History of Uttar Pradesh

History of Uttar Pradesh

The history of Uttar Pradesh, an Indian State, can be divided into five periods:
(1) the prehistory & Early Vedic Period(up to c. 600 BC),
(2) the Buddhist-Hindu period (c. 600 BC to c. AD 1200),
(3) the Muslim period (c. 1200 to c. 1857),
(4) the British period (c. 1857 to 1947), and
(5) the postindependence period (1947 to the present).

=Prehistoric Period=

Paleolithic period

Homo Sapiens period
Finds from the Belan, in southern Uttar Pradesh, have been dated to 18-17 tya by C14 dating method.

Neolithic period

One of the earliest Neolithic sites in India is Lahuradewa, at Middle Ganges region, C14 dated around 7th millennium BC. [ Fuller, Dorian 2006. "Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis" in Journal of World Prehistory 20, p.42 [http://www.homepages.ucl.ac.uk/~tcrndfu/articles/JWP20.pdf "Ganges Neolithic"] ] . Recently another site near the confluence of Ganges and Yamuna rivers called Jhusi yielded a C14 dating of 7100 BC for its Neolithic levels. [ Tewari, Rakesh et al. 2006. "Second Preliminary Report of the excavations at Lahuradewa,District Sant Kabir Nagar, UP 2002-2003-2004 & 2005-06" in Pragdhara No. 16 [http://www.uparchaeology.org/pragdhara%20No-16.pdf "Electronic Version p.28"] ]

Neolithic site and tradition in South Asia of Lahuradewa from ca. 6200 BC in the Ganges valley of the Indian subcontinent. Earlier-dated finds (ca. 8000 BC) of charcoal in some Lahuradewa sites provide indications of slash and burn cultivation techniques present in the area (National Seminar on the Archaeology of Ganga Plain, December 2004, Lucknow, India).

"The results of excavations during 2005-6 at Lahuradewa have attested some of the conclusions drawn in the light of earlier excavations. Taken together the available evidence, it becomes certain that the first settlers at Lahuradewa were growing rice during circa 7th millennium BC. They were using mostly coarse variety of handmade red and black-and- red ware from the very beginning and residing in wattle- and-daub dwellings, having clay plastered reed or bamboo screens. Aquatic fauna formed a considerable proportion in their diet. The presence of beads made of steatite and semiprecious stones from the lowest levels shows long- distance interaction. The appearance of copper arrowhead and fishing hook, dish-on-stand, barley, wheat and pulses, abundant number of steate and other beads, spouted and pedestal vessels, a few painted potsherds, improvement in ceramic industries, etc., provide a new evidence to apprehend what was happening in the cultural advancement in this part of the country, 3rd millennium BC onwards. The granary extended over a considerable area shows surplus agricultural production around 2000 BC. The ancient site of Lahuradewa continued to be inhabited during the NBPW and subsequent periods up to the early centuries AD. It has emerged as a site of its own kind for the study of early agriculture in the Middle Ganga Basin." Tewari et al acknowledge their interactions with Prof. Peter Bellwood, ANU and Dr. Dorian Fuller, Institute of Archaeology, Univ. College, London, Drs. Jarrige, Museue De Game, Paris, Dr. Weber,Vancouver and many others including Prof. VD Misra. The article adds a note: For more details please see Second Preliminary Report of the excavations at Lahuradewa District Sant Kabir Nagar, UP 2002-3-4 and 2005-6 in Pragdhara 16. Also presented are colour plates showing 9 charred rice grains (sub-period 1A). [www.uparchaeology.org [http://www.uparchaeology.org/kabirnagar.htm] ] [www.archaeologyonline.net [http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/iron-ore.html] ]

Ochre Coloured Pottery culture

The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (OCP), is a 3rd millennium BC Bronze Age culture of the Ganga-Yamuna plain. It is a contemporary to, and a successor of the Indus Valley Civilization. The OCP marks the last stage of the North Indian Bronze Age and is succeeded by the Iron Age black-and-red ware and painted-gray ware cultures. Early specimens of the characteristic ceramics found near Jodhpura, Jaipur, Rajasthan date to the 3rd millennium, (Jodhpura is not to be confused with the Jodhpur), and the culture reaches the Gangetic plain in the early 2nd millennium.

H. C. Bharadwaj in his work Aspects of Ancient Indian Technology, Motilal Banarsidass, New Delhi 1979 had established that copper hoards, being found in the same layers as Ochre Coloured Pottery by B. B. Lal, belonged to 1100-800 BC, but K.N. Dikshit in: Essays in Indian Protohistory, 1979 suggested a date from 2650 to 1180 BC based on thermoluminescent method.

There are even a claim of earlier dates by M. D. N. Sahi: "...settlements of the OCP-Copper Hoards culture, datable between 3700-3000 B.C., as discussed by the present author elsewhere, are found existing in the districts of Allahabad (Sringaverapura and Mirapatti) and Varanasi (Kamauli)." (Sahi's paper "Neolithic Syndrome of the Ganga Valley" at National Seminar on the Archaeology of the Ganga Valley, December 2004).

Copper Hoard Culture

The Copper Hoard Culture flourished around 2000 BCE around Western and Central Uttar Pradesh. Recent discovery of copper hoard in district Auraiya of Uttar Pradesh. The site of the discovery is located to the south of village Udaipurwa near the Rind river which is a small tributary of river Yamuna. Area of site is 1.5 to ] D. B. Bhandarkar also believed that Pratiharas were a clan of Gujjars.cite book
last =Bhandarkar
first =Devadatta Ramakrishna
title =Some Aspects of Ancient Indian Culture
year =1989
publisher=Asian Educational Services
isbn =8120604571
pages =64
] In his book "The Glory that was Gujardesh" (1943), Gurjar writer K. M. Munshi stated that the Pratiharas and some other Rajput clans were of Gujjar (or Gurjar) origin.

However, some other historians believe that although some sections of the Pratiharas (eg. the one to which Mathanadeva belonged) were Gujjars by caste, the imperial Pratiharas of Kannauj were not Gujjars. [cite book
last =Majumdar
first =Ramesh Chandra
title =Readings in Political History of India, Ancient, Mediaeval, and Modern
origyear = 1976
year = 2002
publisher = B.R. Pub. Corp (on behalf of Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies), D.K. Publishers' Distributors
pages = 209
quote = But he refused to believe that the Imperial Pratiharas of Kanauj were also Gujars in this sense.
] [cite book
title = Imperial Gazetteer of India, vol. 2
publisher = Digital South Asia Library
pages =320
quote=But whatever our theories regarding the infusion of Gujar blood among the Rajputs, there was certainly no Gurjara (Gujar) empire in Northern India
] H. A. Rose and Denzil Ibbetson stated that there is no conclusive proof that the Agnikula Rajput clans are of Gurjara origin; they believed that there is possibility of the indigenous tribes adopting Gurjara names, when their founders were enfiefed by Gurjara rulers.

Pala Empire(750-1174)

The Pala Empire was a dynasty in control of the northern and eastern Indian subcontinent, mainly the Bengal and Bihar regions, from the 8th to the 12th century. The name "Pala" (Modern Bengali পাল "pal") means "protector" and was used as an ending to the names of all Pala monarchs.

The founder of the empire was Gopala. He was the first independent Buddhist king of Bengal and came to power in 750 in Gaur by democratic election, which was unique at the time. He reigned from 750-770 and consolidated his position by extending his control over all of Bengal. His successors Dharmapala (r. 770-810) and Devapala (r. 810-850) expanded the empire across the northern and eastern Indian subcontinent. The Pala Empire eventually disintegrated in the 12th century under the attack of the Sena dynasty.

The Palas were followers of the Mahayana and Tantric schools of Buddhism. They often intermarried with the Gahadvalas of the Kannauj region. They created many temples and works of art and supported the Universities of Nalanda and Vikramashila. Their proselytism was at the origin of the establishment of Buddhism in Tibet.

After Harsha Vardhana, Buddhism faced the possibility of extinction. Buddhists were persecuted all over India and Buddhism was gradually being absorbed by Hinduism. The Palas emerged as the champion of Buddhism, and they patronized Mahayana Buddhism.

=Muslim period=

The initial entry of Islam into South Asia came during the life time of Muhammad. Islam was practiced across India during Muhammad's lifetime and this can be seen by the fact that the world's second oldest Masjid to offer Jumma Prayer is in Kerala, India, built in AD 629, while the first being in Medina [http://www.bahraintribune.com/ArticleDetail.asp?CategoryId=4&ArticleId=49332] . In Later years, the Umayyad caliph in Damascus sent an expedition to Balochistan and Sindh in 711 led by Muhammad bin Qasim (for whom Karachi's second port is named). The expedition went as far north as Multan but was not able to retain that region and was not successful in expanding Islamic rule to other parts of India. Coastal trade and the presence of a Muslim colony in Sindh, however, permitted significant cultural exchanges and the introduction into the subcontinent of religious teachers. Muslim influence grew with conversions.

