Akbar (AD 1556-1605) was undoubtedly the brightest star of the Mughal Empire.
Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar was born in AD 1542 at Amarko when his father Humayun and mother Hamida Banu were struggling.
At the time of his father’s death. Akbar was merely 13 years old and was in the guardianship of Bairam Khan, who on hearing of Humayun’s death coronated Akbar at Kalanaur.
In November 1556, the Mughal army under Bairam Khan moved towards Delhi and defeated Hemu or Vikramaditya in the Second Battle of Panipat.
During these four years (AD 1556-60), Bairam Khan enjoyed the supreme position in the state as the emperor’s guardian and the Prime Minister.
Then defeated Garh-Katanga (ruled by the heroin Rani Durgavati), followed by Chittor and Ranthambhor.
Akbar then consolidated his empire through a series of conquests, the most difficult and most memorable being the campaign against Rana Pratap of Chittor, whom he defeated in the famous Battle of Haldighati in 1576.
He abolished the pilgrim tax. In AD 1564, he abolished Jaziya.
He opened a translation department for the translation of Sanskrit and visited the Shrine of Sheikh Moinuddin Chisti at Ajmer. The spiritual quest which led to the foundation of the Ibadatkhana (Hall of worship) at Fatehpur Sikri. He used to conduct religious discussions with Purshottam Das (Hindu). Maharji Rana (Parsi) and Hari Vijaya Suri (Jain).
Akbar formulated an order known as Din-i-Ilahi (Divine Monotheism) in AD 1582. Birbal Abdul Fazal and Faizi joined the order.
Akbar issued the “Decree of Infallibility” in AD 1579.
Akbar’s land revenue system was called Todar Mal Bandobast or the Zabti system. Todar Mal was his revenue minister.
The three salient feature of Zabti system were
Measurement of land
Classification of land and
Fixation of rates.
The Ain-i-Dahsala or the Zabti system became operative in AD 1582. It was also known as the Ryotwari system.
Abdul Fazal wrote the Ain-i-Akbari.
Akbar introduced the Mansabdari system and organized the land revenue system Mansabdari system had made military service of the basic consideration for the classification of all the imperial officers. The Mughal mansab was in nature, consisting of two numbers known as the Zat and Sawar. Zat indicated the total number of soldiers under a mansabdar, and the rank of Sawar indicated the number of horsemen under him.
Navratna lived in his court: Birbal, Todar Mal, Abul Fazal, Tansen, Rahim Khan-i-Khana, Mullado Pyaza, Hakim Hukkam, Faizi, Maan Singh.
Chand Bibi revolted during the reign of Akbar.
Akbar built Fatehpur Sikri, Agra Fort, Lahore Fort, and Allahabad Fort and Humayun Tomb in Delhi. He also built Fatehpur Sikri’s place near Agra.