By Andre Wink
Generally considered as the best of the Mughal emperors, Jalal ad-Din Akbar (1542-1603) used to be an impressive army tactician and renowned demagogue. Ascending to the throne on the age of 13, he governed for part a century, increased the Mughal empire, and left in the back of a legacy to rival his notorious ancestor Chinggis Khan. This lucid biography offers glimpses into Akbar's lifestyle and highlights his contribution to new tools of imperial keep an eye on.
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Extra resources for Akbar (Makers of the Muslim World)
Much of the imperial traveling of Mughal times was prompted by the desire to keep recalcitrant officers – or brothers – on the side of loyalty, in other words to keep aspiring rebels from gaining too much traction in the areas of India yet to be subdued (or unsubduable) and thereby acquiring the ability to turn against the emperor. In the case of Akbar we have some vivid descriptions in the Akbarnama of the itinerant life he led for long periods from virtually his birth up to the eve of his death.
Near Chunar, after three days of rest and recreation at Varanasi, the river again became so boisterous that the naval authorities became alarmed and ordered most boats to be evacuated and their passengers to travel by land. Not Akbar, who went on by boat, cheerful and unperturbed, putting, as always, his faith in God – it appears that the boats reserved for his party were better built, and stormproof. At Cocakpur, the main army caught up with him and from then on started to pitch its tents opposite the stormproof royal barges.
The sterns too, of every one of those water houses, were made in the shape of animals, so as to astonish spectators . . Akbar, from the first day of this expedition onward, left his boat every day to hunt deer with cheetahs, again (as in the previous episode) looking for omens in the results of the hunt and the behavior of animals for the success of the larger expedition. At Etawah there was such a violent storm on the Yamuna river that many of the water houses were sunk by the waves. The orchestra was damaged too, but saved by divine intervention.
Akbar (Makers of the Muslim World) by Andre Wink