Almost three centuries later, the Turkics, Persians and the Afghans spearheaded the Islamic conquest in India through the traditional invasion routes of the northwest. Mahmud of Ghazni (979-1030) led a series of raids against Rajput kingdoms and rich Hindu temples and established a base in Punjab for future incursions.

Delhi Sultanate(1200-1526)

The Delhi Sultanate ( _ur. دلی سلطنت), or Sultanat-e-Hind (Urdu: سلطنتِ هند) / Sultanat-e-Dilli (Urdu: سلطنتِ دلی) refers to the many Muslim dynasties that ruled in India from 1206 to 1526. Several Turkish and Afghan dynasties ruled from Delhi: the Mamluk dynasty (1206-90), the Khilji dynasty (1290-1320), the Tughlaq dynasty (1320-1413), the Sayyid dynasty (1414-51), and the Lodhi dynasty (1451-1526). In 1526 the Delhi Sultanate was absorbed by the emerging Mughal Empire.

During the last quarter of the twelfth century, Muhammad Ghori invaded the Indo-Gangetic plain, conquering in succession Ghazni, Multan, Sindh, Lahore, and Delhi. Qutb-ud-din Aibak, one of his generals, proclaimed himself Sultan of Delhi and established the first dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mamluk dynasty ("mamluk" means "slave born to free parents") after Muhammad Ghori's death in 1206. By the early 13th century, northern India from the Khyber Pass to Bengal was under control of the Sultanate, although the northwest was contested with the Mongols. Iltutmish (1210-35), and Balban (1266-87) were among the dynasty's most well-known rulers. Faced with revolts by conquered territories and rival families, the Mamluk dynasty came to an end in 1290.

The Khilji or Khalji dynasty, who had established themselves as rulers of Bengal in the time of Muhammad Ghori, took control of the empire in a coup which eliminated the last of the Mamluks. The Khiljis conquered Gujarat and Malwa, and sent the first expeditions south of the Narmada River, as far south as Tamil Nadu. The Delhi Sultanate rule continued to extend into southern India, first by the Delhi Sultans, then by the breakaway Bahmani Sultanate of Gulbarga, and, after the breakup of the Bahmani state in 1518, by the five independent Deccan Sultanates. The kingdom of Vijayanagar united southern India and arrested the Delhi Sultanate's expansion for a time, until its eventual fall to the Deccan Sultanates in 1565.

In the first half of the 14th century, the Sultanate introduced a monetary economy in the provinces ("sarkars") and districts ("parganas") that had been established and founded a network of market centers through which the traditional village economies were both exploited and stimulated and drawn into the wider culture. State revenues remained based on successful agriculture, which induced Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq (1325-51) to have village wells dug, offer seed to the peasants and to encourage cash crops like sugar cane (Braudel 1984, pp 96f, 512ff).

The Delhi Sultanate is the only Sultanate to stake a claim to possessing one of the few female rulers in India, Princess Razia Sultana (1236-1240). While her reign was unfortunately short she is regarded well in the eyes of historians. Princess Razia Sultana was very popular and more intelligent than her brothers. She was the very first queen of the Muslim world in the early Muslim history of sub-continent. She ruled from the east Delhi to the west Peshawar and from the North Kashmir to the South Multan. The Rebels of her government killed her and her Husband Malik Altuniya, and buried them outside Delhi.

The Sultans of Delhi enjoyed cordial, if superficial, relations with other Muslim rulers in the Near East but owed them no allegiance. The Sultans based their laws on the Qur'an and the sharia and permitted non-Muslim subjects to practice their religion only if they paid jizya or head tax. The Sultans ruled from urban centers--while military camps and trading posts provided the nuclei for towns that sprang up in the countryside. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the Sultanate was its temporary success in insulating the subcontinent from the potential devastation of the Mongol invasion from Central Asia in the thirteenth century.

The Sultanate ushered in a period of Indian cultural renaissance. The resulting "Indo-Muslim" fusion left lasting monuments in architecture, music, literature, and religion. The Sultanate suffered from the sacking of Delhi in 1398 by Timur ("Tamerlane"), and soon other independent Sultanates were established in Awadh, Bengal, Jaunpur, Gujarat and Malwa. The Delhi Sultanate revived briefly under the Lodhis before it was conquered by the Mughal emperor Babur in 1526.

Dynasties of Delhi Sultnate:

Mamluk dynasty(1206-1290)

The Mamluk dynasty (Urdu: سلطنت غلامان) or Slave dynasty served as the first Sultans of Delhi in India from 1206 to 1290. The founder of the dynasty, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, was a Turkish ex-slave of the Aybak tribe who rose to command the armies and administer the territory of Muhammad Ghori in India.

After Muhammad Ghori's death in 1206 without an heir, Qut-bud-din fought off rivals to take possession of Muhammad Ghori's Indian empire. He established his capital first at Lahore, and later at Delhi, where he started building the Qutb complex.

Khilji dynasty(1290-1320)

Khilji or Khalji (Urdu / Pashto: خلجی خاندان) was a ruling dynasty that was made-up of Ghilzai Pashtuns. This dynasty, like the previous Slave dynasty, was of Turkish origin, [ [http://countrystudies.us/pakistan/5.htm Islam in India] ] who conquered and ruled northern India (1290-1320). They were the second Muslim dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate. The term khilji was their self-designation (see also Ibn Batuta's and Ibn Chaldun's excessive quantity). The term mean "sons of thieve", also in afghanic (Pashto).

Ikhtiar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiar Khilji, one of the generals of Qutb-ud-din Aybak, conquered Bihar and Bengal in the late 12th century, and the Khiljis were feudatories of the Mamluk dynasty of Delhi. Jalal ud din Firuz Khilji took control of the Delhi Sultanate in 1290, and three Khilji sultans ruled the empire from 1290 to 1320. His son Ala ud din Khilji is considered to be the greatest among the Khiljis, due to successfully repelling several invasions from the Mongol Empire.

Tughlaq Dynasty (1321-1398)

The Tughlaq Dynasty ( _fa. سلطنت تغلق) of north India started in 1321 in Delhi when Ghazi Tughlaq assumed the throne under the title of Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq. The Tughluqs were a Muslim family of Turkish origin. Their rule relied on their alliances with Turkish, Afghan, and other Muslim warriors from outside South Asia.

The empire grew under his son and successor Muhammad bin Tughlaq, but the latter became notorious for ill-advised policy experiments such as shifting the capital from Delhi to Daulatabad and introducing copper coins without effective regulation against forgery.

After Muhammad bin Tughlaq his cousin Feroz Shah Tughlaq assumed the throne. He was a very benevolent ruler but was somewhat weak militarily. After Feroz died in 1388, the Tughlaq dynasty started to fade out and there were no able leaders; the dynasty was almost over within 10 years.

ayyid dynasty(1414-1451)

The Sayyid dynasty were rulers (c. 1414–51) of India's Delhi sultanate. They succeeded the Tughluq dynasty and ruled that sultanate until they were displaced by the Afghan Lodi dynasty.

This family claimed to be sayyids, or descendants of Prophet Muhammad. The central authority of the Delhi sultanate had been fatally weakened by the invasion of Timur (Tamerlane) and his sack of Delhi in 1398. After a period of chaos, when no central authority prevailed, the Sayyids gained power at Delhi. Their 37-year period of dominance witnessed the rule of four different members of the dynasty.

Lodhi Dynasty(1451-1526)

Lodhi Dynasty (Pashto / Urdu: سلطنت لودھی) was made up of Ghilzai Afghans ("ethnic Pashtuns"), who ruled over the Delhi Sultanate during its last phase. Their rule was from 1451 to 1526 CE.

uri dynasty(1540-1555)

The Suri dynasty was made-up of Afghans ("ethnic Pashtuns"), who ruled northern India between 1540 and 1555/1556.

The dynasty was founded by the conqueror Sher Shah Suri, after he defeated Mughal Emperor Humayun in the 1539 Battle of Chausa. Their rule came to and end by a defeat that led to restoration of the Mughal Empire.

Mughal Empire(1526-1857)

The Mughal Empire ( _fa. سلطنت مغولی هند, "transl|fa|Solṭanat Moġuli Hend"; _ur. مغلیہ سلطنت, "transl|ur|Muġalīh Sulṭanat"; self-designation: _fa. گوركانى, "transl|fa|Gurkâni"), was an important imperial power in the South Asian subcontinent from the early 16th to the mid-19th centuries. At the height of its power, around 1700, it controlled most of the subcontinent and parts of what is now Afghanistan. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 100 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3 million square km. [John F Richards, [http://www.amazon.com/dp/0521566037/ The Mughal Empire] , Vol I.5 of the New Cambridge History of India, Cambridge University Press, 1996] Following 1720 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explained as caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fuelling local revolts, the growth of religious intolerance and British colonialism. The last Emperor, Bahadur Shah II, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The classic period of the Empire starts with the accession of Akbar the Great in 1556 and ends with the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, although the Empire continued for another 150 years. During this period, the Empire was marked by a highly centralized administration connecting the different regions of India. All the significant monuments of the Mughals, their most visible legacy, date to this period.

