The Mughal Empire, as an important imperial power in the Indian Subcontinent from the early sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries. At the height of its power, around 1700, it controlled most of the subcontinent and parts of what is now Afghanistan. Its population at that time has been estimated as between 100 and 150 million, over a territory of over 3 million square km.Following 1720 it declined rapidly. Its decline has been variously explained as caused by wars of succession, agrarian crises fueling local revolts, and the growth of religious intolerance. The last Emperor, whose rule was restricted to the city of Delhi, was imprisoned and exiled by the British after the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

Mughal is the Persian word for Mongol and was generally used to refer to the central Asian nomads who claimed descent from the Mongol warriors of Genghis Khan. The foundation for empire was established around 1504 by the Timurid prince Babur, when he took control of Kabul and eastern regions of Khorasan controlling the fertile Sind region and the lower valley of the Indus River. In 1526, Babur defeated the last of the Delhi Sultans, Ibrahim Shah Lodi, at the First Battle of Panipat. To secure his newly founded kingdom, Bubur then had to face the Rajput confederacy under the leadership of Rana Sanga of Chittor, at the battle of Khanwa. These early military successes of the Mughals in India, achieved by an army much smaller than its opponents, have been attributed to their cohesion, mobility, and horse-mounted archers.

Emperor Name Reign start Reign end
Babur Zahiruddin Mohammed 1526 1530
Humayun Nasiruddin Mohammed 1530 1540
Humayun Nasiruddin Mohammed 1555 1556
Akbar Jalaluddin Mohammed 1556 1605
Jahangir Nuruddin Mohammed 1605 1627
Shah Jahan Shihabuddin Mohammed 1627 1658
Aurangzeb Muhiuddin Mohammed 1658 1707
Shah Alam I Muazzam Bahadur 1707 1712

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