A Brief History of the Great Moghuls

[Epub] A Brief History of the Great Moghuls  By Bamber Gascoigne – Johndore.co.uk
  • Paperback
  • 278 pages
  • A Brief History of the Great Moghuls
  • Bamber Gascoigne
  • English
  • 23 August 2018
  • 1841195332

About the Author: Bamber Gascoigne

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the A Brief History of the Great Moghuls book, this is one of the most wanted Bamber Gascoigne author readers around the world.


A Brief History of the Great Moghuls This Text Chronicles The History Of The Extraordinarily Talented Dynasty Of Emperors, Nicknamed By Travellers Returning To Europe, The Great Moghuls For Their Almost Limitless Power And Incomparable Wealth The Book Deals With One Of The Most Interesting Periods Of Indian History, The Th And Th Centuries, Providing A Picture Of The Country S Most Flamboyant Rulers, Their Sublime Palaces, Their Passions, Art, Science And Religion, And Their System Of Administration

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10 thoughts on “A Brief History of the Great Moghuls

  1. AC says:

    This is an absolutely marvelous book five stars without any hesitation and maybe even six my usual grade inflation fully in play here, I guessIn other words, I loved it In reading Robert Kaplan s wonderful Monsoon last month, I came to realize that there was one really giant hole in my understanding of world history that while I knew something about the Mediterranean and Asia , and now, about the Indian Ocean littoral the land bridge between was a veritable blank And yet, This is an absolutely marvelous book five stars without any hesitation and maybe even six my usual grade inflation fully in play here, I guessIn other words, I loved it In reading Robert Kaplan s wonderful Monsoon last month, I came to realize that there was one really giant hole in my understanding of world history that while I knew something about the Mediterranean and Asia , and now, about the Indian Ocean littoral the land bridge between was a veritable blank And yet, until the opening up of the littoral trade routes in the 16th cen, it was precisely this overland route that linked Europe to the broader world In other worlds, what I didn t understand even remotely was the Mughal Empire.The Mughals were descended from the Mongol Turks Bambur and his sons were, in fact, direct descendants of Ghengis Kahn and Tamerlaine That sat astride the caravan routes from China through the Uzbek Samarkand and into Europe and brought India into the early modern world, blending Islam and Hindu into a brilliant original synthesis that until it fell apart under the austere Cromwellian, Aurangzeb which is what laid the groundwork for the partition of the Subcontinent in the 1940 s anacoluthon intended This book presents a history of the Mughals both a narrative history of the Emperors, their personalities and grand vicissitudes, and also a quite detailed cultural history of this most brilliant of dynasties The personalities revealed are as great as any known from Rome or from the 19th century Babur, Akbar, Jahangir , Shah Jahan even the doomed and severe Aurangzeb what a cast of characters and Gascoigne draws their portraits with sympathy, insight, brilliance, and pathos.Gascoigne is not an academic historian and writes with energy and imagination and I dare say that this is one of those books where the amateur comes off better than the professional Indeed, this book will not only interest history buffs, but arts buffs it s well illustrated in large format , and Gascoigne has some wonderful pages on Mughal art and architecture but even , anyone interested in the pathos of the human drama as the destiny of these several Mughals presents a story of sad grandeur that Gascoigne knows how to milk.I think the reason so little is known about the Mughals is that they were an inland empire and of course it is also because Europe essentially did an end run around them to open up Asia But as Kaplan shows, if the 21st century is going to reopen, once again, the Indian littoral and have any hopes of moving, as Kaplan believes is possible, towards the development of a modern, enlightened, cosmopolitan, non Arabic ISLAMIC Indian littoral, then the Mughals offer one of the most remarkable and models for them to follow And even if it fails, the Mughals will still be the backstory of this important region of the future, even as the fairs and towns of medieval Europe to summon the memory of Pirenne or Fernand Braudel were the backstories for the great ages of the West 1500 2000 now approaching, alas, their end

  2. Kalliope says:

    Decided to re read it given my trip to Delhi in a couple of weeks and how much I liked it the first time.

