Mughal India

Jahangir, Aries Zodiac Silver Rupee

Jahangir, a great patron of the arts, took a keen interest in coinage during his reign. Among his innovative coinage, the most controversial yet unique ones were the Zodiac coins. The ‘Tuzuk-e-Jahangiri’ mentions that Jahangir ordered for star constellation figures to replace the inscriptions detailing the month of issue, present on the reverse of the… Read more »

Nikusiyar, Silver Rupee

Nikusiyar, son of Muhammad Akbar and grandson of Aurangzeb, was the 12th ruler of the Mughal Empire. At the age of sixteen, he was appointed the Subehdar of Assam, a position he held for a brief period from 1695-1701. Following this he served as the Subehdar of Sindh from 1702 to 1707. However, with the… Read more »

Aurangzeb, Silver Coin of Chinnapattam Mint

The emperor of Hindustan from 1658 to 1707, Aurangzeb was driven by a coruscating ambition. The Mughal empire burgeoned to its maximum size under his reign. However, he was a conservative when it came to coin design. Read more about how the personality of an emperor got imprinted on the coins issued by him in… Read more »

The Romance of the Taj Mahal: It’s Complicated

It’s a symbol of romantic love the world over. But what do the historians have to say about Mughal India’s most famous legacy? We examine new theories and pair them with rare vintage photographs of the Taj Mahal from our archive

Meet the Muse

The Issanama may be the story of Jesus, but it draws from a syncretic narrative of history as embodied by Emperor Akbar’s incredible Hamzanama folios

The Temptation of Christ

This folio titled ‘The Temptation of Christ’ is a part of the  Issanama series. The Issanama commission lies at the intersection of art and history, and offers lush evidence of the plurality and syncretism inherent in Indian culture. It’s an artistic collaboration between the founder of Sarmaya, Paul Abraham and traditional miniaturist and third-generation artist,… Read more »

Samaritan Woman at the Well

This folio titled ‘Samaritan Woman at the Well’ is a part of the  Issanama series. The episode depicts the meeting of Jesus with a woman in Samaria, who gives him water to quench his thirst and a conversation between them follows. The Issanama commission lies at the intersection of art and history, and offers lush… Read more »

Map of the Mughal Empire

This map of Mughal India created by Matthew Seuter in 1745 is titled Imperii Magni Mogolis. The map charts out the extent of the Mughal Empire, extending to Persia and Kandahar (In the west) and Burma and Thailand (In the east). To the south it extends to the Malabar coasts and also points out the… Read more »

Farrukhsiyar, Gold Fanam

The great-grandson of Aurangzeb is best known for setting a series of unfortunate events in motion. Thanks to Muhammed Farrukhsiyar’s tenuous hold on the throne of the empire, his reign (1713 to 1719 CE) marked a crucial shift in power from the emperor to the court ministers or kingmakers. The ones in question here were… Read more »

The City of Delhi before the Seige

This engraving from the Illustrated London News is a detailed depiction of the walled-city of Delhi before the Uprising of 1857. Bounded by the fort-walls on all sides, the walled city with its landmarks, palaces, havelis and bustling streets is executed in detail and almost every important section is named and numbered for identification. The… Read more »

Map of Hindoostan divided into Soubahs

This early 19th century map illustrates the division of Hindustan into ‘soubahs’, or administrative provinces, as listed in the late 16th century Mughal text, the Ain-i-Akbari. The map’s legend distinguishes Hindustan proper, the plains of northern India under the rule and administration of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, from the independent Deccan. In the South, the… Read more »