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Dynasty of Central Asian origin that ruled the northern part of the Indian subcontinent from 1526 to 1858.

I. Introduction. II. Family members.

I. Introduction

The dynasty's name Mughal derives from the word Mongol, as the founder (A) Babur (“tiger”) was a Chaghatay prince in Central Asia who was descended on his father's side from the Mongol warlord Timur and on his mother's from Genghis Khan. After losing his Central Asian kingdom of Ferghana, Babur conquered Kabul in 1504 and then defeated the Lodi sultan at Panipat in 1526 and the Rajput chiefs at Kanwa near Agra the following year. With these victories he gained a foothold in northern India and established a capital at Delhi (see Delhi, §I). Babur was succeeded by his son (B) Humayun (“auspicious”), who was dislodged within a decade by nobles of the old Lodi regime, particularly Farid Khan Sur, who defeated the Mughal ruler at Kannawj in 1540. Driven into exile, Humayun spent 15 years in Sind, Iran and Afghanistan, but was able to regain the throne in 1555 after squabbles for succession undermined the Sur regime. A year later, he tumbled down the stairs to his library and died, succeeded in turn by his son (C) Akbar (“‘great”) who extended Mughal control over northern and central India during his 50-year reign (1556–1605). Akbar's son, (D) Jahangir (“world-seizer”), continued the policy of subduing outlying areas of India, and his son, (E) Shah Jahan (“king of the world”), undertook an ambitious program of uniting Central Asia and Iran in an empire of Sunni Islam designed to counter the Shi῾ite Safavids in Iran. However, this grand plan ended in failure in 1647, and a conservative reaction ensued under his son, (F) Awrangzib (“ornament of the throne”).

The rule of the later Mughals in the 18th and first half of the 19th century was marked by political disintegration. The Marathas gained control of Maharashtra and central India, the British slowly expanded their holdings in Bengal, and the Sikhs emerged as a militant force in Punjab. The Nizam of Hyderabad broke away in 1724, and autonomous emirs ruled Sind. The Nawabs of Murshidabad and Lucknow, while ostensibly vassals, were independent for all practical purposes. A devastating blow came in 1739 during the reign of Muhammad Shah (1719–48) when Nadir Shah of Iran sacked the Mughal capital. With relatively little territory or revenue, the Mughal court ceased to set the standard in the arts.

The Mughals were the greatest, longest-lasting and richest Muslim dynasty to rule India. Their enormous wealth, which derived from agriculture, dwarfed that of contemporary Muslim rulers, the Ottoman dynasty in the Mediterranean and the Safavid dynasty in Iran. Great builders, the Mughals consciously used architecture as a means of self-representation and an instrument of royalty. More monuments survive from the period of Mughal rule than from any other, and under Mughal patronage a distinctive and elegant style of architecture developed, characterized by ogee arches and bulbous domes executed in meticulously finished red sandstone and white marble (see Architecture, §VII, D). The Mughal rulers were also major patrons of the arts, and the finest pieces were made in royal ateliers. The earlier emperors favored illustrated books (see Illustration, §VI, E), but from the middle of the 17th century a taste developed for luxury wares such as jewelry (see Jewelry, §II, F), weapons (see Arms and armor, §II, C), textiles (see Textiles, §IV, E) and rugs (see Carpets and flat-weaves, §IV, E), lavishly crafted from precious metals, gems, hardstones and silk. The Mughals imported the finest wares, including spinels from Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and porcelains from China. They also collected the objets d’art made for their ancestors, the Timurid dynasty of Central Asia, especially their luxury books (see Illustration, §V, D) and jades (see Jade). These Timurid wares provided prototypes for Mughal wares, which were also inscribed with the names and titles of the emperors.


