Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad known by the sobriquet Aurangzeb or by his regnal title Alamgir, was the sixth Mughal emperor, who reigned for a period of 49 years from 1658 until his death in 1707. Considered to be the last effective Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb was one of the most influential rulers of the 17th century; as a memorizer of the Quran, he was one of the few powerful rulers who established Sharia law and Islamic ethics in India. Described as a military paragon,although Aurangzeb has never claimed to be a caliph of the Muslim community, he has been variously called as a Caliph of The Merciful, Monarch of Islam, Living Custodian of God, he was an Islamic economist. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to 4 million square kilometres, he ruled over a population estimated to be over 158 million subjects, with an annual yearly revenue of $450 million, or £38,624,680 in 1690. Under his reign, India surpassed China to become the world's largest economy and manufacturing power, worth over $90 billion, nearly a quarter of global GDP and more than the entirety of Western Europe.
Unlike his predecessors, including his father Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb considered the royal treasury to be held in trust for the citizens of his empire. He did not enjoy a luxurious life and his personal expenses and constructions of small mosques were covered by his own earnings, which included the sewing of caps and trade of his written copies of the Quran. Aurangzeb has been subject to controversy and criticism for his policies that abandoned his predecessors' legacy of pluralism and religious tolerance, citing his introduction of the Jizya tax, destruction of Hindu temples, the executions of Maratha Kingdom ruler Sambhaji and the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur. Various historians question the historicity of the claims of his critics, arguing that his destruction of temples has been exaggerated, noting that he built temples, paid for the maintenance of temples, employed more Hindus in his imperial bureaucracy than his predecessors did, opposed bigotry against Hindus and Shia Muslims. Aurangzeb's other criticisms include the prohibition and supervision of behaviour and activities that are forbidden in Islam, such as the bowing to the king, drinking of alcohol, sexual immorality, human drawings, servitude, music and the use of narcotic and addictive substances,which have been argued to have violated rights to freedom of enjoyment.
The downfall of the Mughal Empire is sometimes thought to have begun after his due to his political and religious intolerance. Aurangzeb died by natural causes at his military camp in 1707, his funeral was ascetically decent and his personal earnings that were left was given to charity as per his instructions, his death marks the end of Medieval India, the start of modern Indian history and the domination of European powers in India. Aurangzeb was born on 3 November 1618, in Gujarat, he was the third son and sixth child of Mumtaz Mahal. In June 1626, after an unsuccessful rebellion by his father and his brother Dara Shukoh were kept as hostages under their grandparents' Lahore court. On 26 February 1628, Shah Jahan was declared the Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb returned to live with his parents at Agra Fort, where Aurangzeb received his formal education in Arabic and Persian, his daily allowance was fixed at Rs. 500, which he spent on religious education and the study of history. On 28 May 1633, Aurangzeb escaped death when a powerful war elephant stampeded through the Mughal Imperial encampment.
He rode against the elephant and struck its trunk with a lance, defended himself from being crushed. Aurangzeb's valour was appreciated by his father who conferred him the title of Bahadur and had him weighed in gold and presented gifts worth Rs. 200,000. This event was celebrated in Persian and Urdu verses, Aurangzeb said: If the fight had ended fatally for me, it would not have been a matter of shame. Death drops the curtain on Emperors; the shame lay in what my brothers did! Aurangzeb was nominally in charge of the force sent to Bundelkhand with the intent of subduing the rebellious ruler of Orchha, Jhujhar Singh, who had attacked another territory in defiance of Shah Jahan's policy and was refusing to atone for his actions. By arrangement, Aurangzeb stayed in the rear, away from the fighting, took the advice of his generals as the Mughal Army gathered and commenced the Siege of Orchha in 1635; the campaign was successful and Singh was removed from power. Aurangzeb was appointed viceroy of the Deccan in 1636.
