of Oudh - Wife: Sultan Bano Mehndi Begum (In Kolkata).
 Hyderabad line—son: Mirza Quaish, grandson: Mirza Abdullah, great-grandson: Mirza Pyare (married
Habib Begum), great-great-granddaughter: Begum Laila Ummahani (married Moinuddin Tucy), great-great-
great-granddaughter: Lalarukh Ummahani (married Shaik Umer) she has two daughters (Humera Fatima &
Zubera Fatima) and two sons (Abrar Umer and Asrar Umer).

Descendants of Mughal rulers other than Bahadur Shah Zafar also survive to this day. They include the line
of Jalaluddin Mirza in Bengal, who served at the court of the Maharaja of Dighapatia, and the Toluqari family.


Zafar, pictured in a 1919 book of Hindustani Lyrics

Zafar was an accomplished Urdu poet and calligrapher[13]. While he was denied paper and pen in captivity, he
was known to have written on the walls of his room with a burnt stick. He wrote the following Ghazal (Video
search) as his own epitaph.
Original Urdu Devanagari transliteration Roman transliteration English Translation

‫مرا‬ लगता नही है जी मेरा उजडे दयार मे lagtā nahīń hé jī mérā My heart has no repose in this
ِ ‫لگتا نہیں ہے جی‬
‫ ُاجڑے دیار میں‬िकसकी बनी है अालम
ा -ए- ūjař'é dayār méń despoiled land

‫ کس کی بنی ہے‬नापायेदार मे kiskī banī hé ālam-e-nā- Who has ever felt fulfilled in this

‫عالم ِ ناپائیدار میں‬ pāyedār méń futile world?

बुलबुल को पासबा से न सैयाद से िगला

‫ ُبلُبل کو پاسباں سے‬िकसमत मे कैद िलखी थी फसल-ए-बहार मे būlbūl ko pāsbāń se na The nightingale complains about

‫نہ صیاد سے گلہ‬ saiyyād se gilā neither the sentinel nor the hunter
‫قسمت میں قید‬
ِ ‫لکھی تھی فص‬
Fate had decreed imprisonment
‫بہار میں‬ qismet méń qaid likhī tthī
during the harvest of spring
fasl-e-bahār méń
‫ِان حسرتوں سے کہہ‬
Tell these longings to go dwell
‫دو کہیں اور جا‬ kaeh do in hassretoń se
‫بسیں‬ kahīń aur jā bas'éń
What space is there for them in
‫اتنی جگہ کہاں ہے‬ itnī jageh kahāń hé dil-e-
इन हसरतो से कह दो कही और जा बसे this besmirched heart?
‫ل داغدار میں‬
ِ ‫د‬ dāGhdār méń
इतनी जगह कहा है िदल-ए-दागदार मे
Sitting on a branch of flowers, the
‫ِاک شاِخ گل پہ بیٹھ‬ ik shāKh-e-gūl pe baiTh
इक शाख-ए-गुल पे बैठ के बुलबुल है nightingale rejoices
‫کے ُبلُبل ہے شادماں‬ ke būlbūl hé shādmāń
शादमा It has strewn thorns in the garden
‫کانٹے ِبچھا دیتے ہیں‬ kānTe bichā diye héń dil-
काटे िबछा िदये है िदल-ए-लालाजार मे of my heart
‫ل للہ زار میں‬
ِ ‫د‬ e-lālāzār méń

उम-ए-दराज मागके लाए थे चार िदन I asked for a long life, I received
‫عمرِ دراز مانگ کے‬ umr-e-darāz māńg ke
दो अारजू मे कट गए, दो इनतजार four days
‫لئے تھے چار ِدن‬ lāye tthe chār din
मे Two passed in desire, two in
‫دو آرزو میں کٹ‬ do ārzū méń kaT gayé do
‫ دو ِانتظار میں‬،‫گئے‬ intezār méń
िदन िजनदगी के खतम हुए शाम हो गई
फैला के पाव सोएँगे कु ंज-ए-मजार मे The days of life are over, evening
‫ِدن زندگی کے ختم‬ din zindagī ke Khatm hué
has fallen
‫ہوئے شام ہوگئی‬ shām ho gayī
िकतना है बदनसीब “जफर″ दफन के िलए I shall sleep, legs outstretched, in
‫پھیل کے پائوں‬ p'hailā ke pāoń soyeń-ge
दो गज जमीन भी न िमली कू-ए-यार मे my tomb
‫سوئیں گے کنج مزار‬ kūńj-e-mazaar méń
How unfortunate is Zafar! For his
kitnā hé bad-naseeb zafar
‫کتنا ہے بدنصیب‬ dafn ke liye
Not even two yards of land were
‫ظفر دفن کے لئے‬ do gaz zamīn bhī na milī
to be had, in the land of his
‫دو گز زمین بھی نہ‬ kū-e-yār méń
‫ملی کوئے یار میں‬


In his book, The Last Mughal, William Dalrymple states that, according to Lahore scholar Imran Khan, the
verse beginning umr-e-darāz māńg ke ("I asked for a long life") is probably not by Zafar, and does not appear
in any of the works published during Zafar's lifetime. The verse appears to be by Simab Akbarabadi[16].
[edit]See also

 Mughal Emperor

 Urdu poetry

 List of Indian monarchs

 List of Urdu poets

 Indian rebellion of 1857


Wikimedia Commons has

media related to: Bahadur
Shah II

1. ^ http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/1/Zafar

2. ^ [|Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar] (1909, 10 May). The Indian War of Independence –1857 The

Indian War of Independence - 1857.

3. ^ William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, p. 78

4. ^ a b William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, p. 79

5. ^ William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, p. 80

6. ^ William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, p. 81

7. ^ a b William Dalrymple, The Last Mughal, p. 82

8. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2007/20070510/1857/main1.htm

9. ^ The Dargah of Bahadur Shah Zafar in Rangoon.

10. ^ Nawab Zeenat Mahal

11. ^ Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza Victoria and Albert Museum.

12. ^ Farooqi, Abdullah. "Bahadur Shah Zafar Ka Afsanae Gam". Farooqi Book Depot. Retrieved 2007-


13. ^ http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/onlineex/apac/addorimss/p/zoomify55361.html Poem composed by

the Emperor Bahadur Shah and addressed to the Governor General's Agent at Delhi February 1843.

14. ^ BBC

15. ^ "Jee Nehein Lagta Ujrey Diyaar Mein". http://www.urdupoint.com. Retrieved 2007-07-21.

16. ^ https://mailman.rice.edu/pipermail/sasialit/2008-January/013250.html

[edit]External links
Wikisource has the text of
the1911 Encyclopædia
Britannicaarticle Bahadur
Shah II..

Bahadur Shah II at the Internet Movie Database

 Bahadur Shah Zafar at Kavita Kosh (Hindi)

 BBC Report on Bahadur Shah's possible descendants in Hyderabad

 An article on Bahadur Shah's descendants in Delhi and Hyderabad

 Another article on Bahadur Shah's descendants in Hyderabad

 An article on Bahadur Shah's descendants in Kolkata

 Forgotten Empress: Sultana Beghum sells tea in Kolkata

 Extracts from a book on Bahadur Shah Zafar, with details of exile and family

 Links to further websites on Bahadur Shah Zafar

 Poetry on urdupoetry.com

 Extract of talk by Zafar's biographer William Dalrymple (British Library)

 Moghul Empire Wallpapers for mobile phones.

 Kalaam e Zafar - Select verses in Hindi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Agra (disambiguation).


‫آ گر ہ‬

— city —

Location of Agra

in Uttar Pradesh and India

Coordinates 27.18°N 78.02°ECoordinates: 27.18°N 78.02°E

Country India

State Uttar Pradesh

District(s) Agra

Population 1,686,976[1] (19) (2010)

• Density • 8,954 /km2 (23,191 /sq mi)

• Metro • 1,727,275[2] (20)

• Urban • 63.62

Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)

Area 188.40 km2 (73 sq mi)

• Elevation • 171 metres (561 ft)


Website agra.nic.in
Agra (English pronunciation: /ˈɑːɡrə/; Hindi: आगरा, Urdu: ‫ )آ گرہ‬is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the
northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is located at the banks of riverYamuna, 363 kilometres (226 mi) west
of state capital, Lucknow and 200 kilometres (124 mi) south from national capital New Delhi. With a population
of 1,686,976 (2010 est.), it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most populous
in India.[1] Agra can also refer to the administrative district that has its headquarters in Agra city.

The city finds mention in the epic Mahābhārata where it was called Agrevaṇa, or 'the border of the forest'.
Legend ascribes the founding of the city to Rājā Badal Singh (around 1475), whose fort, Badalgarh, stood on
or near the site of the present Fort. However, the 11th century Persian poet Mas'ūd Sa'd Salmān writes of a
desperate assault on the fortress of Agra, then held by the Shāhī King Jayapala, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni.
Sultan Sikandar Lodī was the first to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in the year 1506; he died in 1517
and his son Ibrāhīm Lodī remained in power there for nine more years, finally being defeated at theBattle of
Panipat in 1526.[5] It achieved fame as the capital of the Mughal emperors from 1526 to 1658 and remains a
major tourist destination because of its many splendid Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra
Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which areUNESCO World Heritage Sites.


• 1 Climate

• 2 Demographics

• 3 History

• 4 Transportation

o 4.1 Air

o 4.2 Rail

o 4.3 Road

o 4.4 Taxi

o 4.5 Local Transport

• 5 Places of interest

o 5.1 Tāj Mahal

o 5.2 Agra Fort

o 5.3 Fatehpūr Sikrī

o 5.4 I'timād-Ud-Daulah

o 5.5 Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra

o 5.6 Swāmī Bāgh Samādhi

o 5.7 Mankameshwar Temple

o 5.8 Gurū kā Tal

o 5.9 Jamā Masjid

o 5.10 Chīnī kā Rauza

o 5.11 Rām Bāgh

o 5.12 Mariam's Tomb

o 5.13 Mehtāb Bāgh

o 5.14 Keetham Lake

o 5.15 Mughal Heritage Walk

o 5.16 The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

• 6 Economy

• 7 Education

o 7.1 Schools

o 7.2 Universities in Agra

o 7.3 Colleges

• 8 Gallery

• 9 References

• 10 Further reading

• 11 External links


Main article: Climate of Agra

Agra features a semiarid climate that borders on a humid subtropical climate. The city features mild winters, hot
and dry summers and amonsoon season. However the monsoons, though substantial in Agra, are not quite as
heavy as the monsoon in other parts of India. This is a primary factor in Agra featuring a semiarid climate as
opposed to a humid subtropical climate.


Climate chart (explanation)


3 3.5
15 12 11 11 52 217 283 124 31 6.2
38 24
22 26 32 22 42 41 35 33 34 34 29 8
7 10 16 27 29 27 26 24 20 13
average max. and min. temperatures in °C

precipitation totals in mm

source: IMD

[show]Imperial conversion


According to the 2001 India census,[6] Agra has a population of 1,275,134, while the population of Agra
cantonment is 50,968 and that of Agra district is 3,620,436. Males constitute 53% of the population and
females 47%. Agra district population grew by 31% in the decade 1991–2001. Roughly 57% of the population
of Agra district lives in urban areas. Agra has an average literacy rate of 81%, higher than the national average
of 59.5%; with 86% males literate. Literacy rate of males is considerably higher than that of women. Agra
district literacy rate is 62.60%.

Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism are three major religions in Agra district with 89.6%, 8.93%, and 0.51% of the
population following them. Roughly 22% of the population belongs to theScheduled Castes, of which the
Chamar, Kori, and Balmiki are the most numerous. SomeScheduled Tribes like the Bhotia and Jaunsari have
marginal presence (about 0.02% of the population).

52.5% of Agra's population is in the 15–59 years age category. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Hindi is the most widely spoken language in Agra. Urdu and Punjabi is also spoken.


Though Agra's history is largely recognised with Mughal Kingdom,but the place was established much before it
and has linkages since Mahabharat period and Mahirshi Angira in 1000 BC. It is generally accepted that
Sultan Sikandar Lodī, the Ruler of the Delhi Sultanatefounded Agra in the year 1504. After the Sultan's death
the city passed on to his son Sultan Ibrāhīm Lodī. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting
to Bābar in the First battle of Panipat fought in 1526.

In the year 1556, the great Hindu warrior Hemu Vikramaditya, also known as Samrat Hem Chander
Vikramaditya, won Agra as the Prime Minister cum Chief of Army of Adil Shah of the Afghan Sūrī Dynasty. The
commander of Humāyūn / Akbar's forces in Agra, Tardi Beg Khan, was so scared of Hemu that he retreated
from the city without a fight. This was Hemu's 21st continuous win since 1554, and he later went on to
conquer Delhi, having his coronation at Purānā Qil'a in Delhi on 7 October 1556 and re-established the Hindu
Kingdom and theVikramaditya Dynasty in North India.

The golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known then as Akbarabād and remained the capital
of the Mughal Empire under the Emperors Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Shāh Jahān later shifted his
capital to Shāhjahānabād in the year 1649.
Since Akbarabād was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building
activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of
river Yamuna. The garden is called the Arām Bāgh or the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar raised the
towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a center for learning, arts, commerce and
religion. Akbar also built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabād called Fatehpūr Sikrī. This city was built in the
form of a Mughal military camp in stone.

His son Jahāngīr had a love of gardens and flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Lāl
Qil'a. Shāh Jahān, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabād its most prized monument,
the Tāj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtāz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653.

Shāh Jahān later shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to
Akbarabād, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Akbarabād remained the capital of India
during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653. After the decline of
the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of Marathas and Jats and was called Agra, before falling
into the hands of the British Raj in 1803.

Agra, Main Street, c.1858

In 1835 when the Presidency of Agra was established by the British, the city became the seat of government,
and just two year later it was the witness to the Agra famine of 1837–38. During theIndian rebellion of
1857 British rule across India was threatened, news of the rebellion had reached Agra on 11 May and on 30
May two companies of native infantry, the 44th and 67th regiments, rebelled and marched to Delhi. The next
morning native Indian troops in Agra were forced to disarm, on 15 June Gwalior (which lies south of Agra)
rebelled. By 3 July the British were forced to withdraw into the fort. Two days later a small British force at
Sucheta were defeated and forced to withdraw, this led to a mob sacking the city. However, the rebels moved
onto Delhi which allowed the British to restore order by 8 July. Delhi fell to the British in September, the
following month rebels who had fled Delhi along with rebels from Central India marched on Agra - but were
defeated. After this British rule was again secured over the city until the independence of India in 1947.[7]
Agra is the birth place of the religion known as Dīn-i Ilāhī, which flourished during the reign of Akbar and also of
the Radhaswami Faith, which has around two million followers worldwide. Agra has historic linkages with
Shauripur of Jainism and Runukta of Hinduism ,of 1000 BC.

Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all three of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.



Agra Airport is about 12.5 km from city center


Main article: Railways in Agra

Agra is on the main train line between Delhi (Station Code: NDLS) and Mumbai (Bombay) (Station Code:
CSTM) and between Delhi andChennai (Station Code: MAS) and many trains like Bhopal Shatabdi, Bhopal
Express, Malwa Express, Gondwana Express, Jabalpur - Jammutawi Express, Shreedham Express, Garib
Rath, Tamil Nadu Express, Chennai Rajdhni etc. connect Agra with all major Indian cities like New
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Pune, Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Jaip
ur, Lucknow etc. every day. Some east-bound trains from Delhi also travel via Agra, so direct connections to
points in Eastern India (including Kolkata) (Calcutta) are also available. There are close to 20 trains to New
Delhi and Gwalior Junction every day, and at least three or four to Bhopal, Indore, Nagpur, Mumbai and
Chennai. There are three main railway stations in Agra:

Agra Cantt. Railway Station

 Agra Cantt (Station Code: AGC) is the main railway station and lies southwest of the Taj and Agra
Fort, both of which are a short ride from the station by car, auto-rickshaw, or cycle rickshaw. There's a
prepaid taxi stand right outside that charges a flat Rs.120 to any hotel in the city. The station has a pretty
good Comesum food court that also sells cheap, hygienic takeaway snacks (sandwiches, samosas, etc.).
 Agra Fort Railway Station (Station Code: AF) near Agra Fort, is infrequently serviced by the interstate
express trains, it is one of the oldest railway station in the country. The station serves trains to the east
(Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Kolkata, Guwahati) and central India Ratlam,Nagda, Kota (Haldighati Express). Some
of these trains also stop at Agra Cantt.

 Raja Ki Mandi (Station Code: RKM) is a small station. Some of the trains which stop atAgra Cantt also
stop here. It is a very laid back station and springs into life at the arrival ofIntercity Express, Mahakoshal
Express, Indore - Amritsar Express and Taj Express. Other stations are Idgah, Billochpura, Agra
City, Yamuna Bridge.

The luxury trains - the Palace on Wheels, and the Royal Rajasthan On Wheels also stop at Agra on their eight
day round trip of tourist destinations in Rajasthan and Agra. The Buddhist Special Train also visits Agra. There
is urgent need of Metro Train in Agra that connect all historical monuments (Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Sikandara
[Tomb of Akbar], I'timād-ud-Daulah's Tomb and Radha Swami Temple). It will give thrust to tourism as well as
provide efficient and rapid public transport.


Idgah Bus Stand and Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) are the major Bus Stands in Agra and is connected to
most of the bigger cities in North India.

 From Delhi: NH2, a modern divided highway, connects the 200 km distance from Delhi to Agra. The
drive is about 4 hours. The primary access to the highway is along Mathura Road in Delhi but, if coming
from South Delhi or Delhi Airport, it is easier to take Aurobindo Marg (Mehrauli Road) and then work up to
NH2 via Tughlakabad.

 From Jaipur: National Highway 11, a Four lane divided highway, connects Agra with Jaipur via the bird
sanctuary town of Bharatpur. The distance of around 255 km can be covered in around 3–4 hours.

 From Gwalior A distance of around 120 km, takes around 1.5 hours on the National highway 3, also
known as the Agra - MumbaiHighway.

 From Lucknow / Kanpur NH2, the divided modern highway, continues on to Kanpur (285 km, 5 hours)
and from there to points East ending in Kolkata. From Kanpur, NH25 heads for the city of Lucknow (90 km,
2 hours).

Agra has a major Road named as Mahatma Gandhi(MG) Road at the ceneral part known as heart line of
agra.Agra is a main tourist attraction


Tourist can hire a taxi for local sight seeing or agra visit from local taxi stand. A prepaid taxi counter is available
at agra cantt railway station.
[edit]Local Transport
Recently, under JNNURM (Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission) in order to revamp city's urban
infrastructure Tata-Marcopolo's city buses are being run by Agra Municipal Corporation covering whole city in
an efficient way.

Other para-transit modes includes auto-rickshaws and rickshaw. While passengers need to negotiate rates for
the rickshaws and they are usually expensive, there is a system of (what is called) 'Tempo' which are
autorickshaws that run on specific routes called out by drivers. Tempos take around 6 people simultaneously
and work out to be most economical and practical.

Polluting vehicles are not allowed near Tāj Mahal, so one needs to take electric Auto's or Tanga (Tonga) from a
few kilometres outside the Tāj Mahal.

[edit]Places of interest

Panoramic View of Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal from Agra fort.

[edit]Tāj Mahal
Main article: Taj Mahal

Agra's Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world, the mausoleum of Shah Jahan's favorite
wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and one of threeWorld Heritage Sites in

Completed in 1653, the Tāj Mahal was built by the Mughal king Shāh Jahān as the final resting place for his
beloved wife, Mumtāz Mahal. Finished in marble, it is perhaps India's most fascinating and beautiful
monument. This perfectly symmetrical monument took 22 years (1630–1652) of hard labour and 20,000
workers, masons and jewellers to build and is set amidst landscaped gardens. Built by the Persian architect,
Ustād 'Īsā, the Tāj Mahal is on the bank of the Yamuna River. It can be observed from Agra Fort from where
Emperor Shāh Jahān gazed at it, for the last eight years of his life, a prisoner of his son Aurangzeb. It is an
acknowledged masterpiece of symmetry. Verses of theKoran are inscribed on it and at the top of the gate are
twenty-two small domes, signifying the number of years the monument took to build. The Tāj Mahal was built
on a marble platform that stands above a sandstone one. The most elegant dome of the Tāj Mahal has a
diameter of 60 feet (18 m), and rises to a height of 80 feet (24 m); directly under this dome is the tomb of
Mumtāz Mahal. Shah Jahān's tomb was erected next to hers by his son Aurangzeb. The interiors are
decorated by fine inlay work, incorporating semi-precious stones.

[edit]Agra Fort
Main article: Agra Fort

Amar Singh Gate,

one of two entrances into Agra's Red Fort

Agra Fort (sometimes called the Red Fort), was commissioned by the great Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1565,
and is another of Agra's World Heritage Sites. A stone tablet at the gate of the Fort states that it had been built
before 1000 but was later renovated by Akbar. The red sandstone fort was converted into a palace during Shāh
Jahān's time, and reworked extensively with marble and pietra dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include
the Pearl Mosque, the Dīwān-e-'Ām and Dīwān-e-Khās (halls of public and private audience), Jahāngīr's
Palace, Khās Mahal, Shīsh Mahal (mirrored palace), and theMusamman Burj. Reference required

The great Mughal Emperor Akbar commissioned the construction of the Agra Fort in 1565 CE., although it was
converted into a place by his grandson Shāh Jahān, being reworked extensively withmarble and pietra
dura inlay. Notable buildings in the fort include the Pearl Mosque or Motī Masjid, theDīwān-e-'Ām and Dīwān-e-
Khās (halls of public and private audience), Jahāngīr's Palace, Khās Mahal, Shīsh Mahal (mirrored palace),
and the Musamman Burj. The forbidding exteriors of this fort conceal an inner paradise. The fort is crescent
shaped, flattened on the east with a long, nearly straight wall facing the river. It has a total perimeter of
2.4 kilometres (1.5 mi), and is ringed by double castellated ramparts of red sandstone punctuated at regular
intervals by bastions. A 9 metres (30 ft) wide and 10 metres (33 ft) deep moat surrounds the outer wall.