  • I. Habib: The Agrarian System of Mughal India (Bombay, 1963)
  • B. Gasgoigne: The Great Moghuls (London, 1971; R 1987)
  • A. J. Qaisar: The Indian Response to European Technology and Culture, 1498–1707 (Delhi, 1982)
  • T. Raychaudhari and I. Habib, eds.: The Cambridge Economic History of India, i (Cambridge, 1982)
  • The Indian Heritage: Court Life & Arts under Mughal Rule (exh. cat., London, V&A, 1982)
  • E. Koch: Mughal Architecture: An Outline of its History and Development (1526–1858) (Munich, 1991/R New York, 2002)
  • C. B. Asher: Architecture of Mughal India, Cambridge History of India (Cambridge, 1992)
  • S. S. Blair and J. M. Bloom: The Art and Architecture of Islam 1250–1800, Pelican Hist. A. (New Haven and London, 1992), pp. 266–302 [chaps. 18 and 19 on architecture and the arts]
  • J. F. Richards: The Mughal Empire (Cambridge, 1993)
  • S. P. Verma: Mughal Painters and their Work: A Biographical Survey and Catalogue (Delhi, 1994)
  • T. Verma: Karkhanas under the Mughals, from Akbar to Aurangzeb: A Study in Economic Development (Delhi, 1994)
  • S. Swarup: Mughal Art: A Study in Handicrafts (Delhi, 1996)
  • Sultan, Shah, and Great Mughal: The History and Culture of the Islamic World (exh. cat., ed. K. von Folsach, T. Lundbæk and P. Mortensen; Copenhagen, Nmus., 1996)
  • M. Alam: “State Building under the Mughals: Religion, Culture and Politics,” Cah. Asie Cent., iii–iv (1997), pp. 105–28
  • Flowers Underfoot: Indian Carpets of the Mughal Era (exh. cat. by D. Walker; New York, Met., 1997)
  • R. Nath: Mughal Sculpture: Study of Stone Sculptures of Birds, Beasts, Mythical Animals, Human Beings, and Deities in Mughal Architecture (Delhi, 1997)
  • M. Zebrowski: Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India (London, 1997)
  • M. Alam and S. Subrahmanyan, eds.: The Mughal State 1526–1750 (Delhi, 1998)
  • A. S. Das: Mughal Masters: Further Studies (Bombay, 1998)
  • Dr. Daljeet: Mughal and Deccani Paintings: From the Collection of the National Museum (New Delhi, 1999)
  • S. P. Verma: Flora and Fauna in Mughal Art (Bombay, 1999)
  • H. Hattstein and P. Delius, eds.: Islamic Art and Architecture (Cologne, 2000), pp. 464–93 [good pictures]
  • J. Seyller: “A Mughal Code of Connoisseurship,” Muqarnas, xvii (2000), pp. 176–202
  • E. Koch: Mughal Art and Imperial Ideology: Collected Essays (New Delhi, 2001)
  • C. van Ruymbeke: “Les souvenirs d’une princesse mogole: Gul-Badan Baygam, fille de Babur, sœur de Humayun, tante d’Akbar,” La femme: Dans les civilisations orientales et Miscellanea aegyptologica: Christiane Desroches Noblecourt in honorem, ed. C. Cannuyer and others, Acta Orientalia Belgica, 15 (Brussels, 2001) pp. 191–204
  • R. Crill, S. Stronge and A. Topsfield, eds.: Arts of Mughal India: Studies in Honour of Robert Skelton (London, 2004)
  • P. Moura Carvalho: “What Happened to the Mughal Furniture? The Role of Imperial Workshops, the Decorative Motifs Used, and the Influence of Western Models,” Muqarnas, xxi (2004), pp. 79–93
  • Goa and the Great Mughal (exh. cat., ed. J. Flores and N. Vassallo e Silva; Lisbon, Mus. Gulbenkian, 2004)
  • B. Schmitz and Z. A. Desai: Mughal and Persian Paintings and Illustrated Manuscripts in the Raza Library, Rampur (New Delhi, 2006)
  • P. Moura Carvalho: Gems and Jewels of Mughal India (2007), xviii of The Nasser D. Khalili Collection of Islamic Art, ed. J. Raby (London, 1992– )
  • E. Wright, S. Stronge and W. M. Thackston: Muraqqa῾ Imperial Mughal Albums from the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin (Alexandria, VA, 2008)

II. Family members

A. Babur. B. Humayun. C. Akbar. D. Jahangir. E. Shah Jahan. F. Awrangzib.

A. Babur

[Ẓahīr al-Dīn Bābur] (b. Andijan, 14 Feb., 1483; d. Agra, 26 Sept., 1530; r. 1526–30). Babur's memoirs, the Bāburnāma, written in Chagatay Turkish, give some contradictory hints about the personality of the dynasty's founder: ambitious, casually violent, articulate, heavy drinking, personally engaging, highly cultured and interested in the arts. He was a collector of books, who transported his library on campaign. A copy of his autobiography transcribed at Agra in 1528 (Rampur, State Lib., no. 19) has his own annotations, and illustrated copies became popular under his grandson Akbar.

