Select from the drop-down MENU & READ the Blog in your PREFERRED Language


Akbar & Harka Bai | Maharana Pratap | Mauryans | Razia Sultan | Miscellaneous | Jodha Akbar | FolkLore | Suggestions

5300+ comments registered on over 165 active posts, till now.
Plagiarism is a serious ethical offense amounting to copyright infringement. ZERO tolerance for Plagiarism.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Relations of Akbar with Mariam Uz Zamani and Rajputs of Amer Clan | Updated on 4th Nov '15

This article is about the beauty of relationship that the Amer Royal Family shared with Akbar. Note that - MUZ means Mariam-Uz-Zamani.

Special thanks to Ms. Lizzy for providing information for this article.

1. When Raja Bhagwan Das was seeing off his daughter(Man Bai) on her marriage to Prince Salim, he said to Akbar - "My daughter is the girl of your palace and we are your slaves. To which Akbar immediately replied - "Your daughter is the Queen of our palace and you are our Great Lord".

2. Unlike earlier times when all contact was snapped after such marriages, Akbar maintained good relationship and 'continued visits' to Rajput relatives. Akbar sent his wife Harka Bai/MUZ to personally convey the condolence to her parents on the death of her brother Bhupat Singh. This happened around 1572-73, after the Battle in Gujarat. In this battle, Man Singh and Bhagwan Das also took part. The command was led by young Man Singh and Bhagwan Das stood side by side with Akbar, in the battle.

Portrait of Raja Bhagwan Das of Amer (1574-1589 AD.)
From Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, The City Palace Jaipur

3. It can also be seen, that Akbar bestowed respect on his in-laws. After the conquest of Odisha(Orissa), Akbar ordered his son Prince Salim to go out to meet Raja Man Singh 'personally' and bring him to the King' s(Akbar) presence when the latter had come to pay his respects to Akbar at Lahore.

4. Rajput influence was so much resented in the Mughal Circles that men like Abdul Qa'adir Badayuni did not mention that he was writing a book on the reign of Akbar, until Jahangir' s reign started. This is because he had used strong language in condemnation of Akbar's Rajput marriages, the influence of Rajputs, and his liberal nature.

5. It can now be understood about the resentment, that the heirs of Mughals were produced by Rajput princess. There was also resentment that Akbar's Rajput wives though outwardly seemed to live like Muslims(as they practiced their faith in the confines of harem), still during their life-time practiced Hindu religion. Akbarnama gives us information about the revolts and rebellions in Akbar's reign. There were 144 such incidents, half of it due to his religious policies and the acceptance of Hinduism in his close circle. It is also said that Akbar wrote his Prince's horoscopes after the birth of Salim.

Raja Man Singh | of Amer (1589 - 1614 AD)
From Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, The City Palace Jaipur

6. As everybody knows Salim's First Wife was Raja Bhagwan Das's daughter, Man Bai. The reason given for her selection in by Abu'l Fazl in Ain-i-Akbari is the "fine genetic pool" she brings with her. So what does this have say about  Akbar's thoughts on Harka Bai/MUZ and her Amer  Family ?? Clearly, this refers to the high standards/respect which Akbar had in his mind about the Amer Clan. More can be read here : Akbar visits Amber to conduct marriage of Salim and Man Bai

7. The following information is from the translation of Badayuni's work. The following lines are written for the Princess of Amer, Daughter of Raja Bharmal. The same thing has also been observed by Eraly in his Work on Mughals.

Akbar' s marriage to the princess of Amer was significant. He allowed the princess to remain a Hindu, maintain a Hindu shrine in the royal palace and he himself participated in the Puja she performed.

This act of Akbar was of great resentment for the theologians of his time, as it was against Islam to worship "idols", but Akbar did it, much to the ire of Badayuni.


8. This is about the status of Amer's Princes in the Mughal Court, as stated by Abu'l Fazl in Ain-i-Akbari. 

Of the 27 Rajputs in His Majesty' s list of Mansabdars , 13 were of the Amer Clan. Some rose to positions nearly as high as those of Imperial Princes. Raja Bhagwan Das bore the title of Amir-ul-Umara(Chief among nobles) and his son Raja Man Singh rose even higher earning immense wealth and power. Man Singh became a mansabdar of the rank of 7000, which was the highest position available at that time, and other than him, Akbar's Foster brother, Mirza Aziz Koka(Son of Atga Khan and Jiji Anga) had this rank.