Chhatrapati Shīvajī visited the Agra Fort, as a result of the conditions of the Treaty of Purandar entered into
with Mirzā Rājā Jaisingh to meet Aurangzeb in the Dīwān-i-Khās (Special Audience Chamber). In the audience
he was deliberately placed behind men of lower rank. An insulted Shīvajī stormed out of the imperial audience
and was confined to Jai Sing's quarters on 12 May 1666. Fearing the dungeons and execution he escaped on
17 August 1666. A heroic equestrian statue of Shīvajī has been erected outside the fort.

The fort is a typical example of Mughal architecture, effectively showing how the North Indian style of fort
construction differentiated from that of the South. In the South, the majority forts were built on the seabed like
the one at Bekal in Kerala.[8]

[edit]Fatehpūr Sikrī
Main article: Fatehpur Sikri

Dīwān-i-Khās – Hall of Private Audience

The Mughal Emperor Akbar built Fatehpūr Sikrī about 35 km from Agra, and moved his capital there. Later
abandoned, the site displays a number of buildings of significant historical importance. A World Heritage Site, it
is often visited by tourists. The name of the place came about after the Mughal Emperor Bābar defeated Rāṇā
Sāngā in a battle at a place called Sikrī (about 40 km from Agra). Then the Mughal Emperor Akbar wanted to
make Fatehpūr Sikrī his head quarters, so he built a majestic fort; due to shortage of water, however, he had to
ultimately move his headquarters to Agra Fort.

Buland Darwāza or 'the lofty gateway' was built by the great Mughal emperor, Akbar in 1601 CE. at Fatehpūr
Sikrī. Akbar built the Buland Darwāza to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. The Buland Darwāza is
approached by 52 steps. The Buland Darwāza is 53.63 m high and 35 meters wide. it is made of red and buff
sandstone, decorated by carving and black and white marble inlays. An inscription on the central face of the
Buland Darwāza demonstrates Akbar's religious broadmindedness, it is a message from Jesus advising his
followers not to consider this world as their permanent home.


Main article: Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb

The 'Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb at Agra'

The Empress Nūr Jahān built I'timād-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, sometimes called the 'Baby Tāj', for her father, Mirzā
Ghiyās Beg, the Chief Minister of the Emperor Jahāngīr. Located on the left bank of theYamuna river, the
mausoleum is set in a large cruciform garden criss-crossed by water courses and walkways. The mausoleum
itself covers about 23 square metres (250 sq ft), and is built on a base about fifty meters square and about one
meter high. On each corner are hexagonal towers, about thirteen meters tall. Small in comparison to many
other Mughal-era tombs, it is sometimes described as a jewel box. Its garden layout and use of white
marble, pietra dura, inlay designs and latticeworkpresage many elements of the Tāj Mahal.

The walls are white marble from Rajasthan encrusted with semi-precious stone decorations
-cornelian, jasper, lapis lazuli, onyx, and topaz in images of cypress trees and wine bottles, or more elaborate
decorations like cut fruit or vases containing bouquets. Light penetrates to the interior through
delicate jālī screens of intricately carved white marble.

Many of Nūr Jahān's relatives are interred in the mausoleum. The only asymmetrical element of the entire
complex is that the tombs of her father and mother have been set side-by-side, a formation replicated in the Taj

[edit]Akbar's Tomb, Sikandra

Main article: Tomb of Akbar the Great
Tomb of Akbar the Great

Sikandra, the last resting place of the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great, is on the Delhi-Agra Highway, only 13
kilometres from the Agra Fort. Akbar's tomb reflects the completeness of his personality. The vast, beautifully
carved, red-ochre sandstone tomb with deers, rabbits and langurs is set amidst a lush garden. Akbar himself
planned his own tomb and selected a suitable site for it. To construct a tomb in one's lifetime was
a Turkic custom which the Mughals followed religiously. Akbar's son Jahāngīr completed construction of this
pyramidal tomb in 1613. The names of the Gods of ninety-nine religious sects have been inscribed on the

[edit]Swāmī Bāgh Samādhi

The Swāmī Bāgh Samādhi is a monument to hold the ashes of Huzūr Swāmijī Mahārāj (Shrī Shiv Dayāl Singh
Seth) in the Swāmībāghsection, on the high road that goes from Bhagwan Talkies to Dayāl Bāgh, in the
outskirts of the city. He was the founder of the Radhāswāmī Faith and the Samādhi is sacred to its followers.
Construction began in February 1904 and still continues. Many believe that construction will never end at
Swāmī Bāgh - it is often seen as the next Tāj Mahal. The carvings in stone, using a combination or coloured
marble, are life-like and not seen anywhere else in India. The picture shown is taken from the rear of the
building and shows only two floors. When completed, the Samādhi will have a carved dome and a gateway.

[edit]Mankameshwar Temple
Main article: Mankameshwar Temple

The Mankameshwar Temple is one of four ancient temples dedicated to Lord Shiva located on the four corners
of Agra City. It is located near the Jāma Masjid and is about 2.5 kilometers from the Tāj Mahal and less than
1 km from Agra Fort. Being located in the old city, the temple is surrounded by markets, many of which date
back to the Mughal Era.

[edit]Gurū kā Tal
Main article: Guru ka Tal

Gurū kā Tal was originally a reservoir meant to collect and conserve rainwater built in Agra, near Sikandra,
during Jahāngīr's reign next to the Tomb of I'tibār Khān Khwājasara in 1610. In 1970s a gurdwāra was erected
here. Gurū kā Tal is a holy place of worship for the Sikhs. Four of the ten Sikh Gurus are said to have paid it a
visit. Enjoying both historical and religious importance, this gurdwāra attracts a large number of devotees and
tourists. Boasting elaborate stone carvings and 8 towers of the twelve original towers. It is located by national
(Delhi-Agra) highway-2.

[edit]Jamā Masjid
Main article: Jama Masjid (Agra)

The Jāma Masjid is a large mosque attributed to Shah Jahan's daughter, Princess Jahanara Begum, built in
1648, notable for its unusual dome and absence of minarets. The inscription at its entrance shows that it costed
Rs 5 Lakhs at that time for its completion.

Chīnī kā Rauza

[edit]Chīnī kā Rauza
Main article: Chini Ka Rauza

Notable for its Persian influenced dome of blue glazed tiles, the Chīnī kā Rauza is dedicated to the Prime
Minister of Shāh Jahān, 'Allāma Afzal Khāl Mullā Shukrullāh of Shirāz.

[edit]Rām Bāgh
Main article: Ram Bagh

The oldest Mughal garden in India, the Rām Bāgh was built by the Emperor Bābar in 1528 on the bank of the
Yamuna. It lies about 2.34 km north of the Tāj Mahal. The pavilions in this garden are designed so that the
wind from the Yamuna, combined with the greenery, keeps them cool even during the peak of summer. The
original name of the gardens was Ārām Bāgh, or 'Garden of Relaxation', and this was where the Mughal
emperor Bābar used to spend his leisure time and where he eventually died. His body was kept here for
sometime before sending it to Kabul.

[edit]Mariam's Tomb
Main article: Mariams Tomb

Mariams Tomb, is the tomb of Mariam, the wife of great Mughal Emperor Akbar. The tomb is within the
compound of the Christian Missionary Society.
[edit]Mehtāb Bāgh
Main article: Mehtab Bagh

The Mehtāb Bāgh, or 'Moonlight Garden', is on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna from the Tāj Mahal.

[edit]Keetham Lake
Main article: Keetham Lake

Also known as Sur Sarovar, Keetham Lake is situated about 23 kilometres from Agra, within the Surdas
Reserved Forest. The lake has an impressive variety of aquatic life and water birds.

[edit]Mughal Heritage Walk

The Mughal Heritage Walk is a part of community development programme being implemented with support of
Agra Municipal corporation, USAID and an NGO; Center for Urban and Regional Excellence. It seeks to build
sustainable livelihoods for youth and women from low resource communities and improving their living
environments through infrastructure services and integration within the city.

The Mughal Heritage Walk is a one kilometer loop which connects the agricultural fields with the Rajasthani
culture, river bank connected with the ancient village of Kuchhpura, the Heritage Structure of Mehtab Bagh, the
Mughal aqueduct system, the Humanyun Mosque and theGyarah Sidi.

[edit]The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agra.
Tourist attractions in Agra


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this section if you can. The talk page may contain suggestions. (September 2010)

A shopping mall situated on the Fatehabad Road in Agra, U.P.

A marble table top in Pietra Dura, a craft practiced since the Mughal era in Agra

Tourism contributes to a large extent in the economy of Agra. Agra has some of the finest Hotels and Spas
inIndia. Agra is home to Asia’s largest spa called Kaya Kalp — The Royal Spa, at the Hotel Mughal in Agra.[9]

The city also has a substantial industrial base. A lot of manufacturing plants and industry related wholesale
markets are prominent in Agra. Agra's industries are doing a fine job in various fields. Producers and dealers of
Agra have a vast market to support them.Agra also has Uttar Pradesh first plant biotech company Harihar
Biotech that is located in the vicinity of Taj. And is Presently one of the largest Plant Tissue Culture lab in North
India with production capacity of 2 millions plants annually.

Agra has a good number of apparel and garment manufacturers and exporters. Agra has also an important
market for the automobile industry. Anil Diesels, Harvest Group of Industries, Indian Agriculture & Automobile
Corporation (IAAC) and Malloys India are some of the major players of the automobile industry in Agra.

The Sadar Bazar market in the Agra Cantonment

An Agra craftsman working with marble stone inlays. The marble is colored red to give contrast while working.

Over 7200 Small Scale Industrial Units are spared all over the district. Agra city is famous for the Leather
Goods, Handicrafts, Zari Zardozi, Marvel and Stone carving & inlay work. Agra is also well known for its sweets
(Petha & Gajak) and Snacks (Dalmoth).

The leather industry is among the most traditional and original industries of Agra. Some of the leading
manufacturers, exporter and sellers of leather in Agra are Dawar Footwear Company, Polyplast Industries,
Royal International, Eskay Sales Corporation, Best Buy, Bandejjia Traders and Expomore.[citation needed]

The famous city Center place at Agra is called Kinari Bazar,which is famous for its jewellery and garments
shops.Its has the biggest Silver & Gold jewellery hub at Choube Ji Ka Fatak.

With the expansion of the Agra city, more and more construction works are going around the city. To facilitate
the flow of work, a lot of organizations dealing in building materials have come up. A few leading names are
Silver Gatta Agency, Yashoda Exports, Glass Expressions and Sharda Enterprises. The jeweleries of Agra is a
great favorite with the tourists and is in good demand in the international market also. The Amar Paper Agency
in Agra dealing in vast varieties of paper related products strengthening the finance of the town was
established in 1986 by Hon. Shri Ram Nath Agarwal. The Yoga Handicrafts and the D.R.Chain and Wire
Manufacturing Company are two of the several important names of the related industry.

Agra has a number of big and small Transformer manufacturers. The Shah Market area is a thriving Electronics
market while Sanjay Place is the Trade center of Agra.


Agra has always been a centre for education and learning. It was during the advent of Mughal era that Agra
grew as a centre of Islamic education. In the coming decades Agra saw great literary figures come from the
city. Abul Fazl and others were among the pioneers. The Urdu literature grew by leaps and bounds in the city.
Mir Taqi "Mir" and Mirza Asadullah Beg "Ghalib" were the icons produced by the city.
British people introduced the western concept of education in Agra. In the year 1823, Agra College, one of the
oldest colleges in India was formed out of a Sanskrit school established by the Scindia rulers.
In the British era, Agra became a great center of Hindi literature with people like Babu Gulab Rai at the helm.

 St. Andrews Public School, Agra.

 St Clare's Senior Secondary School, Agra

 St. Peter's College, Agra

 St. Paul's Church College, Agra

 St. Patrick's Junior College, Agra

 St. Anthony's Junior College, Agra

 St. Conrad's Inter College, Agra

 St. George's Inter College, Agra

 St. Francis School, Agra

 Delhi Public School, Agra

 Agra Public School, Agra

 Holy Public School, Agra.

 St. Clare's Senior Secondary School, Agra

 Government Inter College (G.I.C.) Agra

 M. D. Jain Inter College, Agra

 Queen Victoria Girls Inter College, Agra

 St. Johns Inter College, Agra.

 Saraswati Vidya Mandir Inter College, Agra

[edit]Universities in Agra
Agra University was established on 1 July 1927 and catered to colleges spread across the United Provinces,
the Rajputana, the Central Provinces and almost to entire North India, at present around 142 Colleges are
affiliated to this University. The historic Agra University was later rechristened as Dr. BhimRao Ambedkar
University by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Ms. Mayawati.

 Dayalbagh Educational Institute, Radhasoami Satsang Sabha, started the Radhasoami Educational
Institute, as a co-educational Middle School, open to all, on January 1, 1917. It became a Degree College
in 1947, affiliated to Agra University. In 1975, it formulated an innovative and comprehensive programme of
undergraduate studies which received approbation from the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the
University Grants Commission, as a result of which in 1981 the Ministry of Education, Government of India,
conferred the status of an institution deemed to be a University on the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, to
implement the new scheme.
 Central Institute of Hindi, Central Institute of Hindi (also known as Kendriya Hindi Sansthan) is an
autonomous institute under Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India engaged in
teaching Hindi as a foreign and second language. Apart from running regular and residential Hindi
language courses for foreign students, the institute also conducts regular training programmes for teachers
of Hindi belonging to non-Hindi states of India. The institute is situated at a 11 acres (4.5 ha) campus on
the outskirts of Agra city. Headquartered in Agra the institute has eight regional centers in Delhi,
Hyderabad, Mysore, Shillong, Dimapur, Guwahati, Ahmedabad and Bhubneshwar. The institute is the only
government run institution in India established solely for research and teaching of Hindi as a foreign and
second language.


Agra is also home to some of the oldest and renowned colleges

 Seth Padam Chand Jain Institute of Business & Economics (SPCJ), is the oldest Management Institute
in Agra. It provides Masters Degree in Business Management and offers specialisations in Marketing,
Finance and Human Resources Management.

 School of Life Sciences(SLS Khandari, Agra), is the biggest college for Master's education of Dr. Bhim
Rao Ambedkar University, Agra (formerly Agra University), situated at Khandari campus, Agra(UP).

 Dau Dayal Institute of Vocational Education is an Institute run by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University,
Agra (formerly Agra University) and is situated at Khandari campus, Agra (U.P.). Students can pursue
courses like Masters in Computer Management, Bachelor of Science (Computer Applications) and other
job-oriented courses in Tourism Management.

 Agra College

 Institute of Engineering & Technology Khandari (I.E.T. Khandari, Agra), is the prestigious and
renowned engineering institute of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar University, Agra (formerly Agra University),
situated at Khandari, Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

 Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Agra, named the first Indian woman to become the President of
the Indian National Congress and the first woman to become the Governor of Uttar Pradesh: the freedom
fighter and poet Sarojini Naidu. Founded in 1854, S. N. Medical College & Hospital is one of the three
oldest medical schools in India.

 St. John's College, Agra was established in 1850 by the Church Missionary Society of England
through the efforts of the Agra C. M. S. Association which came into being in 1840. Shankar Dayal
Sharma, the 9th President of India received his education from St. John's college.
 F.E.T Agra College, Agra, Carrying the legacy of Agra College and Agra University, Faculty of
Engineering and technology came into existence in the Year 1999, the college which is over a decade old
can boast of strong alumni base which is spread all across the world.

 Raja Balwant Singh College, RBS College is one of the biggest college of Asia and was started by
Awagarh Kingdom. This college has the largest campus area and maximum number of education

 Anand Engineering College, Agra is affiliated to U.P. Technical University Lucknow. It is a part of
SGI(Sharda Group of Institutions) a well known educational group of North India.

 B.M.A.S Engineering College, Agra is affiliated to U.P. Technical University Lucknow. It is a part of
SGI(Sharda Group of Institutions) a well known educational group of North India.

 IBRC, Agra (Institute of biotechnology and research center) provides training in biotechnology.

Institute of Social Science (ISS), is the oldest Social Science Institute in Agra. It provides Masters Degree in
Social Work ,Statistic and Sociology


Akbar's Tomb
Marble stone inlay worker
Akbar's Tomb ceiling detail

Akbar's Tomb

Carpet maker Taj painted geometry

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal wall close-up

Agra Fort rampart Soami Bagh Samadh, in Dayalbagh.

Agra Fort gate Panch Mahal in Fatehpur Sikri.

Panoramic View of Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


2nd Mughal Emperor of India

Reign 26 December, 1530 - 17 May, 1540

(9 years, 143 days)
22 February, 1555 - 27 January, 1556
(0 years, 339 days)

Coronation 30 December 1530, Agra

Predecessor Babur

Successor Akbar

Spouse Hamida Banu Begum

Bega Begum

Bigeh Begum

Haji Begum


Miveh Jan

Shahzadi Khanum

Akbar, son

Mirza Muhammad Hakim, son

Aqiqeh Begum, daughter

Bakshi Banu Begum, daughter

Bakhtunissa Begum, daughter

Full name
Nasir-ud-din Muhammad Humayun
House Timurid
Father Babur
Mother Maham Begum
Born 17 March 1508
Died 27 January, 1556
Burial Humayun's Tomb
Religion Sunni Islam

Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun (Persian: ‫ ;نصيرالدين مايون‬full title: Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-
Mukarram, Jam-i-Sultanat-i-haqiqi wa Majazi, Sayyid al-Salatin, Abu'l Muzaffar Nasir ud-din Muhammad
Humayun Padshah Ghazi, Zillu'llah; OS 7 March 1508-OS 22 February 1556) was the second Mughal
Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again
from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained
an even larger one. On the eve of his death in 1556, the Mughal empire spanned almost one million square

He succeeded his father in India in 1530, while his half-brother Kamran Mirza, who was to become a rather
bitter rival, obtained the sovereignty of Kabul and Lahore, the more northern parts of their father's empire. He
originally ascended the throne at the age of 22 and was somewhat inexperienced when he came to power.

Humayun lost his Indian territories to the Pashtun noble, Sher Shah Suri, and, with Persian aid, regained them
fifteen years later. Humayun's return from Persia, accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen,
signaled an important change in Mughal court culture, as the Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely
overshadowed by the influences of Persian art,architecture, language and literature.

Subsequently, in a very short time, Humayun was able to expand the Empire further, leaving a substantial
legacy for his son, Akbar.


• 1 Background

• 2 Personal traits

• 3 Early reign

• 4 Sher Shah Suri

o 4.1 In Agra

o 4.2 In Lahore

o 4.3 Withdrawing further

• 5 Retreat to Kabul

• 6 Refuge in Persia

• 7 Kandahar and onwards

• 8 India revisited

o 8.1 Marriage relations with the Khanzadas

• 9 Ruling North India again

o 9.1 Trusted Generals

• 10 Death and legacy

• 11 References

• 12 Further reading

• 13 External links


Babur's decision to divide the territories of his empire between two of his sons was unusual in India, but it had
been a common Central Asian practice since the time of Genghis Khan. Unlike most European Monarchies
which practised primogeniture, the Timurids, following Genghis Khan's example, did not leave an entire
kingdom to the eldest son. Although under that system only a Chingissid could claim sovereignty and khanal
authority, any male Chinggisid within a given sub-branch (such as the Timurids) had an equal right to the
throne.[1]. While Genghis Khan's Empire had been peacefully divided between his sons upon his death, almost
every Chinggisid succession since had resulted in fratricide.[2]
Timur himself had divided his territories between Pir Muhammad, Miran Shah, Khalil Sultan andShah Rukh,
which resulted in inter-family warfare.[1] Upon Babur's death, Humayun's territories were the least secure. Babur
had ruled only four years, and not all umarah (nobles) viewed Humayun as the rightful ruler. Indeed earlier,
when Babur had become ill, some of the nobles had tried to install Humayun's uncle, Mahdi Khwaja, as ruler.
Although this attempt failed, it was a sign of problems to come.[3]

[edit]Personal traits
Humayun was portrayed in the biography "Humāyūn-nāma" written by his sister Gulbadan Begum, as being
extraordinarily lenient, constantly forgiving acts which were deliberately aimed at angering him. In one instance
the biography records that his youngest brother Hindal killed Humayun's most trusted advisor, an old Sheikh,
and then marched an army out of Agra. Humayun, rather than seek retribution, went straight to his mother's
home where Gulbadan Begum was, bearing no grudge against his younger brother, and insisted he return
home. His many documented acts of mercy may have stemmed largely from weakness, but he does seem to
have been a gentle and humane man by the standards of the day. He lacked his father’s craftiness and
athleticism. Though he could be a formidable warrior when he chose to be, he was more laid back and indolent.

He was also deeply superstitious, and fascinated by Astrology and the Occult. Upon his accession
as Padishah (Emperor), he began to re-organise the administration upon mystically determined principles. The
public offices were divided into four distinct groups, for the four elements. The department of Earth was to be in
charge of Agriculture and the agricultural sciences, Fire was to be in charge of the Military, Water was the
department of the Canals and waterways while Air seemed to have responsibility for everything else. His daily
routine was planned in accordance with the movements of the planets, so too was his wardrobe. He refused to
enter a house with his left foot going forward, and if anyone else did they would be told to leave and re-enter.

His servant, Jauhar, records in the Tadhkirat al-Waqiat that he was known to shoot arrows to the sky marked
with either his own name, or that of the Shah of Persia and, depending on how they landed, interpreted this as
an indication of which of them would grow more powerful. He was a heavy drinker, and also took pellets of
Opium, after which he was known to recite poetry. He was, however, not enamoured of warfare, and after
winning a battle would spend months at a time indulging himself within the walls of a captured city even as a
larger war was taking place outside.

[edit]Early reign
Upon his succession to the throne, Humayun had two major rivals interested in acquiring his lands — Sultan
Bahadur of Gujarat to the south west and Sher Shah Suri (Sher Khan) currently settled along the river
Ganges in Bihar to the east. Humayun’s first campaign was to confront Sher Khan Suri. Halfway through the
counter offensive Humayun had to abandon it and concentrate on Gujarat, where a threat from Ahmed Shah
had to be squelched. In this he succeeded and annexed Gujarat and Malwa. Champaner and the great fort of
Mandu followed next.

During the first five years of Humayun's reign, these two rulers were quietly extending their rule, although
Sultan Bahadur faced pressure in the east from sporadic conflicts with the Portuguese. While the Mughals had
acquired firearms via the Ottoman Empire, Bahadur's Gujurat had acquired them through a series of contracts
drawn up with the Portuguese, allowing the Portuguese to establish a strategic foothold in north western India.