Babur's favorite type of artistic patronage was the garden, typically divided into four parts by watercourses (Ind.-Pers. chār-bāgh, a “four-plot” garden). He is said to have built ten in and around Kabul and many more in India. This type, which had been established under his ancestors, the Timurids, became the model for Mughal gardens (see Garden, §VI). Typically set outside the citadels or fortress palaces of pre-Mughal rulers, Babur's gardens symbolized his appropriation of the land and served as royal emblems of territorial control. They also provided the setting for symposia of pleasure, poetry, and government. After his death, he was buried at Agra, but in 1644 his remains were reburied in his favorite garden, an 11-hectare terraced garden south of Kabul.


  • Bāburnāma (c.1530) Eng. trans. and ed. by A. S. Beveridge, 2 vols. (London, 1922/R New Delhi, 1970); Eng. trans., ed. and annotations by W. M. Thackston as The Baburnama: memoirs of Babur, prince and emperor (Washington, D.C., 1996)


  • M. Hasan: Babur, the Founder of the Mughal Empire in India (Delhi, 1986)
  • E. B. Moynihan: “The Lotus Garden Palace of Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur,” Muqarnas, v (1988), pp. 135–52
  • C. B. Asher: “Babur and the Timurid Chahār-Bāgh: Use and Meaning,” Environmntl Des., xi (1991), pp. 46–55
  • E. B. Moynihan: “But What a Happiness to Have Known Babur!,” Mughal Gardens: Sources, Places, Representations, and Prospects, ed. J. L. Wescoat and J. Wolschke-Bulmahn, Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture, xvi (Washington, 1996), pp. 94–126
  • R. Nath: India as Seen by Babur, AD 1504–1530 (Delhi, 1996)
  • E. Koch: “Mughal Palace Gardens from Babur to Shah Jahan (1526–1648),” Muqarnas, xiv (1997), pp. 143–65
  • S. Zajadacz-Hastenrath: “A Note on Babur's Lost Funerary Enclosure at Kabul,” Muqarnas, xiv (1997), pp. 135–42
  • N. Azam: “Development of Mosque Architecture under Babur,” Proc. Ind. Hist. Congr., lxiv (2003), pp. 1406–13
  • B. Saggar: Mongols in India: Babur and Humayun, the First Two Mughal Emperors (Delhi, 2003)
  • S. Dale: The Garden of the Eight Paradises: Babur and the Culture of Empire in Central Asia, Afghanistan and India (1483–1530) (Leiden, 2004)

B. Humayun

[Naṣīr al-Dīn Humāyūn] (b. Kabul, 6 March, 1508; d. Delhi, 22 Feb., 1556; r. 1530–40, 1555–6). In typical Mongol fashion, Babur had divided his kingdom between his sons: Humayun received India, while his half-brother Kamran was sovereign of the more northernly parts of the empire including Kabul and Lahore. Somewhat inexperienced when he came to the throne at age 22, Humayun, like his father Babur, lost his kingdom early in his reign and was forced into exile during the Sur interregnum and was received in Iran at the court of Shah Tahmasp (see Safavid, §II, A). When Humayun returned in 1545, he brought with him a number of Safavid court artists in his service. Humayun first captured Kabul in 1545, which became the center of his court until he took Delhi in 1555. Little is known of the Kabul period, but painters from Iran arrived there, and apparently some manuscripts were produced (see color pl. 2:VI). A year after his return to Delhi, Humayun died unexpectedly after tumbling down the stairs in his library.

The biographical, slightly hagiographical, ac-count compiled by Humayun's sister at the request of his son Akbar portrayed the ruler as lenient. Like his father Babur, Humayun was interested in books. He inherited his father's library and returned from exile with Persian painters such as ῾Abd al-Samad and Mir sayyid ῾ali, who formed the core of the imperial atelier and introduced Persian idioms into the tradition of illustrated manuscripts produced for the Mughals. Humayun's greatest architectural creation was the foundation of Dinpanah, Delhi's sixth city (see Delhi, §I, F), in 1533, although it is unclear which parts date to his patronage or to that of Shir Shah. Similarly, much of the work in Purana Qil῾a (see Delhi, §III, C) may be the work of his Sur rival. Humayun is best remembered today for his tomb at Delhi (see Delhi, §III, D), the first monumental Mughal mausoleum, but it was only begun six years after his death by his son Akbar.


