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Literature During Mughal Empire

Literature During Mughal Empire:

Official languages:

              Persian, Sanskrit and regional languages flourished during the Mughal period.Persian was the official language of the Mughal Empire and  the Deccan states.

Notable Persian works:

                       Abul Fazl’s ‘Akbar Nama narrates the history of Akbar.Aini Akbariby Abul Fazl  provides insights on Mughal administration, science, statistics, geography and culture.Badshah Nama’, co-written by Abdul Hamid Lahori and Muhammad Waris, is based on Shah Jahan’s biography  ‘Ain-i-Akbari  ‘.Muhammad Qasim wrote ‘Alamgir Nama‘  about the first ten years of Aurangzeb‘s reign  .

Translations and Implications:

                     Babur’s autobiography was translated into Persian  in Sakatai Turkish.Persian flourished due to translations of Sanskrit texts including the Mahabharata.Liberico translated the Upanishads into Persian as ‘Sar-i-Akbar.Abul Faizi’s Masnavi, Utbi and Nasiri enriched Persian poetry in India.

Sanskrit Literature:

                    Sanskrit literature during the Mughal period was known for historical poetry (epic).Prajnapada compiled the entire history of Kalhanar’s Kashmir during the reign of Akbar.Nilakantha and Jagannath Pandit contributed to astronomical and special studies in Sanskrit .

Regional Language Developments:

                       Regional languages grew in strength.Examples include devotional songs in Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khanan’s Briji (a subsidiary language of Hindi).Marathi literature flourished due to the works of Ekanath, Tukaram, Ramdas and Mukteshwar.Vijayanagara Emperor Krishna Deva Raya‘s  ‘Amuktamalayata‘ and Allasani Pedanna’s  ‘Manucharitra   are  notable in Telugu literature.Malayalam split from Tamil and attained literary status .Assamese literature includes texts on astronomy, mathematics,  and epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.The Chaitanya cult enriched Bengali literature,  while the songs of the Sikh Gurus contributed to the evolution of the Punjabi language.

 Developments in Tamil Literature:

                                   Saiva and Vaishnava literature influenced Tamil literature.The Saiva poet Kumaraguruparar wrote important works.Christian missionaries like Robert de Nobili and Constantine Joseph Pesci contributed to the development of the Tamil language.


The major literature of the Mughal period were:

Title Author(s) description
Baburnama Abdul Rahim Khan-i-Khanan Translation of Tuzuk Babari I
Akbarnama Abdul Fazal                       History of Akbar
Ain-e-Akbari Abdul Fazal Akbar’s administrative book
Tuzuk-e-Jahangiri Jahangir Biography
Iqbalnama-i-Jahangir Mummeet Khan Biography of Jahangir
Pathanamaha Abdul Hamid Lahori & Inayat Khan Biography of Shah Jahan
Padmaavat Malik Muhammad Jaisi A metaphor exploring Sufi and Hindu ideas
Ramacharitmanas Tulsidas Epic poem on Rama
Works of Faizi Faizi Poems and Translations
Dictionaries compiled by Hindus Various authors Persian dictionaries
Regional Language Poetry Various authors Poems in Bengali, Oriya and Hindi.

                                   Through patronage and encouragement from Mughal rulers, scholars, poets, and writers flourished, producing enduring works that reflect the diverse traditions and influences of the time. From the Persianate courtly poetry of Akbar’s era to the vernacular literature of the later periods, Mughal literature not only mirrored the societal norms and values but also transcended them, offering insights into the complexities of human experience.

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