9. The princes of Amer retained their freedom of speech. They were no timid sycophants or servile tools of a despot. Bhagwan Das had the courage to refuse to embrace Akbar's new found faith "Din-i-illahi". He did not care for the pantheistic subtleties but replied that - " I can understand Hinduism  and Islam, but asked what is this New fangled religion, which is neither .?. And, Akbar had the wisdom of accepting his decision. "  ... From Al-Badouni, Vol. 2, Pg-323 .

Clearly, above incident shows the level of understanding / comfort / amicability, these 2 people had. Otherwise, who else could DARE say a NO to the Emperor, that TOO, so directly.! Both of them were on very friendly terms.

He was given the title of Bankey Raja by Akbar, citing his exceptional bravery. He maintained his freedom of speech while giving advice to the Emperor on important political matters. He was also given the title of Amir-ul-Umara (meaning Chief Noble, which was reserved for Select few trusted ones) by Akbar, meaning the Head of Nobles.

Abul Fazl praises him as follows -> "He was endowed with uprightness, weight of counsel and courage".



Akbarnama, Volume-2,  Chapter 68  EXPLICITLY mentions Akbar visited Amer.

He arrived there after 26 March,1569.

Abu'l Fazl, explains -> " When His Majesty alighted at Amber, Raja Bhagwant Das, whose native town it was, came forward with sincerity and arranged a "feast {jashan}". He also tendered noble gifts."

Akbar was royally welcomed in the kingdom of Amber. Finally, Akbar reached agra on 11 May 1569. It is not clear, who all were present with Akbar on this trip. Trying to find this out.

Did anyone notice, how much time he spent in Amber.?.

>>  Another documented incidence, when Akbar visited Amber with many other courtiers, was for the marriage of Salim with Man Bai, daughter of Raja Bhagwan Das, in 1585. This marriage at Amber, 'ALSO' took place in Hindu traditions.

This was the FIRST time, Akbar (or any other Mughal Emperor in the history of India) visited the bride's native place for conducting marriage ceremonies of his son. A separate blog article was written to describe this event : Akbar visits Amber to conduct marriage of Salim and Man Bai

Though, Internet Websites mention, Akbar never went to Amber. BUT, just by a casual read of Akbarnama, i could find 2 well-documented incidences (mentioned above) , when Akbar visited Amber. So, you all see, this was ANOTHER 'Story' , created on Internet about Akbar. There are more such incidences when he visited. And, even Akbarnama does not mentions all visits. Will keep updating in future posts.


The article has been posted under the Rajputs and Mughals(Akbar) section of this history BLOG.

Share this article :


  1. Awesome write-up Abhay . Jalaluddin was indeed far ahead of his times with his liberal thinking and policies . No wonder he received the title of Akbar .

    1. Charu,

      Akbar was his name by birth, not a title. I think Abhay has posted on this somewhere here on this blog. :) Akbar was his grandfather's name (Ali Akbar - Hamida's father) and so he was named thus.

    2. Radhika,

      Thanks for adding this point. :)

      You can have a look at this post here > REAL Date of Birth of Akbar | Was Akbar a Title ?

  2. abhay tanx fr the imformation...but i want to more about akbar and muz one post u said thai u know some of their conversation which proves the intensity of their relationship..i m curious to know that

    1. Hi Paritosh,

      Refer to these incidents...This shows HK's stand in Akbar's life.. I am mentioning some points below...

    2. FIRST
      This incident is related to Fatehpur Sikri(FS). And this incident has been told and retold for ages, and has taken many forms now, but the core is as follows..Even today, this incident is amongst the most talked about when we dig the annals of Fatehpur Sikri..

      A dancer girl was decide to be punished by Akbar on HK's insistence as SHE was "ill-informed" about her by the maids. Akbar liked her(dancer) "skills" , but HK was worn out of jealousy when her maids poisoned her ears about the girl and Akbar.

      Badayuni has taken a note of this possessive nature of the Rajput wife/s of Akbar, where he clearly mentions about the possessiveness for Akbar. Interestingly, he has made NO mention of any Muslim wife in this regard. In this context, here are two links, you can have a look here. :)

      1. Glory of Faith - Akbar with Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum - Painting

      2. Relations of Akbar with Mariam Uz Zamani and Rajputs of Amer Clan

      ^^ These contain some nuggets from Badayuni's writings.



