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==Dozens of maps-- A great many interesting maps from this period are available: *Columbia Univ.*
==the Deccani Sultanates flourish (c.1500's-c.1686): The five states of Bijapur, Golconda, Ahmednagar, Berar, and Bidar, which are born from the breakup of the Bahmanid kingdom, have their own distinctive blends of Persianized and regional cultural influences (*Sumit Guha*). (*Routes*)
==The Portuguese in Goa (1510): With the conquest of Goa (1510) by Albuquerque (*Henry Morse Stephens's history*; *Kerr's history*), and of other small island and coastal settlements, the Portuguese begin a century of control over the Indian spice trade (*Kerr's history*; *Imperial Gazetteer*).  Early Malabar towns from an atlas of 1572: *Calicut*; *Canonore*; *Diu*; *Goa*. The efforts of St. Francis Xavier and other Jesuits at instilling Catholicism are much less successful (*cin*). (*Routes*)
==Munster's Cosmographia (1544): Sebastian Munster (1488-1552) publishes a Latin work that reports on the nature of the whole world; it is translated into many European languages, and becomes one of the most widely read books of its time. His vision of India includes Pygmies and the famous gold-digging ants that go right back to Herodotus, via Strabo. Some sample pages: *Columbia Univ.*.
==Mirabai (c.1498?-c.1550?): The only important woman in the North Indian group of legendary bhakti poet-saints, Mirabai is traditionally described as a Rajput princess who leaves her royal life to wander, taking Krishna alone as her husband and singing of her love for him. Discussion: *Manas*.
==Babur and the "Babur Namah" (r.1526-30): Invited in from his capital of Kabul by disaffected relatives of the last Delhi Sultan, Babur defeats him at Panipat in 1526. Babur is descended from both Chingiz Khan and Timur, but his real charm is his own lively personality-- and his literary skill. His Turkish-language autobiography, the lovingly illustrated "Babur Nama," is a classic; here's a small excerpt: *silk road* and here's *the whole text*. Discussion: *Amitav Ghosh*. Babur is the founder of the Mughal Empire (*the Imperial Gazetteer*). Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 10*. Babur's tomb: *BBC*. (*Routes*)
==Humayun (r.1530-39), Babur's son, is not as fortunate as his father. As he tries to stabilize and extend his kingdom, he is outmaneuvered by an upstart Afghan adventurer from Bihar, and then defeated in battle so soundly that his demoralized troops flee, and he's forced to retreat to Iran. While in exile, he enjoys Safavid painting (*Met*). He also marries Hamida Begam, and they have a young son whom they name Akbar. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 10*. (*Routes*)
==Sher Shah Sur (r.1540-45) chases Humayun out of India and makes a promising start at building an empire of his own. He is so talented an organizer that before his untimely death he sets many of the patterns of administration that are followed by the Mughals-- and then by the British, and then by India and Pakistan. If his son Islam Shah (r.1545-54) had been as talented as his father, the Mughal Empire might never have gotten started. Sher Shah continues the work on Humayun's fort, the "Purana Qila" (*ANU*).
==Bombay is seized: Portuguese expansion includes the seizure in 1534, from the Sultan of Gujarat, of a small group of islands with a fine harbor that the Portuguese came to call "Bom Bahia," or "Good Bay." But the city's modern history doesn't begin until the East India Company acquires it in 1668 (*theory*). The Imperial Gazetteer describes *Bombay city* and *Bombay Presidency*. (*Routes*)
==Manjhan's "Madhumalati" (1545): In this remarkable and lovely Avadhi allegorical romance, which is also a training manual for Sufis of the Shattari order, God is referred to as "OM," and not a word about Islam appears throughout the poem itself. This work and the "Padmavat" of Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1494-1592) are the most famous of the "Avadhi Sufi romances."
==Gulbadan Begam composes the "Humayun Nama" (1552): Gulbadan Begam (1522/3-1603), Humayun's half-sister, like her father Babur, composes a memoir (at Akbar's request). Although she names it after her brother, it's really about life in the zanana, and royal-family politics: *Columbia Univ.*
==Humayun returns, conquers, dies (r.1555-56): Amidst the succession struggles following Islam Shah Suri's death in 1554, Humayun, who has been carefully watching and preparing for his chance, manages to return and reclaim the kingdom. But he soon dies in a fall; a magnificent tomb for him in Delhi is built by his wife, Hamida Begam. His tomb: *ANU*; *Berger*. (*Routes*)
==Sidi Ali Reis composes the "Mirat ul-Memalik" (The Mirror of Countries) (c.1557), an account of his travels as an admiral and emissary for the Ottoman Sultan. He visits Gujarat, Sind, and then Delhi, where he spends time with Humayun. He's still in India when Humayun dies, and he reports on the succession crisis. His informal style and wide-ranging interests make him a pleasure to read: *Columbia Univ.*. Ottoman art of the period: *Met*.