Babur (1526-1530)

Zāhir ud-Dīn Mohammad, commonly known as Bābur (February 14, 1483 – December 26, 1530) (Chagatai/PerB|ﻇﻬﻴﺮ ﺍﻟﺪﻳﻦ محمد بابر; also spelled "Zahiruddin, Zahiriddin, Muhammad, Bobur, Baber, Babar, etc."), was a Turkic-speaking Muslim Emperor from Central Asia who founded the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother. [ [http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9054153 Encyclopædia Britannica] ] Babur identified his lineage as Timurid and Turk.Following a series of set-backs, he succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal Empire which strengthened the Persianate [Robert L. Canfield, Turko-Persia in historical perspective, Cambridge University Press, 1991. pg 20: "The Mughals-Persianized Turks who invaded from Central Asia and claimed descent from both Timur and Genghis - strengthened the Persianate culture of Muslim India"] culture of Muslim India. He became the first leader of the Mughal Empire, one of India's most important empires of all time.

In the early 16th century, Muslim armies consisting of Mongol, Turkic, Persian, and Afghan warriors invaded India under the leadership of the Timurid prince Zahir-ud-Din-Muhammad Babur. Babur was the great-grandson of Central Asian conqueror Timur-e Lang (Timur the Lame, from which the Western name Tamerlane is derived), who had invaded India in 1398 before retiring to Samarkand. Timur himself claimed descent from the Mongol ruler, Genghis Khan. Babur was driven from Samarkand by the Uzbeks and initially established his rule in Kabul in 1504. Later, taking advantage of internal discontent in the Delhi sultanate under Ibrahim Lodi, and following an invitation from Daulat Khan Lodhi (governor of Punjab) and Alam Khan (uncle of the Sultan), Babur invaded India in 1526.

Babur, a seasoned military commander, entered India in 1526 with his well-trained veteran army of 82,000 to meet the sultan's huge but unwieldy and disunited force of more than 100,000 men. Babur defeated the Lodhi sultan decisively at the First Battle of Panipat. Employing firearms, gun carts, movable artillery, superior cavalry tactics, and the highly regarded Mughal composite bow, a weapon even more powerful than the English longbow of the same period, Babur achieved a resounding victory and the Sultan was killed. A year later (1527) he decisively defeated, at the Battle of Khanwa, a Rajput confederacy led by Rana Sanga of Chittor. A third major battle was fought in 1529 at Gogra, where Babur routed the joint forces of Afghans and the sultan of Bengal. Babur died in 1530 in Agra before he could consolidate his military gains. During his short five-year reign, Babur took considerable interest in erecting buildings, though few have survived. He left behind as his chief legacy a set of descendants who would fulfil his dream of establishing an empire in the Indian subcontinent.

Humayun (1530-1540)&(1555-1556)

Nasiruddin Humayun ( _fa. نصيرالدين همايون) (March 6, 1508 – February 22, 1556), was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled modern 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.

When Babur died, his son Humayun (1530–1556) inherited a difficult task. He was pressed from all sides by a reassertion of Afghan claims to the Delhi throne and by disputes over his own succession. Driven into Sindh by the armies of Sher Shah Suri, in 1540 he fled to the Rajput Kingdom of Umarkot then to Persia, where he spent nearly ten years as an embarrassed guest of the Safavid court of Shah Tahmasp. During Sher Shah's reign, an imperial unification and administrative framework were established; this would be further developed by Akbar later in the century. In addition, the tomb of Sher Shah Suri is an architectural masterpiece that was to have a profound impact on the evolution of Indo-Islamic funerary architecture. In 1545, Humayun gained a foothold in Kabul with Safavid assistance and reasserted his Indian claims, a task facilitated by the weakening of Afghan power in the area after the death of Sher Shah Suri in May 1545. He took control of Delhi in 1555, but died within six months of his return, from a fall down the steps of his library. His tomb at Delhi represents an outstanding landmark in the development and refinement of the Mughal style. It was designed in 1564, eight years after his death, as a mark of devotion by his widow, Hamida Banu Begum.


Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar (Ur|جلال الدین محمد اکبر "Jalāl ud-Dīn Moḥammad Akbar"), also known as "Akbar the Great" ("Akbar-e-Azam") (November 23 1542 – October 12 1605) was the son of Nasiruddin Humayun whom he succeeded as ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1605. He is the founder of the Din-i-Ilahi faith . His lineage was Turkic, and more distantly Mongolian.

Akbar, widely considered the greatest of the Mughal emperors, was only 13 when he became emperor, due to the death of his father Humayun [ [http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/arthistory/ah369/Intropg2.htm Women of the Mughal Dynasty] - Deborah Hutton - 2002 - Skidmore College.] [ [http://www.boloji.com/history/022.htm History of India] The Nine Gems of Akbar - Neria Harish Hebbar, MD - Saturday, April 5 2003] During his reign, he eliminated external military threats from the Afghan descendants of Sher Shah (an Afghan who was able to temporarily oust Humayun from 1540-1555), and at the Second Battle of Panipat defeated the Hindu leader Hemu. [ [http://militaryhistory.about.com/b/a/124653.htm The Second Battle of Panipat] - Robert W. Martin - about.com.] Abul Fazl - Akbarnama Volume II] The life and times of Humayun, by Ishwari Prasad (1955, rev. 1970) [http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Ishwari%20Prasad%20life%20and%20times%20of%20humayun&hl=en&lr=&oi=scholart] ] In addition to his military gains, the emperor solidified his rule by repealing the jizya tax on non-Muslims and courting the favour of the powerful Rajput caste, to the extent of marrying Rajput princesses. [ [http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/A/Akbar.asp Akbar] - The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition 2006]

Akbar's most lasting contributions were to the arts. He initiated a large collection of literature, including the Akbar-nama and the Ain-i-Akbari, and incorporated art from around the world into the Mughal collections. He also commissioned the building of widely admired buildings. Having a greatly tolerant attitude toward religion, Akbar preserved Hindu temples. He also began a series of religious debates where Muslim scholars would debate religious matters with Sikhs, Hindus, Cārvāka atheists and even Jesuits from Portugal. He founded his own religion, the Din-i-Ilahi or the "Divine Faith"; the religion, however, amounted only to a form of personality cult for Akbar, and quickly dissolved after his death.Abul Fazl - Akbarnama Volume III]

Starting in 1571, Akbar built a walled capital called Fatehpur Sikri ("Fatehpur" means "town of victory") near Agra. Palaces for each of Akbar's senior queens, a huge artificial lake, and sumptuous water-filled courtyards were built there. However, the city was soon abandoned and the capital was moved to Lahore in 1585. The reason may have been that the water supply in Fatehpur Sikri was insufficient or of poor quality. Or, as some historians believe, Akbar had to attend to the northwest areas of his empire and therefore moved his capital northwest. In 1599, Akbar shifted his capital back to Agra from where he reigned until his death.

Akbar adopted two distinct but effective approaches in administering a large territory and incorporating various ethnic groups into the service of his realm. In 1580 he obtained local revenue statistics for the previous decade in order to understand details of productivity and price fluctuation of different crops. Aided by Todar Mal, a Hindu scholar, Akbar issued a revenue schedule that optimized the revenue needs of the state with the ability of the peasantry to pay. Revenue demands, fixed according to local conventions of cultivation and quality of soil, ranged from one-third to one-half of the crop and were paid in cash. Akbar relied heavily on land-holding zamindars to act as revenue-collectors. They used their considerable local knowledge and influence to collect revenue and to transfer it to the treasury, keeping a portion in return for services rendered. Within his administrative system, the warrior aristocracy (mansabdars) held ranks (mansabs) expressed in numbers of troops, and indicating pay, armed contingents, and obligations. The warrior aristocracy was generally paid from revenues of non-hereditary and transferable jagirs (revenue villages).

By the end of Akbar's reign, the Mughal Empire extended throughout north India and south of the Narmada river. Notable exceptions were Gondwana in central India, which paid tribute to the Mughals, Assam in the northeast, and large parts of the Deccan. The area south of the Godavari river remained entirely out of the ambit of the Mughals. In 1600, Akbar's Empire had a revenue of £17.5 million. By comparison, in 1800, the entire treasury of Great Britain totalled £16 million.