      The seed was sown in her mind. Then, while she(HK) was bathing, her precious bangle was hidden by one of the maids and she was told that the girl had taken it. HK was furious and she taunted Akbar so much, that Akbar declared punishment(death) for the girl, as it was the rule of that time. The girl had nothing to say in her defense. But, at the punishment, the girl vanished and the royal guards could not find her.

      This was the core. Now, from to time, many tales have been wrapped around this. This incident is attributed as an imprecation on FS, and it is said that due to the imprecation of the girl's father, FS started to turn inhabitable. It is said - He maintained that her daughter did no wrong and she was falsely implicated in this crime, and cursed the place.

      Overall, this was to lay stress on the SAY which HK used to enjoy in her talks with Akbar.


    3. SECOND

      This one is a very important and NOTEWORTHY point.

      The Belgian author, Dirk Colier, who researched on Akbar for 7 years. He has mentioned something interesting about Akbar and Mariam-Uz-Zamani in his recent book on Akbar launched in 2011.

      He maintains, as per historical records which he found during his research, there are records which say that Akbar OFTEN had long talks with his Hindu Queen, Mariam-Uz-Zamani, about her Trade activities. She was the Princess of Amber, the daughter of Raja Bharmal.

      This was a NEW fascinating information, which i got to know about HER, as i was not aware earlier, that there are documented records which mention about talks of Akbar with MUZ, on her trade. I am trying to get my hands at such records, but not successful till now. Will post when/if i get them. :)


      1. Dirk Collier has recently started a new initiative to preserve the stagnant architecture of Fatehpur Sikri and revive it from a state of neglect.

      2. The author also makes a NOTE that Salima Begum was a respected lady in the Mughal Harem and she DID NOT BORE any child to Akbar. A conclusion made after his thorough research of 7 years.!!!!!


    4. The second point, above^^, also assumes importance because in that age, there are hardly any documents which state that the Emperor(husband) had talks with the Empress(wife) based on her trade matters.

      This demonstrates a very different aspect of the personality of Akbar that despite being so busy in the administration of such a huge empire, he had the time to talk to Harka Bai/HK/MUZ on her trade matters.

      The cherry on the cake, being the fact that, such details were chronicled as well.. :)

      Though, Nur Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal and other Mughal ladies were also engaged in trading activities, such personal accounts of their talks with their husbands are NOT found in their cases..

      This comparison sheds a very important light on the Akbar - HK relationship aspect.. .

    5. Hello Abhay , I love your blog. However, wanted to point out that Colier also says Salima was his favorite wife and he wanted to have his heir from her


    6. Hi Coolpree.. :)

      Nice to find you here. I hope this place is equally engaging. :)
      I knew this point about Salima Begum . However, would like to mention the clauses, which made Dirk Collier " think " that Salima Begum was Akbar's favorite wife. This is due to the following facts, which Dirk Collier thought -->

      1. She was highly influential, probably much more than Akbar's mother. { < according to Collier. }
      2. Akbar greatly valued her opinion.
      3. She appeared to be intelligent, well-read, and a good poetess.
      4. Her role in the mediation of revolt of Prince Salim.

      Considering these above points and seeing her influence, Dirk Collier, concluded her to be Akbar's favorite.

      About Akbar's desire to get a Child from Salima Begum..

      Dirk Collier has mentioned that he has added his Own Imagination also in that book along with facts to make it interesting. The first and last chapter of that book is fictional according to him. :) In order to separate the factual and fictional parts, Dirk Collier has added historical notes/references in his book.

      And, the bit where he mentions that, Akbar wanted to get a heir from Salima Begum, that has no such historical reference. :)
      This part has been added by him, in order to substantiate his theory that Salima Begum was the favorite one.

      The book says -> " When Akbar was desperate for an heir, he goes to Ajmer to seek the blessings of Sheikh Salim Chisti. Akbar says he wants his descendant to be born through Salima Begum. Then, Shiekh Salim Chisti advises Akbar to make his firstborn ‘a son of Hindustan.’ Then, Salim is born of his Hindu wife, the daughter of Raja BharMal of Amber."

      Now, if we analyze the above statement then, it has errors(they are not errors but imagination).. :)

      a. Sheikh Salim Chisti resided at Agra, not Ajmer. { Actually, Akbar undertook that pilgrimage to Ajmer with MUZ in 1566-67.. }.
      b. Isn't this surprising that a Sufi Saint will ask Akbar to get son through some Hindustani lady and NOT from the one whom Akbar wanted.?. LOL . Sufis are not such people.