  3. Azimah Othman says:

    This book gives a brief history and the politics of the first six emperors of the Moghul Empire namely Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb My initial interest is to read Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb.1 Babur 1483 1530 I thought it would be an easy read but I was wrong How could you fit all of Babur in 37 pages when the stage is huge I actually ended up with a quick revision of Temur and then the history of the Delhi Sultanate Babur is 5 generations after Temur 1336 140 This book gives a brief history and the politics of the first six emperors of the Moghul Empire namely Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb My initial interest is to read Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb.1 Babur 1483 1530 I thought it would be an easy read but I was wrong How could you fit all of Babur in 37 pages when the stage is huge I actually ended up with a quick revision of Temur and then the history of the Delhi Sultanate Babur is 5 generations after Temur 1336 1405 which makes him Temur s great great great grandsonthe bloodline being Temur, Miranshah 4th son , Sultan Mohammed, Abu Said and Omar Shaykh The book take pains in picturing life and the politics in the steppes during the period Temur was of Barlas Turk tribe thought to have been originally Mongol who had adopted the Turki language which was indeed the language spoken and written by Babur Barlas Turk was also a subdivision of Chaghatai Turks Temur had wanted to be thought of closely connected with the Mongols When Husayn, a friend turned foe was assassinated, Temur married his widow who was a princess descended from Genghis.After the break up of the Mongol Empire some Turks have moved west and became civilised early 10 years after the death of Temur, folks preferred to be known as Turks Mongols to the north and east of Transoxiana have become synonymous with barbarism compared to the highly cultured courts created by Temur s descendants in areas now known as Uzbekistan and Afghanistan It would take another 100 years for Moghul would become fashionable again.Umar Shaikh was ruler of Fergana, east of Samarkand He was short , stout and portly He fell while attending to his pigeons and died making Babur born 14 2 1483 the new ruler at the age of 11 He found himself among many petty rulers of a conglomerate of provices governed by his uncles and cousin, descendants of Temur He had always wanted Samarkand though and waited his time He was to gain and lost both Samarkand and Fergana in the process while he was still a teenager Throneless life as a freebooter followed He regained Fergana from his younger brother at the age of 16 A wife was arranged By the age of 18 Babur had lost Samarkand twice whence he decided to leave it to Shahbani Khan, the Uzbek and find his fortune elsewhere His leadership style won him many men When Kabul became available for his picking, astable life ensued Babur was a naturalist He built gardens , cultivated fruits, encouraged learning, craftsmanship, arts, poetry etc.In fact, Herat which was ruled by his son, Shah Rukh, was even better than Kabul in terms of the arts Unfortunately, it too fell to Shaibani, the Uzbek in 1507.The story of Babur and Humayun would not be complete without the episodes of the Safavid s assistance in the recapture of Samarkand at both times with the condition that the Temurids embrace Shiaism.Shaibani met the wrath of the Safavid Emperor of Persia, Shah Ismail who defeated him and had his body dismembered and sent to various parts of Persia Babur s sister, Khanzada now a widow, was saved and returned to Babur I recall Khanzada the pillar of strength during Humayun s dark days.After losing Samarkand for the 4th and final time, Babur returned to Kabul to plan his territorial expansion into Hindustan laying claim of Temur s conquest of 1399.Delhi was then ruled by the 5th Sultanate of the Lodi Dynasty 1451 1526 of Afghan Pashtun origin The first 4 had been of Turkic origin Babur, together with his 17 years old son Humayun made 5 expeditions into Hindustan when it had become fragile Sultan Ibrahim Lodi was defeated at Panipat Some of the war tactics have been subjects of study.Alas, Babur had fallen ill very often,so when in Hindustan..a result of alcohol and drug ediction This seemed to run in the familyMuch of his memoirs were lost but I know Humayun had referred to them and just as well he shared an almost similar life to that of his father territories lost and gained.2 Akbar 1542 1605 Akbar was born when Humayun and his followers were in flight from Sher Shah, a Pashtun from Bengal No thanks to Humayun s half brothers Kamran and Askari who simply added to his miseries Hindal had instead run away when Humayun had fallen for Hamida, later to become Akbar s mum Sher Shah had then established the Suri Dynasty which ruled Hindustan for 15 years.Baby Akbar, his wet nurse foster mother Maham Anga and foster brother, Adham Khan, were at one time held hostages by Akbar s uncle, Kamran They were later saved and returned to Humayun by Hindal Perhaps it wasfor Hamida s sake Hindal left again only to return dead killed by his own brother, Askari, said to be by mistake.It took Humayun 9 years to prepare for his return to Hindustan During that time he had eliminated the problems of his half brothers After the death of Sher Shah s son, Islam Shah, the Suri Dynasty became weaken by rival princes Adil Shah and Sikandar Delhi became an easy picking for Humayun Young Akbar had accompanied his father to battles since an early age of 10 He loved sports and physical activities Marvelled at polo However, his unsettled childhood a life frequently on the move took him away from books and as such he did not learn to read.Humayun tripped and fell from his steep observatory library stairs in Delhi palace when Akbar was then at a campaign in Punjab against Sikandar He was only 14 He had a guardian and mentor, Bairam Beg, who had been in Babur s service since the age