After Shah Jahan's vassals had been devastated by the alarming expansion of Ahmednagar during the reign of the Nizam Shahi boy-prince Murtaza Shah III, the emperor dispatched Aurangzeb, who in 1636 brought the Nizam Shahi dynasty to an end. In 1637, Aurangzeb married the Safavid princess Dilras Banu Begum, posthumously known as Rabia-ud-Daurani, she was his first chief consort as well as his favourite. He had an infatuation with a slave girl, Hira Bai, whose death at a young age affected him. In his old age, he was under the charms of Udaipuri Bai; the latter had been a companion to Dara Shukoh. In the same year, 1637, Aurangzeb was placed in charge of annexing the small Rajput kingdom of Baglana
Pune called Poona, is the second largest city in the Indian state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. It is the ninth most populous city in the country with an estimated population of 3.13 million. Along with its Industrial Estate Pimpri Chinchwad and the three cantonment towns of Pune and Dehu Road, Pune forms the urban core of the eponymous Pune Metropolitan Region. According to the 2011 census, the urban area has a combined population of 5.05 million while the population of the metropolitan region is estimated at 7.27 million. Situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau on the right bank of the Mutha river, Pune is the administrative headquarters of its namesake district. In the 18th century, the city was the seat of the Peshwas, the prime ministers of the Maratha Empire and so was one of the most important political centres on the Indian subcontinent. Pune is ranked the number one city in India in the ease of living ranking index; the city is considered to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra.
It is known as the "Oxford of the East" due to the presence of several well-known educational institutions. The city has emerged as a major educational hub in recent decades, with nearly half of the total international students in the country studying in Pune. Research institutes of information technology, education and training attract students and professionals from India and overseas. Several colleges in Pune have student-exchange programmes with colleges in Europe. Pune is an important centre for civil services training; the earliest reference to Pune is an inscription on a Rashtrakuta Dynasty copper plate dated 937 CE, which refers to the town as Punya-Vishaya, meaning "sacred news". By the 13th century, it had come to be known as Punawadi. Copper plates dated 858 and 868 CE show that by the 9th century an agricultural settlement known as Punnaka existed at the location of the modern Pune; the plates indicate. The Pataleshwar rock-cut temple complex was built during this era. Pune was part of the territory ruled by the Seuna Yadavas of Devagiri from the 9th century to 1327.
Pune was part of the Jagir granted to Maloji Bhosale in 1599 for his services to the Nizamshahi. Pune was ruled by the Ahmadnagar Sultanate. Maloji Bhosale's grandson, the founder of the Maratha Empire, was born at Shivneri, a fort not far from Pune. Pune changed hands several times between the Mughals and the Marathas in the period 1660 to 1705. After the destruction of the town in raids by the Adil Shahi dynasty in 1630 and again between 1636 and 1647, Dadoji Konddeo, the successor to Dhadphale, oversaw the reconstruction of the town, he stabilised the revenue collection and administrative systems of the areas around Pune and the neighbouring Maval region. He developed effective methods to manage disputes and to enforce law and order; the Lal Mahal was commissioned in 1631 and construction was completed in 1640 AD. Shivaji spent his young years at the Lal Mahal, his mother, Jijabai is said to have commissioned the building of the Kasba Ganapati temple. The Ganesha idol consecrated at this temple has been regarded as the presiding deity of the city.
From 1703 to 1705, towards the end of the 27-year-long Mughal–Maratha Wars, the town was occupied by Aurangzeb and its name was changed to Muhiyabad. Two years the Marathas recaptured Sinhagad fort, Pune, from the Mughals. In 1720, Baji Rao I was appointed Peshwa of the Maratha Empire by Chhatrapati Shahu, he moved his base from Saswad to Pune in 1728, marking the beginning of the transformation of what was a kasbah into a large city. He commissioned the construction of the Shaniwar Wada on the right bank of the Mutha River; the construction was completed in 1730. Bajirao's son and successor, Nanasaheb constructed a lake at Katraj on the outskirts of the city and an underground aqueduct to bring water from the lake to Shaniwar Wada and the city; the aqueduct was still in working order in 2004. The patronage of the Maratha Peshwas resulted in a great expansion of Pune, with the construction of around 250 temples and bridges in the city, including the Lakdi Pul and the temples on Parvati Hill and many Maruti, Vishnu, Rama and Ganesh temples.