Humayun was made aware that the Sultan of Gujarat was planning an assault on the Mughal territories with
Portuguese aid. Showing an unusual resolve, Humayun gathered an army and marched on Bahadur. His
assault was spectacular and within a month he had captured the forts of Mandu and Champaner. However,
instead of pressing his attack and going after the enemy, Humayun ceased the campaign and began to enjoy
life in his new forts. Bahadur, meanwhile, escaped and took up refuge with the Portuguese.[5]

[edit]Sher Shah Suri

Sher Shah Suri

Shortly after Humayun had marched on Gujarat, Sher Shah saw an opportunity to wrest control of Agra from
the Mughals. He began to gather his army together hoping for a rapid and decisive siege of the Mughal capital.
Upon hearing this alarming news, Humayun quickly marched his troops back to Agra allowing Bahadur to
easily regain control of the territories Humayun had recently taken. A few months later, however, Bahadur was
dead, killed when a botched plan to kidnap the Portuguese viceroy ended in a fire-fight which the Sultan lost.
Whilst Humayun succeeded in protecting Agra from Sher Shah, the second city of the Empire,Gaur the capital
of the vilayat of Bengal, was sacked. Humayun's troops had been delayed while trying to take Chunar, a fort
occupied by Sher Shah's son, in order to protect his troops from an attack from the rear. The stores of grain at
Gauri, the largest in the empire, were emptied and Humayun arrived to see corpses littering the roads.[6] The
vast wealth of Bengal was depleted and brought East giving Sher Shah a substantial war chest.[4]

Sher Shah withdrew to the east, but Humayun did not follow: instead he "shut himself up for a considerable
time in his Harem, and indulged himself in every kind of luxury."[6] Hindal, Humayun's nineteen year old brother,
had agreed to aid him in this battle and protect the rear from attack but abandoned his position and withdrew to
Agra where he decreed himself acting emperor. When Humayun sent the grand Mufti, Sheikh Buhlul, to reason
with him, the Sheikh was killed. Further provoking the rebellion, Hindal ordered that the Khutba or sermon in
the main mosque at Agra be read in his name, a sign of assumption of sovereignty.[5] When Hindal withdrew
from protecting the rear of Humayun's troops, Sher Shah's troop quickly reclaimed these positions, leaving
Humayun surrounded.[7]

Humayun's other brother, Kamran, marched from his territories in the Punjab, ostensibly to aid Humayun.
However, his return home had treacherous motives as he intended to stake a claim for Humayun's apparently
collapsing empire. He brokered a deal with Hindal which provided that his brother would cease all acts of
disloyalty in return for a share in the new empire which Kamran would create once Humayun was deposed.[7]

Sher Shah met Humayun in battle on the banks of the Ganges, near Benares, in Chausa. This was to become
an entrenched battle in which both sides spent a lot of time digging themselves into positions. The major part of
the Mughal army, the artillery, was now immobile, and Humayun decided to engage in some diplomacy using
Muhammad Aziz as ambassador. Humayun agreed to allow Sher Shah to rule over Bengal and Bihar, but only
as provinces granted to him by his Emperor, Humayun, falling short of outright sovereignty. The two rulers also
struck a bargain in order to save face: Humayun's troops would charge those of Sher Shah whose forces then
retreat in feigned fear. Thus honour would, supposedly, be satisfied.[8]

Once the Army of Humayun had made its charge and Sher Shah's troops made their agreed-upon retreat, the
Mughal troops relaxed their defensive preparations and returned to their entrenchments without posting a
proper guard. Observing the Mughals' vulnerability, Sher Shah reneged on his earlier agreement. That very
night, his army approached the Mughal camp and finding the Mughal troops unprepared with a majority asleep,
they advanced and killed most of them. The Emperor survived by swimming the Ganges using an air filled
"water skin," and quietly returned to Agra.[4][7]

[edit]In Agra
When Humayun returned to Agra, he found that all three of his brothers were present. Humayun once again not
only pardoned his brothers for plotting against him, but even forgave Hindal for his outright betrayal. With his
armies travelling at a leisurely pace, Sher Shah was gradually drawing closer and closer to Agra. This was a
serious threat to the entire family, but Humayun and Kamran squabbled over how to proceed. Kamran withdrew
after Humayun refused to make a quick attack on the approaching enemy, instead opting to build a larger army
under his own name. When Kamran returned to Lahore, his troops followed him shortly afterwards, and
Humayun, with his other brothers Askari and Hindal, marched to meet Sher Shah just
240 kilometres (150 miles) east of Agra at the Battle of Kanauj on 17 May 1540. The battle once again saw
Humayun make some tactical errors, and his army was soundly defeated. He and his brothers quickly retreated
back to Agra, humiliated and mocked along the way by peasants and villagers. They chose not to stay in Agra,
and retreated to Lahore, though Sher Shah followed them, founding the short-lived Sur Dynasty of northern
India with its capital at Delhi.

[edit]In Lahore
The four brothers were united in Lahore, but every day they were informed that Sher Shah was getting closer
and closer. When he reachedSirhind, Humayun sent an ambassador carrying the message "I have left you the
whole of Hindustan (i.e. the lands to the East of Punjab, comprising most of the Ganges Valley). Leave Lahore
alone, and let Sirhind be a boundary between you and me." Sher Shah, however, replied "I have left you Kabul.
You should go there." Kabul was the capital of the empire of Humayun's brother Kamran Mirza, who was far
from willing to hand over any of his territories to his brother. Instead, Kamran approached Sher Shah, and
proposed that he actually revolt against his brother and side with Sher Shah in return for most of the Punjab.
Sher Shah dismissed his help, believing it not to be required, though word soon spread to Lahore about the
treacherous proposal and Humayun was urged to make an example of Kamran and kill him. Humayun refused,
citing the last words of his father, Babur "Do nothing against your brothers, even though they may deserve it."[9]

[edit]Withdrawing further
Humayun decided that it would be wise to withdraw still further. He asked that his brothers join him as he fell
back into Sindh. While the previously rebellious Hindal remained loyal, Kamran and Askari instead decided to
head to the relative peace of Kabul. This was to be a definitive schism in the family.

Humayun expected aid from the Amir of Sindh, whom he had appointed and who owed him his allegiance.
While the Amir, Hussein, tolerated Humayun's presence, he knew that raising an army against Sher Shah
would ultimately end in disaster, and he therefore politely refused all of Humayun's requests for military
assistance. Whilst in Sindh Humayun met and married Hamida (a young girl from village paat) — who was to
become the mother of Akbar — on 21 August 1541. The date was selected after Humayun consulted
his astrolabe to check the location of the planets.

In May 1542 the Raja of Jodhpur, Rao Maldeo Rathore, issued a request to Humayun to form an alliance
against Sher Shah and so Humayun and his army rode out through the desert to meet with the Prince. As they
made their way across the desert the prince became aware of how feeble Humayun's army had now become.
Furthermore, Sher Shah had offered him more favourable terms and so he sent word that he no longer wanted
to see Humayun, who was now less than 80 km (50 miles) from the city. Thus, Humayun and his troops, and
his heavily pregnant wife, had to retrace their steps through the desert at the hottest time of year. All the wells
had been filled with sand by the nearby inhabitants after Humayun's troops had killed several cows (a sacred
animal to the Hindus), leaving them with nothing but berries to eat. When Hamida's horse died no one would
lend the Queen (who was now eight months pregnant) a horse, so Humayun did so himself, resulting in him
riding a camel for six kilometeres (four miles), although Khaled Beg then offered him his mount. Humayun was
later to describe this incident as the lowest point in his life. He ordered Hindal to join his brothers in Kandahar.

However, while Humayun was on his travels, Hussein, the Amir of Sindh, had killed Maldeo's father, prompting
the Raja to change his mind about Humayun. He decided to ride out to meet him in Umarkot, a small town by a
desert oasis. Humayun was afforded full courtesies and was given new horses and weapons as the men
formed an alliance against Sindh. Umarkot was to become the centre of operations for this battle, and it was
here, on 23 November 1542 that the 15 year old Hamida, gave birth to her first child, a boy they called
Jalaluddin(later Akbar), the heir-apparent to the 34 year old Humayun.

[edit]Retreat to Kabul
The war against Sindh had led to a stalemate, and so Hussein decided to bribe Humayun to leave the area.
Humayun accepted and in return for three hundred Camels (mostly wild) and two thousand loads of grain he
set off to join his brothers in Kandahar, crossing the Indus on 11 July 1543.

In Kamran's territory, Hindal had been placed under house arrest in Kabul after refusing to have
the Khutba recited in Kamran's name. His other brother Askari was now ordered to gather an army and march
on Humayun. When Humayun received word of the approaching hostile army he decided against facing them,
and instead sought refuge elsewhere. Akbar was left behind in camp close to Kandahar for, as it was
December it would have been too cold and dangerous to include the 14 month old toddler in the forthcoming
march through the dangerous and snowy mountains of the Hindu Kush. Askari found Akbar in the camp, and
embraced him, and allowed his own wife to rear him. She apparently treated him as her own.

[edit]Refuge in Persia
Shah Tahmasp greets the exiled Humayun.

Humayun fled to the refuge of the Safavid Empire in Iran, marching with forty men and his wife and her
companion through mountains and valleys. Amongst other trials the Imperial party were forced to live on horse
meat boiled in the soldiers' helmets. These indignities continued during the month it took them to reach Herat,
however after their arrival they were reintroduced to the finer things in life. Upon entering the city his army was
greeted with an armed escort, and they were treated to lavish food and clothing. They were given fine
accommodations and the roads were cleared and cleaned before them. Shah Tahmasp, unlike Humayun's own
family, actually welcomed the Mughal, and treated him as a royal visitor. Here Humayun went sightseeing and
was amazed at the Persian artwork and architecture he saw: much of this was the work of the Timurid
SultanHusayn Bayqarah and his ancestor, princess Gauhar Shad, thus he was able to admire the work of his
relatives and ancestors at first hand. He was introduced to the work of the Persian miniaturists,
and Kamaleddin Behzad had two of his pupils join Humayun in his court. Humayun was amazed at their work
and asked if they would work for him if he were to regain the sovereignty of Hindustan: they agreed. With so
much going on Humayun did not even meet the Shah until July, some six months after his arrival in Persia.
After a lengthy journey from Herat the two met inQazvin where a large feast and parties were held for the
event. The meeting of the two monarchs is depicted in a famous wall-painting in the Chehel Sotoun (Forty
Columns) palace in Esfahan.
The Shah urged that Humayun convert from Sunni to Shia Islam, and Humayun eventually and reluctantly
accepted, in order to keep himself and several hundred followers alive.[10] much to the disapproval of his
biographer Jauhar.[citation needed] With this outward acceptance of Shi'ism the Shah was eventually prepared to
offer Humayun more substantial support.[10] When Humayun's brother, Kamran, offered to cede Kandahar to
the Persians in exchange for Humayun, dead or alive, the Shah refused. Instead the Shah threw a party for
Humayun, with three hundred tents, an imperial Persian carpet, 12 musical bands and "meat of all kinds". Here
the Shah announced that all this, and 12,000 choice cavalry were his to lead an attack on his brother Kamran.
All that Shah asked for was that, if Humayun's forces were victorious, Kandahar would be his.

[edit]Kandahar and onwards

An image from an album commissioned by Shah Jahan shows Humayun sitting beneath a tree in his garden in India.

With this Persian aid Humayun took Kandahar from Askari after a two-week siege. He noted how the nobles
who had served Askari quickly flocked to serve him, "in very truth the greater part of the inhabitants of the world
are like a flock of sheep, wherever one goes the others immediately follow". Kandahar was, as agreed, given to
the Shah who sent his infant son, Murad, as the Viceroy. However, the baby soon died and Humayun thought
himself strong enough to assume power.

Humayun now prepared to take Kabul, ruled by his brother Kamran. In the end, there was no actual siege.
Kamran was detested as a leader and as Humayun's Persian army approached the city hundreds of Kamran's
troops changed sides, flocking to join Humayun and swelling his ranks. Kamran absconded and began building
an army outside the city. in November 1545 Hamida and Humayun were reunited with their son Akbar, and
held a huge feast. They also held another, larger, feast in the childs' honour when he was circumcised.
However, while Humayun had a larger army than his brother and had the upper hand, on two occasions his
poor military judgement allowed Kamran to retake Kabul and Kandahar, forcing Humayun to mount further
campaigns for their recapture. He may have been aided in this by his reputation for leniency towards the troops
who had defended the cities against him, as opposed to Kamran, whose brief periods of possession were
marked by atrocities against the inhabitants who, he supposed, had helped his brother.

His youngest brother, Hindal, formerly the most disloyal of his siblings, died fighting on his behalf. His brother
Askari was shackled in chains at the behest of his nobles and aides. He was allowed go on Hajj, and died en
route in the desert outside Damascus.

Humayun's other brother, Kamran, had repeatedly sought to have Humayun killed, and when in 1552 he
attempted to make a pact with Islam Shah, Sher Shah's successor, he was apprehended by a Gakhar. The
Gakhars were one of only a few groups of people who had remained loyal to their oath to the Mughals. Sultan
Adam of the Gakhars handed Kamran over to Humayun. Humayun was tempted to forgive his brother, however
he was warned that allowing Kamran's continuous acts to go unpunished could foment rebellion within his own
ranks. So, instead of killing his brother Humayun had Kamran blinded which would end any claim to the throne.
He sent him on Hajj, as he hoped to see his brother absolved of sin, but he died close to Mecca in the Arabian
desert in 1557.

[edit]India revisited
Sher Shah Suri had died in 1545; his son and successor Islam Shah died too in 1554. These two deaths left
the dynasty reeling and disintegrating. Three rivals for the throne all marched on Delhi, while in many cities
leaders tried to stake a claim for independence. This was a perfect opportunity for the Mughals to march back
to India. Humayun placed the army under the able leadership of Bairam Khan. This was a wise move given
Humayun's own record of military ineptitude, and turned out to be prescient, as Bairam was to prove himself a
great tactician.

[edit]Marriage relations with the Khanzadas

Gazetteer of Ulwur states:

Soon after Babar's death, his successor, Humayun, was in A.D. 1540 supplanted by the Pathan Sher Shah,
who, in A.D. 1545, was followed by Islam Shah. During the reign of the latter a battle was fought and lost by the
Emperor's troops at Firozpur Jhirka, in Mewat, on which, however, Islam Shah did not loose his hold. Adil
Shah, the third of the Pathan interlopers, who succeeded in A.D. 1552, had to contend for the Empire with the
returned Humaiyun.[11]

In these struggles for the restoration of Babar's dynasty Khanzadas apparently do not figure at all.
Humaiyun seems to have conciliated them by marrying the elder daughter of Jamal Khan, nephew of
Babar's opponent, Hasan Khan, and by causing his great minister, Bairam Khan, to marry a younger
daughter of the same Mewatti.[12]

Bairam Khan led the army through the Punjab virtually unopposed. The fort of Rohtas, which was built in 1541-
43 by Sher Shah Suri to crush the Gakhars who were loyal to Humayun, was surrendered without a shot by a
treacherous commander. The walls of the Rohtas Fort measure up to 12,5 meters in thickness and up to 18,28
meters in height. They extend for 4 km and feature 68 semi-circular bastions. Its sandstone gates, both
massive and ornate, are thought to have exerted a profound influence on Mughal military architecture.

The only major battle faced by Humayun's armies was against Sikander Suri in Sirhind, where Bairam Khan
employed a tactic whereby he engaged his enemy in open battle, but then retreated quickly in apparent fear.
When the enemy followed after them they were surprised by entrenched defensive positions and were easily

From here on most towns and villages chose to welcome the invading army as it made its way to the capital.
On 23 July 1555 Humayun, once again, sat on Babur's throne in Delhi.

[edit]Ruling North India again

Copper coin of Humayun

With all of Humayun's brothers now dead, there was no fear of another usurping his throne during military
campaigns. He was also now an established leader, and could trust his generals. With this new-found strength
Humayun embarked on a series of military campaigns aimed at extending his reign over areas to the East and
West India.

His sojourn in exile seems to have reduced Humayun's reliance on astrology, and his military leadership
instead imitated the methods he had observed in Persia, allowing him to win more effectively and quicker.

This also applied to the administration of the empire. Persian methods of governance were imported into North
India in Humayun's reign. The system of revenue collection is held to have improved on both the Persian model
and that of the Delhi Sultanate one. The Persian arts too were very influential, and Persian-style miniatures
were produced at Mughal (and subsequently Rajput) courts. The Chaghatai language, in which Babur had
written his memoirs, disappeared almost entirely from the culture of the courtly elite, and Akbar could not speak
it. Later in life Humayun himself is said to have spoken in Persian verse more often than not.
[edit]Trusted Generals
After defeating Bahadur Shah's confederacy in Gujarat, Humayun placed the following Generals in Gujarat:

1. Mirza Askurry at Ahmedabad

2. Yadgar Nasir at Patan

3. Kasim Hussein Sultan in Bharoach

4. Hindu Beg in Baroda

5. Tardy Beg Khan in Champaner

but these officials and generals could not contain uprisings and left Gujarat to be occupied by Bahadur Shah

[edit]Death and legacy

Humayun's Tomb in Delhi, India.

On 27 January, 1556, Humayun,with his arms full of books, was descending the staircase from his library when
the muezzin announced the Adhan (the call to prayer). It was his habit, wherever he heard the summons, to
bow his knee in holy reverence. Kneeling, he caught his foot in his robe, tumbled down several steps and hit
his temple on a rugged stone edge. He died three days later, and was succeeded by the 13 year old Akbar.

Humayun loved astrology and astronomy and built observatories that lasted centuries. His life was chronicled in
a slightly hagiographical work called the Humayun-nama written by his sister Gulbadan Begum at the request
of his son, Akbar. His most lasting impact was the importing of Persian ideas into the Indian empire, something
which was expanded on by later leaders. His support for the arts, following exposure to Safavid art, saw him
recruit painters to his court who developed the celebrated Mughal style of painting. Humayun's greatest
architectural creation was the Din-Panah (Refuge of Religion) citadel, also known as Purana
Qila at Delhi which was destroyed by Sher Shah Suri. He is best remembered today for his great Tomb, built by
his widow after his death between 1562 and 1571. The ultimate model for Humayun's tomb is the Gur-e Amir in
Samarkand, and it is best-known as a precursor to the Taj Mahal in style. However, in its striking composition
of dome and iwan, and its imaginative use of local materials, it is one of the finest Mughal monuments in India
in its own right.


1. ^ a b Sharaf Al-Din: "Zafar-nama".

2. ^ Svat Soucek: "A History of Inner Asia".

3. ^ Nizamuddin Ahmad: "Tabaqat-i-Akbari".

4. ^ a b c Rama Shankar Avasthy: "The Mughal Emperor Humayun".

5. ^ a b S.K. Banjerji: "Humayun Badshah".

6. ^ a b Jauhar: "Tadhkirat al-Waqiat".

7. ^ a b c Bamber Gascoigne: "The Great Moghuls".

8. ^ Badauni: "Muntakhab al-Tawarikh".

9. ^ Abul-Fazel: "Akbar-nama".

10. ^ a b John F. Richards, Gordon Johnson (1996). Cambridge University Press. ed. The Mughal

Empire (illustrated, reprint ed.). p. 11.ISBN 0521566037.

11. ^ http://www.archive.org/stream/gazetteerofulwur00powliala#page/8/mode/2up/search/bairam

12. ^ http://www.archive.org/stream/gazetteerofulwur00powliala#page/8/mode/2up/search/bairam

[edit]Further reading

 Begum, Gulbadan; (tr. by Annette S. Beveridge) (1902). Humayun-nama :The history of Humayun.
Royal Asiatic Society.; Persian and English text

 Banerji, S K (1938). Humayun Badshah. Humphrey Milford Oxford University Press.

 ., Jawhar (fl. 1554); (tr. by Charles Stewart) (1832). The Tezkereh Al Vakiāt: Or, Private Memoirs of
the Moghul Emperor Humayun. Oriental Translation Fund.

 Cambridge History of India, Vol. III & IV, "Turks and Afghan" and "The Mughal Period". (Cambridge)

 Muzaffar Alam & Sanjay Subrahmanyan (Eds.) The Mughal State 1526-1750 (Delhi) 1998

 William Irvine The army of the Indian Moghuls. (London) 1902. (Last revised 1985)

 Bamber Gasgoigne The Great Moghuls (London) 1971. (Last revised 1987)

 Jos Gommans Mughal Warfare (London) 2002

 Peter Jackson The Delhi Sultanate. A Political and Military History (Cambridge) 1999

 John F. Richards The Mughal Empire (Cambridge) 1993

 James Tod Annals & Antiquities of Rajasthan (Oxford) 1920 Ed. Wm Crooke (3rd Edition)
 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed
(1911). Encyclopædia Britannica(Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Press.

[edit]External links

 The Reign of Humayun

 Humayun's Tomb

 Timurid Dynasty Genealogy

Timurid Dynasty
Born: 7 March 1508 Died: 22 February 1556
Regnal titles

Preceded by Mughal Emperor Succeeded by

Babur 1530–1539 Sher Shah Suri
(as Shah of Delhi))

Preceded by
Muhammad Adil Mughal Emperor Succeeded by
Shah 1555–1556 Akbar
(as Shah of Delhi))

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For people named Jahangir Khan, see Jahangir Khan (disambiguation). For the rebel against Qing rule
in Kashgar, see Jahangir Khoja.

