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Area: Moghul Empire
Ruler: Akbar (Abu'l Fath Jalaluddin Muhammad)
Reigned: 1556 - 1605
Denomination: AR Rupee
Mint: Agra
Obverse: Quatrefoil borders. Persian Inscription. 2 test marks
Reverse: Central incription within square. Persian script. Test mark
Reference: SAC 80.1, MI 3031
Weight: 11.4 gms
Diameter: 24.5 mm


When Akbar succeeded his father,Humayun, on 14 February 1556, he faced a major challenge from Himu, a Hindu General of Afghan rulers of Bihar. Himu was a very capable general and had won 22 successive battles when he marched towards Delhi. While Akbar was in the Punjab, he captured Delhi and proclaimed himself the ruler of India with a coveted title of Vikramaditya. The issue of supremacy had to be resolved, so both the armies met on the battleground of Panipat. This was a historically crucial battle, also known as the second battle of Panipat. Luck favoured Akbar, as just when the Mughals were losing the ground, a chance arrow struck Himu in eye and he fell unconscious, creating confusion among his soldiers. They assumed that Himu was dead, and left the battlefield. During this confusion, the helpless Himu was captured alive, and slain immediately by Akbar. The Mughals took the advantage, and reoccupied Delhi and most of the territories of Afghan rulers and nobles. This ended the long Mughal-Afghan contest for supremacy in India giving clear verdict in favour of the greatest Mughal, Akbar.

Akbar tried to conciliate the brave Rajputs (the warrior clan of north-western India, well known for their fighting spirit) and secured their active co-operation in almost all his activities. His empire was in fact outcome of the bringing together of Mughal diplomacy and Rajput valour and service. Bihari Mall and his grandson Mann Singh of Amber (Jaipur) were the first Rajputs kings who cemented their friendship by matrimonial alliance. Many other Rajput rulers followed the suit including Bikaner and Jaisalmer who gave their daughters in the marriages to Akbar. The Rajput princess of Bikaner, Jodhabai, bore him his legitimate son Salim who later inherited the empire and ruled India in name of Jahangir.

The Mughal nobility came to comprise mainly of the Central Asians (Turanis), Iranians (Iranis), Afghans, Indian Muslims of diverse subgroups, and Rajputs. Both historical circumstances and a planned imperial policy (cleverly devised by Akbar) contributed to the integration of this complex and heterogeneous ruling class into a single imperial service. Akbar saw to it that no single ethnic or religious group was large enough to challenge his supreme authority. This was a masterpiece of his military organizational ability which secured the Mughal supremacy for centuries.

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