  • Gulbandan Begum: Humayūn-nāma; Fr. trans. by P. Piffaretti; ed. J.-L. Bacqué-Grammont as Le livre de Hûmayûn (Paris, 1996)
  • G. D. Lowry: “Humayun's Tomb: Form, Function, and Meaning in Early Mughal Architecture,” Muqarnas, iv (1987), pp. 133–48
  • P. Pal: Humayun's Garden Party: Princes of the House of Timur and Early Mughal Painting (Bombay, 1994)
  • D. F. Ruggles: “Humayun's Tomb and Garden: Typologies and Visual Order,” Gardens in the Time of the Great Muslim Empires: Theory and Design, ed. A. Petruccioli, Studies in Islamic Art and Architecture, vii (Leiden, 1997), pp. 173–86
  • N. Misra and T. Misra: The Garden Tomb of Humayun: An Abode in Paradise (Delhi, 2003)
  • B. Saggar: Mongols in India: Babur and Humayun, the First Two Mughal Emperors (Delhi, 2003)

C. Akbar

[Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar] (b. Umarkot, Sind, 15 Oct., 1542; d. Agra, 12 Oct., 1605; r. 1556–1605). Humayun's son Akbar, as his name suggests, was the most important ruler of the Mughal dynasty: he inherited a small and precarious kingdom, but by the time of his death fifty years later he had transformed it into a vast empire stretching from Kabul to the Deccan. An able ruler, Akbar established political, administrative and cultural institutions that endured until the 19th century. The history of his reign and the details of its institutions were recorded by his courtier Abu῾l al-Fazl in the Akbarnāma and Āyīn-i Akbarī. Akbar introduced active state patronage of craft manufacture and textile production. His interest in the imperial painting workshops encouraged the development of a new composite style fusing the work of such Persian émigrés as ῾Abd al-samad and Mir sayyid ῾ali with indigenous sultanate traditions (see Illustration, §VI, E, 2), in such manuscripts as the Ṭūṭīnāma (“Tales of a parrot”; Cleveland, OH, Mus. A., 62.279) and Ḥamzanāma (“Tales of Hamza”; c.1562–77; dispersed). Many other manuscripts, mainly dynastic histories and works of Persian classical literature, were created for the imperial court, and their style was imitated in works produced for the nobility. Akbar was also interested in music and attracted outstanding musicians to his court, including the famous Tansen of Gwalior.

Akbar's contribution to architecture included an impressive series of forts and palaces that similarly blend Persian, Central Asia and Indian styles into a distinctive Mughal style unified by the ubiquitous building material, red sandstone, which was not only readily available, easily carved and attractive, but also the color reserved for imperial tents. The frenzy of building that occurred during Akbar's reign surpassed that under the Tughluq dynasty two centuries earlier. Buildings reflected the cosmopolitan nature of the empire, as craftsmen immigrated to the rich and powerful Mughal court. The most important buildings were constructed in the capitals at Agra, Lahore and especially the newly founded city of Fatehpur sikri. Akbar's tomb for his father Humayun at Delhi (see Delhi, §III, D) set the precedent for Mughal monumental tombs, in which domed buildings are set on a plinth in a fourfold garden. Akbar's own tomb at Sikandra, 8 km northwest of Agra, was likewise built under his son (see fig.).


Mausoleum of Akbar, Sikandra, India, c. 1612–4; photo credit: Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

view larger image


  • Abu῾l-Fazl:῾Āyīn-i Akbarī [Annals of Akbar] (c. 1596–1602); Eng. trans. in 3 vols: vol. i, trans. H. Blochmann, ed. S. L. Gloomer ([Calcutta], 1871/R Delhi, 1965); vols. ii–iii, trans. H. S. Jarrett, ed. J. Sarkar (1948–9/R New Delhi, 1972–3)
  • Abu῾l-Fazl: Akbarnāma (c. 1596–1602); Eng. trans. H. Beveridge, 3 vols. (Calcutta, 1907–39/R New Delhi, 1972–3)
  • S. A. A. Rizvi: The Religious and Intellectual History of the Muslims in Akbar's Reign (Delhi, 1975)
  • A. R. Khan: The Chieftains in the Mughal Empire during the Reign of Akbar (Simla, 1977)
  • Akbar's India: Art from the Mughal City of Victory (exh. cat. M. Brand and G. D. Lowry; New York, Asia Soc. Gals., 1985)
  • A. K. Das: “Akbar's Imperial Ramayana: A Mughal Persian Manuscript,” Marg, xlv/3 (1994), pp. 61–72
  • S. P. Verma: Painting under Akbar as Narrative Art (Delhi, 1997)
  • The Adventures of Hamza (exh. cat. by J. Seyller; Washington, DC, Sackler Gal.; New York, Brooklyn Mus.; London, RA; Zurich, Mus. Rietberg; 2002–3)