Nur-ud-din Salim Jahangir

4th Mughal Emperor of India

Reign 15 October 1605 - 8 November 1627

(22 years, 24 days)

Coronation 24 October 1605, Agra

Predecessor Akbar

Successor Shahjahan

Spouse Manbhawati Bai

Princess Manmati
Nur Jahan


Nisar Begum
Khusrau Mirza
Bahar Banu Begum
Shah Jahan

House Timurid

Father Akbar
Mother Mariam-uz-Zamani

Born 20 September 1569

Fatehpur Sikri

Died 8 November 1627 (aged 58)


Burial Tomb of Jahangir

Nur-ud-din Salim Jahangir (Persian: ‫( )نورالدین سلیم جهانگیر‬full title: Al-Sultan al-'Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram,
Khushru-i-Giti Panah, Abu'l-Fath Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir Padshah Ghazi [Jannat-Makaani]) (20
September 1569 – 8 November 1627) (OS 31 August 1569 – NS 8 November 1627) was the ruler of
the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian ‫جہانگیر‬, meaning "Conqueror
of the World". Nur-ud-din or Nur al-Din is anArabic name which means " Light of the Faith." Born as Prince
Muhammad Salim, he was the third and eldest surviving son of Mogul Emperor Akbar. Akbar's twin sons,
Hasan and Hussain, died in infancy. His mother was the Rajput Princess of Amber, Jodhabai (born Rajkumari
Hira Kunwari, eldest daughter of Raja Bihar Mal or Bharmal, Raja of Amber, India).[citation needed]

Jahangir was a child of many prayers.[1] It is said to be by the blessing of Shaikh Salim Chishti(one of the
revered sages of his times) that Akbar's first surviving child, the future Jahangir, was born. He was born at
the dargah of the Shaikh Salim Chishti, within the fortress at Fatehpur Sikrinear Agra. The child was named
Salim after the dervish and was affectionately addressed by Akbar as Sheikhu Baba.

Akbar developed an emotional attachment with the village Sikri (abode of Chishti). Therefore, he developed the
town of Sikri and shifted his imperial court and residence from Agra to Sikri, later renamed as Fatehpur Sikri.
Shaikh Salim Chishti's daughter was appointed Jahangir's foster mother as a mark of respect to the Shaikh.
Jahangir's foster brother Nawab Kutb-ud-din Khan was private secretary to the emperor Jahangir and
afterwards governor of Bengal. Nawab Kutb-ud-din Khan's son Nawab Mohtashim Khan was granted by
Jahangir 4,000 bigas of land in Badaun District (United Provinces) where he built a small fort
named Sheikhupur, Badaun after Jahangir, who was called Sheikhu-baba in his childhood.


• 1 Revolt

• 2 Reign

• 3 Marriage

• 4 Nur Jahan

• 5 Conquests
• 6 Death

• 7 Autobiography

• 8 Jahangir and


• 9 Jahangir and Art

• 10 In media

• 11 Works online

• 12 See also

• 13 References

• 14 Further reading

• 15 External links


In 1600, when Akbar was away from the capital on an expedition, Salim broke into an open rebellion, and
declared himself Emperor.[2] Akbar had to hastily return to Agra and restore order. There was a time
when Akbar thought of putting his eldest grandson Khusrau Mirza on the throne instead of Salim.[3] Prince
Salim forcefully succeeded to the throne on 3 November 1605, eight days after his father's death. Salim
ascended to the throne with the title of Nur-ud-din Muhammad Jahangir Badshah Ghazi, and thus began his
22-year reign at the age of 36. Jahangir soon after had to fend off his son, Prince Khusrau Mirza, when he
attempted to claim the throne based on Akbar's will to become his next heir. Khusrau Mirza was defeated in
1606 and confined in the fort of Agra. As punishment Khusrau Mirza was blinded, and the SikhGuru Arjun (the
religious fifth guru) tortured for five days until he had disappeared while taking a bath in a river--for giving the
then fugitive Khusrau Mirza money when he visited Guru Arjun. Jahangir's rule was characterized by the same
religious tolerance as his father Akbar, with the exception of his hostility with the Sikhs, which was forged so
early on in his rule.[4]

In 1622, Khurram (Shah Jahan), younger brother of Khusrau Mirza, had Khusrau murdered in a conspiracy to
eliminate all possible contenders to the throne. Taking advantage of this internal conflict, the Persians seized
the city of Qandahar and as a result of this loss, the Mughals lost control over the trade routes to Afghanistan,
Persian and Central Asia and also exposed India to invasions from the north-west.[5]
Heavy rupee of Jahangir


Jahangir in Darbar, from the Jahangir-nama, c. 1620. Gouache on paper.

Emperor Jahangir, Triumphing Over Poverty, ca 1620-1625.

Gold Mohur of Jahangir, commemorating the sixth year of his reign 1611.

An aesthete,[6] Jahangir decided to start his reign with a grand display of "Justice", as he saw it. To this end, he
enacted Twelve Decrees that are remarkable for their liberalism and foresight.[7] During his reign, there was a
significant increase in the size of the Mughal Empire, half a dozen rebellions were crushed, prisoners of war
were released, and the work of his father, Akbar, continued to flourish. Much like his father, Jahangir was
dedicated to the expansion of Mughal held territory through conquest. During this regime he would target the
peoples of Assam near the eastern frontier and bring a series of territories controlled by independent rajas in
the Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to Bengal. Jahangir would challenge the hegemonic claim
over Afghanistan by the Safavid rulers with an eye on Kabul, Peshawar and Qandahar which were important
centers of the central Asian trade system that northern India operated within.[8] In 1622 Jahangir would send his
son Prince Khurramagainst the combined forces of Ahmednagar, Bijapur and Golconda. After his victory
Khurram would turn against his father and make a bid for power. As with the insurrection of his eldest son
Khusraw, Jahangir was able to defeat the challenge from within his family and retain power.[9]

Jahangir promised to protect Islam and granted general amnesty to his opponents. He was also notable for his
patronage of the arts, especially of painting. During his reign the distinctive style of Mughal painting expanded
and blossomed. Jahangir supported a flourishing culture of court painters.

Jahangir is most famous for his golden "chain of justice." The chain was setup as a link between his people and
Jahangir himself. Standing outside the castle of Agra with sixty bells, anyone was capable of pulling the chain
and having a personal hearing from Jahangir himself.

Furthermore, Jahangir preserved the Mughal tradition of having a highly centralized form of government. The
son of a Hindu Rajput mother who converted to Islam, Jahangir made the precepts of Sunni Islam the
cornerstone of his state policies. A faithful Muslim, as evidenced by his memoirs, he expressed his gratitude to
Allah for his many victories. Jahangir, as a devout Muslim, did not let his personal beliefs dictate his state
policies.[citation needed]Sovereignty, according to Jahangir, was a "gift of God" not necessarily given to enforce God's
law but rather to "ensure the contentment of the world." In civil cases, Islamic law applied to Muslims, Hindu
law applied to Hindus, while criminal law was the same for both Muslims and Hindus[citation needed]. In matters like
marriage and inheritance, both communities had their own laws that Jahangir respected. Thus Jahangir was
able to deliver justice to people in accordance of their beliefs, and also keep his hold on empire by unified
criminal law. In the Mughal state, therefore, defiance of imperial authority, whether coming from a prince or
anyone else aspiring to political power, or a Muslim or a Hindu, was crushed in the name of law and order.

Jahangir's relationship with other rulers of the time is one that was well documented by Sir Thomas Roe,
especially his relationship with the Persian King, Shah Abbas. Though conquest was one of Jahangir's many
goals, he was a naturalist and lover of the arts and did not have quite the same warrior ambition of the Persian
king. This led to a mutual enmity that, while diplomatically hidden, was very clear to observers within Jahangir's
court. Furthermore, Abbas had, for many years, been trying to recover the city of Kandahar, which Jahangir
was not keen to part with, especially to this king whom he did not particularly care for, despite seeing him as an

In this state, Jahangir was also open to the influence of his wives, a weakness exploited by many. Because of
this constant inebriated state, Nur Jahan, the favourite wife of Jahangir, became the actual power behind the
throne.[citation needed]


Salim was made a Mansabdar of ten thousand (Das-Hazari), the highest military rank of the empire, after the
emperor. He independently commanded a regiment in the Kabul campaign of 1581, when he was barely
twelve. His Mansab was raised to Twelve Thousand, in 1585, at the time of his betrothal to his cousin
Manbhawati Bai, daughter of Bhagwan Das of Amber. Raja Bhagwant Das, was the son of Raja Bharmal and
the brother of Akbar's wife Rajkumari Hira Kunwari, also known as Mariam Zamani.

The marriage with Manbhawati Bai took place on 13 February 1585. Manbhawati gave birth to Khusrau Mirza.
Thereafter, Salim was allowed to marry, in quick succession, a number of accomplished girls from the
aristocratic Mughal and Rajput families. One of his favourite wives was a Rajput Princess, known as Jagat
Gosain and Princess Manmati, who gave birth to Prince Khurram, the future Shah Jahan, Jahangir's successor
to the throne. The total number of wives in his harem was more than eight hundred.[2]

Jahangir married the extremely beautiful and intelligent Mehr-ul-Nisa (better known by her subsequent title
of Nur Jahan), in May 1611. She was the widow of Sher Afghan. She was witty, intelligent and beautiful, which
was what attracted Jahangir to her. Before being awarded the title of Nur Jahan ('Light of the World'), she was
called Nur Mahal ('Light of the Palace'). Her abilities are said to range from fashion designing to hunting. There
is also a myth that she had once killed four tigers with six bullets.

[edit]Nur Jahan
Main article: Nur Jahan
Nur Jahan

The story of Nur Jahan occupies an important place in the history of Jahangir. She was the widow of a rebel
officer, Sher Afghan, of Mughals. The governor of Bengal was killed by him and consequently he suffered the
same fate at the hands of the guards of the Governor. His widow, Mehr-un-Nisaa, was brought to Agra and
placed in—or refused to be placed in—the Royal harem in 1607. Jahangir married her in 1611 and gave her
the title of Nur Jahan or "Light of the World". Jahangir was rumored to have had a hand in the death of her
husband. But there is no evidence to prove that he was guilty of that crime; in fact most travelers' reports say
that he met her after Sher Afghan's death. (See Ellison Banks Findly's scholarly biography for a full discussion.)

According to poet and author Vidya Dhar Mahajan, Nur Jahan had a piercing intelligence, a versatile temper
and sound common sense.[11] She possessed great physical strength and courage. She went on hunting tours
with her husband, and on more than one occasion shot and killed ferocious tigers.[12] She was devoted to
Jahangir and he forgot all about the world and entrusted all the work of the government to her.[13]

The loss of Kandahar was due to Prince Khurram's refusal to obey her orders.[14] When the Persians besieged
Kandahar, Nur Jahan was at the helm of affairs. She ordered Prince Khurram to march for Kandahar, but the
latter refused to do so. There is no doubt that the refusal of the prince was due to her behaviour towards him.
She was favouring her son-in-law, Shahryar, at the expense of Khurram. Khurram suspected that in his
absence, Shahryar might be given promotion and he might die on the battlefield. It was this fear which forced
Khurram to rebel against his father rather than fight against the Persians[14]and thereby Kandahar was lost to
the Persians.
Nur Jahan's Rupee coin

Nur Jahan struck coins in her own name during the last years of Jahangir's reign when he was taken ill.


Jahangir (l) andAkbar (r).

Jahangir was responsible for ending a century long struggle with the state of Mewar.The campaign against
the Rajputs was pushed so extensively that the latter were made to submit and that too with a great loss of life
and property.

Jahangir also thought of capturing Kangra Fort, which Akbar had failed to do. Consequently a siege was laid,
which lasted for fourteen months, and the fort was taken in 1620.

The district of Kistwar, in the state of Kashmir, was also conquered.

Jahangir's Mausoleum in Shahdara, Lahore

Jahangir's Entrails burial place.

Jahangirs burial details.

The health of Jahangir was completely shattered by too much drinking of alcohol.[15]He was trying to restore it
by visiting Kashmir and Kabul. He went from Kabul to Kashmir but returned to Lahore on account of a severe

Jahangir died on the way back from Kashmir near Sarai Saadabad in 1627. To preserve his body, the entrails
were removed & buried in Baghsar (Azad Kashmir / Pakistan) & the body was transferred to Lahore to be
buried in Shahdara Bagh, a suburb of Lahore, Punjab. He was succeeded by his third son, Prince Khurram
who took the title of Shah Jahan. Jahangir's elegant mausoleum is located in the Shahdara locale of Lahore
and is a popular tourist attraction in Lahore. On his death in 1627 he uttered 'Kashmir only Kashmir'.


Main article: Tuzk-e-Jahangiri

Jahangir was an excellent writer and loved nature. He recorded various details of flora and fauna from all over
India. He was not only curious, but a scientific observer of minute details of species, a number of his
observations are detailed in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, also referred to as Jahangirnama.[16] He liked paintings and
collected many of them in his palace. Some of them are still found in museums.

[edit]Jahangir and Religion

A Quran Produced under the Mughal Empire.

While Sunni Islam was the state religion, there was widespread pressure to convert; indeed, Jahangir
specifically warned his nobles that they "should force Islam on anyone."[citation needed] In the first century
of Islamic expansion this attitude was taken partially because of concerns that an absence of non-Muslims
would deprive the state of a valuable source of revenue. However, as thejizya was imposed by Jahangir, there
might have been more behind this policy of toleration than mere economic reasoning. Jahangir was certainly
willing to engage with other religions, and Edward Terry, an English chaplain in India at the time, saw a ruler
under which "all Religions are tolerated and their Priests [held] in good esteeme." Brahmins on the banks of
the Ganges received gifts from the emperor, while following a meeting with Jadrup, a Hindu ascetic, Jahangir
felt compelled to comment that "association with him is a great privilege." He enjoyed debating theological
subtleties with Brahmins, especially about the possible existence of avatars. BothSunnis and Shias were
welcome at court, and members of both sects gained high office. When drunk, Jahangir swore to Sir Thomas
Roe, England's first ambassador to the Mughal court, that he would protect all the peoples of the book. Many
contemporary chroniclers were not even sure quite how to describe his personal belief structure.

Roe labelled him an atheist, and although most others[who?] shied away from that term, they did not feel as
though they could call him an orthodox Sunni. He relied greatly on astrologers, though that was not seen as
unusual for a ruler at the time, even to the extent that he required that they work out the most auspicious time
for the imperial camp to enter a city. Roe believed Jahangir's religion to be of his own making, "for hee envyes
Mahomett, and wisely sees noe reason why he should not bee as great a prophet as hee, and therfore
proffeseth him selfe soe … he hath found many disciples that flatter or follow him." At this time, one of those
disciples happened to be the current English ambassador, though his initiation into Jahangir's inner circle of
disciples was devoid of religious significance for Roe, as he did not understand the full extent of what he was
doing: Jahangir hung "a picture of him selfe sett in gould hanging at a wire gould chaine, with one pendent
soule pearle" round Roe's neck. Roe thought it "an especiall favour, for that all the great men that weare the
Kings image (which none may doe but to whom it is given) receive no other then a meddall of gould as bigg as
six pence."
Had Roe intentionally converted, it would have caused quite a scandal in London. But since there was no
intent, there was no resultant problem. Such disciples were an elite group of imperial servants, with one of
them being promoted to Chief Justice. However, it is not clear that any of those who became disciples
renounced their previous religion, so it is probable to see this as a way in which the emperor strengthened the
bond between himself and his nobles. Despite Roe's somewhat casual use of the term 'atheist', he could not
quite put his finger on Jahangir's real beliefs. Roe lamented that the emperor was either "the most impossible
man in the world to be converted, or the most easy; for he loves to heare, and hath so little religion yet, that hee
can well abyde to have any derided." Broad toleration for other religions made little sense to Europeans forged
in the heat of religious conflict, while the lifestyle and pretensions Jahangir afforded himself meant that it was
difficult to see him as a devout Muslim. Sri Ram Sharma argues though that contemporaries and some
historians have been too disparaging about Jahangir's beliefs, simply because he did not persecute non-
believers and enforce his views on others.

This should not imply that the multi-confessional state appealed to all, or that all Muslims were happy with the
situation in India. In a book written on statecraft for Jahangir, the author advised him to direct "all his energies
to understanding the counsel of the sages and to comprehending the intimations of the 'ulama." At the start of
his regime many staunch Sunnis were hopeful, because he seemed less tolerant to other faiths than his father
had been. At the time of his accession and the elimination of Abu'l Fazl, his father's chief minister and architect
of his eclectic religious stance, a strong orthodox nucleus of noblemen had gained power in
administration."[citation needed] Jahangir did not always benevolently regard some Hindu customs and rituals. On
visiting a Hindu temple, he found a statue of a man with a pig's head, which was supposed to represent God,
so he "ordered them to break that hideous form and throw it in the tank." If the Tuzuk is reliable on this subject
(and there is no reason to suspect that it is not), then this was an isolated case.

J. F. Richards argues that "Jahangir seems to have been persistently hostile to popularly venerated religious
figures." This is perhaps misleading. Hindu ascetics like Jadrup were treated with respect, and it was only
those who upset the order of the state that were seen as a threat to the state, with their popularity making them
even more dangerous. A Muslim, who had gained some followers by claiming that he had surpassed the
understanding of the companions of Muhammad, was imprisoned in Gwalior Fort. If he had been allowed to
spread his message there was potential for serious disturbance, so he had to be stopped.

Most notorious was the execution of the Sikh Guru Arjun Dev Ji. It is unclear that Jahangir even understood
what a Sikh was, referring toGuru Arjun as a Hindu, who had "captured many of the simple-hearted of the
Hindus, and even of the ignorant and foolish followers of Islam, by his ways and manners … for three or four
generations (of spiritual successors) they had kept this shop warm." The trigger for Guru Arjun's execution was
his support for Jahangir's rebel son Khusrau Mirza, yet it is clear from Jahangir's own memoirs that he
disliked Guru Arjunbefore then: "many times it occurred to me to put a stop to this vain affair or bring him into
the assembly of the people of Islam."
Guru Arjun was handed over to the Mughal governor of Lahore, and was tortured to death for refusing to
convert to Islam. Jahangir ordered his execution, but it is unlikely that he also ordered Guru Arjun to be tortured
and converted, for two reasons; one, because we have no other examples from Jahangir's generally tolerant
reign to support the idea that he forced people to convert to Islam, and two, because Jahangir makes no note
of Guru Arjun's torture, yet cheerfully describes the torture of two other rebels, as well as Guru Arjun's
execution. Jahangir maintained his hostility towards the Sikhs, imprisoning Guru Hargobind, the successor
of Guru Arjun, for several years.

A rana was described as an infidel, but only because he was fighting against the Mughals, and infidel was used
as an everyday phrase to describe all non-Muslims anyway. Admittedly Muslims were discouraged from
performing most Hindu rites, with Jahangir lamenting that many Muslims prayed at a temple dedicated
to Durga, and worshipped at a black stone. With Jahangir himself occasionally taking part inHindu ceremonies,
the aforementioned example was probably one way of showing support for the idea
that Muslim and Hindus should not mix their rituals. His attitude to religion in his domain was relaxed yet
diligent. He saw himself as doing Allah's bidding, yet he was inquisitive enough to explore new ideas about
religion, intelligent enough to understand that Hindus were in the majority and grand enough in his pretensions
not to need to obey every line of the Qur'an.

Such a religious situation allowed the more recently arrived form of Christianity to have opportunity to grow.
Jahangir did not seem to have anything against Christianity. He wrote fondly of Akbar's reign, when "Sunnis
and Shias met in one mosque, and Franks and Jews in one church, and observed their own forms of worship."
Roe noted that "of Christ he never utters any word unreverently." His prayer room in Agracontained pictures of
"our Lady and Christ." In the imperial palace in Lahore, over one of the doors, according to William Finch, a
merchant, was "the Picture of our Sauiour," with an image of the Virgin Mary facing it. Elsewhere, the emperor
had pictures of angels and demons, with the demons having a "most ugly shape, with long hornes, staring eyes
… with such horrible difformity and deformity, that I wonder the poore women are not frightened therewith."

It is possible that Jahangir might have seen these images in their Islamic persona, as the Qur'an features such
creatures, yet depiction of living things was haraam (forbidden), so the images could well have been created by
a Christian artist. However, as Mughal art was still heavily Persian-influenced, images of living beings were
allowed, and widespread, so perhaps the otherworldly images had nothing to do withChristianity at all; they
nonetheless caught Finch's eye. Muqarrab Khan sent to Jahangir "a European curtain (tapestry) the like of
which in beauty no other work of the Frank painters has ever been seen." One of his audience halls was
"adorned with European screens." Christianthemes attracted Jahangir, and even merited a mention in the
Tuzuk. One of his slaves gave him a piece of ivory into which had been carved four scenes. In the last scene
"there is a tree, below which the figure of the revered (hazrat) Jesus is shown. One person has placed his head
at Jesus' feet, and an old man is conversing with Jesus and four others are standing by." Though Jahangir
believed it to be the work of the slave who presented it to him, Sayyid Ahmad and Henry Beveridge suggest
that it was of European origin, and possibly showed theTransfiguration. Wherever it came from, and whatever it
represented, it was clear that a European style had come to influence Mughal art, otherwise the slave would
not have claimed it as his own design, nor would he have been believed by Jahangir.

There was even some baseless suggestion that Jahangir had converted to Christianity. Thrown by the religious
tolerance of Akbar and Jahangir's rule, the Jesuits had long thought that they were always on the verge of
conversion. Finch recounted how there "was much stirre with the King about Chrytianitie, hee affirming before
his Nobles, that it was the soundest faith, and that of Mahomet lies and fables." This is an extremely
implausible story, yet the fact that Finch told it at all shows the extent to which Christianity was evident in the
Mughal court. Jahangir apparently allowed a Jesuit to teach some Indian boys Portuguese and elements of
Christian doctrine, and the Jesuits were also allowed to open churches in Ahmedabad and Hooghly.[disambiguation
Christians were allowed to openly celebrate Christmas, Easterand other such festivals, and
the Jesuits were even given an allowance and gifts to carry on with their work, with a few Indians converting to
Christianity. Given the toleration of Hinduism, such imperial leeway was not shocking. Christianity occupied a
special place in Islamic canon, as did Isa (Jesus), who was considered to be amongst the greatest prophets.

What did surprise some observers was the forcible conversion of three sons of Jahangir's brother, Prince
Daniyal, to Christianity, followed by a parade to celebrate their conversions. This was seen by the Jesuits as a
gigantic step forward, but the English and the locals knew better. Hawkins dryly commented that Jahangir
made his nephews Christian "not for any zeale he had to Christianitie, as the [Jesuit] Fathers, and all Christians
thought; but upon the prophecie of certain learned Gentiles [Hindus], who told him that the sonnes of his should
be disinherited, and the children of his brother should raigne. And therefore he did it, to make these children
hatefull to all Moores." This highlighted the likely limits of Christianity in India. Its inhabitants already had mono-
and poly-theistic religions from which to choose, and the European Christianshad done little to demonstrate the
attractiveness of conversion. A few did convert, though Terry believed that this was only for Jesuit money, as
they did not appear to know anything about their new religion, and Roe agreed on this matter. Even Jahangir's
nephews were allowed to return to the Islamic fold, because "the King of Portugall sent them no presents nor
wives." Christianity was tolerated because it posed no real threat. It certainly had an effect on the arts, but it is
difficult to discern any other lasting impact on Mughal India.