Jahangir (1605-1627)

Nuruddin Salim Jahangir ( _fa. نور الدین جهانگیر) (August 31, 1569 – October 28, 1627) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1605 until his death. The name Jahangir is from Persian جهانگير, meaning "Conqueror of the World," "World-Conqueror," or "Dominant over the World." Alternative spellings of the name include "Jehangir", and "Cihangir" (in Turkish). Nuruddin or Nur al-Din is an Arabic name which means "the Light of the Faith."

After the death of Akbar in 1605, his son, Prince Salim, ascended the throne and assumed the title of Jahangir, "Seizer of the World". He was assisted in his artistic attempts by his wife, Nur Jahan. The Mausoleum of Akbar at Sikandra, outside Agra, represents a major turning point in Mughal history, as the sandstone compositions of Akbar were adapted by his successors into opulent marble masterpieces. Jahangir is the central figure in the development of the Mughal garden. The most famous of his gardens is the Shalimar Bagh on the banks of Dal Lake in Kashmir.

Jahangir started his reign with several popular acts. 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. Jahangir promised to protect Islam and granted general amnesty to his opponents. He was also well noted for his subsidizes on the work of hundreds of painters and writers, of which he added works of his own.

Although it started out as Jahangir's flirtations with Christianity and with European traders and missionaries merely for the goods and protection they could bring, it was during Jahangir's reign that the British East India Company got formal permission to trade freely in the Mughal Empire. This is often said to be his greatest blunder, for these traders went on to become the rulers of South Asia.

Jahangir died in 1627 and was buried in Shahdara Bagh, a suburb of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. 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.

hah Jahan (1627-1658)

Shahabuddin Mohammed Shah Jahan (also spelled "Shah Jehan", "Shahjehan". Persian: شاه ‌جهان), January 5, 1592 – January 22, 1666) was the ruler of the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent from 1628 until 1658. The name Shah Jahan comes from Persian meaning "King of the World." He was the fifth Mughal ruler after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, and Jahangir.

After revolting against his father Jahangir, as the latter had revolted against Akbar, he succeeded to the throne upon his father's death in 1627. It was during his reign that the Mughal power attained its greatest prosperity. Like Akbar, he was eager to expand his empire. The chief events of his reign were the destruction of the kingdom of Ahmadnagar (1636), the loss of Kandahar to the Persians (1653), and a second war against the Deccan princes (1655). In 1658 he fell ill, and was confined by his son Aurangzeb in the citadel of Agra until his death in 1666.

The period of his reign was the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, built as a tomb for his wife Mumtaz Mahal (birth name Arjumand Bano Begum). The Pearl Mosque at Agra and the palace and great mosque at Delhi also commemorate him. The celebrated Peacock Throne, said to be worth millions of dollars by modern estimates, also dates from his reign. He was the founder of Shahjahanabad, now known as 'Old Delhi'.

His son Aurangzeb led a rebellion when Shah Jahan became ill in 1657 CE (1067 AH) and publicly executed his brother and the heir apparent Dara Shikoh. Although Shah Jahan fully recovered from his illness, Aurangzeb declared him incompetent to rule and put him under house arrest in Agra Fort.Asher, p.171]

Jahanara Begum Sahib voluntarily shared his 8-year confinement and nursed him in his dotage. In January of 1666 CE (1076 AH), Shah Jahan fell ill with strangury and dysentery. Confined to bed, he became progressively weaker until, on January 31, he commanded the ladies of the imperial court, particularly his consort of later year Akrabadi Mahal, to the care of Jahanara. After reciting the Kalima and verses from the Qu'ran, he died. Jahana planned a state funeral which was to include a procession with Shah Jahan's body carried by eminent nobles followed by the notable citizens of Agra and officials scattering coins for the poor and needy. Auranqzeb refused to accommodate such ostentation and the body was washed in accordance with Islamic rites, taken by river in a sandalwood coffin to the Taj Mahal and was interred there next to the body of Mumtaz Mahal.Koch, p.101]

Aurangzeb (1658-1707)

Aurangzeb ( _fa. اورنگ‌زیب (full title Al-Sultan al-Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Abdul Muzaffar Muhiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur Alamgir I, Padshah Ghazi) (November 3, 1618 – March 3, 1707), also known by his chosen Imperial title Alamgir I (Conqueror of the Universe) ( _fa. عالمگیر), was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1658 until his death. He was the sixth Mughal ruler after Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan.

Aurangzeb ruled northern India for 48 years. He brought a larger area under Mughal rule than ever before [The Great Mughals, by Bamber Gasciogne, page 233] . He is generally regarded as the last 'great' Mughal ruler. His constant wars, however, left the empire dangerously overextended, isolated from its strong Rajput allies, and with a population that (except for the orthodox Sunni Muslim minority) was resentful, if not outright rebellious, against his reign. His last twenty five years were spent fighting in the Deccan and losing territory to rival states. At his death, the Mughal Empire was shrunken, having lost most of its northwest and being replaced by the Hindu Maratha Empire in large areas of India. Aurangzeb's successors, the 'Later Mughals', lacked his strong hand and the great fortunes amassed by his predecessors. The Marathas continued to gain at the Mughals' expense during the rest of the 18th century.

Aurangzeb is remembered for his Sunni fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Strict adherence to Islam and Sharia (Islamic law)—as he interpreted them—were the foundations of his reign. He attempted to institute Sharia law throughout the empire, abandoning the religious openness of his predecessors. It is said of his reign that many Hindu temples were defiled, destroyed, and replaced by mosques, a practice which had been largely discontinued since Babur's time. Many non-Muslims were supposedly converted to Islam. Jizya, a tax levied from able-bodied male non-Muslim adults only, was reinstated during his rule. In recent years, some historians have disputed these allegations Dr. Habib Siddiqui in http://www.albalagh.net/general/0093.shtml Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb: Bad Ruler or Bad History?] . Yet it is important to keep in mind that Muslims were made to pay both Zakah and Ushr, and Aurangzeb is said to have abolished nearly sixty-five types of taxes, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury .

Bahadur Shah I / Shah Alam I (1707-1712)

Muazzam Bahadur Shah (Persian: _fa. بهادر شاه "Bahādur Shāh"; his name "Bahādur" means "brave"; October 14, 1643 – February 1712), also known as Shah Alam I was a Mughal emperor who briefly ruled India from 1707 to 1712.

After Aurangzeb's death, Muazzam Bahadur Shah took the throne. A war of succession began immediately after Aurangzeb died. One younger brother, Prince Azam Shah, proclaimed himself emperor and marched towards Delhi, where he unsuccessfully fought Bahadur Shah and died after a nominal reign of three months. Another brother, Muhammad Kam Baksh, was killed in 1709.

Aurangzeb had imposed Sharia law within his kingdom with harsh enforcement of strict edicts. This led to increased militancy by many constituencies including the Marathas, the Sikhs and the Rajputs. Thus, rebellion was rife at the time of Aurangzeb's death and Bahadur Shah inherited a very unstable polity. A more moderate man than his father, Bahadur Shah sought to improve relations with the militant constituencies of the rapidly crumbling kingdom. However, he could do little to mitigate the damage already done by his father. Indeed, Bahadur Shah's shortcomings — his lack of military skills and leadership qualities — added to the problems of the empire. After his short reign of less than five years, the Mughal Empire entered a long decline, attributable both to his ineptness and to his father's geographical overextension and religious bigotry. Historians of his time had recorded him to be a learned man and that he possessed a mild temper and was dignified.

Bahadur Shah died on February 27, 1712 in Lahore while making alterations to the Shalimar Gardens. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah.

The lesser Mughals (1712-1837)

* Jahandar Shah, b. 1664, ruler 1712–13, d. February 11, 1713 in Delhi.
* Furrukhsiyar, b. 1683, r. 1713–19, d. 1719 at Delhi.
* Rafi Ul-Darjat, ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
* Rafi Ud-Daulat (Shah Jahan II), ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
* Nikusiyar, ruler 1719, d. 1719 in Delhi.
* Mohammed Ibrahim, ruler 1720, d. 1720 in Delhi.
* Mohammed Shah, b. 1702, ruler 1719–48, d. April 26, 1748 in Delhi.
* Ahmad Shah Bahadur, b. 1725, ruler 1748–54, d. January 1775 in Delhi.
* Alamgir II, b. 1699, ruler 1754–59, d. 1759.
* Shah Jahan III, ruler 1760
* Shah Alam II, b. 1728, ruler 1759–1806, d. 1806.
* Akbar Shah II, b. 1760, ruler 1806–37, d. 1837.

Bahadur Shah II (1837-1857)

Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar ( _ur. ابو ظفر سِراجُ الْدین محمد بُہادر شاہ ظفر), also known as Bahadur Shah or Bahadur Shah II (Urdu: rtl- _ur. بُہادر شاہ دوم; October 24 1775 – 7 November 1862) was the last of the Mughal emperors in India. He was the son of Akbar Shah II from his Hindu wife Lalbai. He became the Mughal Emperor upon his father's death on September 28, 1838. "Zafar" ( _ur. ظفر) was his "nom de plume" ("takhallus") as an Urdu poet.

