17 Interesting Things You Probably Didn't Know About the Mughals

By Mariam Saeed Khan | 7 Jan, 2016

You don’t have to turn to history books to remember the grandeur of the Mughals for they can be found in our architecture, literature, food and almost anything else. But¬†like most things in history, we only remember bits and pieces, forgetting that history is really in the details.

So, let’s take a walk down history to¬†some details about the Mughals that most people don’t know.


1. Akbar was Dyslexic.

While he was known for his ambition and iron fist while ruling the Mughal Empire, even making it grow far and beyond any of his ancestors did but Akbar ‘The Great’ was believed to be dyslexic.

Source: utsavpedia.com


2. People remember Babur mostly for being the conquerer from Central Asia. Not many knew that he was a socialite and writing enthusiast.

Source: wikimedia.org


3. Although Babur was a descendent of Genghaiz Khan, he associated more with his Turk roots.

It is clear that this Mongol lineage meant less to him than his paternal ancestry which linked him with the great Turkish conqueror, Timur.

Source: wikimedia.org


4. Akbar’s empire was larger than Ashoka’s.

Source: internetstones.com


5. Mughals were gifted in their unique artistic skills. 

The Mughals had a painting style that drew inspiration from Indian and Persian art. During the reign of Akbar, Shah Jahan and Jahangir, art flourished in the Mughal Empire. Some notable works include Hamzanama, Khamsa of Nizami and Darab Nama.

Source: artindia.com


6. The Taj Mahal changes its color at noon, midnight and in morning. 

Source: islamicfinder.blogspot.com

The reason can be attributed to the environment, the fact that the marble used is white and is shiny and reflective or just that there is some historic magic to it ūüėČ


7. There was a rumor that Shah Jahan wanted to build a black marble Taj Mahal opposite the white Taj Mahal.

Most historians believe this was more myth than fact. Instead, they argue that the Black Taj Mahal was the reflection of the Taj Mahal in the Yamuna River at night. Due to the symmetry of the Taj Mahal, the reflection looks like an identical, black version of the Taj Mahal.
Source: Himanshu Khagta Photography Via: trekearth.com

8. Akbar the Great is ranked as  one of the top 25 Political Icons of History, according to Time Magazine. 

Akbar must be happy in his grave.

Source: videshisutra.wordpress.com


9. The Urdu language was extensively developed under the Mughals.

As Islam spread across India and neighboring areas, the Urdu language spread with it, coming into increased contact with other languages, such as Arabic and Persian. The spread of both Islam and Urdu surged during the Mughal Empire.

Source: britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk


10. Mughals (the persian word for ‘Mongols’) are also known as the people of ‚ÄúMoghulistan‚ÄĚ with respect to Genghis Khan.

Could this have been a source of inspiration for Pakistan’s name?

Source: vam.ac.uk


11. Akbar had 36 wives and over 300 women in his harem. 

These days people have a hard time finding one wife, and he had over 30 wives. MashaAllah.

Source: wikinut.com


12. Shah Jahan did NOT cut the hands of the workers involved in making Taj Mahal to avoid replicas. 

This fact was reported by Architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, who was played a key role in the architectural design of Taj Mahal and also laid the foundation of the Red Fort.

Source: planetden.com


13. Compared to other Mughal emperors, Bahadur Shah had very few wives.

The Mughals were notorious for taking several wives. So, being the “Bahadur” he was, Bahadur Shah was known to have 4 wives, which at that time was a low number. But that didn’t stop him from having 22 sons and 32 daughters…

Source: wikimedia.org


14. The Koh-i-Noor Diamond was once found in the Peacock Throne of the Mughals.

The Peacock Throne was a jeweled throne upon which Mughal emperos sat. As per Koh-i-Noor, it was¬†said that “He who owns this diamond will own the world, but will also know all its misfortunes” The great diamond that was stolen is now preserved in the Tower of London. And to the dismay of many, only the Royal family members are allowed to wear it.

Source: wikimedia.org


15. The story of Anarkali being buried alive between two walls is accepted to be false due to the evidence of her grave and body.

Source: wikimedia.org


16. The main purpose of the military in Mughal society was to govern.

The military was to govern and rule the states within the empire. Hmm, some Pakistani generals definitely read too much into this.

Source: lrgaf.org


17. Unlike other empires and armies, the Mughals used large elephants and camels for their cavalry.

Horses were still used by the Mughals in their cavalry. Like the soldiers, animals were also armored on most of their bodies. Some camels even had guns mounted on them. The zamburak, for example, was a camel with a mounted swivel gun upon its back.

Via: imgur.com


Cover image via: pinterest

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