[edit]Jahangir and Art

Jahangir was fascinated with art and architecture. Jahangir himself is far from modest in his autobiography
when he states his prowess at being able to determine the artist of any portrait by simply looking at a painting .
As he said:

"…my liking for painting and my practice in judging it have arrived at such point when any work is
brought before me, either of deceased artists or of those of the present day, without the names being
told me, I say on the spur of the moment that is the work of such and such a man. And if there be a
picture containing many portraits, and each face is the work of a different master, I can discover which
face is the work of each of them. If any other person has put in the eye and eyebrow of a face, I can
perceive whose work the original face is, and who has painted the eye and eyebrow."

Jahangir took his connoisseurship of art very seriously. Paintings created under his reign were closely
catalogued, dated and even signed, providing scholars with fairly accurate ideas as to when and in what
context many of the pieces were created, in addition to their aesthetic qualities.

He was not only an admirer of Christian artwork but also a purveyor of it. This was largely due to
earlier Jesuit missions during his father's reign. Jesuits had brought with them various books, engravings,
and paintings and, when they saw the delight Akbar held for them, sent for more and more of the same to
be given to the Mughals, as they felt they were on the "verge of conversion," a notion which proved to be
very false. Instead, both Akbar and Jahangir studied this artwork very closely and replicated and adapted
it, adopting much of the early iconographic features and later the pictorial realism for
which Renaissance art was known. Jahangir was notable for his pride in the ability of his court painters. A
classic example of this is described in Sir Thomas Roe's diaries, in which the Emperor had his painters
copy a European miniature several times creating a total of five miniatures. Jahangir then challenged Roe
to pick out the original from the copies, a feat Sir Thomas Roe could not do, to the delight of Jahangir.

Jahangir was also revolutionary in his adaptation of European styles. A collection at the British
Museum in London contains seventy-four drawings of Indian portraits dating from the time of Jahangir,
including a portrait of the emperor himself. These portraits are a unique example of art during Jahangir's
reign because before, and for sometime after, faces were not drawn full, head-on and including the
shoulders as well as the head as these drawings are.[17]

During his time, Jahangir also pioneered several ornate genealogies illustrated with portraits of each
family member in the style of ItalianRenaissance painters.[18] Jahangir's love for hunting met his love for
art as he commissioned artists on multiple occasions to paint him while hunting and would even paint
scenes himself, from time to time.[19] Jahangir was also known for his vast collection of
illuminated Persianalbums that contained writings as well as paintings.[20]

[edit]In media
Nur-ud-din Salim Jahangir, his father Akbar the Great and Anarkali, were portrayed in
the Hindi film Mughal-e-Azam, in which Jahangir was played by Dilip Kumar. Jalal Agha also played the
younger Jahangir at the start of the film.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources
remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise
citationswhere appropriate. (July 2010)

Castes of India


Classification Kshatriyas (warriors)

Religions Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism

Language Indo-Aryan languages

Populated The Indian subcontinent,

States particularly North India

An 1876 engraving of Rajputs of Rajasthan, from the Illustrated London News

Mayo College was opened by the British Government in 1875 at Ajmer, Rajputana to educate Rajput princes and other
nobles. On the left are four Rajput princes, and on their right is a Muslim classmate.

A Rajput (Hindi: राजपूत) is a member of one of the major groups of the Hindu Kshatriya varna(social order) in
the Indian subcontinent, particularly North India.[1][2][3] They enjoy a reputation as soldiers; many of them serve
in the Indian Armed Forces. During the British Raj, the Government accepted them and recruited many
(primarily non-aristocratic) Rajputs into their armies.[4] Current-day Rajasthan is home to most of the Rajputs,
although demographically the Rajput population and the former Rajput states are found spread through much
the subcontinent, particularly in North India and central India. Populations are found in Himachal
Pradesh, Jammu, Punjab, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra andUttar Pradesh.

There is no mention of the term Rajput in the historical record as pertaining to a social group prior to the 6th
century AD.[5] Rajputs rose to prominence during the 6th to 12th centuries, and until the 20th century Rajputs
ruled in the "overwhelming majority" of the princely states of Rajasthan and Saurashtra, where the largest
number of princely states were found.[6] They are divided into three major lineages. The four Agnivanshi clans,
namely the Pratiharas (Pariharas),Solankis (Chaulukyas), Paramaras (Parmars)
and Chauhans (Chahamanas), rose to prominence first.[citation needed]


• 1 History

o 1.1 Early history (6th to 8th centuries)

o 1.2 Rajput kingdoms (8th to 11th centuries)

o 1.3 Islamic invasions (11th to 12th centuries)

o 1.4 Medieval Rajput states (12th to 16th centuries)

 1.4.1 Conflict with the Sultanate

o 1.5 Mughal era (16th–18th century)

 1.5.1 Mughal–Rajput alliance

 1.5.2 Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar

o 1.6 Maratha empire

o 1.7 The British Raj

• 2 Identity and major clans

o 2.1 Suryavanshi lineage: the sun

o 2.2 Chandravanshi lineage: the moon

o 2.3 Agnivanshi lineage: fire

o 2.4 Consciousness of clan and lineage

• 3 Demographics

o 3.1 1931 census

o 3.2 Current population

• 4 Culture and ethos

o 4.1 Jauhar and Saka

o 4.2 Rajput lifestyle

• 5 See also

• 6 Notes

• 7 Sources

• 8 Further reading

• 9 External links


Main article: History of Rajputs

During their centuries-long rule of northern India, the Rajputs constructed several palaces. Shown here is
theChandramahal in Jaipur, Rajasthan, which was built by Kachwaha Rajputs

[edit]Early history (6th to 8th centuries)

See also: Battle of Rajasthan

The Rai Dynasty, who ruled Sindh in the 6th and 7th centuries and were displaced by an Arab invasion led
by Muhammad bin Qasim, is sometimes held to have been Rajput. According to some sources, Bin Qasim also
attacked Chittorgarh, and was defeated by Bappa Rawal. Certain other invasions by
marauding Yavvanas (literally: "Ionian/Greek") are recorded in this era. The appellation Yavvana was used to
describe any tribe that emerged from the west or northwest of present-day Pakistan. These invasions may
therefore have been a continuation of the usual invasions into India by warlike but less civilized tribes from the
northwest, and not a reference specifically to Greeks or Indo-Greeks. Lalitaditya
Muktapida of Kashmir defeated one suchYavvana invasion in the 8th century and the Gurjara-Pratihara empire
rebuffed another in the 9th century.

[edit]Rajput kingdoms (8th to 11th centuries)

The first Rajput kingdoms date back to the 7th century, and it was during the 9th to 11th centuries that the
Rajputs rose to prominence. The four Agnivanshi clans, namely the Pariharas (of the Pratihara), Solankis (of
the Chalukya dynasty), Paramaras, and Chahamanas of theChauhans rose to prominence first, establishing
territories and creating kingdoms.

A water reservoir inside Chittorgarh Fortas seen in 2006

Bappa Rawal of the Gahlot dynasty established his rule in 734 CE at Chittor. Chittor was until that time ruled by
the Mori clan of Rajputs. Maan Mori was their last king at Chittor. It is believed the word Mori is a corruption
of Maurya, the dynasty of Ashoka (ruled 269 to 232 BCE).

The Kachwahas or Kacchapghata dynasty were originally from Bihar; they founded Gwalior andNarwar in the
8th century. One of their descendants, Dulah Rai (grandson of Raja Isha Singh and son of Prince Sodh Dev of
Narwar) established his rule in Dhundhar in the 11th century.

The imperial Pratiharas established their rule over Malwa and ruled from the cities of Bhinmal andUjjaini in the
8th and 9th centuries. One branch of the clan established a state in Mandore in theMarwar region in 6th and
7th centuries where they held sway until they were supplanted by theRathores in the 14th century. Around 816
CE, the Pratiharas of Ujjain conquered Kannauj, and from this city they ruled much of northern India for a
century. They went into decline afterRashtrakuta invasions in the early 10th century.

The Chandela clan ruled Bundelkhand after the 10th century, occupying the fortress of Kalinjar; they later built
the temples at Khajuraho.

The organization of Rajput clans crystallized in this period. Intermarriage among the Rajput clans interlinked
the various regions of India and Pakistan, facilitating the flow of trade and scholarship. Archaeological evidence
and contemporary texts suggest that Indian society achieved significant prosperity during this era.
The literature composed in this period, both in Sanskrit and in the Apabhramshas, constitutes a substantial
segment of classical Indian literature. The early 11th century saw the reign of the polymath King Bhoja,
Paramara ruler of Malwa. He was not only a patron of literature and the arts but was a distinguished writer.
His Samarangana-sutradhara deals with architecture and his Raja-Martanda is a commentary on the Yoga–
sutras. Many major monuments of northern and central India, including those at Khajuraho, date from this

[edit]Islamic invasions (11th to 12th centuries)

Mehrangarh Fort, the ancient home of theRathore rulers of Marwar in Rajasthan

The fertile and prosperous plains of northern India had always been a destination of choice for streams of
invaders coming from the northwest. The last of these waves of invasions were of tribes who had previously
converted to Islam. For geographic reasons, Rajput-ruled states suffered the brunt of aggression from
various Mongol–Turkic–Afghan warlords who repeatedly invaded the subcontinent. In his New History of
India Stanley Wolpert wrote, "The Rajputs were the vanguard of Hindu India in the face of the Islamic

Within 15 years of the death of the Muhammad in 632, the caliph Uthman sent a sea expedition to
raid Thana and Broach on the Bombay coast. Other unsuccessful raiding expeditions to Sindh took place in
662 and 664 CE. Within a hundred years after Muhammad's death, Muslim armies had overrun much of Asia
as far as the Hindu Kush; however, it was not until c. 1000 CE that they established any foothold in India.

In the early 11th century, Mahmud of Ghazni conquered the Hindu Shahi kingdom in the Punjab. His raids into
northern India weakened the Pratihara kingdom, which was drastically reduced in size and came under the
control of theChandelas. In 1018 CE, Mahmud sacked the city of Kannauj, seat of the Pratihara kingdom, but
withdrew immediately to Ghazni, being interested in booty rather than empire. In the ensuing chaos,
the Gahadvala dynasty established a modest state centered around Kannauj, ruling for about a hundred years.
They were defeated by Muhammad of Ghor, who sacked the city in 1194 CE.

Meanwhile, a nearby state centered around present-day Delhi was ruled successively by
the Tomara and Chauhan clans. Prithiviraj III, ruler of Delhi, defeated Muhammad of Ghor at the First Battle of
Tarain (1191 CE). Muhammad returned the following year and defeated Prithviraj at the Second Battle of
Tarain (1192 CE). In this battle, as in many others of this era, rampant internecine conflict among Rajput
kingdoms facilitated the victory of the invaders.

In the late 11th century a battle between Parmal and Prithviraj III took place in Mahoba, a small town in Uttar
Pradesh. Alha and Udal were the generals of Parmal's army, who fought bravely but lost the battle. The
descendants of Alha are Ahirwar Rajput. Hoever famous British historians like Henry M Elliot, W.E Purser and
Herbert Charles Fanshawe regards Ahars with Ahirs and had proved that Ahirs were ancestors of Ahars .[7][8]

[edit]Medieval Rajput states (12th to 16th centuries)

Prithviraj Chauhan proved to be the last Rajput ruler of Delhi. The Chauhans, led by Govinda, grandson of
Prithviraj, later established a small state centered around Ranthambore in present-day Rajasthan.
The Songara branch of the Chauhan clan later ruled Jalore, while the Hadabranch established their rule over
the Hadoti region in the mid-13th century. The Rever Maharaja Ranavghansinh ruled Taranga in the 11th
century. The Tomaras later established themselves at Gwalior, and the ruler Man Singh built the fortress which
still stands there. Muhammad's armies brought down the Gahadvala kingdom in 1194 CE. Some surviving
members of the Gahadvala dynasty are said to have refugeed to the western desert, formed the Rathore clan,
and later founded the state of Marwar. The Kachwaha clan came to rule Dhundhar(later Jaipur) with their
capital at Amber.

Other relocations surmised to have occurred in this period include the emigration of Rajput clans to
the Himalayas. The Katoch clan, the Chauhans of Chamba and certain clans of Uttarakhand and Nepal are
counted among this number.

[edit]Conflict with the Sultanate

The Delhi Sultanate was founded by Qutb ud din Aybak, Muhammad of Ghor's successor, in the early 13th
century. Sultan Ala ud din
Khiljiconquered Gujarat (1297), Malwa (1305), Ranthambore (1301), Chittorgarh (1303), Jalore,
and Bhinmal (1311). All were conquered after long sieges and fierce resistance from their Rajput defenders.

The "First Jauhar" occurred during the siege of Chittor (1303). Jauhar is the mass self-immolation of the female
population to avoid capture in time of war. Concurrently, the male population would perform Saka: a fight to the
death against impossible odds. The defence of Chittor by the Guhilas, the sagas of Rani Padmini, and the
memory of the Jauhar have had a defining impact upon the Rajput character.

Ala ud din Khilji delegated the administration of the newly conquered areas to his principal Rajput collaborator,
Maldeo Songara, ruler ofJalore. Maldeo Songara was soon displaced by his son-in-law Hammir, a scion of the
lately displaced Guhila clan, who re-established the state of Mewar c. 1326 CE. Mewar was to emerge as a
leading Rajput state, after Rana Kumbha expanded his kingdom at the expense of the sultanates of Malwa and

[edit]Mughal era (16th–18th century)

Jaipur is one of several major cities founded by Rajput rulers during the Mughal Era. This photo was taken in 2002.

The Jharokha arches, now regarded as typical of Rajput architecture, were actually brought to Rajasthan from Bengal by
Rajput rulers who had served there as Mughal officers.

The Delhi sultanate was extinguished when Baburdefeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in
1526. Rana Sanga, ruler of Mewar, rallied an army to challenge Babur. Rana Sanga used traditional war tactics
and weapons and Babur used modern tactics and cannons, the first example of their use in northern India.
Overmatched, Sanga was defeated by Babur at the Battle of Khanua on March 16, 1527. However, it was not
until the reign of Akbar fifteen years later that the structure of relations between the Mughal imperium and the
Rajput states began to take definitive shape.
Rana Sanga died soon after the battle of Khanua. Mewar came under the regency of his widow, Rani
Karmavati. The kingdom was menaced by Bahadur Shah, ruler of Gujarat. According to one romantic legend of
dubious veracity, Karmavati importuned the assistance of Humayun, son of her late husband's foe. The help
arrived, but too late; Chittor was overrun by Bahadur Shah. This is the occasion for the second of the
three Jauhars performed at Chittor. Karmavati led the ladies of the citadel into death by fire, while the menfolk
sallied out to meet the besieging Muslim army in a hopeless fight to the death.

[edit]Mughal–Rajput alliance

Babur's son Humayun was a ruler who was forced to spend long periods in exile. His son Akbar, however,
consolidated his inheritance and expanded what had been the Delhi sultanate into a wide empire. Part of the
reason for his success was his inclusion of native Rajput chiefs into the ruling class of his empire. The Rajput
chiefs cemented the alliance with marriages, with numerous Rajput noblewomen being wed to Mughal
grandees. The Kachwahas were the first to extend matrimonial alliances with Akbar; they pioneered a trend
that soon turned pervasive and played no small role in extending Rajput influence across the Indian sub-
continent. Indeed, two successive Mughal emperors, Jehangir andShah Jehan, were born to Rajput mothers.

Rajput chiefs served as Mughal officers and administrators across the Mughal Empire and enjoyed much
influence in the government. In this period, the aristocratic image of the Rajputs can be said to have
crystallized; consequently, caste divisions became rigid. The trend of political relations between Rajput states
and the central power of the Mughal emperors was the precursor for similar relations between them and the

[edit]Maharana Pratap Singh of Mewar

Main article: Pratap Singh of Mewar

Pratap Singh of Mewar, a 16th century Rajput ruler and great warrior. The Mughalemperor Akbar sent many missions
against him. He survived to ultimately gain control of all of Mewar, excluding Chittorgarh Fort.

Udaipur City Palace Udaipur remained the capital of Mewar after the fall of Chittor until its accession in independent India.

The region of Mewar held out against the Mughal empire and gave battle to all invaders. Rana Sanga, the
grand father of Rana Pratap, fought against Babur. Later, Babur's grandson Akbarattacked Chittor in 1567 CE.
After a struggle, Mewar's chief citadel of Chittor finally fell to Akbar in 1568. The third (and last) Jauhar of
Chittor transpired on this occasion. When the fall of the citadel became imminent, the ladies of the fort
committed collective self-immolation and the men sallied out of the fort to meet the invading Muslim army in a
fight to the death.

Prior to this event, Mewar's ruler, Rana Udai Singh II, had retired to the nearby hills, where he founded the new
town of Udaipur. He was succeeded while in exile by his son Pratap Singh of Mewar as head of
the Sisodia clan. Under the able leadership of Pratap Singh, they harassed the Mughals enough to cause them
to make accommodatory overtures. Pratap Singh, a present-day Rajput icon, rebuffed these overtures of
friendship from Akbar and rallied an army to meet the Mughal forces. He was defeated by the Mughal forces at
the battle of Haldighati in June 1576. He escaped, and carried out a relentless guerilla struggle from his hideout
in the hills, and by the time of his death, he had reconquered nearly all of his kingdom from the Mughals,
except for the fortress of Chittor and Mandal Garh. He died in 1597 CE.

After Pratap's death, his son Rana Amar Singh continued the struggle for 18 years, and faced constant attacks
from Mughals. He fought eighteen wars during this period. Finally he entered into a peace treaty with the
Mughals but with certain exemptions: the Rana of Mewar did not have attend the Mughal court personally but
the crown prince would attend the court, and it was not necessary for the Rana and the Sisodias to enter into
marriage alliances with the Mughals. The treaty was signed by Rana Amar Singh and Prince Khurram Shihab-
ud-din Muhammad (later Shah Jahan) in 1615 CE at Gogunda. Singh thus regained control of his state as a
vassal of the Mughals. The Sisodias, rulers of Mewar, were the last Rajput dynasty to enter into an alliance with
the Mughals.

[edit]Maratha empire
As the central authority of the Mughal empire disintegrated following the death of Aurangzeb, the power of
the Marathas was being consolidated under the leadership of Shivaji (his grandfather, Maloji Bhonsle, claimed
descent from the Sisodia clan of Rajputs). The only major defeat in Shivaji's rise to power came against
the Kachwaha ruler, Mirza Raja Jai Singh I of Amber, who was commanded by Mughal
emperor Aurangzeb (ruled 1658–1707). When in Agra, on a visit to Aurangzeb, Shivaji was deceitfully kept
under house arrest. With the assistance of Mirza Raja Jai Singh I and his son Ram Singh I, Shivaji managed to
escape to the Maratha Empire.

Having been able to cross the Narmada River by 1728, Peshwa Bajirao and his successor Balaji Bajirao were
able to organise military expeditions initially into Malwa and then into other parts of Hindustan. By 1760, with
defeat of theNizam in the Deccan, Maratha power had reached its zenith with a territory of over 250 million
acres (1 million km²) or one-third of the Indian sub-continent. The Maratha expansion was temporarily halted
after their defeat in the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. For the Rajput states of the former empire in the north
of the Indian subcontinent it was a period of constantly shifting alliances and military conflicts with the various
forces competing for power.

The Maratha's constant attempt to extract tribute and conduct raids greatly antagonised the people of the
Rajput states and Jat community and was one of the reasons for the emergence of military alliances between
the Rajput states and the East India Company by the early 19th century. In a notable incident of this
period, Jayappa Scindia, one of the Maratha generals, was murdered at Nagaur while trying to collect taxes. In
another incident, Ishwari Singh, ruler of Jaipur, committed suicide. The public of Jaipur was very much
infuriated by this incident. On January 20, 1751, when 4,000 Maratha soldiers came on an informal visit to
Jaipur, all the gates of the city were closed, and the Rajput army along with the civilian population attacked the
Marathas and killed them. Almost 3,000 Marathas died. 1,000 were injured and managed to escape.

In May 1787 the Marathas suffered a defeat in the Battle of Lalsot. On June 20, 1790, the Battle of Patan was
fought between the Maratha Confederacy and the Rajputs of Jaipur and their Mughal allies, in which the
Rajputs suffered a severe blow. The Marathas demanded taxes and damages. The Rana of Mewar could not
pay these taxes and had to mortgage some of his properties to the Scindia family to raise the funds.

The Rajput states remained loyal to the Mughals. But the Mughals changed their liberal policy towards Rajputs
and other Hindus, resulting in a major Hindu revolt by the Sikhs, Jats, Marathas, Satnamis and Rajputs. The
outrage ultimately weakened the Mughal empire irreparably. At the last the emperor became merely a nominal
head. Mughals fought among themselves and Rajputs were unjustifiably held responsible for the fighting. In this
uncertainty and chaos the Rajputs chose to begin to withdraw their support from the Mughals. Whether they
physically supported the Mughals with troops depended upon their own interests and the status quo of the
respective states. This became the main concern of the rulers of Delhi and other Rajput states, rather than the
reemergence of a powerful Mughal regime. The English East India Company established control in 1757 after
the Battle of Plassey, where they defeated the Nawab of Bengal. After a period of chaos and unrest culminating
in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Queen Victoria was declared Empress of India on 1 May 1876, officially
supplanting the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II and the rule of the East India Company. This ushered in
a new age of British empire in India which would last until Indian Independence in 1947.

[edit]The British Raj

The Maratha Confederacy began to be in conflict with the British Raj beginning in 1772. After the Third Anglo-
Maratha War (1817–1818), 18 states in the Rajputana region, of which 15 were ruled by Rajputs, entered
into subsidiary alliance with the East India Company and becameprincely states under the British Raj. The
British took direct control of Ajmer, which became the province of Ajmer-Merwara. A large number of other
Rajput states in central and western India made a similar transition. Most of them were placed under the
authority of the Central India Agency and the various states' agencies of Kathiawar.

