History Notes Part XII – Mughals and Marathas (Static GK Material for Competitive Exams)

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Mughal Dynasty, Important History notes, Lucent G.K. material for History, Mughal Empire, Mughal Administration and Culture, Decline of Mughal Empire, Mansabdari System, History Notes, History Notes for Competitive Exams, Important Dynasties of Medieval India, Buland Darwaza, Moti Masjid Hindu dynasty, Marthas, Painers of Jahangir Court, Shivaji, Taj Mahal, Saambhaji, Rajaram, Shahu, Tarabai, Shahu, balaji Viswanath, Baji Rao, One Liners for History.

Mughal Administration and Culture

  • There were 15 provinces during Akbar’s reign which increased to 20 during Aurangzeb’s reign.
  • Akbar introduced Mansabdari System. Mansab was the rank of the holder of Mansab.
  • Mansabadar were of three categories-
    a) Mansabadars
    b) Amirs
    c) Amir-i-umda
  • Kabulibagh in Panipat and Sambhal in Rohilakhand were two Mosques built by Babur.
  • Humayun’s tomb was built by his widow Haji Begum.
  • Mariam’s palace, Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas at Sikri built during Mughal Period are Indian in their plan.
  • Akbar began to built his own tomb at Sikandara which was later completed by Jahangir.
  • Buland Darwaja which formed the main entrance of Fatehpur Sikri was built afterr Gujarat victory.
  • Palace of Birbal and Palace of tansen were built inside Fatehpur Sikri.
  • Nurjahan built Itimad-ud-daula or Mirza Ghiyas Beg’s marble tomb at Agra firstly used pietra dura i.e. floral designs made up of semi precious stones.
  • Tuzuk-i-Baburi was written by Babur.
  • Humayun Nama was written by Gulbadan Begum.
  • Jahangir wrote Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri.
  • Abul fazzl wrote Ain-i-Akbari.
  • Shahjahan laid foundation of Shahjahanabad in 1637 where he built Red Fort and Takht-i-Taus.
  • Important buildings built by Shahjahan are Moti Masjid, Khaas Mahal and Mussmman Burz also known as Jasmine Palace.
  • Aurangzeb built Moti Masjid in Red Fort and Badshahi Masjid in Lahore.
  • Mir Syed Ali and Abdul Samad were two master painters of Humayun’s court.
  • Three famous painters of Jahangir’s courtwere Abdul Hassan, Ustad Mansur and Bishandas.

Hindu Dynasty

Marathas (1649-1748)


  • The main aim of Maraths was to liberate India from Muslim rule.
  • Shivaji was the most powerful Maratha ruler. He was famous for his Guerilla Warfare. He captured forts of Torna, Rajgarh, Purandhar.
  • Adil Shah (Ruler of Bijapur) sent Afzal Khan to punish Shivaji, but the Shivaji killed Afzal Khan in 1659.
  • Treaty of Purandhar was signed in 1665 according to which Shivaji ceded some forts to the Mughals.
  • In 1674 Shivaji was coronated at capital Rajgarh and assumed the title Haindava DharmoDharak (Protector of Hnduism).
  • Chhatrapati Shivaji continued the struggle with Mughals and Janjira. He conquered Karnataka in 1677-1680.
  • Shivaji was helped by eight ministers or Ashtapradhan.

Sambhaji (1680-1689)

  • Sambhaji was elder son of Shivaji. Sambhaji defeated the younger son of Shivaji, Rajaram in the war of succession.
  • He provided support to Akbar II. Sambhaji was captured by a Mughal noble and was executed.

Rajaram (1689-1700)

  • He succeeded the throne with the help of ministers at Rajgarh.
  • Mughals captured Rajgarh along with Sambhaji’s wife and son(Shahu).
  • Rajaram fled from Rajgarh to Jinji. He died at Satara in 1698.

Tarabai (1700-1707)

  • After death of Rajaram he was succeeded by his minor son Shivaji II under the guardianship of his mother Tarabai.
  • Tarabai continued the struggle with Mughals.

Shahu (1707-1749)

  • Shahu was the son of Sambhaji.
  • Shahu was released by Mughal Emperor Bahadur Shah.
  • Shahu occupied Satara in Battle of Khed in 1700 by defeating Tarabai’s army.
  • Shahu’s reign sawthe rise of Peshwas and Maratha kingdom transformed into Empire.

Balaji Viswanath (1713-1720)

  • Balaji Viswanath was the first Peshwa.
  • He began his career as a small revenue officer.
  • He became Peshwa in 1713 and played an important role in final victory for Shahu.
  • The post of Peshwa was powerful and hereditary.

Baji Rao I (1720-40)

  • Baji Rao was the son of Balaji Viswanath. He succeeded his father at very young age of 20.
  • He is credited with expanding the Maratha Empire in India.
  • In his military career spanning twenty years, Baji Rao never lost a battle.
  • According to British field Marshal Bernard Motgomary, Baji Rao was possibly the finest cavalry general ever produced in India.

Balaji Baji Rao

  • Nana Saheb or Balaji Baji Rao was the son of Baji Rao I.
  • He succeeded his father at a young age of 20.
  • Balaji was not a great military leader and failed to gauge the seriousness of Durrani invasions in Northern India.
  • This resulted in massive Maratha defeat at the third Battle of Panipat.
  • Third Battle of Panipat was fought between Maratha Empire and invading forces of king of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali and Shiya-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh.
  • The forces led by Ahmad Shah Durrani came out victorious after destroying several Maratha Flanks.

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