Emperor Bahadur Shah II presided over a Mughal empire that stretched barely beyond the modern city of Delhi. The British Empire was the dominant political and military powers in 19th-century India. Hundreds of minor kings fragmented the land. The emperor was paid some respect and allowed a pension and authority to collect some taxes, and maintain a token force in Delhi by the British, but he posed no threat to any power in India. Bahadur Shah II himself did not excel in statecraft or possess any imperial ambitions.

As the Indian rebellion of 1857 spread, Indian regiments seized Delhi. Seeking a figure that could unite all Indians, Hindu and Muslim alike, most rebelling Indian kings and the Indian regiments accepted Zafar as the Emperor of India, 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 rebellion was crushed, he fled to Humayun's Tomb and hid there. However, he was captured and his sons Mirza Mughal and Khizar Sultan and his grandson Abu Bakr were executed in his presence by Major Hodson and, infamously, their severed heads presented to him in plates instead of his food. [http://www.storyofpakistan.com/person.asp?perid=P076] He told the British that this was the way that the sons of Mughals came to their fathers — with their heads in red (i.e., dead).cite web | first=Hasan | last=Nizami | title="Khwaja Hasan Nizami's Book" | publisher=http://www.kapadia.com | url=http://www.kapadia.com/TheMutinyinDelhi.html accessdate=2007-07-22 ]

He was exiled to Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) in 1858 along with his wife Zeenat Mahal and the remaining members of the family. A formal end was declared to the Mughal Dynasty that began with Babur in 1526. In 1877, the title "Emperor of India" was assumed by the reigning British monarch, who at that time was Queen Victoria; it was held in that manner until 1948, when it was retroactively terminated effective August 14, 1947. His departure as Emperor marked the end of more than 300 years old Mughal rule in India.

Bahadur Shah died in exile on November 7, 1862; he was buried near Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, at the site that later became known as Bahadur Shah Zafar Dargah. [ [http://www.kapadia.com/Dargah/zafrdarg.html The Dargah of Bahadur Shah Zafar in Rangoon.] ] His wife Zinat Mahal died in 1886. [ [http://www.kapadia.com/zeenatmahal.html Nawab Zeenat Mahal] ]

Nawabs of Awadh(1719-1858)

The ruling family of Oudh established themselves as independent hereditary rulers during the collapse of Mughal power during the early eighteenth century. They had risen to considerable power and wealth during the century before and secure appointment to the Governorship of the Mughal province as well as the Imperial office of Regent plenipotentiary.

The former Mughal province was encouraged to establish its independence from Delhi by formally assuming the title of King in 1819. However, this independence was largely symbolic, since the British authorities exercised influence in most important matters of state. Ministers were usually appointed with the approval of the resident, and the army was very largely officered by Europeans. The Kings devoted much of their time trying to project the outward signs of their sovereignty and regality, rather than establishing their power. As a consequence, a great flowering of art, literature, music, and architecture, occurred under their rule. Lucknow became the virtual centre of artistic excellence in Northern India.

aadat Khan (1719-1737)

Wakil-i-Mutlaq, Burhan ul-Mulk, Itimad ud-Daula, Nawab Sa'adat Khan Bahadur, Shaukat Jang (died 1739), better known as Saadat Khan or Burhan-ul-mulk, was the founder of the Awadh dynasty.

Saadat Khan hailed from a noble Saiyid family from Nishapur in Khurasan. Born Mir Muhammad Amin, he entered the Mughal court as a camp superintendent but went on to obtain a mansab under Furrukhsiyar. He played an important role in the ascension of Muhammad Shah to the throne and overthrow of the Saiyid Brothers. He earned the title of Saadat Khan Bahadur in 1720 and was awarded the Governorship of Awadh as reward in 1722.

At the time, Lucknow was under the influence of a Muslim community, the Shaikhzadas. Saadat Khan settled the disturbed fortunes of his territory by military force, and established his court at Faizabad. He was summoned to Delhi by Nadir Shah, and died there in 1739.

afdarjung (1737-1753)

"Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan, Asaf Jah, Jamat ul-Mulk, Shuja ud-Daula, Nawab Abu'l Mansur Khan Bahadur, Safdar Jang", popularly known as "Safdarjung" was the second Nawab of the Awadh dynasty.

Safdarjung (Devanagari: सफदरजंग ) was born Muhammad Muqim in Khurasan, Persia and migrated to India in 1722. He succeeded his father-in-law and maternal uncle Saadat Khan to the throne of Awadh, apparently by paying Nadir Shah two crores of rupees. The Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah gave him the title of "Safdarjung".

Safdarjung was an able administrator. He was not only effective in keeping control of Awadh, but also managed to render valuable assistance to the weakened Muhammad Shah. He was soon given governorship of Kashmir as well, and became a central figure at the Delhi court. During the later years of Muhammad Shah, he gained complete control of administration in the Mughal Empire. When Ahmad Shah Bahadur ascended the throne at Delhi, Safdarjung became his "Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan" or Chief Minister of India. However, court politics eventually overtook him and he was dismissed in 1753. He then propped up an eunuch, Akbar Shah, as the claimant to the Delhi throne. Later that year, he reconciled with Ahmad Shah Bahadur and was given back Awadh. He returned to Awadh in November, 1753, but died while travelling from Lucknow to Sultanpur in 1754.

huja-ud-Daula (1753-1775)

Shuja-ud-Daula (b. 19 January1732, at the Mansion of Dara Shikoh, Delhi, d. 1775) was Nawab of Awadh (Oudh). He is also known under the titles H.H. Wazir ul-Mamalik-i-Hindustan, Shuja ud-Daula, Nawab Mirza Jalal ud-din Haidar Khan Bahadur, Nawab Wazir of Oudh. He is best known for his roles in the third battle of Panipat and the battle of Buxar.

The ruler of the region that lies between the river Ganga and Yamuna (also called Jamuna) around 1761. This region is blessed with very fertile land producing good crops.

Shuja's decision about whom to join as an ally in the Third Battle of Panipat was one of the decisive factors that determined the outcome of the war as lack of food due to the Afghans cutting the supply lines of Marathas was one of the reasons that Marathas could not sustain the day long battle. Their forces were weak due to starvation and also fighting facing the sun.

Shuja was earlier not very sure about whose side should he take before the Third Battle of Panipat. But was eventually forced to join the Afghans (Ahmad Shah Abdali) when he and his troops crossed the flooded Ganga river into his province. Marathas were still further south then and it would have taken them considerable time to reach Shuja's province. Considering the risk he had with upsetting Abdali with his huge army on his soil he took (albeit hesitatingly) the decision to join the Afghans and Najib (Najib-ud-Daula). His mother was of the opinion that he should join the Marathas as they had helped his father previously on numerous occasions.

Asaf-Ud-Dowlah (1775-1797)

Asaf-Ud-Dowlah was the nawab wazir of Oudh from 1775 to 1797, and the son of Shuja-ud-Dowlah, his mother and grandmother being the begums of Oudh, whose spoliation formed one of the chief counts in the charges against Warren Hastings.

When Shuja-ud-Dowlah died he left two million pounds sterling buried in the vaults of the zenana. The widow and mother of the deceased prince claimed the whole of this treasure under the terms of a will which was never produced. When Warren Hastings pressed the nawab for the payment of debt due to the British East India Company, he obtained from his mother a loan of 26 lakh (2.6 million) rupees, for which he gave her a jagir (land) of four times the value; of subsequently obtained 30 lakh (3 million) more in return for a full acquittal, and the recognition of her jagirs without interference for life by the Company. These jagirs were afterwards confiscated on the ground of the begum's complicity in the rising of Chai Singh, which was attested by documentary evidence, as he evidence now available seems to show that Warren Hastings bid his best throughout to rescue the nawab from his own incapacity, and was incldined to be lenient to the begums.

In 1755 he moved the capital of Awadh from Faizabad to Lucknow and built various monuments in and around Lucknow.

Wazir Ali Khan (1797-1798)

After the death of Asaf-ud-daula Wazir Ali Khan came to power for four months only. He was the adopted son of Asaf-ud-daula, whose Mother was a servant of his "Harem" (Ladies Palace). Nobles of Royal coart and Bahu Begum signed a letter and sent to Governor general to remove Wazir Ali. But the people were in favor of Wazir Ali Khan as he was against the British.

aadat Ali Khan (1798-1814)

Yamin-ud-daula-Nawab Saadat Ali Khan was allegedly the son of Asaf-Ud-Dowlah. Saadat-Ali-Khan was crowned on 21 January 1798 at Bibiyapur Palace in Lucknow, by Sir John Shore. He gave half of Awadh to the British in 1801.

He had a palace called Dilkusha Kothi designed and built by Sir Gore Ouseley in 1805.