Rajput army officers with British army officers in 1936

The British colonial officials in general were impressed by the military qualities of the Rajputs. In his Annals and
Antiquities of Rajasthan James Tod writes:

What nation on earth could have maintained the semblance of civilization, the spirit or the customs of
“ their forefathers, during so many centuries of overwhelming depression, but one of such singular
character as the Rajpoot? ... Rajast'han exhibits the sole example in the history of mankind, of a people
withstanding every outrage barbarity could inflict, or human nature sustain, from a foe whose religion
commands annihilation; and bent to the earth, yet rising buoyant from the pressure, and making
calamity a whetstone to courage .... Not an iota of their religion or customs have they lost ... ”
In reference to the role of the Rajput soldiers serving under the British banner, Captain A. H. Bigleystates:

Rajputs have served in our ranks from Plassey to the present day (1899). They have taken part in
“ almost every campaign undertaken by the Indian armies. Under Forde they defeated the French
at Condore. Under Monro at Buxar they routed the forces of the Nawab of Oudh. Under Lake they
took part in the brilliant series of victories which destroyed the power of the Marathas. ”
Bingley went on to describe the role of the Rajput infantries in the Gurkha War (1814 to 1816) and the Anglo-
Afghan Wars, and stated that the Rajput troops were instrumental in the victory of the Anglo-Sikh wars in
Punjab. He detailed the role the Rajput troopers in the Egyptian campaign of 1882 as well as their victorious
action in the Third Anglo-Burmese War of 1885. The Rajputs retained their principal role in Indian society,
serving in armies wherever necessary throughout this period, as they do to this day. Rajput soldiers remain an
integral part in the armies of India and Pakistan.

When India gained its independence in 1947, the Rajput states acceded unto the Dominion of India.

[edit]Identity and major clans

Main articles: Origin of Rajputs and Rajput clans

Rajput is from the Sanskrit word Raja-Putra (son of a king).[1] The word is found in ancient texts, including
the Vedas, the Ramayana, and theMahabharata. It was used by the ancient Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini in the
4th century BCE. The word Kshatriya ("warrior") was used for theVedic community of warriors and rulers. To
differentiate royal warriors from other Kshatriyas the word Rajputra was used. Rajputra eventually was
shortened to Rajput; gradually it became a caste. Rajputs belong to one of three great patrilineages, which
are Suryavanshi,Chandravanshi and Agnivanshi.

[edit]Suryavanshi lineage: the sun

Main article: Suryavansha

The Suryavanshi, which means Sun Dynasty, claim descent from Surya, the solar deity. The Sun Dynasty is
oldest among Kshatriyas. The first person of this dynasty was Vivasvan, which means the Fire
Bird. Ikshvaku was the first important king of this dynasty. Other important kings were Kakutsth Harishchandra,
Sagar, Dileepa, Bhagiratha, Raghu, Dashratha, and Rama. The poet Kalidasa wrote the great
epicRaghuvaṃśa about the dynasty of Raghu. Rajput Suryavanshi clans that claim descent from Rama are
the Raghav (Raghuvanshi)s, Lohanas,Jamwals, Bedis, Pundirs, Sisodias, Rathores, Bargujars, Minhass and
the Kachwahas.

[edit]Chandravanshi lineage: the moon

Main article: Chandravanshi

The Chandravanshi, which means Moon Dynasty, claim descent from Chandra, the lunar deity. This Lunar
Dynasty is very ancient, but is younger than the Sun Dynasty. Som was the first king of this dynasty. Other
important kings were Pururawa, Nahush, Yayati, Dushyant,Bharata, Kuru, Shantanu, and Yudhishthir. The
ancient text Harivamsa gives details of this dynasty and the Suryavanshi.

The Yaduvanshi lineage, claiming descent from the Hindu god Krishna and from Yadu, eldest son of Yayati,
are a major sect of the Chandravanshi. Rajput Chandravanshi clans that claim descent from Krishna and Yadu
are the Bhati, Doad, Jadaun, Jadeja, and Yadu.

[edit]Agnivanshi lineage: fire

Main article: Agnivanshi

The Agnivanshi lineage claims descent from Agni, the Vedic God of Fire. They were the earliest lineage to rise
to political prominence. The legend which addresses the origin of the Agnivanshi Rajputs is disputed.
According to Puranic legend, as found in Bhavishya Purana (an ancient religious text), many but not all of the
traditional kshatriyas of the land were exterminated by Parashurama, an avatara of Vishnu. The
sage Vasishta performed a great a yagna (ritual of sacrifice) at Mount Abu, at the time of emperor Ashoka's
sons (Ashoka died around 232 BCE). From the influence of mantras of the four Vedas, four kshatriyas were
born. They were the founders of the four Agnivanshi clans:

1. Parmar (Paramara)

2. Chamahanas (Chauhan)

3. Solanki (Chalukya)

4. Parihara (Pratihara)

Only these four clans out of the many Rajput clans are considered to be Agnivanshi.

Some scholars also count Nagavanshi and Rishivanshi to be Agnivanshi.[citation needed]

[edit]Consciousness of clan and lineage

Main article: Rajput clans
The aforementioned three patrilineages (vanshas) sub-divide into 36 main clans (kulas), which in turn divide
into numerous branches (shakhas), to create the intricate clan system of the Rajputs. The principle of
patrilineage is staunchly adhered to in determining one's place in the system and a strong consciousness of
clan and lineage is an essential part of the Rajput character. Authoritative listings of the 36Rajput clans are to
be found in the Kumārpāla Charita of Jayasimha and the epic poem Prithvirāj Rāso of Chandbardai.


[edit]1931 census
The 1931 census reported a total of 10.7 million people self-describing as Rajput.[9] Of this population, about
8.6 million people also self-described as being Hindu, about 2.1 million as being Muslim Rajput and about
50,000 as being Sikh Rajput.

The United Provinces (being approximately present-day Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand combined) reported
the largest population of Rajputs, at 3,756,936. The (then united) province of Bihar and Orissa, corresponding
to the present-day states of Bihar, Orissa and Jharkhand, reported a Rajput population of
1,412,440. Rajputana, which was almost co-terminus with the present-day state of Rajasthan, reported a figure
of 669,516. The Central Provinces and Berar reported a figure of 506,087, the princely state of Gwalior of
393,076, the Central India Agency of 388,942, the Bombay Presidency of 352,016, the princely state of Jammu
and Kashmir of 256,020, and the Western India States Agency of 227,137 Rajputs. The undivided province
of Bengal (including present-day Bangladesh) reported a figure of 156,978 Rajputs. The princely states
of Baroda and Hyderabad reported figures of 94,893 and 88,434 respectively.

[edit]Current population
As a forward class, Rajputs have not been counted as a caste in the official census in the Republic of India.
There are some estimates by private organizations. The Joshua Project as of 2009 estimates 41 million Hindu
Rajputs, 18 million Muslim Rajputs and 0.8 million Sikh Rajputs, or some 60 million in total.

Rajputs typically speak whatever languages are spoken by the general population of the areas in which they
live. Hindi and Rajasthani are the primary languages, as most are situated in Hindi-speaking states,
but Gujarati is also spoken among Rajputs residing in Gujarat.

[edit]Culture and ethos

A talwar sword, developed underPersian influence in the Mughal period, replaced the khanda sword characteristic of the
medieval period.

The Rajputs were designated by the British as a "Martial Race." The martial race was a designation created by
officials of British India to describe "races" (ethnic groups) that were thought to be naturally warlike and
aggressive in battle and to possess qualities like courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience,
orderliness, a hard working nature, a fighting tenacity, and military strategy. The British recruited heavily from
these "martial races" for service in the colonial army.[10][11]

[edit]Jauhar and Saka

Two distinctive cultural practices of the Rajput, when faced with defeat by an opposing force, werejauhar, the
ritual self-immolation of women to avoid falling into the hands of the enemy, and saka, a ride into battle by the
Rajput men with the expectation of inevitable death.[citation needed]

[edit]Rajput lifestyle
The Rajput lifestyle was designed to foster a martial spirit, with men even forging a bond with their sword.
The double-edged scimitar known as the khanda was a popular weapon among the Rajputs of that era. On
special occasions, a primary chief would break up a meeting of his vassal chiefs with khanda nariyal, the
distribution of daggers and coconuts. Another affirmation of the Rajput's reverence for his sword was the Karga
Shapna ("adoration of the sword") ritual, performed during the annual Navaratri festival, after which a Rajput is
considered "free to indulge his passion for rapine and revenge".[13]

By the late 19th century, there was a shift of focus among Rajputs from politics to a concern with kinship.
Many Rajputs of Rajasthan are nostalgic about their past and keenly conscious of their genealogy,
emphasizing a Rajput ethos that is martial in spirit, with a fierce pride in lineage and tradition.[15]

The tradition of common ancestry permits a poor Rajput yeoman to consider himself as well born as any
“ powerful landholder of his clan, and superior to any high official of the professional classes. No race in India
can boast of finer feats of arms or brighter deeds of chivalry, and they form one of the main recruiting fields
for the Indian army of the day. They consider any occupation other than that of arms or government
derogatory to their dignity, and consequently during the long period of peace which has followed the
establishment of the British rule in India, they have been content to stay idle at home instead of taking up any
of the other professions in which they might have come to the front.[16]

ritish Raj
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"British Empire in India" redirects here. For other uses, see British India (disambiguation).

Indian Empire
British Raj
British India

Crown Rule

1858–1947 →

Flag Coat of arms

God Save the Queen/King
The British Indian Empire, 1909

Capital Calcutta (1858–1912)

New Delhi (1912–1947)
Shimla (Summer)

Language(s) Hindustani, English and

many others

Government Monarchy

Emperor/Empress of India (1876–1947)

- 1858–1901 Victoria¹

- 1901–1910 Edward VII

- 1910–1936 George V

- 1936 Edward VIII

- 1936–1947 George VI


- 1858–1862 The Viscount Canning

- 1862–1863 The 8th Earl of Elgin

- 1864–1869 Sir John Lawrence

- 1869–1872 The Earl of Mayo

- 1872–1876 The Lord Northbrook


- Established 2 August 1858

- Disestablished 15 August 1947

Currency British Indian rupee

¹ Reigned as Empress of India from 1 May 1876, before that as

Queen of Great Britain.
² Governor-General and Viceroy of India

Colonial India

Portuguese India 1510–


Dutch India 1605–


Danish India 1696–


French India 1759–


British India 1613–1947

East India Company 1612–


Company rule in India 1757–


British Raj 1858–


British rule in Burma 1824–


Princely states 1765–


Partition of India 1947

This box: view • talk • edit

The British Indian Empire or British Raj (rāj in Hindi: राज, Urdu: ‫راج‬, pronounced:/rɑːdʒ/,
lit. "reign"[1]) is the name given to the period of British colonial rule in greaterSouth
Asia between the 1857 Indian Rebellion against the British East India Company and the
1947 partition of India, when India was ruled directly by the British Crown.[2] The
term 'British Raj' can also refer to the dominion itself and even the region under the rule.
The region, now the countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladeshand Burma,
included areas directly administered by Britain,[4] as well as the princely states ruled by
individual rulers under the paramountcy of the British Crown. After 1876, the resulting
political union was officially called the Indian Empire and issued passports under that
name. As India, it was a founding member of the League of Nations, the United Nations,
and a member nation of the Summer Olympics in 1900,1920, 1928, 1932, and 1936.

The system of governance was instituted in 1858 when the rule of the British East India
Company was transferred to the Crown in the person of Queen Victoria (and who in 1876
was proclaimed Empress of India). It lasted until 1947, when the British Indian Empire
was partitioned into two sovereign dominion states: the Union of India(later the Republic of
India) and the Dominion of Pakistan (later the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the eastern half
of which, still later, became the People's Republic of Bangladesh). The province of Burma in
the eastern region of the Indian Empire was made a separate colony in 1937 and became
independent in 1948.

• 1 Geographical extent

• 2 British India and the Native States

o 2.1 Major provinces

o 2.2 Minor provinces

o 2.3 Princely states

o 2.4 Organization

• 3 Famines, epidemics, and public health

• 4 Economic impact

• 5 Timeline

• 6 History

o 6.1 Company rule in India

o 6.2 Indian rebellion of 1857

o 6.3 Economic and political changes

 6.3.1 Railways

o 6.4 Beginnings of self-government

o 6.5 World War I and its aftermath

o 6.6 World War II

o 6.7 Independence and partition

• 7 See also

• 8 Notes

• 9 References and further reading

o 9.1 Contemporary general textbooks

o 9.2 Monographs and collections

o 9.3 Articles in journals or collections

o 9.4 Classic histories and gazetteers

o 9.5 Tertiary sources

o 9.6 Related reading

• 10 External links

[edit]Geographical extent
The British Indian Empire and surrounding countries in 1909

The British Raj extended over all regions of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. In
addition, at various times, it included Aden Colony (from 1858 to 1937), Lower Burma (from
1858 to 1937), Upper Burma (from 1886 to 1937), British Somaliland (briefly from 1884 to
1898), and Singapore (briefly from 1858 to 1867). Burma was directly administered by the
British Crown from 1937 until its independence in 1948. TheTrucial States of the Persian
Gulf were theoretically princely states of British India until 1946 and used the rupee as their
unit of currency.

Among other countries in the region, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) was ceded to Britain in 1802
under the Treaty of Amiens. Ceylon was a British crown colony but not part of British India.
The kingdoms of Nepal and Bhutan, having fought wars with the British, subsequently
signed treaties with them and were recognised by the British as independent states.[5][6] The
Kingdom of Sikkim was established as a princely state after the Anglo-Sikkimese Treaty of
1861; however, the issue of sovereignty was left undefined.[7] The Maldive Islands were a
British protectorate from 1887 to 1965 but not part of British India.

[edit]British India and the Native States

Main articles: British India and Princely state

The British Indian Empire in 1893

The British Indian Empire (contemporaneously India) consisted of two divisions: British
India and the Native States or Princely States. In its Interpretation Act of 1889, the British
Parliamentadopted the following definitions:

The expression British India shall mean all territories and places within Her Majesty's
dominions which are for the time being governed by Her Majesty through the Governor-
General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the Governor-
General of India. The expression India shall mean British India together with any territories
of a Native Prince or Chief under the suzerainty of Her Majesty, exercised through the
Governor-General of India, or through any Governor or other officer subordinate to the
Governor-General of India. (52 & 53 Vict. cap. 63, sec. 18)[8]

In general the term "British India" had been used (and is still used) to also refer to the
regions under the rule of the British East India Company in India from 1600 to 1858.[9] The
term has also been used to refer to the "British in India".[10]

Suzerainty over 175 princely states, some of the largest and most important, was exercised
(in the name of the British Crown) by the central government of British India under
the Viceroy; the remaining approximately 500 states were dependents of the provincial
governments of British India under a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or Chief
Commissioner (as the case might have been).[11] A clear distinction between "dominion" and
"suzerainty" was supplied by the jurisdiction of the courts of law: the law of British India
rested upon the laws passed by the British Parliament and the legislative powers those laws
vested in the various governments of British India, both central and local; in contrast, the
courts of the Princely States existed under the authority of the respective rulers of those

[edit]Major provinces
Main article: Presidencies and provinces of British India

At the turn of the 20th century, British India consisted of eight provinces that were
administered either by a Governor or a Lieutenant-Governor. The following table lists their
areas and populations (but does not include those of the dependent Native States) circa

Area (in thousands Population (in millions Chief Administrative

Province of British India[12] of square miles) of inhabitants) Officer

Burma 170 9 Lieutenant-Governor

Bengal (including present-

day Bangladesh, West 151 75 Lieutenant-Governor
Bengal, Bihar and Orissa)

Madras 142 38 Governor-in-Council

Bombay 123 19 Governor-in-Council

United Provinces (present-day Uttar

107 48 Lieutenant-Governor
Pradesh andUttarakhand)

Central Provinces (including Berar) 104 13 Chief Commissioner

Punjab 97 20 Lieutenant-Governor

Assam 49 6 Chief Commissioner

During the partition of Bengal (1905–1911), a new province, Assam and East Bengal was
created as a Lieutenant-Governorship. In 1911, East Bengal was reunited with Bengal, and
the new provinces in the east became: Assam, Bengal, Bihar and Orissa.[12]

[edit]Minor provinces
In addition, there were a few minor provinces that were administered by a Chief

Population (in
Area (in thousands thousands of
Minor Province of square miles) inhabitants) Chief Administrative Officer

North West Frontier

16 2,125 Chief Commissioner

British Baluchistan (British British Political Agent in Baluchistan

46 308
and Administered territory) served asex-officio Chief Commissioner

British Resident in Mysore served

Coorg 1.6 181
as ex-officioChief Commissioner

British Political Agent in Rajputana

Ajmer-Merwara 2.7 477 served as ex-officio Chief
Andaman and Nicobar
3 25 Chief Commissioner

[edit]Princely states
Main article: Princely state

A Princely State, also called Native State or Indian State, was a nominally sovereign entity
of British rule in India that was not directly governed by the British, but rather by an Indian
ruler under a form of indirect rule such as suzerainty or paramountcy. Military, foreign
affairs, and communications power were under British control. There were 565 princely
states when the Indian subcontinent became independent from Britain in August 1947.[14]


The proclamation to the "Princes, Chiefs, and People of India," issued by Queen Victoria on 1 November 1858. "We hold
ourselves bound to the natives of our Indian territories by the same obligation of duty which bind us to all our other subjects."
(p. 2)
An 1887 souvenir portrait of Queen Victoria as Empress of India, a full 30 years after the Great Uprising

Following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Act for the Better Government of India
(1858) made changes in the governance of India at three levels: in the imperial government
in London, in the central government in Calcutta, and in the provincial governments in the
presidencies (and later in the provinces).[15]

In London, it provided for a cabinet-level Secretary of State for India and a fifteen-
member Council of India, whose members were required, as one prerequisite of
membership, to have spent at least ten years in India and to have done so no more than ten
years before.[16] Although the Secretary of State formulated the policy instructions to be
communicated to India, he was required in most instances to consult the Council, but
especially so in matters relating to spending of Indian revenues.[15] The Act envisaged a
system of "double government" in which the Council ideally served both as a check on
excesses in imperial policy-making and as a body of up-to-date expertise on India.
However, the Secretary of State also had special emergency powers that allowed him to
make unilateral decisions, and, in reality, the Council's expertise was sometimes outdated.
From 1858 until 1947, twenty seven individuals served as Secretary of State for India
and directed the India Office; these included: Sir Charles Wood (1859–1866), Marquess of
Salisbury (1874–1878) (later Prime Minister of Britain), John Morley (1905–1910) (initiator
of theMinto-Morley Reforms), E. S. Montagu (1917–1922) (an architect of the Montagu-
Chelmsford reforms), and Frederick Pethick-Lawrence (1945–1947) (head of the 1946
Cabinet Mission to India). The size of the advisory Council was reduced over the next half-
century, but its powers remained unchanged. In 1907, for the first time, two Indians were
appointed to the Council.[18]

In Calcutta, the Governor-General remained head of the Government of India and now was
more commonly called the Viceroy on account of his secondary role as the Crown's
representative to the nominally sovereign princely states; he was, however, now
responsible to the Secretary of State in London and through him to Parliament. A system of
"double government" had already been in place during the Company's rule in India from the
time of Pitt's India Act of 1784.[18] The Governor-General in the capital, Calcutta, and the
Governor in a subordinate presidency (Madrasor Bombay) was each required to consult his
advisory council; executive orders in Calcutta, for example, were issued in the name of
"Governor-General-in-Council" (i.e. the Governor-General with the advice of the Council).
The Company's system of "double government" had its critics, since, from the time of the
system's inception, there had been intermittent feuding between the Governor-General and
his Council; still, the Act of 1858 made no major changes in governance.[18] However, in the
years immediately thereafter, which were also the years of post-rebellion reconstruction, the
Viceroy Lord Canning found the collective decision-making of the Council to be too time-
consuming for the pressing tasks ahead.[18] He therefore requested the "portfolio system" of
anExecutive Council in which the business of each government department (the "portfolio")
was assigned to and became the responsibility of a single Council member.[18] Routine
departmental decisions were made exclusively by the member; however, important
decisions required the consent of the Governor-General and, in the absence of such
consent, required discussion by the entire Executive Council. This innovation in Indian
governance was promulgated in theIndian Councils Act of 1861.