The building of temples led to religion being responsible for about 15% of the city's economy during this period. Pune prospered as a city during the reign of Nanasaheb Peshwa, he developed Saras Baug, Heera Baug, Parvati Hill and new commercial and residential localities. Sadashiv Peth, Narayan Peth, Rasta Peth and Nana Peth were developed; the Peshwa's influence in India declined after the defeat of Maratha forces at the Battle of Panipat but Pune remained the seat of power. In 1802 Pune was captured by Yashwantrao Holkar in the Battle of Pune, directly precipitating the Second Anglo-Maratha War of 1803–1805; the Peshwa rule ended with the defeat of Peshwa Bajirao II by the British East India Company in 1818. The Third Anglo-Maratha War broke out between the Marathas and the British East India Company in 1817; the Peshwas were defeated at the Battle of Khadki on 5 November near Pune and the city was seized by the British. It was placed under the administration of the Bombay Presidency and the British built a large military cantonment to the east of the city.
The Southern Command of the Indian Army was established in 1895 and has its headquarters in Pune cantonment. The city was known as Poona during British rule. Poona Municipality was established in 1858. A rai
The Deccan Plateau is a large plateau in western and southern India. It rises to 100 metres in the north, to more than 1,000 metres in the south, forming a raised triangle within the South-pointing triangle of the Indian subcontinent's coastline, it extends over eight Indian states and encompasses a wide range of habitats, covering most of central and southern India. The plateau is located between two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and the Eastern Ghats, each of which rises from its respective nearby coastal plain, converge at the southern tip of India, it is separated from the Gangetic plain to the north by the Satpura and Vindhya Ranges, which form its northern boundary. The Deccan produced some of the major dynasties in Indian history including Pallavas, Vakataka and Rashtrakuta dynasties, the Western Chalukya, the Kadamba Dynasty, Kakatiya Empire and Maratha empires and the Muslim Bahmani Sultanate, Deccan Sultanate, the Nizam of Hyderabad; the name Deccan is an anglicised form of the Prakrit word dakkhin or dakkhaṇa, itself derived from the Sanskrit word dákṣiṇa, as the Deccan Plateau is located in the southern part of the subcontinent.
The Deccan region has lacked an enduring geo-political centre, has been defined in various ways. Geographers have attempted to define it using indices such as rainfall, soil type or physical features; when considering physical features, it is taken to be the area bounded on North by the Narmada River, in East by the Eastern Ghats and on West by the Western Ghats. The 16th-century historian Firishta defined Deccan as the territory inhabited by the native speakers of Kannada and Telugu languages. Richard M. Eaton settled on this linguistic definition; the Western Ghats mountain range is tall and blocks the moisture from the southwest monsoon from reaching the Deccan Plateau, so the region receives little rainfall. The eastern Deccan Plateau is at a lower elevation spanning the southeastern coast of India, its forests are relatively dry but serve to retain the rain to form streams that feed into rivers that flow into basins and into the Bay of Bengal. Most Deccan plateau rivers flow south. Most of the northern part of the plateau is drained by the Godavari River and its tributaries, including the Indravati River, starting from the Western Ghats and flowing east towards the Bay of Bengal.
Most of the central plateau is drained by the Tungabhadra River, Krishna River and its tributaries, including the Bhima River, which run east. The southernmost part of the plateau is drained by the Kaveri River, which rises in the Western Ghats of Karnataka and bends south to break through the Nilgiri Hills at the island town of Shivanasamudra and falls into Tamil Nadu at Hogenakal Falls before flowing into the Stanley Reservoir and the Mettur Dam that created the reservoir, emptying into the Bay of Bengal; the climate of the region varies from semi-arid in the north to tropical in most of the region with distinct wet and dry seasons. Rain falls during the monsoon season from about June to October. March to June can be dry and hot, with temperatures exceeding 40 °C; the Deccan plateau is a topographically variegated region located south of the Gangetic plains-the portion lying between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal-and includes a substantial area to the north of the Satpura Range, which has popularly been regarded as the divide between northern India and the Deccan.