Nawab Saadat Ali Khan died in 1814 and he was buried with his wife 'Khursheed Zadi' in the twin Tombs of Qaiserbagh.

Ghaziuddin Haider (1814-1827)

After the death of Sadat Ali Khan his son Ghazi-ud-din Haider became Nawab Wazir on July 11, 1814 with the promise that he will continue to obey the previous treaty and will act as an independent prince and must be subservient to the British Govt. He accepted all these conditions. After the death of Bahu Begum all her property was seized by British Govt. Instead of giving it to its legal heir Ghazi-ud-din Haider. He also did not claimed for it. Relation between him and the British became pleasant. The British Governor General asked him to declare as an independent king in 1819. During his reign poets were encouraged very much. He died on Oct 10,1827.

Nasiruddin Haider (1827-1837)

Nasir ud din Haidar was the nawab wazir of Oudh from 1827 to 1837, and the son of Ghaziuddin Haider. [http://lucknow.nic.in/Nasir.htm Lucknow Information centre] accessed 18 September 2007] . He was interested in Astronomy and his wives. He made additions of Darshan Vilas to Claude Martin's house - Farhat Buksh in 1832.

Muhammad Ali Shah (1837-1842)

After the death of Nasir-ud-din Haider her mother Badshah Begum declared Munna Jan (Faridoon Bakht) S/o of Nasiruddin as King. Company was not ready for this. There was first battle between Awadh and British forces.Badshah Begum and Munna Jan were arrested and Muhammad Ali Shah brother of Ghaziuddin Haider and uncle of Nasiruddin was declared King after getting a written assurance that he will accept any new treaty put up by Governor General. Administrative, financial and defence powers were reduced very much. In his reign new canals were constructed, wells and ponds were dug, Musafir Khana (Inn) were constructed. Imambara Hussainabad, pond Hussainabad, Jama Masjid and other buildings were constructed. He died on May 7, 1842 AD.

Amjad Ali Shah (1842-1847)

After the death of Muhammad Ali Shah, his son Amjad Ali Shah was put on the throne. By this time British Govt. Have become so power full in Awadh that it was searching a way to grab it. He was of helping nature, very polite and well mannered. He constructed Iron Bridge on Gomti river, metal road from Lucknow to Kanpur for the benefit of his people. He died on February 13, 1847 at the age of 48 years.

Wajid Ali Shah (1847-1856)

Wajid Ali Shah (نواب واجد على شاه) (official name ".M. Hazrat Khalid, 'Abul Mansur Nasir ud-din, Padshah-i-'Adil, Kaiser-i-Zaman, Arangha Sultan-i-'Alam, Muhammad Wajid 'Ali Shah Bahadur") (1822-1887) was the tenth and last nawab of the princely kingdom of Awadh (Oudh) in present day Uttar Pradesh in India. He ascended the throne of Awadh in 1847 and ruled for nine years. His kingdom, long protected by the British under treaty, was eventually annexed peacefully on February 7, 1856 - days before the ninth anniversary of his coronation. The Nawab was exiled to Garden Reach in Metiabruz [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metiabruz] , then a suburb of Kolkata, where he lived out the rest of his life off a generous pension. He was a poet, playwright, dancer and great patron of the arts. He is widely credited with the revival of Kathak as a major form of classical Indian dance.

Wajid Ali Shah succeeded to the throne of Awadh when its glory days were already past it. The British had annexed much of the kingdom under the treaty of 1801, and had impoverished Awadh by imposing a hugely expensive, British-run army and repeated demands for loans. The independence of Awadh in name was tolerated by the British only because they still needed a buffer state between their presence in the East and South, and the remnants of the Mughal Empire to the North.

Wajid Ali Shah was most unfortunate to have ascended the throne of Awadh at a time when the British East India Company was determined to grab the coveted throne of prosperous Awadh (Oudh), which was "the garden, granary, and queen-province of India." In different circumstances perhaps, be might have succeeded as a ruler because he had many qualities that make a good administrator. He was generous, kind and compassionate towards his subjects, besides being one of the most magnanimous and passionate patrons of the Fine Arts.

Birjis Qadra(1856-1858)

Begum Hazrat Mahal wife of Wjid Ali Shah led the Indian Independence movement against British Government in 1857. She put her son Mirza Birjis Qadra on the throne of Awadh on 12 Ziqada 1273 AH at the age of 12 years. They had to leave Lucknow due to British conspiracy. They went to Kathmandu (Nepal) where he got married with Nawab Mahtab Ara, the grand daughter of the last Mughal King Bahadur Shah Zafar. Begum Hazrat Mahal died on April' 1879. Brijis Qadra came to Calcutta in 1893 where he was murdered with poison in food on Aug 14, 1893. After 1857 war, when British Govt. Came in power in whole India, Awadh has also lost its gegraphical status. It was given the name of United States of Agra and Awadh. It was renamed as United Provices in 1902 (Now Uttar Pradesh).

Revolt of 1857

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 began as a mutiny of sepoys of British East India Company's army on the 10th of May 1857, in the town of Meerut, and soon erupted into other mutinies and civilian rebellions largely in the upper Gangetic plain and central India, with the major hostilities confined to the region of present-day Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, northern Madhya Pradesh or Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, Delhi, and Gurgaon. Although, the rebellion spread beyond the armed forces, it did not result in a complete popular uprising as its leaders had hoped. The Indian side was not completely unified. While Bahadur Shah Zafar was restored to the imperial throne there was a faction that wanted the Maratha rulers to be enthroned as well, and the Awadhis wanted to retain the powers that their Nawab used to have.

The Indian Rebellion of 1857 (Hindi: 1857 का प्रथम भारतीय स्वतन्त्रता संग्राम) was a period of armed uprising against expansion of the British East India Company control in India between early 1857 and mid 1858. The period and events are also often referred to as (in alphabetical order) the First War of Indian Independence, Indian Mutiny, or Sepoy Mutiny. These uprisings were mainly concentrated in north central India, with some outbreaks elsewhere. The first signs of brewing discontent, involving incidents of arson in cantonment areas, began to appear in January 1857.

tart of the Rebellion from Meerut

Several months of increasing tension and inflammatory incidents preceded the actual rebellion. Fires, possibly the result of arson, broke out near Calcutta on 24 January 1857. On February 26, 1857 the 19th Bengal Native Infantry (BNI) regiment came to know about new cartridges and refused to use them. Their Colonel confronted them angrily with artillery and cavalry on the parade ground, but then accepted their demand to withdraw the artillery, and cancel the next morning's parade. [ Memorandum from Lieutenant-Colonel W. St. L. Mitchell (CO of the 19th BNI) to Major A. H. Ross about his troop's refusal to accept the Enfield cartridges, 27 February 1857, [http://projectsouthasia.sdstate.edu/docs/history/primarydocs/War%20of%201857/Indian%20Mutiny--Ch1/letter%2031.htm Archives of Project South Asia, South Dakota State University and Missouri Southern State University] ]

3rd Light Cavalry at Meerut

On 9 May, 85 troopers of the 3rd Bengal Light Cavalry at Meerut refused to use their cartridges. They were imprisoned, sentenced to ten years of hard labour, and stripped of their uniforms in public. Malleson records that the troops were constantly berated by their imprisoned comrades while processing on a long and humiliating march to the jail. It was this insult by their own comrades which provoked the rebellion. The sepoys knew it was very likely that they would also be asked to use the new cartridges and they too would have to refuse in order to save their caste, religion and social status. Since their comrades had acted only in deference to their religious beliefs the punishment meted out by the British colonial rulers was perceived as unjust by many.

upport and opposition

The war was mainly centred in northern and central areas of India. Delhi, Lucknow, Cawnpore, Jhansi, Bareilly, Arrah and Jagdishpur were the main centres of conflict. The Bhojpurias of Arrah and Jagdishpur supported the Marathas. The Marathas, Rohillas and the Awadhis supported Bahadur Shah Zafar and were against the British.

There were calls for jihad [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5312092.stm Indian mutiny was 'war of religion' - BBC] ] by Muslim leaders like Maulana Fazl-e-Haq Khairabadi including the millenarian Ahmedullah Shah, taken up by the Muslims, particularly Muslim artisans, which caused the British to think that the Muslims were the main force behind this event. In Awadh, Sunni Muslims did not want to see a return to Shiite rule, so they often refused to join what they perceived to be a Shia rebellion. However, some Muslims like the Aga Khan supported the British. The British rewarded him by formally recognizing his title.

The Revolt

Cawnpore (Kanpur)

In June, sepoys under General Wheeler in Cawnpore, (now known as Kanpur) rebelled and besieged the European entrenchment. Wheeler was not only a veteran and respected soldier, but also married to a high-caste Indian lady. He had relied on his own prestige, and his cordial relations with the Nana Sahib to thwart rebellion, and took comparatively few measures to prepare fortifications and lay in supplies and ammunition.

