Answer: Fatehpur Sikri
Enrich Your Learning:
Tension and political rivalry in Mughal arising from competing regional interests:
The Safavids and Qandahar:
- The political and diplomatic relations between the Mughal kings and the neighbouring countries of Iran and Turan hinged on the control of the frontier defined by the Hindukush mountains that separated Afghanistan from the regions of Iran and Central Asia.
- All conquerors who sought to make their way into the Indian subcontinent had to cross the Hindukush to have access to north India.
- A constant aim of Mughal policy was to ward off this potential danger by controlling strategic outposts – notably Kabul and Qandahar.
- Qandahar was a bone of contention between the Safavids and the Mughals. The fortress-town had initially been in the possession of Humayun, reconquered in 1595 by Akbar.
- While the Safavid court retained diplomatic relations with the Mughals, it continued to stake claims to Qandahar.
- In 1613 Jahangir sent a diplomatic envoy to the court of Shah Abbas to plead the Mughal case for retaining Qandahar, but the mission failed.
- In the winter of 1622, a Persian army besieged Qandahar. The ill-prepared Mughal garrison was defeated and had to surrender the fortress and the city to the Safavids.
The Ottomans- pilgrimage and trade:
- The relationship between the Mughals and the Ottomans was marked by the concern to ensure free movement for merchants and pilgrims in the territories under Ottoman control.
- This was especially true for the Hijaz, that part of Ottoman Arabia where the important pilgrim centres of Mecca and Medina were located.
- The Mughal emperor usually combined religion and commerce by exporting valuable merchandise to Aden and Mokha, both Red Sea ports, and distributing the proceeds of the sales in charity to the keepers of shrines and religious men there.
- However, when Aurangzeb discovered cases of misappropriation of funds sent to Arabia, he favoured their distribution in India which, he thought, “was as much a house of God as Mecca”.
Jesuits at the Mughal court:
- Europe received knowledge of India through the accounts of Jesuit missionaries, travellers, merchants and diplomats. The Jesuit accounts are the earliest impressions of the Mughal court ever recorded by European writers.
- Following the discovery of a direct sea route to India at the end of the fifteenth century, Portuguese merchants established a network of trading stations in coastal cities.
- The Portuguese king was also interested in the propagation of Christianity with the help of the missionaries of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits).
- The Christian missions to India during the sixteenth century were part of this process of trade and empire building.
- Akbar was curious about Christianity and dispatched an embassy to Goa to invite Jesuit priests.
- The Jesuits spoke to Akbar about Christianity and debated its virtues with the ulama. Two more missions were sent to the Mughal court at Lahore, in 1591 and 1595.
- The Jesuit accounts are based on personal observation and shed light on the character and mind of the emperor. At public assemblies the Jesuits were assigned places in close proximity to Akbar’s throne.
- They accompanied him on his campaigns, tutored his children, and were often companions of his leisure hours.
- The Jesuit accounts corroborate the information given in Persian chronicles about state officials and the general conditions of life in Mughal times.