The Mughal Empire was the dominant power in the Indian subcontinent between the mid-16th century and the early 18th century. Founded in 1526, it officially survived until 1858, when it was supplanted by the British Raj. The dynasty is sometimes referred to as the Timurid dynasty as Babur was descended from Timur.  The Mughal dynasty was founded when Babur, hailing from Ferghana (Modern Uzbekistan), invaded parts of northern India and defeated Ibrahim Shah Lodhi, the ruler of Delhi, at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526.
The Mughal Empire superseded the Delhi Sultanate as rulers of northern India. In time, the state thus founded by Babur far exceeded the bounds of the Delhi Sultanate, eventually encompassing a major portion of India and earning the appellation of Empire. A brief interregnum (1540–1555) during the reign of Babur’s son, Humayun, saw the rise of the Afghan Suri Dynasty under Sher Shah Suri, a competent and efficient ruler in his own right. However, Sher Shah’s untimely death and the military incompetence of his successors enabled Humayun to regain his throne in 1555.
However, Humayun died a few months later, and was succeeded by his son, the 13-year-old Akbar the Great.  The greatest part of the Mughal expansion was accomplished during the reign of Akbar (1556–1605). The empire was maintained as the dominant force of the present-day Indian subcontinent for a hundred years further by his successors Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb.
The first six emperors, who enjoyed power both de jure and de facto, are usually referred to by just one name, a title adopted upon his accession by each emperor. citation needed] The relevant title is bolded in the list below. Akbar the Great initiated certain important policies, such as religious liberalism (abolition of the jizya tax), inclusion of natives in the affairs of the empire, and political alliance/marriage with the Indian rulers of north India, that were innovative for his milieu; he also adopted some policies of Sher Shah Suri, such as the division of the empire into sarkar raj, in his administration of the empire.
Subject: Mughal Empire,
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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