Chapter 21: INDIA UNDER THE MUGHALS

Introduction 

The Mughals didn’t believe in the right of eldest son to throne. This caused conflicts between the successors and caused loss of manpower.                                          

Economy:


1.      The European trading companies came to India in this period. The wealth and prosperity of the aristocrats was high and that of the poor was miserable.

2.      The Mughal nobility came from Turks and Afghans.They had their own expenses and had a large number of servants, horses and elephants. The nobles made expensive presents to the emperor. The foreign nobles had made India their permanent resident and had assimilated in it.

3.      The clothes of cotton and silk were worn by upper classes. The poor had to live on minimum clothes. The staple food was rice, millets and pulses. The presence of cattle made milk and milk products common.

4.      Agriculture was the common occupation. Though no new agriculture technique was developed but India could export surplus rice to neighbour countries.

5.      Trading communities belonged to many castes. They carried internal and external trade by land and sea routes. The balance of trade was in India favour and so gold and silver were imported. The English and Dutch traders too entered the Indian market at this time.

Cultural development:

The art, architecture, music, dance and paintings were influenced by Turko – Iranian culture brought into India by the Mughals.

Art and architecture:

  1. Mughals were fond of gardens with running water. The large scale constructions began with Akbar’s reign. His buildings were built in red sandstone.


2.      
Pietra Dura style of decoration which consisted of white marble with floral designs of precious stones.

Paintings and music:


1.      Mughal painting was initiated by Humayun and reached climax during Jahangir’s reign.

2.      The style of painting was miniaturized paintings. The scenes of hunting, battles, royal court could be seen. Paintings and calligraphy can be seen from the paintings. Later on European influence can also be seen.

3.      Mughals were patrons of music. Akbar had Tansen who composed ragas.

Language and Literature:


1.      The Mughals were patrons of literature. The language that was most widespread in the Empire was Persian.

2.      Many historical works were written in this period. The bigotry towards religion wasn’t seen in literature as many Mughals converted epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana, Upanishads and gita into Persian.

3.      The regional languages like Oriya, Rajasthani, Bengali, Gujarati also developed in this period.