The name derives from the Sanskrit daksina. The plateau is bounded on the east and west by the Ghats, while its northern extremity is the Vindhya Range; the Deccan's average elevation is about 2,000 feet, sloping eastward. The plateau's climate is arid in places. Although sometimes used to mean all of India south of the Narmada River, the word Deccan relates more to that area of rich volcanic soils and lava-covered plateaus in the northern part of the peninsula between the Narmada and Krishna rivers. Having once constituted a segment of the ancient continent of Gondwanaland, this land is the oldest and most stable in India; the Deccan plateau consists of dry tropical forests. On the western edge of the plateau lie the Sahyadri, the Nilgiri, the Anaimalai and the Elamalai Hills known as Western Ghats; the average height of the Western Ghats, which run along the Arabian Sea, goes on increasing towards the south. Anaimudi Peak in Kerala, with a height of 2,695 m above sea level, is the highest peak of peninsular India.
In the Nilgiris lie Ootacamund, the well-known hill station of southern India. The western coastal plain is uneven and swift rivers flow through it that forms beautiful lagoons and backwaters, examples of which can be found in the state of Kerala; the east coast is wide with deltas formed by the rivers Godavari and Kaveri. Flanking the Indian peninsula on the western side are the Lakshadweep Islands in the Arabian Sea and on the eastern side lies the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal; the eastern Deccan plateau, called Telangana and Rayalaseema, is made of vast sheets of massive granite rock, which traps rainwater. Under the thin surface layer of soil is the impervious gray granite bedrock, it rains here only during some months. Comprising the northeastern part of the Deccan Plateau, the Telangana Plateau has an area of about 148,000 km2, a north-south length of about 770 km, an east-west width of about 515 km; the plateau is drained by the Godavari River taking a southeasterly course.
Hyderabad State known as Hyderabad Deccan, was an Indian princely state located in the south-central region of India with its capital at the city of Hyderabad. It is now divided into Telangana state, Hyderabad-Karnataka region of Karnataka and Marathwada region of Maharashtra; the state was ruled from 1724 to 1857 by the Nizam, a viceroy of the Great Mogul in the Deccan. Hyderabad became the first princely state to come under British paramountcy signing a subsidiary alliance agreement. Under the leadership of Asaf Jah V it changed its traditional heraldic flag; the dynasty declared itself an independent monarchy during the final years of the British Raj. After the Partition of India, Hyderabad signed a standstill agreement with the new dominion of India, continuing all previous arrangements except for the stationing of Indian troops in the state. Hyderabad's location in the middle of the Indian union, as well as its diverse cultural heritage, was a driving force behind India's invasion and annexation of the state in 1948.
Subsequently, Mir Osman Ali Khan, the 7th Nizam, signed an instrument of accession. Hyderabad State was founded by Mir Qamar-ud-din Khan, the governor of Deccan under the Mughals from 1713 to 1721. In 1724, he resumed rule under the title of Asaf Jah, his other title, Nizam ul-Mulk, became the title of his position "Nizam of Hyderabad". By the end of his rule, the Nizam had become independent from the Mughals, had founded the Asaf Jahi dynasty. Following the decline of the Mughal power, the region of Deccan saw the rise of Maratha Empire; the Nizam himself saw many invasions by the Marathas in the 1720s, which resulted in the Nizam paying a regular tax to the Marathas. The major battles fought between the Marathas and the Nizam include Palkhed and Kharda. Following the conquest of Deccan by Bajirao I and the imposition of chauth by him, Nizam remained a tributary of the Marathas for all intent and purposes. From 1778, a British resident and soldiers were installed in his dominions. In 1795, the Nizam lost some of his own territories to the Marathas.
The territorial gains of the Nizam from Mysore as an ally of the British were ceded to the British to meet the cost of maintaining the British soldiers. Hyderabad was a 212,000 km2 region in the Deccan, ruled by the head of the Asaf Jahi dynasty, who had the title of Nizam and on whom was bestowed the style of "His Exalted Highness" by the British; the last Nizam, Osman Ali Khan, was one of the world's richest men in the 1930s. In 1798, Nizam ʿĀlī Khan was forced to enter into an agreement that put Hyderabad under British protection, he was the first Indian prince to sign such an agreement. The Crown retained the right to intervene in case of misrule. Hyderabad under Asaf Jah II was a British ally in the second and third Maratha Wars, Anglo-Mysore wars, would remain loyal to the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, his son, Asaf Jah III Mir Akbar Ali Khan ruled from 1768 to 1829. During his rule, a British cantonment was built in Hyderabad and the area was named in his honor, Secunderabad.
