Achievements of Akbar
Mughal Emperor Akbar, as we know, came to rule a very small Mughal territory. He and his able successors transformed it to a pan-Indian power.
A determined imperialist, Mughal Emperor Akbar, believed in constantly striving for expansion to keep ambitious neighbours in check. The expansion of the Mughal Empire started with Akbar and for forty years he made many conquests to build and consolidate a vast empire.
After the Second Battle of Panipath, Bairam Khan led Mughals to capture Ajmer, Gwalior and Jaunpur, Malwa in Madhya Pradesh (1561 A.D.) and Gondwana (1564 AD). In this war the minor king Veer Narayan and Queen mother Durgavati of Gondwana fought and died.
Akbar next turned to the Rajputs, a strong and proud nation who could be valuable allies for the Mughals. To woo as well as subjugate them, he was ready to offer them autonomy and other privileges. His Rajput policy comprised (a) friendship and marital ties and (b) war, if these fail.
His policy of religious toleration is known to all. King Bharmal of Amber got his daughter, Jodha Bai, married to Akbar and accepted Mughal supremacy (1562 AD). In return, his son Bhagwan Das and grandson Man Singh occupied plum posts in the Mughal court. Bharmal ‘s daughter was the mother of Jahangir.
Akbar’s matrimonial policy ushered a new age in Indian politics. More Rajput kings, of Ranthambore, Kalinjar, Jaisalmer and Marwar surrendered to Akbar.
Udai Singh, son of Rana Sangram Singh of Mewar, was an exception; Akbar led the siege of Chittor in 1567 A.D. Udai Singh fought a brave war but the fort fell to the Mughals. The Rajput women welcomed death in fire by performing the Jauhar Vrata. Udai Singh fled Chittor but his son, Rana Pratap Singh, kept fighting the Mughals till death against all odds. Excepting Chittor, he recaptured major parts of Mewar before he died (1597 A.D.).
Akbar made another attempt to conquer Mewar when Amar Singh, Rana Pratap’s son, resisted him with valor.
Akbar conquered Gujarat (1572 A.D.) and Surat (1573 A.D.), thus extending Mughal domination till the west coast and setting up maritime trade with west Asian countries.
In 1576 A.D., Mughal Emperor Akbar, defeated Daud and captured Bengal. Mughal rule was yet to make proper inroads in Bengal, with the Twelve Bhuiyas — a group of Hindu and Muslim zamindars — having put up a strong resistance. Later, with Jahangir on the throne, Man Singh brought Bengal under Mughal stronghold. Orissa was seized in 1592 A.D.