Mughal Ancestors
Timur (Tamurlane) (1370-1405)

Genghis Khan  (1162-1227)

The Early Mughal Emperors
Babur (ruled 1526-30) the first Mughal, entered India from his capital in Afghanistan

Humayun (ruled 1530-40 and 1555-56) brought Persian painters to India in 1555

Akbar (former name: Badruddin Mohammed Akbar, ruled 1556-1605) founded the great Mughal painting school

Jahangir (former name: Prince Salim, ruled 1605-27) a painting connoisseur

Shah Jahan (former name: Prince Khurram, ruled 1627-58) Best known for building the Taj Mahal

Awrangzib (ruled 1658-1707)


The Mughal Capitals
Agra, India

Fathipur Sikri, India

Delhi, India

Important Places for the Mughals
Kabul, Afghanistan—Emperor Babur’s capital before conquering India

Bukhara, Uzbekistan—Where the calligrapher Mir Ali worked

Mewar -- Kingdom in Rajasthan, India, that fought the Mughals

Deccan—Plateau region of south-central India, controlled by Islamic sultans


Timurids:(1370 - 1505 ) dynasty in Iran and Central Asia, founded by Timur

Safavids: (1501-1722) dynasty in Iran

Ottomans: (1359-1922) dynasty in Turkey

Rajputs: various royal families in northwest and central India


Hinduism: a broad term for the indigenous religious traditions of India that incorporate a variety of forms of worship and personal devotion.  The most popular deities include: Vishnu, Shiva, and several forms of the goddess.

Islam: literally “submission” a monotheistic religion rooted in the Judeo-Christian tradition.  Founded in Arabia in the 7th century by the Prophet Mohammad, Islam had spread to southern Spain, North Africa, and western Asia by 750 C.E.

Muslim: a practitioner of the Islamic religion.

Sufi: a practitioner of Sufism, the mystical and transcendental forms of Islam.  Sufi’s are initiated into one of the established Sufi orders by individual mentors, who teach them meditational and conceptual methods for achieving personal union with the divine. The Mughals patronized the Chishti order of Sufis.

Sunni: Literally “principle” or “path” the largest branch within the Islamic faith.  Sunnis follow the Prophet Muhammad’s example as a primary doctrine and believe that the first four caliphs, the appointed leaders of the faith after Muhammad, were the rightful successors of Muhammad’s religion and its empire.  The Mughals were Sunni Muslims.

Shi’a: The second largest branch within the Islamic faith.  Shiites believe that Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, Ali, was the rightful heir and leader of Islam.  Shiite leaders, or Imams, are considered to have divine authority.  The Safavids in Iran were a Shi’a dynasty.

Shaykh: “elder” a respectful title for an older, educated man, a man of political power, or a religious leader.  In Sufism, the Shaykh is the leading elder of a congregation.

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