The British Residency at Koti was built during his reign by the British Resident James Achilles Kirkpatrick. Sikander Jah was succeeded by Asaf Jah IV, who ruled from 1829 to 1857, was succeeded by his son Asaf Jah V. Asaf Jah V's reign from 1857 to 1869 was marked by reforms by his Prime Minister Salar Jung I. Before this time, there was no regular or systematic form of administration, the duties were in the hand of the Diwan, corruption was thus widespread. In 1867, the State was divided into five divisions and seventeen districts, subedars were appointed for the five Divisions and talukdars and tehsildars for the districts; the judicial, public works, educational and police departments were re-organised. In 1868, sadr-i-mahams were appointed for the Judicial, Revenue and Miscellaneous Departments. Asaf Jah VI Mir Mahbub Ali Khan became the Nizam at the age of three years, his regents were Salar Jung I and Shams-ul-Umra III. He assumed full rule at the age of 17, ruled until his death in 1911.
The Nizam's Guaranteed State Railway was established during his reign to connect Hyderabad State to the rest of British India. It was headquartered at Secunderabad Railway Station; the railway marked the beginning of industry in Hyderabad, factories were built in Hyderabad city. During his rule, the Great Musi Flood of 1908 struck the city of Hyderabad, which killed an estimated 50,000 people; the Nizam opened all his palaces for public asylum. He abolished Sati where women used to jump into their husband's burning pyre, by issuing a royal Firman; the last Nizam of Hyderabad Mir Osman Ali Khan ruled the state from 1911 until 1948. He was given the title "Faithful Ally of the British Empire". Hyderabad was considered peaceful, during this time; the Nizam's rule saw growth of culturally. The Osmania University and several schools and colleges were founded throughout the state. Many writers, poets and other eminent people migrated from all parts of India to Hyderabad during the reign of Asaf Jah VII, his father and predecessor Asaf Jah VI.
The Nizam established Hyderabad State Bank. Hyderabad was the only state in British India which had the Hyderabadi rupee; the Begumpet Airp
Indians are the nationals or citizens of India, the second most populous nation in the world, containing 17.50% of the world's population. "Indian" refers to nationality, rather than a particular language. Due to emigration, the Indian diaspora is present throughout the world, notably in other parts of Asia, North America, the Caribbean and Africa; the demonymn Indian today applies to nationals of the Republic of India, although before the partition of India in 1947, nationals residing in the entirety of British India were known as Indians as well. The name Bhārata has been used as a self-ascribed name by people of the Indian subcontinent and the Republic of India; the designation "Bhārata" appears in the official Sanskrit name of Bhārata Gaṇarājya. The name is derived from the ancient Vedic and Puranas, which refer to the land that comprises India as "Bhārata varṣam" and uses this term to distinguish it from other varṣas or continents; the Bhāratas were a vedic tribe mentioned in the Rigveda, notably participating in the Battle of the Ten Kings.
India is named after legendary Emperor Bharata, a descendant of the Bhāratas tribe, scion of Kuru Dynasty who unified the Indian Subcontinent under one realm. उत्तरं यत्समुद्रस्य हिमाद्रेश्चैव दक्षिणम् । वर्षं तद् भारतं नाम भारती यत्र संततिः ।। "The country that lies north of the ocean and south of the snowy mountains is called Bhāratam. In the Hindu text, Skanda Purana it is stated that "Rishabhanatha was the son of Nabhiraja, Rishabha had a son named Bharata, after the name of this Bharata, this country is known as Bharata-varsha." This has been mentioned in Vishnu Purana, Vayu Purana, Linga Purana, Brahmanda Purana, Agni Purana, Skanda Purana and Markandeya Purana that this country is known as Bharata Varsha after Bharat Chakravartin.ऋषभो मरुदेव्याश्च ऋषभात भरतो भवेत् भरताद भारतं वर्षं, भरतात सुमतिस्त्वभूत् Rishabhanatha was born to Marudevi, Bharata was born to Rishabh, Bharatvarsha arose from Bharata, Sumati arose from Bharata — Vishnu Purana In early Vedic literature, the term Āryāvarta was in popular use before Bhārata.