of 16 Bairam and Tardi Beg were the last of Humayun s companions during his throneless days in the wilderness They later became Khans However, the true danger to the Moghuls was in fact a Hindu Chief Minister of Adil Shah He had captured Delhi with 300 elephants in a surprise tactic that caused panic to Tardi Beg s forces Then, he decided that he wanted to be king Raja Hemu Vikramadthtya.Bairam was appointed regent over the young monach and he continued to expand the Moghul Empire The 2nd Battle of Panipat 1556 was perhaps one of the earliest significant battle fought during Akbar s monarchy The battle between his forces and Hemu s The Moghuls won when Hemu was struck in the eye by a chance arrow Delhi was again recaptured by the Moghuls and Tardi Beg was executed for cowardice Maham Anga, Akbar s foster mother became shrewd and ambitious for her son, Adham who was fierce and cruel They became greedy and jealous of Bairam Khan and plotted his dismissal When Bairam was on his way to the port for a trip to Mecca, he was killed Adham was later dealt with after a failed assassination attempt He faced the Moghul retribution thrown over the parapet twice till he died Anga died soon after Babur was then 19 and finally he was free.The book extols Akbar s policies of religious tolerance and reforms He banned the suttee and introduced many tax reforms Akbar, himself married to a Rajput Hindu princess later became mother of Jahangir , encouraged pluralism His Hindu wives were allowed to retain their religion and were allowed to practice it within the walls of the royal harem Rajput was reknown for its warriors for they went into war drugged with opium For a minority to be ruling the majority of Hindus, Akbar found these decisions pragmatic However, his religious attitude did not go down well with the conservatives.Akbar was always troubled in the east Bihar and Bengal and in the west Kabul While he may be having just one possible pretender to the throne i.e half brother Hakim, his cousins Suleiman amd Shahrukh were also troubling him He also tried giving his sons responsibilities at an early age, two of them, Murad and Danyal died of alcohol His oldest son Salim Jahangir was always rebelling A reconciliation was reached in 1603 and two years later Akbar died of an illness.The book did well to explain Akbar s failure with his sons and provide a positive prospect that Jahangir would not end up too badly after all.3 Aurangzeb 1618 1707 Shah Jahan had mourned for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal for two years before he became active again in the business of the empire Meanwhile, the empire had stagnated and sectarian hostilities had been on the rise Western power viz the Portuguese had begun to trouble While Shah Jahan had sent his sons to lead many campaigns, Dara, his eldest, had remained beside him This had caused rivalry between Dara and his three other siblings, Shah Suja, Aurangzeb and Murad The book dwells on how better leaders could be honed they need to be out on the fields Aurangzeb appeared to be getting better result but Shah Jahan appeared to be givingfavour to Dara Wars of succession ensued.Aurangzeb succeeded in keeping Shah Jahan to his quarters in his harem He also tricked and triumphed over Murad when he was drunk with alcohol and sent him into confinement on an island That done, Aurangzeb proclaimed himself Emperor 1658 in a brief ceremony He was soon back on the road in pursuit of Dara and Shah Suja, Dara first as he was thedangerous of the two Dara s flight was reminiscent of Humayun s Aurangzeb was master of deceptions and underarm politics Fake news emails of today would seem pale beside them.History be told that it would take another Akbar to hold the empire but Aurangzeb was no Akbar His strict religious conviction once again released hostilities between the different sects Arts and culture were ignored and music was banned Painting was allowed, strange as it may seem He had little interest beyond the sacred texts Nevertheless, many court artists left and sought patronage elsewhwre.While alliance with the Rajputs have been maintained since the time of Akbar and many Rajputs have entered the services of the Moghul, Aurangzeb chose to pick a quarrel with Rajasthan and invaded it in 1676 This became disastrous to Aurangzeb.There were problems in the Deccan too The Maratha chieftain, Shivaji , was able to unite the various clans into a political and military unit It was able to create perpetual turmoil amongst three powerful neighbours Bijapur, Golconda and Mogul through guerilla tactics and shifting alliances A state of never ending issues in the empire I became so tired even reading about them but Aurangzeb soldiered on until he was in his 80s He went through appalling hardship due to the Deccan landscape His long absence from Hindustan slackened authority in the north So too at the centre of the empire at Agra Corruption increased, Moghul caravans plundered and even Akbar s tomb was ransacked off it s gold and silver plates and splendid carpets By the end of his reign, large portions of the treasures of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan had been brought south to sink without trace Aurangzeb lamented the frailty of human affairs for the lack of friends and shortage of good officers However, his failures were perceived as being his own fault an obsessive mistrust and refusal to deligate In comparison, during the times of Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, even women made their achievements in the history of the empire Whereas Aurangzeb treated his children like naughty children well into their 50s and 60s Midway through Aurangzeb s reign, only he stood out Aurangzeb fell ill in 1705 Unlike most fathers who would called their children to their deathbed, Aurangzeb sent his away All knew there would be chaos after his death He died on 20 Feb 1707 after Friday prayer as he had hoped for His grave, a simplest sort reflective of the legacy he left of his empire