If the Government of India needed to enact new laws, the Councils Act allowed for a
Legislative Council—an expansion of the Executive Council by up to twelve additional
members, each appointed to a two-year term—with half the members consisting of British
officials of the government (termed official) and allowed to vote, and the other half,
comprising Indians and domiciled Britons in India (termed non-official) and serving only in
an advisory capacity.[19] All laws enacted by Legislative Councils in India, whether by
the Imperial Legislative Council in Calcutta or by the provincial ones in Madras and
Bombay, required the final assent of the Secretary of State in London; this prompted Sir
Charles Wood, the second Secretary of State, to describe the Government of India as "a
despotism controlled from home".[20] Moreover, although the appointment of Indians to the
Legislative Council was a response to calls after the 1857 rebellion, most notably by
Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, for more consultation with Indians, the Indians so appointed were
from the landed aristocracy, often chosen for their loyalty, and far from representative.
Even so, the ..."...tiny advances in the practise of representative government were
intended to provide safety valves for the expression of public opinion which had been so
badly misjudged before the rebellion".[22] Indian affairs now also came to be more closely
examined in the British Parliament and more widely discussed in the British press.[23]

Although the Great Uprising of 1857 had shaken the British enterprise in India, it had not
derailed it. After the rebellion, the British became more circumspect. Much thought was
devoted to the causes of the rebellion, and from it three main lessons were drawn. At a
more practical level, it was felt that there needed to be more communication and
camaraderie between the British and Indians—not just between British army officers and
their Indian staff but in civilian life as well. The Indian army was completely reorganised:
units composed of the Muslims and Brahmins of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh,
who had formed the core of the rebellion, were disbanded.[24] New regiments, like the Sikhs
and Baluchis, composed of Indians who, in British estimation, had demonstrated
steadfastness, were formed. From then on, the Indian army was to remain unchanged in its
organisation until 1947.[25] The 1861 Census had revealed that the English population in
India was 125,945. Of these only about 41,862 were civilians as compared with about
84,083 European officers and men of the Army.[26] In 1880, the standing Indian Army
consisted of 66,000 British soldiers, 130,000 Natives, and 350,000 soldiers in the princely

It was also felt that both the princes and the large land-holders, by not joining the rebellion,
had proved to be, in Lord Canning's words, "breakwaters in a storm".[24] They too were
rewarded in the new British Raj by being officially recognised in the treaties each state now
signed with the Crown.[25] At the same time, it was felt that the peasants, for whose benefit
the large land-reforms of the United Provinces had been undertaken, had shown disloyalty,
by, in many cases, fighting for their former landlords against the British. Consequently, no
more land reforms were implemented for the next 90 years: Bengal and Bihar were to
remain the realms of large land holdings (unlike the Punjab and Uttar Pradesh).[25]

Lastly, the British felt disenchanted with Indian reaction to social change. Until the rebellion,
they had enthusiastically pushed through social reform, like the ban on suttee by Lord
William Bentinck.[24] It was now felt that traditions and customs in India were too strong and
too rigid to be changed easily; consequently, no more British social interventions were
made, especially in matters dealing with religion, even when the British felt very strongly
about the issue (as in the instance of the remarriage of Hindu child widows).[25]

[edit]Famines, epidemics, and public health

Famines in India (Estimated deaths in millions)

Colonial era

[show]Famine Years Deaths

Main articles: Famines, epidemics, and public health in the British Raj and Timeline of
major famines in India during British rule (1765 to 1947)

See also: Chalisa famine, Doji bara famine, Agra famine of 1837–38, Orissa Famine of
1866, Rajputana famine of 1869, Bihar famine of 1873–74, Great Famine of 1876–
78, Indian famine of 1896–97, and Indian famine of 1899–1900
During the British Raj, India experienced some of the worst famines ever recorded,
including the Great Famine of 1876–78, in which 6.1 million to 10.3 million people
died[40] and the Indian famine of 1899–1900, in which 1.25 to 10 million people died.
Recent research, including work by Mike Davis and Amartya Sen,[41] attribute most of the
effects of these famines to British policy in India.

Having been criticised for the badly bungled relief effort during the Orissa famine of 1866,
British authorities began to discuss famine policy soon afterwards, and, in early 1868, Sir
William Muir, Lieutenant-Governor of Agra Province, issued a famous order stating that:[43]

"...every District officer would be held personally responsible that no deaths occurred from
starvation which could have been avoided by any exertion or arrangement on his part or
that of his subordinates."

The first cholera pandemic began in Bengal, then spread across India by 1820. 10,000
British troops and countless Indians died during thispandemic.[44] Deaths in India between
1817 and 1860 are estimated to have exceeded 15 million persons. Another 23 million died
between 1865 and 1917.[45] The Third Pandemic of plague started in China in the middle of
the 19th century, spreading disease to all inhabited continents and killing 10 million people
in India alone.[46] Waldemar Haffkine, who mainly worked in India, was the
first microbiologist who developed and used vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague.
In 1925, the Plague Laboratory in Bombay was renamed the Haffkine Institute.

Fevers had been considered one of the leading causes of death in India in the 19th century.
It was Britain's Sir Ronald Ross working in thePresidency General
Hospital in Calcutta who finally proved in 1898 that malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.
In 1881, around 120,000 leprosy patients existed in India. The central government
passed the Lepers Act of 1898, which provided legal provision for forcible confinement
of leprosy sufferers in India.[49] Under the direction of Mountstuart Elphinstone a program
was launched to propagate smallpox vaccination.[50] Mass vaccination in India resulted in a
major decline in smallpox mortality by the end of the 19th century.[51] In 1849 nearly 13% of
all Calcutta deaths were due to smallpox.[52] Between 1868 and 1907, there were
approximately 4.7 million deaths from smallpox.[53]

Sir Robert Grant directed his attention to the expediency of establishing a systematic
institution in the Bombay for imparting medical knowledge to the natives.[54] In 1860, Grant
Medical College became one of the four recognised colleges for teaching courses leading to
degrees (others being Elphinstone College, Deccan College and Government Law College,

[edit]Economic impact
India's share of global income slipped from 22.6% in 1700, nearly equal to that of Europe's
of 23.4%, to 3.8% by the time of Indian independence. In 1780, the issue was raised by
conservative British politician Edmund Burke who vehemently attacked the East India
Company, claiming that Warren Hastings and other top officials had ruined the Indian
economy and society. Indian historian Rajat Kanta Ray (1998) continues this line of attack,
saying the new economy brought by the British in the 18th century was a form of "plunder"
and a catastrophe for the traditional economy of Mughal India. Ray accuses the British of
depleting the food and money stocks and imposing high taxes that helped cause the terrible
famine of 1770, which killed a third of the people of Bengal.[55]

P. J. Marshall shows that recent scholarship has reinterpreted the view that the prosperity of
the formerly benign Mughal rule gave way to poverty and anarchy. Marshall argues the
British takeover did not make any sharp break with the past. British control was delegated
largely through regional Mughal rulers and was sustained by a generally prosperous
economy for the rest of the 18th century. Marshall notes the British went into partnership
with Indian bankers and raised revenue through local tax administrators and kept the old
Mughal rates of taxation.[56] Instead of the Indian nationalist account of the British as alien
aggressors, seizing power by brute force and impoverishing all of India, Marshall presents
the interpretation, supported by many scholars in India and the West, in which the British
were not in full control but instead were players in what was primarily an Indian play and in
which their rise to power depended upon excellent cooperation with Indian elites. Marshall
admits that much of his interpretation is still rejected by many historians.[57]


Period of
Viceroy Tenure Events/Accomplishments

Charles 1 Nov 1858 1858 reorganisation of British Indian Army (contemporaneously and hereafter Indian
Canning 21 Mar Army)
1862 Construction begins (1860): University of Bombay, University of Madras, and University
of Calcutta
Indian Penal Code passed into law in 1860.
Upper Doab famine of 1860–61
Indian Councils Act 1861
Establishment of Archaeological Survey of India in 1861
James Wilson, financial member of Council of India reorganises customs,
imposes income tax, creates paper currency.
Indian Police Act of 1861, creation of Imperial Police later known as Indian Police

21 Mar
Lord Elgin Dies prematurely in Dharamsala
20 Nov

Anglo-Bhutan Duar War (1864–1865)

12 Jan
Orissa famine of 1866
Sir John 1864
Rajputana famine of 1869
Lawrence 12 Jan
Creation of Department of Irrigation.
Creation of Imperial Forestry Service in 1867 (now Indian Forest Service).

Creation of Department of Agriculture (now Ministry of Agriculture)

12 Jan Major extension of railways, roads, and canals
Lord Mayo 1869 Indian Councils Act of 1870
8 Feb 1872 Creation of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a Chief Commissionership (1872).
Assassination of Lord Mayo in the Andamans.

3 May Mortalities in Bihar famine of 1873–74 prevented by importation of rice from Burma.
Lord 1872 Gaikwad of Baroda dethroned for misgovernment; dominions continued to a child ruler.
Northbrook 12 Apr Indian Councils Act of 1874
1876 Visit of the Prince of Wales, future Edward VII in 1875–76.

Baluchistan established as a Chief Commissionership

Queen Victoria (in absentia) proclaimed Empress of India at Delhi Durbar of 1877.
12 Apr Great Famine of 1876–78: 5.25 million dead; reduced relief offered at expense
Lord Lytton 1876 of Rs. 8 crore.
8 Jun 1880 Creation of Famine Commission of 1878–80 under Sir Richard Strachey.
Indian Forest Act of 1878
Second Anglo-Afghan War.

End of Second Anglo-Afghan War.

Repeal of Vernacular Press Act of 1878. Compromise on the Ilbert Bill.
Local Government Acts extend self-government from towns to country.
8 Jun 1880
University of Punjab established in Lahore in 1882
Lord Ripon 13 Dec
Famine Code promulgated in 1883 by the Government of India.
Creation of the Education Commission. Creation of indigenous schools, especially for
Repeal of import duties on cotton and of most tariffs. Railway extension.
Passage of Bengal Tenancy Bill
Third Anglo-Burmese War.
13 Dec Joint Anglo-Russian Boundary Commission appointed for the Afghan frontier. Russian
1884 attack on Afghans atPanjdeh (1885). The Great Game in full play.
Lord Dufferin
10 Dec Report of Public Services Commission of 1886-87, creation of Imperial Civil Service
1888 (later Indian Civil Service, and today Indian Administrative Service)
University of Allahabad established in 1887
Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 1887.

Strengthening of NW Frontier defence. Creation of Imperial Service Troops consisting of

regiments contributed by the princely states.
Gilgit Agency leased in 1899
British Parliament passes Indian Councils Act of 1892 opening the Imperial Legislative
Council to Indians.
10 Dec
Revolution in princely state of Manipur and subsequent reinstatement of ruler.
Lord 1888
High point of The Great Game. Establishment of the Durand Line between British India
Lansdowne 11 Oct
and Afghanistan,
Railways, roads, and irrigation works begun in Burma. Border between Burma
and Siam finalised in 1893.
Fall of the Rupee, resulting from the steady depreciation of silver currency worldwide
Indian Prisons Act of 1894

Reorganization of Indian Army (from Presidency System to the four Commands).

Pamir agreement Russia, 1895
The Chitral Campaign (1895), the Tirah Campaign (1896–97)
11 Oct
Indian famine of 1896–97 beginning in Bundelkhand.
Lord Elgin 1894
Bubonic plague in Bombay (1896), Bubonic plague in Calcutta (1898); riots in wake of
6 Jan 1899
plague prevention measures.
Establishment of Provincial Legislative Councils in Burma and Punjab; the former a new
Lieutenant Governorship.

Lord Curzon 6 Jan 1899 Creation of the North West Frontier Province (now Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) under a Chief
18 Nov Commissioner (1901).
1905 Indian famine of 1899–1900.
Return of the bubonic plague, 1 million deaths
Financial Reform Act of 1899; Gold Reserve Fund created for India.
Punjab Land Alienation Act
Inauguration of Department (now Ministry) of Commerce and Industry.
Death of Queen Victoria (1901); dedication of the Victoria Memorial Hall, Calcutta as a
national gallery of Indian antiquities, art, and history.
Coronation Durbar in Delhi (1903); Edward VII (in absentia) proclaimed Emperor of
Francis Younghusband's British expedition to Tibet (1903–04)
North-Western Provinces (previously Ceded and Conquered Provinces)
and Oudh renamed United Provinces in 1904
Reorganization of Indian Universities Act (1904).
Systemization of preservation and restoration of ancient monuments by Archaeological
Survey of India with Indian Ancient Monument Preservation Act.
Inauguration of agricultural banking with Cooperative Credit Societies Act of 1904
Partition of Bengal (1905); new province of East Bengal and Assam under a Lieutenant-

Creation of the Railway Board

18 Nov
Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907
Lord Minto Government of India Act of 1909 (also Minto-Morley Reforms)
23 Nov
Appointment of Indian Factories Commission in 1909.
Establishment of Department of Education in 1910 (now Ministry of Education)

Visit of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911: commemoration as Emperor and
Empress of India at lastDelhi Durbar
King George V announces creation of new city of New Delhi to replace Calcutta as
capital of India.
23 Nov Indian High Courts Act of 1911
1910 Indian Factories Act of 1911
4 Apr 1916 Construction of New Delhi, 1912-1929
World War I, Indian Army in: Western Front, Belgium, 1914; German East
Africa (Battle of Tanga, 1914);Mesopotamian Campaign (Battle of Ctesiphon,
1915; Siege of Kut, 1915-16); Battle of Galliopoli, 1915-16
Passage of Defence of India Act 1915

Indian Army in: Mesopotamian Campaign (Fall of Baghdad, 1917); Sinai and Palestine
Campaign (Battle of Megiddo, 1918)
Passage of Rowlatt Act, 1919
Lord 4 Apr 1916
Government of India Act of 1919 (also Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms)
Chelmsford 2 Apr 1921
Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, 1919
Third Anglo-Afghan War, 1919
University of Rangoon established in 1920.

2 Apr 1921 University of Delhi established in 1922.

Lord Reading
3 Apr 1926 Indian Workers Compensation Act of 1923

Indian Trade Unions Act of 1926, Indian Forest Act, 1927

3 Apr 1926
Appointment of Royal Commission of Indian Labour, 1929
Lord Irwin 18 Apr
Indian Constitutional Round Table Conferences, London, 1930-32, Gandhi-Irwin Pact,

Lord 18 Apr New Delhi inaugurated as capital of India, 1931.

Willingdon 1931 Indian Workmen's Compensation Act of 1933
18 Apr Indian Factories Act of 1934
1936 Royal Indian Air Force created in 1932.
Indian Military Academy established in 1932.
Government of India Act of 1935
Creation of Reserve Bank of India

Indian Payment of Wages Act of 1936

Burma administered independently after 1937 with creation of new cabinet
position Secretary of State for India and Burma
Indian Provincial Elections of 1937
Cripps' mission to India, 1942.
Indian Army in Middle East Theatre of World War II (East African campaign,
18 Apr 1940, Anglo-Iraqi War, 1941, Syria-Lebanon campaign, 1941, Anglo-Soviet invasion of
1936 Iran, 1941
1 Oct 1943
Indian Army in North African campaign (Operation Compass, Operation Crusader, First
Battle of El Alamein,Second Battle of El Alamein)
Indian Army in Battle of Hong Kong, Battle of Malaya, Battle of Singapore
Burma Campaign of World War II begins in 1942.

Indian Army becomes, at 2.5 million men, the largest all-volunteer force in history.
World War II: Burma Campaign, 1943-45 (Battle of Kohima, Battle of Imphal)
Bengal famine of 1943
1 Oct 1943
Indian Army in Italian campaign (Battle of Monte Cassino)
Lord Wavell 21 Feb
British Labour Party wins UK General Election of 1945 with Clement Attlee as prime
1946 Cabinet Mission to India
Indian Elections of 1946.
Indian Independence Act 1947 (10 and 11 Geo VI, c. 30) of the British Parliament
21 Feb enacted on 18 July 1947.
Lord 1947 Radcliffe Award, August 1947
Mountbatten 15 Aug Partition of India
1947 India Office changed to Burma Office, and Secretary of State for India and
Burma to Secretary of State for Burma.


Main article: History of the British Raj

[edit]Company rule in India

Main article: Company rule in India

Although the British East India Company had administered its factory areas in India—
beginning with Surat early in the 17th century, and including by the century's end, Fort
William near Calcutta, Fort St George in Madras and the Bombay Castle—its victory in
the Battle of Plassey in 1757 marked the real beginning of the Company rule in India. The
victory was consolidated in 1764 at the Battle of Buxar (inBihar), when the
defeated Mughal emperor, Shah Alam II, granted the Company the Diwani ("right to collect
land-revenue") in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. The Company soon expanded its territories
around its bases in Bombay and Madras: the Anglo-Mysore Wars (1766–1799) and
the Anglo-Maratha Wars (1772–1818) gave it control over most of India south of
the Narmada River.

Earlier, in 1773, the British Parliament granted regulatory control over East India Company
to the British government and established the post of Governor-General of India,
with Warren Hastings as the first incumbent.[58] In 1784, the British Parliament passed Pitt's
India Act, which created a Board of Control for overseeing the administration of East India
Company. Hastings was succeeded in 1784 by Lord Cornwallis, who promulgated the
'Permanent Settlement of Bengal' with the zamindars.

Map of India showing British Lord Cornwallis, the Governor-General Richard Wellesley, 1st Marquess Wellesley, who

Expansion between 1805 and who established thePermanent rapidly expanded the Company's territories with

1910 Settlement inBengal victories in the Anglo-Maratha Wars and Anglo-Mysore


At the turn of the 19th century, Governor-General Wellesley began what became two
decades of accelerated expansion of Company territories.[59] This was achieved either
by subsidiary alliances between the Company and local rulers or by direct military
annexation. The subsidiary alliances created the Princely States (or Native States) of the
Hindu Maharajas and the Muslim Nawabs, prominent among which
were: Cochin (1791), Jaipur (1794), Travancore (1795), Hyderabad (1798), Mysore (1799),
Cis-Sutlej Hill States (1815), Central India Agency(1819), Kutch and Gujarat Gaikwad
territories (1819), Rajputana (1818), and Bahawalpur (1833).[59] The annexed regions
included the North Western Provinces (comprising Rohilkhand, Gorakhpur, and the Doab)
(1801), Delhi (1803), and Sindh (1843). Punjab, Northwest Frontier Province, and Kashmir,
were annexed after the Anglo-Sikh Wars in 1849; however, Kashmir was immediately sold
under the Treaty of Amritsar (1850) to the Dogra Dynasty of Jammu, and thereby became a
princely state. In 1854 Berar was annexed, and the state of Oudhtwo years later.[59]

The East India Company also signed treaties with various Afghan rulers and with Ranjit
Singh of Lahore to counterbalance the Russian support of Persia's plans in
western Afghanistan. In 1839, the Company's effort to more actively support Shah
Shuja as Amir in Afghanistan, led to the First Afghan War (1839–42) and resulted in a
military disaster for it. As the British expanded their territory in India, so did Russia inCentral
Asia with the taking of Bukhara and Samarkand in 1863 and 1868 respectively, and thereby
setting the stage for The Great Game ofCentral Asia.[60]

In the Charter Act of 1813, the British parliament renewed the Company's charter but
terminated its monopoly, opening India to both private investment and missionary work.
With increased British power in India, supervision of Indian affairs by the British Crown
and Parliament increased as well; by the 1820s, British nationals could transact business
under the protection of the Crown in the three Companypresidencies.[59] In the Charter Act
of 1833, the British parliament revoked the Company's trade license altogether, making the
Company a part of British governance, although the administration of British India remained
the province of Company officers.[61]

Starting in 1772, the Company began a series of land revenue "settlements," which made
major changes in landed rights and rural economy in India. In 1793, the Governor-
General Lord Cornwallis promulgated the permanent settlement in the Bengal Presidency,
the first socio-economic regulation in colonial India.[62] It was named permanent because it
fixed the land tax in perpetuity in return for landed property rights for a class of
intermediaries called zamindars, who thereafter became owners of the land.[62] It was hoped
that knowledge of a fixed government demand would encourage the zamindars to increase
both their average outcrop and the land under cultivation, since they would be able to retain
the profits from the increased output; in addition, the land itself would become a marketable
form of property that could be purchased, sold, or mortgaged.[63] However,
the zamindars themselves were often unable to meet the increased demands that the
Company had placed on them; consequently, many defaulted, and by one estimate, up to
one-third of their lands were auctioned during the first three decades following the
permanent settlement.[64] In southern India, Thomas Munro, who would later become
Governor of Madras, promoted the ryotwari system, in which the government settled land-
revenue directly with the peasant farmers, or ryots.[63] Based on the utilitarian ideas
of James Mill, who supervised the Company's land revenue policy during 1819-1830,
and David Ricardo's Law of Rent, it was considered by its supporters to be both closer to
traditional practice and more progressive, allowing the benefits of Company rule to reach
the lowest levels of rural society.[63] However, in spite of the appeal of the ryotwari system's
abstract principles, class hierarchies in southern Indian villages had not entirely
disappeared—for example village headmen continued to hold sway—and peasant
cultivators came to experience revenue demands they could not meet.[65]

Land revenue settlements constituted a major administrative activity of the various

governments in India under Company rule.[66] In all areas other than the Bengal Presidency,
land settlement work involved a continually repetitive process of surveying and measuring
plots, assessing their quality, and recording landed rights, and constituted a large proportion
of the work of Indian Civil Service officers working for the government.[66] After the Company
lost its trading rights, it became the single most important source of government revenue,
roughly half of overall revenue in the middle of the 19th century.[66] Since, in many regions,
the land tax assessment could be revised, and since it was generally computed at a high
level, it created lasting resentment that later came to a head in the rebellion that rocked
much of North India in 1857.[67]

[edit]Indian rebellion of 1857

Main article: Indian rebellion of 1857

The rebellion (also known as the Indian Mutiny) began with mutinies by sepoys of
the Bengal Presidency army; in 1857 the presidency consisted of present-day Bangladesh,
and the Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (UP). However, most rebel
soldiers were from the UP region, and, in particular, from Northwest
Provinces (especially, Ganga-Jumna Doab) and Oudh, and many came from landowning
families.[68] Within weeks of the initial mutinies—as the rebel soldiers wrested control of
many urban garrisons from the British—the rebellion was joined by various discontented
groups in the hinterlands, in both farmed areas and the backwoods. The latter group,
forming the civilian rebellion, consisted of feudal nobility, landlords, peasants, rural
merchants, and some tribal groups.[69]

A 1912 map of the Great Uprising of 1857 showing the centres "Interior of the Secundra
Lord Dalhousie, Lakshmibai, The Bagh after the Slaughter
of rebellion
the Governor- Rani of Jhansi, of 2,000 Rebels by the
including: Meerut, Delhi,Cawnpore (Kanpur),Lucknow, Jhansi,
General of India one of the 93rd Highlanders and 4th
from 1848 to principal leaders Punjab Regiment."
1856, who of the rebellion - Felice Beato in 1858.

devised who earlier had

the Doctrine of lost her kingdom

Lapse as a result of

theDoctrine of


After the annexation of Oudh by the East India Company in 1856, many sepoys were
disquieted both from losing their perquisites as landed gentry in the Oudh courts and from
the anticipation of any increased land-revenue payments that the annexation might augur.
Some Indian soldiers, misreading the presence of missionaries as a sign of official intent,
were persuaded that the East India Company was masterminding mass conversions of
Hindus and Muslims to Christianity.[71] Changes in the terms of their professional service
may also have created resentment. As the extent of British jurisdiction expanded with British
victories in wars and with annexation of territory, the soldiers were now not only expected to
serve in less familiar regions (such as Lower Burma after the Second Burmese War in
1852-53), but also make do without the "foreign service" remuneration that had previously
been their due.[72]

The civilian rebellion was more multifarious in origin. The rebels consisted of three groups:
feudal nobility, rural landlords called taluqdars, and the peasants. The nobility, many of
whom had lost titles and domains under the Doctrine of Lapse, which derecognised adopted
children of princes as legal heirs, felt that the British had interfered with a traditional system
of inheritance. Rebel leaders such as Nana Sahib and the Rani of Jhansi belonged to this
group; the latter, for example, was prepared to accept British paramountcy if her adopted
son was recognised as the heir.[73] The second group, the taluqdars had lost half their
landed estates to peasant farmers as a result of the land reforms that came in the wake of
annexation of Oudh. As the rebellion gained ground, the taluqdars quickly reoccupied the
lands they had lost, and paradoxically, in part due to ties of kinship and feudal loyalty, did
not experience significant opposition from the peasant farmers, many of whom too now
joined the rebellion to the great dismay of the British.[74] Heavy land-revenue assessment in
some areas by the British may have resulted in many landowning families either losing their
land or going into great debt with money lenders, and providing ultimately a reason to rebel;
money lenders, in addition to the British, were particular objects of the rebels' animosity.
The civilian rebellion was also highly uneven in its geographic distribution, even in areas
of north-central India that were no longer under British control. For example, the relatively
prosperous Muzaffarnagar district, a beneficiary of a British irrigation scheme, and next door
to Meerut where the upheaval began, stayed mostly calm throughout.[76]

[edit]Economic and political changes

In the second half of the 19th century, both the direct administration of India by the British
crown and the technological change ushered in by the industrial revolution, had the effect of
closely intertwining the economies of India and Britain.[77] In fact many of the major changes
in transport and communications (that are typically associated with Crown Rule of India)
had already begun before the Mutiny. Since Dalhousie had embraced the technological
change then rampant in Britain, India too saw rapid development of all those technologies.
Railways, roads, canals, and bridges were rapidly built in India and telegraph links equally
rapidly established in order that raw materials, such as cotton, from India's hinterland could
be transported more efficiently to ports, such as Bombay, for subsequent export to England.
Likewise, finished goods from England were transported back just as efficiently, for sale
in the burgeoning Indian markets.[79] However, unlike Britain itself, where the market risks for
the infrastructure development were borne by private investors, in India, it was the
taxpayers—primarily farmers and farm-labourers—who endured the risks, which, in the end,
amounted to £50 million.[80] In spite of these costs, very little skilled employment was
created for Indians.

