Known as the gunpowder empire, the Mughal Empire was at its peak during Akbar I or Akbar the Great’s reign from 1556 to 1605. Akbar I’s visionary leadership and innovative policies transformed the empire both politically and culturally.
Ascending to the throne as the third Mughal emperor at a young age, Akbar the Great’s early years were guided by his regent, Bairam Khan, whose assistance proved instrumental in expanding and consolidating the Mughal Empire.
Religious Harmony in the Mughal Empire
The Mughal ruling class adhered to the Islamic faith while most of its citizens were Hindu. In an effort to unify the diverse Mughal state, Akbar I implemented a centralized administration and pursued a strategy of diplomatic marriages with conquered rulers. Notably, he abolished the sectarian tax, winning him the support of his diverse people. His imperial administration employed people regardless of their religion, strengthening his dominion.
Included in this Islam: 12 Silver Coins box collection is a silver coin from Akbar I. During his reign, Akbar I introduced gold, silver, and copper coins in round and square shapes and decorated with floral, borders, and quatrefoil. Coins bearing his portrait were also issued. It is said that coins of this kind are accredited to Prince Salim, his son who rebelled. As a way of seeking reconciliation, Prince Salim minted gold Mohur coins featuring his father’s portrait. During the later years of his rule, Akbar I issued coins displaying the creed of his new propounded religion.
The Mughal Empire and the East India Company
In this mini album is an East India Company 10-cash coin bearing Mughal and English scripts on the reverse side. It features the East India Company logo on the obverse. Coins of this kind were salvaged from the shipwreck of Admiral Gardner. The East India Company was established to participate in the East Indian spice trade that was monopolized by Spain and Portugal until 1588, when the Spanish Armada was defeated by the English. Meanwhile, the company’s triumph over the Portuguese in India in 1612 earned them valuable trading concessions from the Mughal Empire.
Impact on the Silk Road
Ruling most of the Indian Subcontinent and parts of Afghanistan, the Mughal Empire occupied a key position along the southern section of the Silk Road. Its engagement in trade along the Silk Road routes contributed to the overall vibrancy of economic activities and the movement of goods across regions. In exchange, the Mughal Empire’s architectural and artistic achievements were influenced by the diverse cultural interactions facilitated by the Silk Road.