The British endured three weeks of the Siege of Cawnpore with little water or food, suffering continuous casualties to men, women and children. On June 25 Nana Sahib offered fairly generous surrender terms, and Wheeler had little choice but to accept. The Nana Sahib agreed to let them have safe passage to Allahabad but on June 27 when the British left their fortified barrack buildings to board the promised riverboats, firing broke out. Who fired first has remained a matter of debate.

The Indians claim that the British had already boarded the boats and Tatya Tope raised his right hand to signal their departure. That very moment someone from the crowd blew a loud bugle which created disorder and in the ongoing bewilderment, the boatmen jumped off the boats. British soldiers and officers still had their arms and ammunition and they fired shots at these boatmen. The rebels lost all patience and started shooting indiscriminately. Nana Sahib, who was momentarily staying in Savada Kothi (Bungalow) nearby, got the message and immediately came to stop it. The remaining men were, however, killed to ensure no further unrest.

The British claim that during the march to the boats, loyal sepoys were removed by the mutineers and lynched along with any British officer or soldier that attempted to help them, although these attacks were ignored in an attempt to reach the boats safely. After firing began the boats' pilots fled, setting fire to the boats, and the rebellious sepoys opened fire on the British soldiers and civilians. One boat with over a dozen wounded men initially escaped, but later grounded, was caught by mutineers and pushed back down the river towards the carnage at Cawnpore. The female occupants were removed and taken away as hostages and the men, including the wounded and elderly, were hastily put against a wall and shot. Only four men eventually escaped alive from Cawnpore on one of the boats: two privates (both of whom died later during the Rebellion), a Lieutenant, and Captain Mowbray Thomson, who wrote a firsthand account of his experiences entitled "The Story of Cawnpore" (London) 1859.

The surviving women and children from the massacre by the river were led to the Bibi-Ghar (the House of the Ladies) in Cawnpore. On the July 15, with British forces approaching Cawnpore and some believing that they would not advance if there were no hostages to save, their murders were ordered. Another motive for these killings was to ensure that no information was leaked to the British after the fall of Cawnpore. After the sepoys refused to carry out this order, four butchers from the local market went into the Bibi-Ghar where they proceeded to kill the hostages with cleavers and hatchets. The dead and the dying were then thrown down nearby a well.

The killing of the women and children proved to be a mistake. The British public was aghast and the pro-Indian proponents lost all their support. Cawnpore became a war cry for the British and their allies for the rest of the conflict. The Nana Sahib disappeared near the end of the Rebellion.

The misinterpretation that British retaliation was ghastly only after the events of Cawnpore and the Bibi Ghar is deliberate in some accounts. Other British accounts [J.W. Sherer, "Daily Life during the Indian Mutiny", 1858, p. 56] Andrew Ward, "Our bones are scattered - The Cawnpore massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857", John Murray, 1996] [Ramson, Martin & Ramson, Edward, "The Indian Empire, 1858"] state that indiscriminate punitive measures were taken in early June, two weeks before the murders at the Bibi-Ghar, specifically by Lieutenant Colonel James George Smith Neill of the Madras Fusiliers (a European unit), commanding at Allahabad while moving towards Cawnpore. At the nearby town of Fatehpur, it was alleged that a mob had murdered the local British population. On this pretext, Neill explicitly ordered all villages beside the Grand Trunk Road to be burned, and their inhabitants to be hanged. Neill's methods were "ruthless and horrible" [Michael Edwardes, "Battles of the Indian Mutiny", Pan, 1963 ISBN 330-02524-4] and may well have induced previously undecided sepoys and communities to revolt.

Neill was killed in action at Lucknow on September 26 and was never called to account for his punitive measures, though contemporary British sources lionised Neill and his "gallant blue caps". [Units of the Army of the Madras Presidency wore blue rather than black shakoes or forage caps] By contrast with the actions of soldiers under Neill, the behaviour of most rebel soldiers was creditable. "Our creed does not permit us to kill a bound prisoner", one of the matchlockmen explained, "though we can slay our enemy in battle." [ [http://www.themuirfamily.com/angelos/kanpur.html Our bones are scattered - The Cawnpore massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1757] 1996]

When the British retook Cawnpore later, the soldiers took their sepoy prisoners to the Bibi-Ghar and forced them to lick the bloodstains from the walls and floor. They then hanged or "blew from the cannon" the majority of the sepoy prisoners. Although some claimed the sepoys took no actual part in the killings themselves, they did not act to stop it and this was acknowledged by Captain Thompson after the British departed Cawnpore for a second time.


Rebellion erupted in the state of Awadh (also known as Oudh, in modern-day Uttar Pradesh), which had been annexed barely a year before, very soon after the events in Meerut. The British Commissioner resident at Lucknow, Sir Henry Lawrence, had enough time to fortify his position inside the Residency compound. The British forces numbered some 1700 men, including loyal sepoys. The rebels' initial assaults were unsuccessful, and so they began a barrage of artillery and musket fire into the compound. Lawrence was one of the first casualties. The rebels tried to breach the walls with explosives and bypass them via underground tunnels that led to underground close combat. After 90 days of siege, numbers of British were reduced to 300 loyal sepoys, 350 British soldiers and 550 non-combatants.

On September 25 a relief column under the command of Sir Henry Havelock and accompanied by Sir James Outram (who in theory was his superior) fought its way from Cawnpore to Lucknow in a brief campaign in which the numerically small column defeated rebel forces in a series of increasingly large battles. This became known as 'The First Relief of Lucknow', as this force was not strong enough to break the siege or extricate themselves, and so was forced to join the garrison. In October another, larger, army under the new Commander-in-Chief, Sir Colin Campbell, was finally able to relieve the garrison and on the November 18, they evacuated the defended enclave within the city, the women and children leaving first. They then conducted an orderly withdrawal to Cawnpore, where they defeated an attempt by Tatya Tope to recapture the city in the Second Battle of Cawnpore.

Early in 1858, Campbell once again advanced on Lucknow with a large army, this time seeking to suppress the rebellion in Awadh. He was aided by a large Nepalese contingent advancing from the north under Jang Bahadur, who had remained allied to Britain throughout the rebellion in India. Campbell's advance was slow and methodical, and drove the large but disorganised rebel army from Lucknow with few casualties to his own troops. This nevertheless allowed large numbers of the rebels to disperse into Awadh, and Campbell was forced to spend the summer and autumn dealing with scattered pockets of resistance while losing men to heat, disease and guerilla actions.


Jhansi was a Maratha-ruled princely state in Bundelkhand. When the Raja of Jhansi died without a male heir in 1853, it was annexed to the British Raj by the Governor-General of India under the Doctrine of Lapse. His widow, Rani Lakshmi Bai, protested that she had not been allowed to adopt a successor, as per Indian custom.

When war broke out, Jhansi quickly became a centre of the rebellion. A small group of British officials and their families took refuge in Jhansi's fort, and the Rani negotiated their evacuation. However, when they left the fort, they were massacred by the rebels. Although the treachery might have occurred without the Rani's consent, the British suspected her of complicity, despite her protestations of innocence.

By the end of June 1857, the British had entirely lost control of much of Bundelkhand and eastern Rajastan. The Bengal Army units in the area, having rebelled, marched to take part in the battles for Delhi and Cawnpore. The many princely states which made up this area began warring amonst themselves. In September and October 1857, the Rani led the successful defence of Jhansi against the invading armies of the neighbouring rajas of Datia and Orchha.

In March 1858, the Central India Field Force, led by Sir Hugh Rose, advanced on and laid siege to Jhansi. The British captured the city, but the Rani fled in disguise.

After being driven from Jhansi and Kalpi, on June 1 1858 Rani Lakshmi Bai and a group of Maratha rebels captured the fortress city of Gwalior from the Scindia rulers, who were British allies. This might have reinvigorated the rebellion but the Central India Field Force very quickly advanced against the city. The Rani died on June 17, the second day of the Battle of Gwalior probably killed by a carbine shot from the 8th Hussars, according to the account of three independent Indian representatives. The British recaptured Gwalior within the next three days. In descriptions of the scene of her last battle, she was compared to Joan Of Arc by some commentators. [Lachmi Bai Rani of Jhansi, the Jeanne d'Arc of India (1901), White, Michael (Michael Alfred Edwin), 1866, New York : J.F. Taylor & Company, 1901]

Other areas

The Rohillas centred in Bareilly were also very active in the war and this area was amongst the last to be recaptured by the British, after Campbell had finally quelled resistance in Awadh.