The Manusmṛti gives the name Āryāvarta to "the tract between the Himalaya and the Vindhya ranges, from the Eastern to the Western Sea". While the word Indian and India is derived from Greek Ἰνδία, via Latin India. Indía in Koine Greek denoted the region beyond the Indus river, since Herodotus ἡ Ἰνδική χώρη, hē Indikē chōrē; the name is derived from Sindhu, the Sanskrit name of the river Indus, but meaning "river" generically. The history of India includes the prehistoric societies in the Indian subcontinent; the Indian people established during ancient, medieval to early eighteenth century some of the greatest empires and dynasties in South Asian history like the Maurya Empire, Satavahana dynasty, Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta dynasty, Chalukya Empire, Chola Empire, Karkota Empire, Pala Empire, Vijayanagara Empire, Maratha Empire and Sikh Empire. The first great Empire of the Indian people was the Maurya Empire having Patliputra as its capital, conquered the major part of South Asia in the 4th and 3rd century BC during the reign of the Indian Emperors Chandragupta Maurya and Ashoka alongside their senior advisor, Acharya Chanakya, the pioneer of the field of political science and economics in the World.
The next great ancient Empire of the Indian people was the Gupta Empire. This period, witnessing a Hindu religious and intellectual resurgence, is known as the classical or "Golden Age of India". During this period, aspects of Indian civilisation, administration and Hinduism and Buddhism spread to much of Asia, while Chola Empire in the south had flourishing maritime trade links with the Roman Empire during this period; the ancient Indian mathematicians Aryabhata, Bhāskara I and Brahmagupta invented the concept of zero and the Hindu–Arabic numeral system decimal system during this period. During this period Indian cultural influence spread over many parts of Southeast Asia which led to the establishment of Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia. During the early medieval period the great Rashtrakuta dynasty dominated the major part of the Indian subcontinent. From the 8th to 10th century and the Indian Emperor Amoghavarsha of the Rashtrakuta Dynasty was described by the Arab traveller Sulaiman as one of the four great kings of the world.
The medieval south Indian mathematician Mahāvīra liv
Agra is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India. It is 378 kilometres west of the state capital, Lucknow, 206 kilometres south of the national capital New Delhi, 58 kilometres south of Mathura and 125 kilometres north of Gwalior. Agra is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh, the 24th most populous in India. Agra is a major tourist destination because of its many Mughal-era buildings, most notably the Tāj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpūr Sikrī, all of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Agra is included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Jaipur. Agra falls within the Braj cultural region; the region around the modern city was first mentioned in the epic Mahābhārata, where it was called Agrevaṇa. However, the 11th-century Persian poet Mas'ūd Sa'd Salmān writes of a desperate assault on the fortress of Agra held by the Shāhī King Jayapala, by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, it was mentioned for the first time in 1080 AD. Sultan Sikandar Lodī was the first to move his capital from Delhi to Agra in 1506.
He governed the country from here and Agra assumed the importance of the second capital. He died in 1517 and his son, Ibrāhīm Lodī, remained in power there for nine more years and several palaces, wells and a mosque were built by him in the fort during his period being defeated at the Battle of Panipat in 1526. Between 1540 and 1556, beginning with Sher Shah Suri ruled the area, it was the capital of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1648. Agra features a semiarid climate; the city features mild winters and dry summers and a monsoon season. However the monsoons, though substantial in Agra, are not quite as heavy as the monsoon in other parts of India; this is a primary factor in Agra featuring a semiarid climate as opposed to a humid subtropical climate. As of 2011 India census, Agra city has a population of 1,585,704, while the population of Agra cantonment is 53,053; the urban agglomeration of Agra has a population of 1,760,285. Males constitute 53% of the population and females 47%. Agra city has an average literacy rate of 73%, below the national average of 74%.
