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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Akbar ( Great Mhughal Emperer 1542-1605) 9 Ministers


Abul Fazl (1551-1602) was the chronicler of Akbar’s rule. He authored the biographical Akbarnama. Abul Fazl documented the history meticulously, over seven years, in three volumes, the third volume is known as the Ain-i-Akbari and a Persian translation of the Bible. He was also the brother of Faizi, the poet laureate of emperor Akbar.

Faizi (1547-1595) was Abul Fazl’s brother. He was a poet who composed beautiful poetry father was Mubarak Nagori, a scholar in the philosophy and literature of Greece as well as in Islamic theology.

Miyan Tansen was a singer for King Akbar, born as Tanna Mishra, a Hindu, in 1520, he was a poet himself. He learnt music from Swami Haridas and later from Hazrat Muhammad Ghaus. He was a court musician with the prince of Mewar and later was recruited by Akbar as his court musician. Tansen became a legendary name in India and was the composer of many classical ragas. He was an extraordinarily gifted vocalist, known for a large number of compositions, and also an instrumentalist who popularized and improved the rabab (of Central Asian origin). He was buried in Gwalior, where a tomb has been constructed for him. It is unclear if Tansen converted to Islam.

Raja Birbal (1528-1583) was a poor Hindu Brahmin who was appointed to the court of Akbar for his intelligence, and became the court jester. Born by the name Maheshdas, he was conferred the name Raja Birbal by the Emperor. Birbal's duties in Akbar's court were mostlymilitary and administrative but he was also a very close friend of the emperor, who liked Birbal most for his wit and humor. There are many witty stories of exchanges and interactions between the monarch and his minister that are popular today. Birbal was also a poet and his collections under the pen name "Brahma” are preserved in Bharatpur Museum. Raja Birbal died in battle, attempting to quell unrest amongst Afghani tribes in Northwest India.

Agra Old Pictures



Raja Todar Mal was a Hindu khatri and was Akbar’s finance minister, who from 1560 onwards overhauled the revenue system in the kingdom. He introduced standard weights and measurements, revenue districts and officers. His systematic approach to revenue collection became a model for the future Mughals as well as the British. Raja Todar Mal was also a warrior who assisted Akbar in controlling the Afghan rebels in Bengal. Todar Mal had developed his expertise in Sher Shah's employment. In 1582, Akbar bestowed on the raja the title Diwan-I-Ashraf.

Raja Man Singh, was the Kacchwaha Rajah of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur. He was a trusted general in Akbar's army and was the grandson of Akbar’s father-in-law. His family had been inducted into Mughal hierarchy as amirs (nobles). Raja Man Singh was the formost ablest among Akbar's military commanders and assisted Akbar in many fronts including holding off advancing Hakim (Akbar’s half-brother, a governor of Kabul) in Lahore. He was also the Mughal viceroy of Afghanistan, led campaigns in Bihar, Orissa,Deccan and was also the viceroy of Bengal.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana, a poet was the son of Akbar’s trusted protector and caretaker when he was a teenager, Bairam Khan. After Bairam Khan was murdered treacherously, his wife became the second wife of Akbar. He is most known for his Hindi couplets and his books on Astrology.[2] The village of Khankhana, named after him, is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab in northwest India.

Fakir Aziao-Din who was a mystic, and an advisor. Akbar regarded his advice in high esteem.

Mullah Do Piaza, an advisor to Akbar who was known for his intelligence.


Taj Mahal



Mumtaz Mahal was the second, and favorite, wife of Shah Jahan (r. 1628-1658). A Persian princess born as Arjuman Banu Begum, she was a significant influence in his life and in his policies. She died at age thirty-nine while giving birth to their fourteenth (some say thirteenth) child in 1631. The ruler went into deep mourning and much of his empire was compelled to do the same.
Almost immediately there was announced a competition for plans to construct a tomb and shrine worthy of the ruler's beloved. Numerous legends surround the selection of the architect--some even implausibly suggesting that it was a westerner from Italy or France. But although a number of names have been proposed, the architect's name is unknown. It is clear that talent from many parts of the Muslim and western worlds came together in Agra to work on the mausoleum: engineers, carvers, artists, calligraphers, architects, craftsmen of all sorts, and a variety of common laborers. It is estimated that 20,000 worked on the tomb from 1631 to 1648. Work continued in the adjoining areas until 1653. It should be noted that the Taj Mahal is a total package of tomb, mosque, gardens, gateways and fountains. The workers did produce a grand masterpiece, but it, as well as wars and other projects, also strained the resources of the entire empire.


Taj Mahal Agra


Shah Jahan moved his capital to Delhi from Agra in 1648. There he built a number of new buildings, including the Delhi Red Fort that added further to the debt of the Mughal empire. His serious illness of 1657, however, eventually brought familial conflict and a struggle for power; his son, Aurangzeb, seized the throne and imprisoned his father until the latter's death in 1666.
In the eighteenth century external forces challenged the power of the Mughals, as Persians, French and British overturned the loosely-knit Mughal empire. The Taj Mahal, accordingly, suffered from neglect and willful looting. Under the British the marble terrace became a venue for balls and entertainments, and the gardens grew famous as trysting places. The British treated the Mughal monuments with scorn, and in the late 1820s Lord William Bentinck, governor general of Bengal even announced plans to strip them of the marble and send it to England for auction. The Taj luckily was spared destruction because there had been no market for the marble already sent.
The Taj Mahal is set on a raised platform that is 6.6 meters (20 ft) high and covers an area of 93.9 sq. meters (313 sq ft). The corner minarets are 41.1 meters (137 ft) high. The main structure is 62 meters (186 ft) on each side. In contast to the gleaming white marble of the mausoleum, there is a pair of red sandstone buildings flanking the tomb to the west and to the east; the western building is a mosque, while the other, sometimes called the guest house or museum, was built to complete the symmetry of the scene. The water causeway and fountains beautifully join the gateway and the tomb in perfect symmetry.

There are numerous significant and striking elements in the Taj Mahal. The marvelously graceful piedra dura (or stone inlay work) that Adorns many surfaces. This ncludes the three major elements of the Muslim decorative arts: the sayings from the Q'uran, geometrical shapes and a variety of plant forms and flowers, often repeated as borders. The marble and precious stone inlays are so skillfully fit together that one can hardly detect a seam, even with close examination. The calligraphy of sayings from the Q'uran on the mausoleum, are in a kind of trompe l'oeil style; the letters gradually increase in size as they go up the side of the structure, so that from the ground all letters appear perfectly uniform. Perhaps, however, the greatest impact is how all of its parts fit together so perfectly, making the entire complex much greater than the sum of its parts.
Finally, it is hoped that some solution will be found to deal with the enormous pollution of the area that is a threat to one of the world's supreme architectural achievements.

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