Ambassador of Nepal
Ambassador of Pakistan
Ambassador of Sri Lanka
South Asian Memories
the-south-asian.com December 2000
Born – 1508 in Kabul (Afghanistan). Eldest and favourite son of Babar.
Died – 1556 in Delhi. In Jan 1556, six months after his return from exile, he was observing Venus from the roof of his library, when he heard the call to prayer. Wishing to kneel down for his prayers, his foot caught in the folds of his garment, and he fell to the bottom of his library staircase and died. Humayun’s tomb built by his senior wife Haji Begum. Persian architect – Mirak Mirza Ghiyas – gave India its first dome in the Persian tradition. Started in 1564 and completed in 1573.
Length of rule in India – Ascended the throne at the age of 22. Two tenures as Padshah. First from 1530 –1540, and the second from 1555 – 1556. In exile for 15 years between 1540 and 1555 after defeat from Sher Shah Suri.
Father – Babar
Siblings – Three half-brothers – Kamran, Askari and Hindal. One sister Gulbadan.
Married - In 1541 married 14 year old Hamida, future mother of Akbar
Children – Akbar b 15 October 1542 in Umarkot (Sindh), and Hakim (not from Hamida)
Interests – Believer and follower of astrology. Enjoyed the
company of learned men. Undertook the founding of the first school of Mughal
painting – the Imperial Mughal Studio – with the help of painter Mir
Sayyid Ali and calligrapher Abdus Samad. Joint team of two produced works of
art dominated by Persian style. Passionately interested in astronomy,
geography, mathematics, observing stars, astrology. Public ofices named
after 4 elements - each day of the week reserved for appropriate type of
business depending on the ruling planet of the day. Humayun built seven
audience chambers, each named after a planet, where he received different
people.Met learned men on Thursdays because Jupiter, the planet of learning,
also ruled Thursdays.
Military campaigns – Seized Ahmedabad from Bahadur Shah. Confrontation with Sher Shah in Bengal – and defeated.
Character traits – Profoundly religious. Extremely tolerant. Intellectual, patron of arts, lover of art and literature, a calligrapher, poet – also extremely superstitious.
As a ruler – Good and lenient monarch. Shared power with his three half brothers.
Weaknesses – penchant for opium.
Inherited – A vast empire that was not well consolidated.
Capital city - Following advice of astrologers, chose the ancient site of Indraprastha, associated with the Mahabharata, to build his new capital Din Panah in Delhi in 1533. All that’s left of it is what is now called Purana Qila
Above information is compiled from various sources, prominent among them ‘India – a Country Study’, ‘Delhi’ by Khushwant Singh, ‘The Great Mughals’ by Bamber Gascoigne, ‘The Mughals – Splendours of the Peacock Throne’, and ‘The City of Djinns’
|Copyright © 2000 [the-south-asian.com]. Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.|