Literacy rate of males is higher than that of women. The sex ratio in the city was 875 females per thousand males while child sex ratio stood at 857. Agra district literacy rate is 62.56%. According to the 2011 census, Agra district has a population of 4,380,793 equal to the nation of Moldova or the US state of Kentucky; this gives it a ranking of 41st in India. The district has a population density of 1,084 inhabitants per square kilometre. 52.5% of Agra's population is in the 15–59 years age category. Around 11% of the population is under 6 years of age. Hindus are 88.8 %. Hinduism and Jainism are the major religions in Agra city with 80.7%, 15.4% viz. 1.0% of the population adhering to them. The Catholic minority is served by its own Metropolitan Archdiocese of Agra. There was an early reference to an “Agrevana” in the ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, Ptolemy is said to have called the site “Agra.” and yet Sultan Sikandar Lodī, the Muslim ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, founded Agra in the year 1504.
After the Sultan's death, the city passed on to his son, Sultan Ibrāhīm Lodī. He ruled his Sultanate from Agra until he fell fighting to Mughal Badshah Bābar in the First battle of Panipat fought in 1526; the golden age of the city began with the Mughals. It was known as Akbarabād and remained the capital of the Mughal Empire under the Badshahs Akbar, Jahāngīr and Shāh Jahān. Akbar made it the eponymous seat of one of his original twelve subahs, bordering Delhi, Allahabad and Ajmer subahs. Shāh Jahān shifted his capital to Shāhjahānabād in the year 1648. Since Akbarabād was one of the most important cities in India under the Mughals, it witnessed a lot of building activity. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, laid out the first formal Persian garden on the banks of river Yamuna; the garden is called the Garden of Relaxation. His grandson Akbar the Great raised the towering ramparts of the Great Red Fort, besides making Agra a centre for learning, arts and religion. Akbar built a new city on the outskirts of Akbarabād called Fatehpūr Sikrī.
This city was built in the form of a Mughal military camp in stone. His son Jahāngīr had a love of flora and fauna and laid many gardens inside the Red Fort or Lāl Qil'a. Shāh Jahān, known for his keen interest in architecture, gave Akbarabād its most prized monument, the Tāj Mahal. Built in loving memory of his wife Mumtāz Mahal, the mausoleum was completed in 1653. Shāh Jahān shifted the capital to Delhi during his reign, but his son Aurangzeb moved the capital back to Akbarabād, usurping his father and imprisoning him in the Fort there. Akbarabād remained the capital of India during the rule of Aurangzeb until he shifted it to Aurangabad in the Deccan in 1653. After the decline of the Mughal Empire, the city came under the influence of Marathas and was called Agra, before falling into the hands of the British Raj in 1803. In 1835 when the Presidency of Agra was established by the British, the city became the seat of government, just two years it was witness to the Agra famine of 1837–38. During the Indian rebellion of 1857 British rule across India was threatened, news of the rebellion had reached Agra on 11 May and on 30
Nader Shah's invasion of the Mughal Empire
Emperor Nader Shah, the Shah of Persia and the founder of the Afsharid dynasty of Persia, invaded the Mughal Empire attacking Delhi in February 13,1739. His army had defeated the Mughals at the battle at Karnal and would capture the Mughal capital in the aftermath of the battle. Nader Shah's victory against the weak and crumbling Mughal Empire in the far East meant that he could afford to turn back and resume war against Persia's archrival, the neighbouring Ottoman Empire, but the further campaigns in the North Caucasus and Central Asia. Nader Shah became the Persian ruler in 1736, his troops founded the Afsharid dynasty in that year. In 1738, Nader Shah conquered Kandahar, the last outpost of the Hotaki dynasty in Afghanistan, he began to launch raids across the Hindu Kush mountains into Northern India, which, at that time, was under the rule of the Mughal Empire; as he moved into the Mughal territories, he was loyally accompanied by his Georgian subject and future king of eastern Georgia, Erekle II, who led a Georgian contingent as a military commander as part of Nader's force.