  4. Simran says:

    The Great Moghuls by Bamber Gascoigne is a nearly complete summary of the Mughal rule in India Starting from the description of how the Mughals came to India, to the end of their rule and the slow process of their overthrowing by the East India Company The book is divided into chapters under the name of each of the Great Moghuls How, why and when each one took over the throne, what were they like, their achievements, their daily routine, the drawbacks of their rule, everything has been precis The Great Moghuls by Bamber Gascoigne is a nearly complete summary of the Mughal rule in India Starting from the description of how the Mughals came to India, to the end of their rule and the slow process of their overthrowing by the East India Company The book is divided into chapters under the name of each of the Great Moghuls How, why and when each one took over the throne, what were they like, their achievements, their daily routine, the drawbacks of their rule, everything has been precisely mentioned with dates The book also includes some images of forts, tombs and paintings, which adds to the wonderful spell under which you are while reading the book.There are quotes directly from reliable sources like the the Biographies of the rulers sources of which have been given at the end of the book This adds to the charm of the book and makes it an enjoyable read.One thing I did not really like about it was the structure of sentences At most places, the sentences are unusually long and it gets irritating The content and storyline of the book is commendable though.Also, I was expecting something on the love life of each of the emperor Specially Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal But not much of a description has been given about it The names of their favourite wives are mentioned for most of them though.If you are passionate about History and are looking for a perfect summary of the Mughal era, this is the book for you

  5. Faisal Bukhari says:

    A good short history of Moghul rule.Writing style is not very good, as is typical with history books.It is a good book to start reading about Indo Pak history.Again recommended for those who are interested in history,especially Indo Pak history.

  6. Maong aier says:

    I have always been interested in the history of the world,specifically the history of the Indian Heritage The Great Moguls is about the Mogul emperors that ruled this country and how every heritage added to the dynasty that their great grandfathers once created in India This rather interesting history books starts from the most famous emperor, Babur, and how he had to start living his life from when he is was 16 years old By this I mean that he had to start his own kingdom by the age of I have always been interested in the history of the world,specifically the history of the Indian Heritage The Great Moguls is about the Mogul emperors that ruled this country and how every heritage added to the dynasty that their great grandfathers once created in India This rather interesting history books starts from the most famous emperor, Babur, and how he had to start living his life from when he is was 16 years old By this I mean that he had to start his own kingdom by the age of 16, which meant that if we were living in his time then probably most of our class boys would be doing the same The books then goes on telling the stories of his sons and grand sons who ruled India forthe 300 years Amazing they were the builders of one of Indians most beautiful buildings at this moment For instance they were the ones who built the Taj Mahal, The Red Fort and manysites that are considered an Indian heritage from the Moguls The Moguls were very passionate about art, science and religion There way of administrating this country was so great that the British later adapted their way of governing a country This book mostly focuses on one of the greatest Mogul families that every lived and the heritage that was passed on through the blood line Babur being the first Mogul to cross over the Indus and come over to this country and then the ruling followed by his sons and also some of India s finest leaders like Humayun, Akbar, Shah Jahan the person who built The Taj and Aurangzeb after which the blood line was merely lost in the British rule The lost of a dynasty that was the greatest heritage for India is what this book is all about I have learnt a lot from this book, not just for the use of my self but also the history about how they came to India and how they were one of the most successful rulers of all times