==Luis de Camoens composes the "Lusiad," the national epic of Portugal, much of which is devoted to celebrating the explorations and conquests of Vasco da Gama; in the course of the poem, the Greek gods help the Portuguese acquire their Indian possessions. Camoens arrives in India in 1553 and begins his poem, but makes enemies whose hostility forces him to go to China, where he finishes the poem; he then goes back to Goa. Finally he returns to Lisbon in 1569, and the poem is published in 1572. Discussion: *Kate M. Rabb* (or from *Project Gutenberg*). A plot summary: *H. A. Guerber*. A translation: *Project Gutenberg* or *sacred-texts*.
==Akbar (r.1556-1605): Jalal ud-Din Muhammad Akbar (b.1542), greatest of the Mughal emperors, is assured of the throne after the second battle of Panipat (1556). His own conquests include Malwa, Gondwana, Chitor, Ranthambhor, Gujarat, and (to some extent) Bengal. His administrative, cultural, and personal achievements are legion. It is he who makes the Mughal empire, and his is the policy of "sulh-i kul" (peace with/for everyone). He marries Rajput princesses, and sponsors a composite culture that includes translations from the Sanskrit, paintings on Hindu themes, paintings with European themes and influences (*G. Minissale*), and inexhaustibly much else. He begins to build the Agra and Lahore Forts, which will be augmented by all the later Mughals. Discussion: *Ikram Ch. 11*.*wikipedia*; *Sources of Indian Tradition*. (*Routes*)
==Vijayanagar is sacked (1565): The Vijayanagar kingdom in the south, losing out in the local games of power politics in which it has always been a major player, is finally defeated in the Battle of Talikota (*a huge cannon used in the battle*) by a league of its neighbors, and sacked by both them and local looters. In Akbar's time, its territory is divided and reorganized.
==Fatahpur Sikri (1571-85): Akbar attributes the birth of his son Salim to the blessings of Shaikh Salim Chishti. So he builds a whole new city of Fatahpur Sikri by the Shaikh's small town of Sikri (near Agra), planning it himself and taking an interest in every detail. But in 1585 other concerns in the northwest cause him to abandon it. It's an astonishing place, beautifully preserved. Images: *Berger*; *ANU*; *DSAL*.  Discussion: *Havell*; *Washington State Univ.*; *IGNCA*. (*Routes*)
==Tulsidas and the "Ramcharitmanas" (The Lake of the Deeds of Rama) (c.1574): Tulsidas retells the classic epic, the Ramayana. His poem, in the (eastern-Hindi) language of Avadhi, has by now become the Ramayana for millions in North India. For a wonderful discussion of this crucial text and its later life, see *Philip Lutgendorf*. The series of new Ramayana retellings continues to the present: many links at *Columbia Univ.*.
==Keshavdas at Orchha turns Braj into court poetry (c.1583-c.1612): as the court poet of the Rajput Bundela dynasty in Orchha (a Mughal fiefdom from 1577 on), Keshavdas writes sophisticated, Sanskritized poetry in the (western-Hindi) language of Braj; he has a major influence on later poets and artists. Along with other works, he composes not only tributes to the Orchha princes, but also the "Jahangirjaschandrika" (Moonlight of the Fame of Jahangir) (1612), incorporating Persian vocabulary (*Allison Busch*). Images of Orchha: *art and archaeology*; *Berger*. (*Routes*)
==the Golden Temple (c.1589-1601): In 1577 Amritsar (Punjab) is founded by Ram Das, fourth guru of the Sikhs. Then under his successor, Arjan Dev, the Harmandir Sahib or "Golden Temple" is built; it becomes the holiest center of Sikhism. A modern panoramic view: *punjab 2000*. (*Routes*)
==Deccani miniature painting begins to develop (late 1500's onward): Schools of miniature painting develop in the Deccan, first in Ahmadnagar, then in Bijapur and Golconda. Overview: *Met*. 
==Abu'l Fazl's chronicles:  Abu'l Fazl (1551-1602), perhaps Akbar's closest companion, also became his biographer and wrote two remarkable multi-volume Persian chronicles of his reign, the "Akbar Nama" its sequel, the gazetteer-like "Institutes of Akbar" (A'in-i Akbari) (*Columbia Univ.*). Greatly to Akbar's sorrow, the rebellious Prince Salim (the future Jahangir) contrives to have Abu'l Fazl murdered.
==Mughal power in Bengal: a slow extension, fraught with political and cultural difficulties. See Chapter 6 of Richard M. Eaton's *The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier*. Other Bengali mosques of this period, in ArchNet images: *Goaldi Mosque*, Sonargaon, 1519; *Jami' Masjid*, Rajshahi, 1523.


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