The Mughal empire had been weakened by ruinous wars of succession in the three decades following the death of Aurangzeb. The Hindu Marathas of the Maratha Empire had captured vast swathes of territory in Central and Northern India, whilst many of the Mughal nobles had asserted their independence and founded small states; the Mughal ruler, Muhammad Shah, proved unable to stop the disintegration of the empire. The imperial court administration was weak. However, the country was rich and Delhi’s prosperity and prestige was still at a high. Nader Shah, attracted by the country's wealth, sought plunder like so many other foreign invaders before him. Nader had asked Muhammad Shah to close the Mughal frontiers around Kabul so that the Afghan rebels he was fighting against may not seek refuge in Kabul. Though the Emperor agreed, he took no action. Nader seized upon this as a pretext for war. Together with his Georgian subject Erekle II, who took part in the expedition as a commander leading a contingent of Georgian troops, the long march had begun.
He defeated his Afghan enemies fleeing into the Hindu Kush and seized major cities such as Ghazni and Peshawar before advancing onto the Punjab and capturing Lahore. Nader advanced to the river Indus before the end of year as the Mughals mustered their army against him. At the Battle of Karnal on 24 February 1739, Nader led his army to victory over the Mughals. Muhammad Shah surrendered and both entered Delhi together; the keys to the capital of Delhi were surrendered to Nader. He occupied Shah Jehan's imperial suite in the Red Fort. Coins were struck, prayers said, in his name in the Jama Masjid and other Delhi mosques; the next day, the Shah held a great durbar in the capital. The Afsharid occupation led to price increases in the city; the city administrator attempted to fix prices at a lower level and Afsharid troops were sent to the market at Paharganj, Delhi to enforce them. However, the local merchants refused to accept the lower prices and this resulted in violence during which some Afsharid troops were assaulted and killed.
When a rumour spread that Nadir had been assassinated by a female guard at the Red Fort, some Indians attacked and killed 3,000 Afsharid troops during the riots that broke out on the night of 21 March. Nadir, furious at the killings, retaliated by ordering his soldiers to carry out the notorious qatl-e-aam of Delhi. On the morning of 22 March, the Shah rode out in full armour and took a seat at the Sunehri Masjid of Roshan-ud-dowla near the Kotwali Chabutra in the middle of Chandni Chowk, he to the accompaniment of the rolling of drums and the blaring of trumpets, unsheathed his great battle sword in a grand flourish to the great and loud acclaim and wild cheers of the Afsharid troops present. This was the signal to start the carnage; the armed Afsharid army of occupation turned their swords and guns on to the unarmed and defenceless civilians in the city. The Afsharid soldiers were given full licence to do as they pleased and promised a share of the booty as the city was plundered. Areas of Delhi such as Chandni Chowk and Dariba Kalan, Faiz Bazar, Hauz Kazi, Johri Bazar and the Lahori and Kabuli gates, all of which were densely populated by both Hindus and Muslims, were soon covered with corpses.
Muslims, like Hindus, resorted to killing their women and themselves rather than submit to the Afsharid soldiers. In the words of the Tazkira: "Here and there some opposition was offered, but in most places people were butchered unresistingly; the Persians laid violent hands on everybody. For a long time, streets remained strewn with corpses, as the walks of a garden with dead leaves and flowers; the town was reduced to ashes." Muhammad Shah was forced to beg for mercy. These horrific events were recorded in contemporary chronicles such as the Tarikh-e-Hindi of Rustam Ali, the Bayan-e-Waqai of Abdul Karim and the Tazkira of Anand Ram Mukhlis. After many hours of desperate pleading by the Mughals for mercy, Nadir Shah relented and signalled a halt to the bloodshed by sheathing his battle sword once again, it has been estimated that during the course of six hours in one day, 22 March 1739 20,000 to 30,000 Indian men and children were slaughtered by the Afsharid troops during the massacre in the city.
Exact casualty figures are uncertain, as after the massacre, the bodies of the victims were buried in mass burial pits or cremated in grand funeral pyres without any proper record being mad