From the end of 1857, the British had begun to gain ground again. Lucknow was retaken in March 1858. On 8 July 1858, a peace treaty was signed and the war ended. The last rebels were defeated in Gwalior on 20 June 1858. By 1859, rebel leaders Bakht Khan and Nana Sahib had either been slain or had fled. As well as hanging mutineers, the British had some "blown from cannon"; an old Mughal (also "Mogul" in English) punishment adopted many years before in India. A method of execution midway between firing squad and hanging but more demonstrative; sentenced rebels were set before the mouth of cannons and blown to pieces. ["Sahib: The British Soldier in India 1750-1914" Richard Holmes HarperCollins 2005] It was a crude and brutal war, with both sides resorting to what would now be described as war crimes. In the end, however, in terms of sheer numbers, the casualties were significantly higher on the Indian side.

The war of 1857 was a major turning point in the history of modern India. The British abolished the British East India Company and replaced it with direct rule under the British crown. A Viceroy was appointed to represent the Crown. In proclaiming the new direct-rule policy to "the Princes, Chiefs, and Peoples of India," Queen Victoria promised equal treatment under British law, but Indian mistrust of British rule had become a legacy of the 1857 rebellion.

The British embarked on a program in India of reform and political restructuring, trying to integrate Indian higher castes and rulers into the government. They stopped land grabs, decreed religious tolerance and admitted Indians into the civil service, albeit mainly as subordinates. They also increased the number of British soldiers in relation to native ones and allowed only British soldiers to handle artillery. Bahadur Shah was exiled to Rangoon, Burma where he died in 1862, finally bringing the Mughal dynasty to an end. In 1877, Queen Victoria took the title of Empress of India.


For Palelithic & Neolithic period:

*cite book |first=Kenneth Adrian Raine |last=Kennedy |authorlink=Kenneth A. R. Kennedy |year=2000 |title= |location=Ann Arbor |publisher=University of Michigan Press
*cite journal |first=Hannah V. A. |last=James |coauthors=Petraglia, Michael D. |year=2005 |title=Modern Human Origins and the Evolution of Behavior in the Later Pleistocene Record of South Asia |journal=Current Anthropology |volume=46 |issue=Supplement |month=December |format=PDF |url=http://www.human-evol.cam.ac.uk/Members/Petraglia/pubs/JamesPetraglia(CA2005).pdf |doi=10.1086/444365 |pages=S3
*cite journal |authorlink=V. N. Misra |last=Misra |first=V. N. |year=2001 |month=November |title=Prehistoric human colonization of India |url=http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/nov2001/491.pdf |format=PDF |journal=Journal of Biosciences |volume=26 |issue=4 |pages=491–531 |doi=10.1007/BF02704749
For Copper Hoard culture:

*Sharma, Deo Prakash, 2002. Newly Discovered Copper Hoard, Weapons of South Asia (C. 2800-1500 B.C.), Delhi, Bharatiya Kala Prakashan,182 p.
*Yule, P. 1985. Metalwork of the Bronze Age in India. C.H. Beck, Munich ISBN 3-406-30440-0
*Yule, P./Hauptmann, A./Hughes, M. 1989 [1992] . The Copper Hoards of the Indian Subcontinent: Preliminaries for an Interpretation, Jahrbuch des Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseums Mainz 36, 193-275, ISSN 0076-2741
*Gupta, S.P. (ed.). 1995. The lost Sarasvati and the Indus Civilization. Kusumanjali Prakashan, Jodhpur.
For Painted Grey Ware culture:

*Chakrabarti, D.K. 1968. The Aryan hypothesis in Indian archaeology. Indian Studies Past and Present 4, 333-358.
*Jim Shaffer. 1984. The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality. In: J.R. Lukak. The People of South Asia. New York: Plenum. 1984.
* Kennedy, Kenneth 1995. "Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from South Asia?", in George Erdosy, ed.: The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, p.49-54.
For Cemetery H culture:

*cite book |last=Kenoyer |first=Jonathan Mark |authorlink=Jonathan Mark Kenoyer |year=1991 |chapter=Urban Process in the Indus Tradition: A preliminary model from Harappa |editor=Meadow, R. H. (ed.) |title=Harappa Excavations 1986-1990: A multidiscipinary approach to Third Millennium urbanism |location=Madison, WI |publisher=Prehistory Press |pages=pp. 29–60
* [http://www.harappa.com http://www.harappa.com]
* [http://pubweb.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/indus/english/3_1_01.html http://pubweb.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/indus/english/3_1_01.html]
For Vedic Period:

* Bokonyi, S. 1997b. "Horse Remains from the Prehistoric Site of Surkotada, Kutch, Late 3rd Millennium BC.", South Asian Studies 13: 297-307.
*Kocchar, Rajesh, "The Vedic people: their history and geography", Hyderabad: Orient Longmans (1999).
* Lal, B.B. 2005. The Homeland of the Aryans. Evidence of Rigvedic Flora and Fauna & Archaeology, New Delhi, Aryan Books International.
* Michael Witzel, "Tracing the Vedic dialects" in "Dialectes dans les litteratures Indo-Aryennes" ed. Caillat, Paris, 1989, 97–265.
* Michael Witzel, "The Pleiades and the Bears viewed from inside the Vedic texts", EVJS Vol. 5 (1999), issue 2 (December) [http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/ejvs0502/ejvs0502.txt] .
For Indo-Schynthians

* Harmatta, János, ed., 1994. "History of civilizations of Central Asia, Volume II. The development of sedentary and nomadic civilizations: 700 B.C. to A.D. 250". Paris, UNESCO Publishing.
* Hill, John E. 2004. "The Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu." Draft annotated English translation. [http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/hhshu/hou_han_shu.html]
* Hill, John E. 2004. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilue" 魏略 "by Yu Huan" 魚豢": A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE." Draft annotated English translation. [http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/weilue/weilue.html]
* Liu, Xinru 2001 "Migration and Settlement of the Yuezhi-Kushan: Interaction and Interdependence of Nomadic and Sedentary Societies." "Journal of World History", Volume 12, No. 2, Fall 2001. University of Hawaii Press, pp. 261–292. [http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jwh/] .
* Watson, Burton. Trans. 1961. "Records of the Grand Historian of China:" Translated from the "Shih chi" of Ssu-ma Ch'ien. Chapter 123: The Account of Ta-yüan, p. 265. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-08167-7
For Kushans:

*cite book |last=Avari |first=Burjor |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=India: The Ancient Past|year=2007 |publisher=Routledge|location=London |isbn= 978-0-415-35616-9
*cite book
last = Bopearachchi
first = Osmund
authorlink = Bopearachchi
coauthors =
title = De l'Indus à l'Oxus, Archéologie de l'Asie Centrale
year = 2003
publisher = Association imago-musée de Lattes
location = Lattes
language = French
id = ISBN 2-9516679-2-2

*Faccenna, Domenico (1980). Butkara I (Swāt, Pakistan) 1956-1962, Volume III 1 (in English). Rome: IsMEO (Istituto Italiano Per Il Medio Ed Estremo Oriente).
*Falk, Harry. 1995-1996. "Silk Road Art and Archaeology IV".
* Falk, Harry. 2001. "The yuga of Sphujiddhvaja and the era of the IAST|Kuṣāṇas." "Silk Road Art and Archaeology VII", pp. 121–136.
*Falk, Harry. 2004. "The IAST|Kaniṣka era in Gupta records." Harry Falk. "Silk Road Art and Archaeology X" , pp. 167–176.
*Goyal, S. R. "Ancient Indian Inscriptions" Kusumanjali Book World, Jodhpur (India), 2005.
* Hill, John E. 2004. "The Western Regions according to the Hou Hanshu." Draft annotated English translation. [http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/hhshu/hou_han_shu.html]
* Hill, John E. 2004. "The Peoples of the West from the Weilue" 魏略 "by Yu Huan" 魚豢": A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE." Draft annotated English translation. [http://depts.washington.edu/silkroad/texts/weilue/weilue.html]
*cite book |last=Keay |first=John|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=India: A History |year=2000 |publisher=Grove Press |location=New York |isbn=0-8021-3797-0
*cite book |last=Lebedynsky |first=Iaroslav|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Les Saces|year=2006 |publisher=Editions Errance |location=Paris |isbn=2877723372
*cite book |last=Rosenfield |first=John M.|authorlink= |coauthors= |title=The Dynastic Art of the Kushans |year=1993 |publisher=Munshiram Manoharlal |location=New Delhi |isbn=8121505798
*cite book |series= |last=Sivaramamurti |first=C. |authorlink= |coauthors= |title=Śatarudrīya: Vibhūti of Śiva's Iconography |year=1976 |publisher= Abhinav Publications|location=Delhi|isbn=

Further reading

*R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker (editors): The History and Culture of the Indian People. Volume I, The Vedic age. Bombay : Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan 1951
* R.C. Majumdar et al. "An Advanced History of India", MacMillan, 1967.
*Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak "The Arctic Home in the Vedas", Messrs Tilak Bros., 1903

ee also

*Indus Valley Tradition
*Painted Grey Ware
*Vedic civilization/EB 1911
*Vedic science

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