The rush of technology was also changing the agricultural economy in India: by the last
decade of the 19th century, a large fraction of some raw materials—not only cotton, but also
some food-grains—were being exported to faraway markets.[81] Consequently, many small
farmers, dependent on the whims of those markets, lost land, animals, and equipment to
money-lenders.[81] More tellingly, the latter half of the 19th century also saw an increase in
the number of large-scale famines in India. Although famines were not new to the
subcontinent, these were particularly severe, with tens of millions dying, and with many
critics, both British and Indian, laying the blame at the doorsteps of the lumbering colonial

Taxes in India decreased during the colonial period for most of India's population; with the
land tax revenue claiming 15% of India's national income during Mogul times compared with
1% at the end of the colonial period. The percentage of national income for the village
economy increased from 44% during Mogul times to 54% by the end of colonial period.
India's per capita GDP decreased from $550 in 1700 to $520 by 1857, although it had
increased to $618 by 1947[83]

In 1844, the Governor-General of India Lord Hardinge allowed private entrepreneurs to set
up a rail system in India. The East India Company (and later the British Government)
encouraged new railway companies backed by private investors under a scheme that would
provide land and guarantee an annual return of up to five percent during the initial years of
operation. The companies were to build and operate the lines under a 99 year lease, with
the government having the option to buy them earlier.[84]

Two new railway companies, Great Indian Peninsular Railway (GIPR) and East Indian
Railway (EIR), were created in 1853-54 to construct and operate two 'experimental' lines
near Bombay and Calcutta respectively.[84] The first train in India had become operational on
22 December 1851 for localised hauling of canal construction material in Roorkee.[85] A year
and a half later, on 16 April 1853, the first passenger train service was inaugurated
between Bori Bunder in Bombay and Thane covering a distance of 34 kilometres (21 mi).[86]

In 1854 Lord Dalhousie, the then Governor-General of India, formulated a plan to construct
a network of trunk lines connecting the principal regions of India. Encouraged by the
government guarantees, investment flowed in and a series of new rail companies were
established, leading to rapid expansion of the rail system in India.[87] Soon various native
states built their own rail systems and the network spread to the regions that became the
modern-day states of Assam, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. The route mileage of this
network increased from 1,349 kilometres (838 mi) in 1860 to 25,495 kilometres (15,842 mi)
in 1880 - mostly radiating inland from the three major port cities of Bombay, Madras, and
Calcutta.[88] Most of the railway construction was done by Indian companies. The railway line
from Lahore to Delhi was done B.S.D. Bedi and Sons (Baba Shib Dayal Bedi); this included
the building of the Jamuna Bridge. By 1895, India had started building its own locomotives,
and in 1896 sent engineers and locomotives to help build the Uganda Railway.

At the beginning of the 20th century India had a multitude of rail services with diverse
ownership and management, operating on broad, metre and narrow gauge networks.[89] In
1900 the government took over the GIPR network, while the company continued to manage
it. With the arrival of the First World War, the railways were used to transport troops and
foodgrains to the port city of Bombay and Karachi en route to UK, Mesopotamia and East
Africa. By the end of the First World War, the railways had suffered immensely and were in
a poor state.[90] In 1923, both GIPR and EIR were nationalised with the state assuming both
ownership and management control.[89] The Second World War severely crippled the
railways as rolling stock was diverted to the Middle East, and the railway workshops were
converted into munitions workshops.[91] After independence in 1947, forty-two separate
railway systems, including thirty-two lines owned by the former Indian princely states, were
amalgamated as a single unit, which was christened as the Indian Railways - by now it had
become the fourth longest railway network in the world.

"The most magnificent railway station in

the world." Stereographic image The Agra canal (c. 1873), a year away from
The 1909 Map of Indian Railways, when
of Victoria Terminus, Bombay, which completion. The canal was closed to
India had the fourth largest railway
was completed in 1888 navigation in 1904 in order to increase
network in the world. Railway
irrigation and aid in famine-prevention.
construction in India began in 1853.

[edit]Beginnings of self-government
The first steps were taken toward self-government in British India in the late 19th century
with the appointment of Indian counsellors to advise the British viceroy and the
establishment of provincial councils with Indian members; the British subsequently widened
participation in legislative councils with the Indian Councils Act of 1892. Municipal
Corporations and District Boards were created for local administration; they included
elected Indian members.

The Government of India Act of 1909 — also known as the Morley-Minto Reforms (John
Morley was the secretary of state for India, andGilbert Elliot, fourth earl of Minto, was
viceroy) — gave Indians limited roles in the central and provincial legislatures, known as
legislative councils. Indians had previously been appointed to legislative councils, but after
the reforms some were elected to them. At the centre, the majority of council members
continued to be government-appointed officials, and the viceroy was in no way responsible
to the legislature. At the provincial level, the elected members, together with unofficial
appointees, outnumbered the appointed officials, but responsibility of the governor to the
legislature was not contemplated. Morley made it clear in introducing the legislation to
the British Parliament that parliamentary self-government was not the goal of the British

The Morley-Minto Reforms were a milestone. Step by step, the elective principle was
introduced for membership in Indian legislative councils. The "electorate" was limited,
however, to a small group of upper-class Indians. These elected members increasingly
became an "opposition" to the "official government". The Communal electorates were later
extended to other communities and made a political factor of the Indian tendency toward
group identification through religion.

Picture post card of theGordon

Indian medical orderlies attending to
Highlandersmarching past King George
wounded soldiers with theMesopotamian
John Morley, the Secretary of State for V and Queen Mary at the Delhi Durbar on
India from 1905 to 1910, and Gladstonian 12 December 1911, when the King was
Force inMesopotamia during World War I
Liberal. The Government of India Act of crownedEmperor of India
1909, also known as the Minto-Morley

Reforms allowed Indians to be elected to

the Legislative Council.

[edit]World War I and its aftermath

Main article: Indian Army during World War I

The 15th Sikh Regiment being given a heroes' welcome upon their arrival inMarseille, France during World War I.

World War I proved to be a watershed in the imperial relationship between Britain and India.
1.4 million Indian and British soldiers of the British Indian Army took part in the war and their
participation had a wider cultural fallout: news of Indian soldiers fighting and dying with
British soldiers, and soldiers from dominions like Canada and Australia, travelled to distant
corners of the world both in newsprint and by the new medium of the radio.[92] India’s
international profile thereby rose and continued to rise during the 1920s.[92] It was to lead,
among other things, to India, under its own name, becoming a founding member of
the League of Nations in 1920 and participating, under the name, "Les Indes Anglaises"
(the British Indies), in the 1920 Summer Olympics inAntwerp.[93] Back in India, especially
among the leaders of the Indian National Congress, it led to calls for greater self-
government for Indians.[92]
In 1916, the moderate nationalists demonstrated new strength with the signing of
the Lucknow Pact and the founding of the Home Rule leagues. With the realisation, after
the disaster in theMesopotamian campaign, that the war would likely last longer, the new
Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, cautioned that the Government of India needed to be more
responsive to Indian opinion.[94] Towards the end of the year, after discussions with the
government in London, he suggested that the British demonstrate their good faith in light of
the Indian war role through a number of public actions. The actions he suggested included
awards of titles and honours to princes, granting of commissions in the army to Indians, and
removal of the much-reviled cotton excise duty. Most importantly, he suggested an
announcement of Britain's future plans for India and an indication of some concrete steps.
After more discussion, in August 1917, the new Liberal Secretary of State for
India, Edwin Montagu, announced the British aim of “increasing association of Indians in
every branch of the administration, and the gradual development of self-governing
institutions, with a view to the progressive realisation of responsible government in India as
an integral part of the British Empire.”[94] Although the plan envisioned limited self-
government at first only in the provinces – with India emphatically within the British Empire –
it represented the first British proposal for any form of representative government in a non-
white colony.[94]

Earlier, at the onset of World War I, the reassignment of most of the British army in India to
Europe and Mesopotamia had led the previous Viceroy, Lord Harding, to worry about the
“risks involved in denuding India of troops.”[92] Revolutionary violence had already been a
concern in British India, and outlines of collaboration with Germany were being identified by
British intelligence. Consequently in 1915, the Government of India passed the Defence of
India Act to strengthen its powers during what it saw was a time of increased vulnerability.
This act allowed it to intern politically dangerous dissidents without due process and added
to the power it already had – under the 1910 Press Act – to imprison journalists without trial
and to censor the press.[95] Now, as constitutional reform began to be discussed in earnest,
the British began to consider how new moderate Indians could be brought into the fold of
constitutional politics and simultaneously, how the hand of established constitutionalists
could be strengthened.[95] However, since the Government of India wanted to check the
revolutionary problem, and since its reform plan was devised during a time when extremist
violence had ebbed as a result of increased governmental control, it also began to consider
how some of its war-time powers could be extended into peace time.[95]
Edwin Montagu, left, theSecretary of State for India, whose report led to theGovernment of India Act of 1919, also known as
the Montford Reforms or the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms

Consequently in 1917, even as Edwin Montagu announced the new constitutional

reforms, a sedition committee chaired by a British judge, Mr. S. A. T. Rowlatt, was tasked
with investigating revolutionary conspiracies and the German and Bolshevik links to the
violence in India,[96][97][98] with the unstated goal of extending the government's war-time
powers.[94] The Rowlatt committee presented its report in July 1918 and identified three
regions of conspiratorial insurgency: Bengal, the Bombay presidency, and the Punjab.[94] To
combat subversive acts in these regions, the committee recommended that the government
use emergency powers akin to its war-time authority. These powers included the ability to
try cases of sedition by a panel of three judges and without juries, exaction of securities
from suspects, governmental overseeing of residences of suspects,[94] and the power for
provincial governments to arrest and detain suspects in short-term detention facilities and
without trial.[99]

With the end of World War I, there was also a change in the economic climate. By year’s
end 1919, 1.5 million Indians had served in the armed services in either combatant or non-
combatant roles, and India had provided £146 million in revenue for the war.[100] The
increased taxes coupled with disruptions in both domestic and international trade had the
effect of approximately doubling the index of overall prices in India between 1914 and 1920.
Returning war veterans, especially in the Punjab, created a growing unemployment
crisis[101] and post-war inflation led to food riots in Bombay, Madras, and Bengal provinces.
This situation was made only worse by the failure of the 1918-19 monsoon and by
profiteering and speculation.[100] The global influenza epidemic and the Bolshevik
Revolution of 1917 added to the general jitters; the former among the population already
experiencing economic woes,[101] and the latter among government officials, fearing a similar
revolution in India.[102]

The Jallianwala Bagh couple of months after the April 1919 massacre, which killed about 1,516 people[103]

To combat what it saw as a coming crisis, the government now drafted the Rowlatt
committee's recommendations into twoRowlatt Bills.[99] Although the bills were authorised for
legislative consideration by Edwin Montagu, they were done so unwillingly, with the
accompanying declaration, “I loathe the suggestion at first sight of preserving the Defence
of India Act in peace time to such an extent as Rowlatt and his friends think
necessary.”[94] In the ensuing discussion and vote in the Imperial Legislative Council, all
Indian members voiced opposition to the bills. The Government of India was nevertheless
able to use its "official majority" to ensure passage of the bills early in 1919.[94] However,
what it passed, in deference to the Indian opposition, was a lesser version of the first bill,
which now allowed extrajudicial powers, but for a period of exactly three years and for the
prosecution solely of “anarchical and revolutionary movements”, dropping entirely the
second bill involving modification of the Indian Penal Code.[94]Even so, when it was passed
the new Rowlatt Act aroused widespread indignation throughout India, which culminated in
the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre and brought Mohandas Gandhi to the forefront of
the nationalist movement.[99][104]

Meanwhile, Montagu and Chelmsford themselves finally presented their report in July 1918
after a long fact-finding trip through India the previous winter.[105] After more discussion by
the government and parliament in Britain, and another tour by the Franchise and Functions
Committee for the purpose of identifying who among the Indian population could vote in
future elections, the Government of India Act of 1919was passed in December 1919.[105] The
new Act (with the help of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms which lay the ground work for
the act) enlarged both the provincial and Imperial legislative councils and repealed the
Government of India’s recourse to the “official majority” in unfavorable votes.[105] Although
departments like defence, foreign affairs, criminal law, communications and income tax
were retained by theViceroy and the central government in New Delhi, other departments
like public health, education, land-revenue and local self-government were transferred to
the provinces.[105] The provinces themselves were now to be administered under a
new dyarchical system, whereby some areas like education, agriculture, infrastructure
development, and local self-government became the preserve of Indian ministers and
legislatures, and ultimately the Indian electorates, while others like irrigation, land-revenue,
police, prisons, and control of media remained within the purview of the British governor and
his executive council.[105] The new Act also made it easier for Indians to be admitted into the
civil service and the army officer corps.

British Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonaldto the right of Mohandas Gandhi at the Second Round Table Conference in
London, October 1931

A greater number of Indians were now enfranchised, although, for voting at the national
level, they constituted only 10% of the total adult male population, many of whom were still
illiterate.[105] In the provincial legislatures, the British continued to exercise some control by
setting aside seats for special interests they considered cooperative or useful. In particular,
rural candidates, generally sympathetic to British rule and less confrontational, were
assigned more seats than their urban counterparts.[105] Seats were also reserved for non-
Brahmins, landowners, businessmen, and college graduates. The principal of “communal
representation”, an integral part of the Minto-Morley reforms, and more recently of the
Congress-Muslim League Lucknow Pact, was reaffirmed, with seats being reserved
for Muslims, Sikhs, Indian Christians, Anglo-Indians, and domiciled Europeans, in both
provincial and Imperial legislative councils.[105] According to the census of 1931, the number
of Europeans was 168,134.[106] The Montagu-Chelmsford reforms offered Indians the most
significant opportunity yet for exercising legislative power, especially at the provincial level;
however, that opportunity was also restricted by the still limited number of eligible voters, by
the small budgets available to provincial legislatures, and by the presence of rural and
special interest seats that were seen as instruments of British control.[105] Its scope was,
however, unsatisfactory to the Indian political leadership, famously expressed by Annie
Beasant as something "unworthy of England to offer and India to accept".[107]

In 1935, after the Round Table Conferences, the British Parliament approved
the Government of India Act of 1935, which authorised the establishment of independent
legislative assemblies in all provinces of British India, the creation of a central government
incorporating both the British provinces and the princely states, and the protection of Muslim
minorities.[79] At this time, it was also decided to separate Burmafrom British India in 1937, to
form a separate crown colony. The future Constitution of independent India would owe a
great deal to the text of this act.[108] The act also provided for a bicameral national parliament
and an executive branch under the purview of the British government. Although the national
federation was never realised, nationwide elections for provincial assemblies were held in
1937. Despite initial hesitation, the Indian National Congress took part in the elections and
won victories in seven of the eleven provinces of British India,[109] and Congress
governments, with wide powers, were formed in these provinces. In Britain, these victories
were to later turn the tide for the idea of Indian independence.[109]

[edit]World War II
Main articles: India in World War II and Indian Army during World War II

An Italian soldier surrenders to an IndianJawan during the successful Allied campaign of Operation Crusader

With the outbreak of World War II in 1939, the viceroy, Lord Linlithgow, declared war on
India’s behalf without consulting Indian leaders, leading the Congress provincial ministries
to resign in protest. The Muslim League, in contrast, supported Britain in the war effort;
however, it now took the view that Muslims would be unfairly treated in an independent
India dominated by the Congress.
The British government—through its Cripps' mission—attempted to secure Indian
nationalists' cooperation in the war effort in exchange for independence afterwards;
however, the negotiationsbetween them and the Congress broke down. Gandhi,
subsequently, launched the “Quit India” movement in August 1942, demanding the
immediate withdrawal of the British from India or face nationwide civil disobedience. Along
with all other Congress leaders, Gandhi was immediately imprisoned, and the country
erupted in violent demonstrations led by students and later by peasant political groups,
especially in Eastern United Provinces, Bihar, and western Bengal. The large war-time
British Army presence in India led to most of the movement being crushed in a little more
than six weeks;[110] nonetheless, a portion of the movement formed for a time an
underground provisional government on the border with Nepal.[110] In other parts of India, the
movement was less spontaneous and the protest less intensive, however it lasted
sporadically into the summer of 1943.[111]

With Congress leaders in jail, attention also turned to Subhas Bose, who had been ousted
from the Congress in 1939 following differences with the more conservative high command;
Bose now turned to the Axis powers for help with liberating India by force.[113] With
Japanese support, he organised the Indian National Army, composed largely of Indian
soldiers of the British Indian army who had been captured at Singapore by the Japanese.
From the onset of the war, the Japanese secret service had promoted unrest in South east
Asia to destabilise the British war effort,[114] and came to support a number of puppet and
provisional governments in the captured regions, including those inBurma, the Philippines
and Vietnam, the Provisional Government of Azad Hind (Free India), presided by Bose.
Bose's effort, however, was short lived; after the reverses of 1944, the reinforced British
Indian Army in 1945 first halted and then reversed the Japanese U Go offensive, beginning
the successful part of the Burma Campaign. Bose's Indian National Army surrendered with
the recapture of Singapore, and Bose died in a plane crash soon thereafter. The trials of the
INA soldiers at Red Fort in late 1945 however caused widespread public unrest and
nationalist violence in India.[116]

[edit]Independence and partition

Main article: Partition of India
Map of the Indian Empire showing the prevailing majority religions of the population for different districts in 1909

In January 1946, a number of mutinies broke out in the armed services, starting with that of
RAF servicemen frustrated with their slow repatriation to Britain.[117] The mutinies came to a
head withmutiny of the Royal Indian Navy in Bombay in February 1946, followed by others
in Calcutta, Madras, and Karachi. These mutinies found much public support in India then
gripped by the Red Fort Trials, and had the effect of spurring the new Labour government in
Britain to action, and leading to the Cabinet Mission to India led by the Secretary of State for
India, Lord Pethick Lawrence, and including Sir Stafford Cripps, who had visited four years

Also in early 1946, new elections were called in India in which the Congress won electoral
victories in eight of the eleven provinces.[118] The negotiations between the Congress and
the Muslim League, however, stumbled over the issue of the partition. Muhammad Ali
Jinnah proclaimed 16 August 1946, Direct Action Day, with the stated goal of highlighting,
peacefully, the demand for a Muslim homeland in British India. The following day Hindu-
Muslim riots broke out in Calcutta and quickly spread throughout India. Although the
Government of India and the Congress were both shaken by the course of events, in
September a Congress-led interim government was installed, with Jawaharlal Nehru as
united India’s prime minister.

Later that year, the Labour government in Britain, its exchequer exhausted by the recently
concluded World War II, and conscious that it had neither the mandate at home, the
international support, nor the reliability of native forces for continuing to control an
increasingly restless India,[119][120] decided to end British rule of India, and in early 1947
Britain announced its intention of transferring power no later than June 1948.

As independence approached, the violence between Hindus and Muslims in the provinces
of Punjab and Bengal continued unabated. With the British army unprepared for the
potential for increased violence, the new viceroy, Louis Mountbatten, advanced the date for
the transfer of power, allowing less than six months for a mutually agreed plan for
independence. In June 1947, the nationalist leaders, including Nehru andAbul Kalam
Azad on behalf of the Congress, Jinnah representing the Muslim League, B. R.
Ambedkar representing the Untouchablecommunity, and Master Tara Singh representing
the Sikhs, agreed to a partition of the country along religious lines. The predominantly Hindu
and Sikh areas were assigned to the new India and predominantly Muslim areas to the new
nation of Pakistan; the plan included a partition of the Muslim-majority provinces of Punjab
and Bengal.

Many millions of Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu refugees trekked across the newly drawn borders.
In Punjab, where the new border lines divided the Sikh regions in half, massive bloodshed
followed; in Bengal and Bihar, where Gandhi's presence assuaged communal tempers, the
violence was more limited. In all, anywhere between 250,000 and 500,000 people on both
sides of the new borders died in the violence.[121]On 14 August 1947, the new Dominion of
Pakistan came into being, with Muhammad Ali Jinnah sworn in as its first Governor General
inKarachi. The following day, 15 August 1947, India, now a smaller Union of India, became
an independent country with official ceremonies taking place in New Delhi, and
with Jawaharlal Nehru assuming the office of the prime minister, and the viceroy, Louis
Mountbatten, staying on as its first Governor General.