D. Jahangir

[Nūr al-Dīn Salim Jahāngīr] (b. Fatehpur Sikri, 31 Aug., 1569; d. 28 Oct., 1627; r. 1605–27). In 1568, the Sufi shaykh Mu῾in al-Din Chishti is said to have presciently predicted that the childless Akbar would have three sons, and the following year Akbar's Rajput wife Maryam al-Zamani give birth to Prince Salim, the future Jahangir. As the fourth ruler of the dynasty, he continued the policies set in place by his father and, for the most part, did not interfere with the institutions of state. As a patron, he had an active interest in painting, architecture and gardens, as indicated by surviving pictures and monuments and his memoirs, the Tūzuk-ī Jahāngīrī. Like earlier emperors, he was an acute observer of the everyday world and took a special delight in curiosities from distant lands that were arriving in India. His connoisseur's eye for painting is revealed by the attributions, written in his own hand, that are found in many manuscripts (see Illustration, §VI, E, 3). The ruler seems to have preferred small books with fewer but finer illustrations, often by a single artist, works intended for personal enjoyment, rather than state documents meant to impress. In addition to illustrated manuscripts, he also commissioned individual portraits, and many specimens of calligraphy and painting were collected in magnificent albums (see Album). Works produced under his reign also show a growing interest in European motifs and techniques, as in the painting by Bichitr showing Jahangir Preferring a Sufi to Kings (Washington, DC., Freer; see Illustration, color pl.).

Similarly, in architecture under Jahangir, attention shifted from public projects to work of a more private nature, such as hunting palaces, formal gardens and ornamental retreats, of which little survives. Buildings from this period of transition and experimentation are distinguished by highly decorated surfaces in a variety of materials, ranging from the familiar sandstone to white marble, stone intarsia, painting stucco and tile. A key example is the jewel-like tomb of his father-in-law and finance minister I῾timad al-Dawla (see Agra, §II, B). Splendid items of carved Jade and other precious objects made for Jahangir attest an impressive level of craftsmanship and the opulence of the emperor's material surroundings.


  • Tūzuk-ī Jahāngīrī [Memoirs of Jahangir] (c.1624); Eng. trans. A. Rogers, ed. H. Beveridge (London, 1904–14/R Delhi, 1968); ed., trans. and annotated by W. M. Thackston as The Jahangirnama: memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India (Washington, D.C., 1999)


  • B. Prasad: History of Jahangir (London and Madras, 1922, rev. Allahabad, 5/1962)
  • K. Mahmud: “The Mausoleum of Emperor Jahangir,” A. Asia, xiii (1983), pp. 57–66
  • M. Brand: “Mughal Ritual in Pre-Mughal Cities: The Case of Jahangir in Mandu,” Environmntl Des., xi (1991), pp. 8–17
  • C. B. Asher: “Appropriating the Past: Jahāngīr's Pillars,” Islam. Cult., vii/4 (1997), pp. 1–15
  • S. P. Verma: “Portraits of Birds and Animals under Jahangir,” Flora and Fauna in Mughal Art, ed. S. P. Verma (Bombay, 1999), pp. 12–24

E. Shah Jahan

[Shihāb al-Dīn Muḥammad Shāh Jahān] (b. Lahore, 5 Jan., 1592; d. Agra, 22 Jan., 1666; r. 1628–58). After revolting against his father Jahangir, as his father had done, Shah Jahan succeeded to the throne upon his father's death. During Shah Jahan's 30-year rule, the Mughal Empire attained its greatest prosperity. In 1636 he destroyed the kingdom of Ahmednegar and undertook a second war against the Deccan in 1655. In 1658 he fell ill, was imprisoned in the citadel of Agra by his son Awrangzib, and died there eight years later.

