We have read about the six famous Mughal emperors who ruled the Indian subcontinent for more than two hundred years. Out of all the Mughal emperors, Akbar and Babur were the two powerful ones because Akbar was the greatest Mughal ruler of all time in Indian history and Babur is the one who led the foundation for others to follow.
Table of Contents
Akbar vs Babur
The main difference between Akbar and Babur is that Akbar is the third Mughal emperor to rule India and expand the Mughal empire in the country whereas Babur was the founder and hence the first Mughal emperor to rule in the Indian subcontinent. Akbar was born in a place which is now in Pakistan whereas Babur was born in Uzbekistan.
When Akbar was made the ruler of the Mughal dynasty, the territory was shrunken. So, he created a very powerful military system especially to combat his toughest opponents, the Rajputs.
He succeeded in defeating many Rajput rulers because they lacked unity among them and were divided by rivalry.
Babur is the descendant of Timur who built a massive empire in Central Asia and Iran during the late 14th century. Since there were too many Timurid princes, he witnessed a lot of wars and political rivalry during his childhood.
He captured Kabul in 1504 and eventually his interest started shifting to the subcontinent of India.
Comparison Table Between Akbar and Babur
|Parameters of Comparison||Akbar||Babur|
|Birth||Akbar was born on 15th October 1542 in Umarkot which is now a place in Pakistan.||Babur was born on 15th February 1983 in Uzbekistan and he established the Mughal dynasty in Northern India.|
|Descendent||Akbar was the son of Humayan and the grandson of Babur who was made the governor of the Punjab region only at the age of 13.||Babur was the descendant of the Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan and Turkic conqueror Timur.|
|Time of reign||Akbar ruled from 1556 to 1605 and during this time expanded the Mughal rule across most of the Indian subcontinent.||Babur ruled from 1526 to 1530 and by the time his reign ended the Mughals controlled from Indus to Bengal.|
|Triumphs||Akbar not only created a powerful military system but also made many political and social reforms that made him establish trust among the non-muslim community.||He established the Mughal reign in India when he defeated the army of the Lodi Sultanate and marched towards Delhi.|
|Children||Akbar had several children but the most notable is Jahangir who ascended the throne after him.||Babur had several children but the most notable is Humayan who took his place on the throne.|
|Significance||Akbar is known as the greatest of all the Mughal emperors and for establishing a high degree of harmony among people of different religions.||Babur is the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India, a great military adventurer, and a gifted Turki poet.|
|Death||He died on 25th October 1605 in Agra, India.||He died on 26th December 1530 in Agra, India.|
Who is Akbar?
Akbar’s full name was Abū al-Fatḥ Jalāl al-Dīn Muḥammad Akbar and he was a descendant from the Turks, Mongols, and Iranians.
When Akbar became the ruler of the Mughal emperor, Humayun’s authority was starting to disappear.
So, one of the many achievements of Akbar was to extend the Mughal emperor little across the Punjab region and area around Delhi.
Building up a very strong military system, Akbar’s first attack was Malwa through the Vindhya Range which he won in 1561.
The independent Hindu Rajputs were also tough rivals of Akbar who were inhabiting the Rajputana region. Though Akbar maintained good faith with the Hindu Rajputs by putting them in higher rank positions and offering good rewards, he massacred people who didn’t accept his rule.
One of the reasons that Akbar’s rule was accepted by many non-muslim communities was because he reduced the discrimination against non-muslims.
During Akbar’s rule, he conquered Gujarat in 1573 and after the triumph, he wanted to conquer Bengal. But it became difficult for him to rule Bengal from Delhi especially because of the network of rivers.
Some of the other regions that he conquered were Kashmir, Sindh, and Kandahar. During the last few years of his reign, his rule was severely affected by his impulsive and greedy son Jahangir.
Who is Babur?
Babur’s original name was Ẓahīr al-Dīn Muḥammad and in Persian the word Babur means tiger. Babur was the descendant of powerful conquerors on both paternal and maternal sides.
Babur, though famous as a Mughal emperor, was hugely backed by the Turks and he was also a magnificent Turki poet. There were several Timurid princes (Babur was one of them) and all of them considered themselves king due to lack of any fixed law or principles.
One of the main goals of Babur was to recover Samarkhand (a part of Uzbekistan).
Babur was involved exclusively in acquiring Samarkhand for a few years but after several unsuccessful attempts he gave up. During the early 1520s, Babur’s interest turned to Sindh and he was able to successfully conquer Kandahar on his way to Sindh.
Babur tried several times to conquer Punjab and Delhi but repeatedly failed. But after receiving external helps from several allies his fifth attempt was successful.
Eventually, Babur expanded his territory over entire Northern India from Kandahar to the borders of Bengal. He was the founder of the Mughal empire after whom Akbar was the next legendary ruler.
During the reign of Babur, he constructed many beautiful gardens because of his love for nature.
Main Differences Between Akbar and Babur
- Akbar was born on 15th October 1542 in Umarkot (now a place in Pakistan) whereas Babur was born in Uzbekistan.
- Akbar was the third-generation ruler of the Mughal empire whereas Babur was the first-generation Mughal emperor and the fifth male succession from Timur.
- Akbar was the son of Jahangir, the second ruler of the Mughal dynasty in India whereas Babur was the father of Jahangir and grandfather of Akbar.
- Akbar is known as the greatest Mughal ruler of all time whereas Babur is famous as the founder of the Mughal dynasty in India.
- Akbar was known not only for making political reforms but also many social and religious reforms whereas Babur was known mainly for fighting battles and expanding the power of Mughal rule.
There are various hidden stories about the Mughal empire in India and beyond that are still not part of our academic curriculum. The history of any empire is very vast and one needs to do deep research to know everything about a ruler, an empire, the family tree especially when the rule existed powerfully for more than two hundred years.
Both Babur and Akbar were very strategic rulers who formed strong military systems and expanded the Mughal territory wisely. Some of the acts were barbaric and it is not anything new when it comes to the wars of history.
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