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Literature in Mughal Empire

The Mughal period saw great developments in the field of literature. Many Mughal emperors and members of the royal family were great men of letters. Babar the first Mughal emperor was one of the pioneers of Turkish poetry and also the author of a very valuable autobiography in Turkish BabarNama which was later translated into Persian.Gulbadan Begum sister of Humayun wrote the Humayun Nama.Jahangir the great connoisseur of painting wrote his autobiography the Tuzuk-i- Jahangiri.Aurangzeb also was a prolific writer and the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar was a notable Urdu poet.

Hindi literature made significant progress during Akbar’s reign.Tulsidas and the Surdas wrote in this period.Keshavdas a great poet wrote on themes of love.Rahim’s dohas or couplets are extremely popular. It was also in Akbar’s time that the great Sanskrit work on styles of writing, the Alankarashekhara by Keshava Misra appeared. This was the period of many notable writings in the Persian language.Abul Fazl wrote the Ain-i-Akbari and Akbar Nama.Abul Fazl’s brother Faizi was a great poet of Persian and was responsible for the translation of many Sanskrit works into Persian.Akbar had started a whole dept for translation of works like Mahabharata, the Ramayana, the Atharva –Veda, the Bhagvad Gita and the Panchatantra.

Many important historical works were produced under the emperors after Akbar.Some of the important historians were Abdul Hamid Lahori,Khafi Khan,Muhammad Kazim and Sujan Rai Bhandari.Literature in modern Indian languages also continued to grow. The famous book of Bihari called the Satsai in Hindi belongs to this period. One of the most significant developments during the medieval period was the birth of the Urdu language. This new language soon developed one of the richest literatures as a modern Indian language. It produced great poets like Wali,Mir Dard,Mir Taqi Mir,Nazir Akbarabadi,Asadullah Khan Ghalib.

Many original prose works in Urdu were written like Muhammad Hussain Azad’s Darbar-i-Akbari.The Urdu novel was one of the earliest development in the Indian languages. Urdu became the language of the urban people of northern India and the Deccan.