Under Shah Jahan's patronage, Mughal architecture achieved its classical moment, as centralized planning gave way to bilateral symmetry and the repertory of forms and materials was standardized. Cusped arches became ubiquitous, and white marble or fine stucco replaced red sandstone as the preferred facing material. These materials were highly polished and exquisitely finished with relief carving and colored inlay. The dynasty's greatest patron of architecture, Shah Jahan established an entirely new city at Delhi (see Delhi, §I, G) and undertook the wholesale reconstruction of the palaces at Agra and Lahore. His most famous project was the Taj Mahal at Agra (see Agra, §II, A and color pl.), a stunning mausoleum of white marble built for his wife, but he was also an active builder of mosques and gardens.

The formality of Shah Jahan's architecture was paralleled in painting and the decorative arts. As artistic interest shifted to architecture, the royal painting atelier declined in size, and formal grandeur was achieved largely at the expense of the earlier naturalism (see Illustration, §VI, E, 4). The finest paintings from his reign illustrate a copy of the Pādshāhnāma (Windsor Castle, Royal Lib.), an illustrated history of his rule. Although technically brilliant, with a complete assimilation of European perspective and landscape devices, these static and stylized images lack the warmth of portraits produced earlier under his father. Similarly, the many single-page portraits that were assembled in albums under Shah Jahan are somewhat stiff and formal. Of the many precious objects made for the court, perhaps the most impressive is the Emperor's white jade wine cup (London, V&A), but fine textiles were also made during his reign.


  • ῾Abd al-Hamid Lahauri: Pādshāhnāma [Emperor's book] (c.1654–5); ed. K. Ahmad and A. Rahim, 2 vols. (Calcutta, 1865–8)
  • E. Koch: Shah Jahan and Orpheus: The Pietre Dure Decoration and the Programme of the Throne in the Hall of Public Audiences at the Red Fort of Delhi (Graz, 1988)
  • W. E. Begley, ed.: Shah Jahan Nama of Inayat Khan: An Abridged History of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan (New Delhi, 1990)
  • E. Koch: “Diwan-i ῾Amm and Chihil Sutun: The Audience Halls of Shah Jahan,” Muqarnas, xi (1994), pp. 143–65
  • M. Nanda: European Travel Accounts During the Reigns of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb (Kurukshetra, 1994)
  • King of the World: The Padishahnama: An Imperial Mughal Manuscript from the Royal Library, Windsor Castle (exh. cat. by M. C. Beach and E. Koch; New Delhi, N. Mus.; London, Queen's Gal.; and elsewhere; 1997–8)
  • K. S. Srivastava: Two Great Mughals: Akbar and Aurangzeb (Varanesi, 1998)

F. Awrangzib

[Abū Muẓaffar Muhiyy al-Dīn Muḥammad Awrangzīb] (b. Dahod, 3 Nov., 1618; d. Ahmednagar, 3 March, 1707; r. 1658–1707). After imprisoning his father and eliminating his brothers and nephews, Awrangzib ascended the throne in 1658. In the early part of his reign, patronage continued as before, with portraits of the Emperor following the conventions established in the time of Shah Jahan. Awrangzib was known for his piety and zeal, and his reign was marked by a gradual increase in Islamic orthodoxy. The latter part of his reign marks the end of the great age of imperial Mughal patronage. Painting and music were discouraged at court; artists began to rely on the nobility for patronage, some migrating to regional centers. Book illustration reached a stylistic plateau, as artists reverted to simplified, rather lifeless portraits and the floral naturalism characteristic of Shah Jahan's reign became stylized and objects became showy rather than practical. Awrangzib added little to the imperial palaces built by his forebears but commissioned the construction of a number of mosques. The best-known example is the Badshahi Mosque at Lahore, a building of extraordinary scale (for illustration see Lahore). Much of Awrangzib's rule was occupied by wars in the Deccan against Bijapur and Golconda, and portions of the empire in the northwest began to slip from Mughal hands.


  • J. Sarkar: History of Aurangzeb, 5 vols. (Calcutta, 1925–34)
  • M. Athar Ali: The Mughal Nobility under Aurangzeb (Bombay, 1968)
  • M. A. Nayeem, S. D. Ashraf, Sayyid Daul and others: Mughal Documents: Catalogue of Aurangzeb's Reign (Hyderabad, 1988– )
  • M. Nanda: European Travel Accounts during the Reigns of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb (Kurukshetra, 1994)
  • K. S. Srivastava: Two Great Mughals: Akbar and Aurangzeb (Varanesi, 1998)
  • I. Shah: “Major Architectural Remains of the Time of Awrangzīb: Punjab and
  • N.W.F.P.,” J. Pakistan Hist. Soc., xlix/1 (2001), pp. 45–53
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