Get Complete Information on the Akbar’s Conquest of Bengal, Kabul and Kashmir

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Daud Khan was the Afghan Ruler of Bengal. He was the son of Sulaiman who had founded a new dynasty in Bengal in 1564. Sulaiman recognised the supremacy of Akbar and continued to live on terms of friendship. Daud succeeded his father in 1572. He was a rash and headstrong youth who had great confidence in the military resources of Bengal.

Daud annoyed Akbar by capturing the fort of Zamanin. Akbar sent orders to the Governor of Jaunpur to teach him a lesson. As the Governor was not successful against him. Akbar deputed Todar Mai to do the needful in the matter. It was due to the ceaseless efforts of Raja Todar Mai that Bengal was added to the Mughal Empire between 1576 and 1580. When the Afghan revolted once again in favour of Hakim Mirza, brother of Akbar, Man Singh reconquered the country in 1592.

Annexation of Kabul (1585)

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So long as Hakim Mirza lived, Kabul remained in his possession. Akbar did nothing to deprive him of that territory. In 1579-80, he tried to capture the Punjab. Akbar himself rushed from Bengal to meet the danger. However, Hakim Mirza ran away to Kabul at the approach of the Mughal troops. Hakim Mirza was pursued by Prince Murad but all same he was allowed to retain Kabul for the rest of his life.

When he died in 1585, the province of Kabul was annexed to the Mughal Empire and Man Singh was appointed as its Governor. It was a difficult task to control the Afghans. In 1586, Raja Birbal was killed. The Mughal troops suffered heavy losses and retreated with great difficulty.

Conquest of Kashmir (1586-87)

Yusuf Shah was the Ruler of Kashmir. He committed great cruelties on his Hindus subjects. This gave Akbar an excuse for interfering in the affairs of Kashmir. Raja Bhagwan Das was sent with 5,00 men to conquer Kashmir. In spite of the difficulties on the way, Raja Bhagwan Das preserved in his task and forced the ruler of Kashmir to surrender.

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The son of Yusuf Shah escaped and he continued the struggle for sometime. However, he too was defeated and forced to surrender. Kashmir was annexed and made a part of the province of Kabul. Akbar visited Kashmir in 1589. Yususf Shah and his son got Jagirs and were made Mansabdars.

Conquest of Sind (1591)

Akbar subdued Bhakkar in 1574 but a large part of Southern Sind was still to be conquered Akbar attached great importance to the conquest of Sind because its possession was expected to help him in the conquest of Qandhar. In 1590, Mirza Abdur Rahim was appointed the Governor of Multan and was instructed to take over the work of the conquest of Sind. Mirza J ii Beg was its Ruler. After two battles, he surrendered. On account of the recommendation of Atx ir Rahim, Jani Beg was given a very good treatment.

Conquest of Qandhar (1595)

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Akbar was desirous of capturing Qandhar. At this time the Shah of Persia was in a great difficulty on account of the activities of the Turks and Uzbegs. Akbar took advantage of the other preoccupations of the Shah of Persia and sent an expedition to conquer Qandhar. The work started in 1590 but was accomplished in 1595 when Qandhar was annexed to the Mughal Empire. Undoubtedly, the conquest of Qandhar was a master-stroke of diplomacy on the part of Akbar, Without spoiling his relations with the Shah of Persia, Akbar was able to acquire Qandhar.

The turbulent tribes of the Uzbegs and the Yusufzais were “very dangerous in their native hills, being democratic to a degree and fanatically attached to their liberty. Fighting in the fastnesses of their country which afford the best of natural defences, they ever resisted any attempts to bring them into subjugation to any of the adjoining monarchies.” Their attitude towards Akbar was unfriendly.

Akbar suppressed the Uzbegs completely. A large Mughal army under Raja Todar Mai and Prince Murad was sent against the Ysufzais and they were crushed. According to Abul Fazl, “A large number of them were killed and many were sold in Turan and Persia. The countries of Sawad (Swat), Bajaur and Buner, which have few equals for climate, fruits and cheapness of food, were cleansed of the evil-doers.”

The Roshniyas were the followers of Bayazid who “had been preaching a special form of Mohammedanism in which communism on the one hand and the destruction of the enemies of Islam on the other, seem to have been two of the leading features. Add to this his suggestion that he was the Mehdi to come and we have all the elements of religious explosion.” (Kennedy). The Roshniyas were defeated and completely crushed. Thus, there was no trouble from the North­west Frontier.

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Conquest of Ahmednagar

After completing the conquest of Northern India, Akbar diverted his attention towards the Deccan. To begin with, he sent political missions to induce the rulers of the Deccan States to accept his suzerainty. However he was unsuccessful in that mission. This forced Akbar to follow the path of war.

Ahmednagar was the first to be attacked. Abdur Rahim and Prince Murad were sent in 1595. At that time, Chand Sultana was acting as the regent on behalf of her nephew. She boldly defended the city of Ahmednagar and behaved like a great general. It is stated that she appeared in the ramparts of the city full armour and with drawn sword to encourage her troops.

“Chand Bibi appeared with a veil on her head. She got guns to be brought to bear on the assailants, and stones to be hurled on them, so that they were repulsed in several repeated attacks. During the night, she stood by the workmen and caused the breach to be filled up nine feet, before daylight, with wood, stones and carcasses.”

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Moreover, prince Murad and Abdur Rahim did not see eye to eye with each other and consequently their campaign was not a success. The Mughals made peace and contented themselves with the acquisition of Berar alone. Thus, the first campaign, against Ahmednagar ended in 1596. However, peace did not last long. There arose internal dissensions in Ahmednagar and the result was that Chand Sultana was murdered.

Moreover, the Government of Ahmednagar did not keep its word with the Mughal Government and tried to recover Berar. A battle was fought in February, 1596 at Ashthi and both the parties claimed victory for themselves. Occasional fights continued. Akbar decided to take the

command in person. In 1600, he occupied Burhanpur and sent Prince Daniyal with Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan to conquer Ahmednagar. The Mughal troops did not find much difficulty in their way. About 15,000 of the garrison were put to the sword and Ahmednagar was annexed to the Mughal Empire.

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