  7. Clare says:

    More than 7 years ago I travelled India and bought this book I first noticed it was written by the Englishman Bamber Gascoigne, original presenter of University Challenge, when I started to read it this week Being British, like Gascoigne, I was interested in their involvement and he includes their sources If you re confused who the Moghuls are and where they came from then you re not alone This is a great introduction as it plainly states A Brief History of the first 6 Moghul Emperors of More than 7 years ago I travelled India and bought this book I first noticed it was written by the Englishman Bamber Gascoigne, original presenter of University Challenge, when I started to read it this week Being British, like Gascoigne, I was interested in their involvement and he includes their sources If you re confused who the Moghuls are and where they came from then you re not alone This is a great introduction as it plainly states A Brief History of the first 6 Moghul Emperors of India There were another 11 but this book concentrates by chapter from Babur to Aurangzeb The gore of sons killing fathers and the details of warfare sits alongside incredible craftmanships such as the fort of Agra and the famous Taj Mahal in this fascinating period Most interesting is what their honest diaries reveal Babur, the founder of the dynasty, begins this record of memoirs Jahangir is captivated with nature and writes about dissections of the wind pipes of birds, of a snake with a hare in its belly, there are discourses on Siamese twins, and on the origin and meaning of place names

  8. Simon Dobson says:

    An excellent brief history of India s most dramatic rulers.Two elements really stand out The first is the Gascoigne is an excellent art historian, able to put the architecture of the Moghuls into perspective and sometimes rejecting the conventional readings of the various buildings Secondly, he highlights some of the facets of harem culture that seem incomprehensible to modern readers, the influence of sequestered wives, favourites, and concubines on their emperors Actually there s a third An excellent brief history of India s most dramatic rulers.Two elements really stand out The first is the Gascoigne is an excellent art historian, able to put the architecture of the Moghuls into perspective and sometimes rejecting the conventional readings of the various buildings Secondly, he highlights some of the facets of harem culture that seem incomprehensible to modern readers, the influence of sequestered wives, favourites, and concubines on their emperors Actually there s a third element worth noting Perhaps cleaving to the brief part of the title, Gascoigne leaves off his history halfway through what would conventionally be regarded as the lifespan of the Moghuls, stopping with the death of Aurangzeb He covers the lives of six great Moghuls and relegates the final eleven to an epilogue, considering that their influence and grandeur waned so fast that they cannot stand next to their great forbears This certainly demonstrates enviable confidence from an author, but it s impossible not to agree that Gascoigne s brevity keeps the drama and excitement of the earlier history intact and vibrant

  9. Brahadeesh says:

    I went for a stroll in Boston two months back and I stumbled into this amazing book This is one of the interesting and well narrated His story books I have ever read It starts with a preface of the origins of Mughal dynasty and narrates the rule of the First six emperors along with interesting gossips The narrator author also provides sources wherever needed and specifies the factual conflicts whenever he encounters one The description of architectural styles of each Mughal ruler is an int I went for a stroll in Boston two months back and I stumbled into this amazing book This is one of the interesting and well narrated His story books I have ever read It starts with a preface of the origins of Mughal dynasty and narrates the rule of the First six emperors along with interesting gossips The narrator author also provides sources wherever needed and specifies the factual conflicts whenever he encounters one The description of architectural styles of each Mughal ruler is an interesting and enlightening approach I would have enjoyed readingabout it The dynamics of religious sentiments, idea of fair and liberal governance and a small peek into the economy during the Mughal empire are wonderfully projected in a concise volume This can very well act as a highlights of Mughal empire for any history enthusiast I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to start reading Pre colonial and Late medieval Indian history

  10. Horus says:

    This was a really well written and quite entertaining history of the six main Moghul emperors of note in India The author is not beyond adding opinion in the form of subtle carefully worded sarcastic comments Some would argue that opinion should be beyond the history teller, but i would argue that within reason, and with limited, judicious application, can very much add to the enjoyment of the stories told The emperors are given generally sympathetic treatment without being significantly bias This was a really well written and quite entertaining history of the six main Moghul emperors of note in India The author is not beyond adding opinion in the form of subtle carefully worded sarcastic comments Some would argue that opinion should be beyond the history teller, but i would argue that within reason, and with limited, judicious application, can very much add to the enjoyment of the stories told The emperors are given generally sympathetic treatment without being significantly biased or fawning Some excellent tidbits of facts along with morals of history, which some of our current leaders would benefit from learning Also some good suggestions for sources for those interested in everything from the politics to the food or daily life in, thanks in part to some of the emperors themselves who kept very detailed dairies A very good read