      Actually, Collier has taken the respect/seniority accorded to Salima Begum, in another terms and mentioned her as Akbar's favorite. And, in order to sunstantiate it, Collier has NOT mentioned many points about MUZ in that Book, and added his own views.

      For example :

      He does not mentions the pilgrimages which Akbar and MUZ had undergone together in order to pray and ask for a heir..I mentioned these two FAMOUS pilgrimages in my Post on Children of Akbar and Mariam-Uz-Zamani Begum. :)

      One pilgrimage was taken by Akbar and MUZ in 1564 after the Demise of TWINS to Sheikh Salim Chisti in Agra and another one was in 1566-67 to Ajmer Sharif.

      If Akbar wanted to have heir from Salima Begum, he should have taken her with him on these pilgrimages, not MUZ.

      That point which Collier added had no historical reference, it was a fictional point added by Collier. :)


  3. @All..
    A minor Notice...

    In my comment above, posted on October 13, 2014 at 2:50 AM it says that, FS started to turn inhabitable. It should be UNinhabitable. :)

  4. Abhay, thank you so much for your thoughtful and detailed reply. I have so many questions for you but will try to read your blog carefully before I ask them. The Akbar- MUZ story strikes a special cord in me and I desperately want it to be true. I am a hindu rl married to a muslim with full freedom to follow my own you can see why I am specially interested in this story LOL. I have been to FS twice and have always been more moved by it than even the TAJ. Not to mention Sikandra which is magical ...


    1. Wow.!
      This is a fascinating bit, which you've shared with me.
      I can understand, why this story " strikes a chord in you " . :)

      By the way, the story of Akbar-MUZ is quite true.
      You are welcome to share your anecdotes from FS, and put up any questions. I'll try to share as much as i know.

  5. thank you abhay..these are really very interesting..

  6. Interesting Read. Thanks Much Abhay

  7. hi abhay, i have read this sikiri dancer story on interent, was it a folklore or was it written in history too ?? _dushi_

  8. Hi Dushi,

    Glad to see you here. Hope you are finding the real history better than the show. :p

    The story of FS dancer has been manipulated and changed over centuries and is seen to be associated with the curse of Fatehpur Sikri. But, as far as i know, this is believable only to the extent of Akbar ordering punishment. Not the curse thing, which has been added thereafter. :)

  9. thanks abhay.. yes indeed, real history has its own charm . i really got addicted with this show, so i dint wanna see real history in detail. SA,leap nd other silly tracks made me to move away from this show. now m done with the show. just finding real history is better than this crap anymore. initial days brought this charm. but big leap brought tsunami to all viewers ............:D/// keep writing... tc

  10. I had read these info on IF and liked reading again. Thank you, Lizzy for providing it. These really shows how important Amer clan was to Akbar. Hats off to Akbar for his liberal thinking especially in those times when even in modern times many people have not imbibed liberalism yet. salute to him.

  11. Thank u for the info Abhay....
    I read in net Sujamal father Bhagyamal gave up his father for the sake of Humayun....i even read both have friendly relations it true????

  12. Hi Lakshmi,

    Interesting question. :)

    Yes partially this is true. Father of Sujamal fought from the side of Mughal forces, NOT due to friendly relations but due to necessities of the times. The ruler of Gujarat - Bahadur Shah had defeated Mewar after the death of Rana Sanga(when the second BIG Jauhar of ladies of Chittor took place).. He was eager to take over Amer as well, next.

    In this situation, the ruler of Amer and Humayun BOTH had a common enemy and that was Bahadur Shah. Hence, father of Sujamal fought from the other side, as he had no other option. :)

  13. Thank u soo much Abhay....whatever may be reason i somehow feel its destiny..... Is Akbar aware of this r not???bcz in show i observed Question mark in Akbars face when Hamidha told to jodha she is soooo special to them when she came to agra after her mrrg......
    One more question Abhay regarding Akbar Tulasidas i read Akbar boweddown infront of Tulasidass is this true r just the creation of internet...

  14. Lakshmi,
    I think Akbar was aware of this incident.
    About Akbar-TulsiDas incident, as far as i know, it's all a hatched up story ; name of Saint Tulsidas is not even mentioned in the Akbarnama. :)

  15. Abhay...
    Why i start feeling like HK was a possesive queen and Akbar has no force to refuse her every request...
    seems like HK was an egoistic, spoiled woman that always forced akbar to her wish....
    And Akbar was trapped by her queen-mother-state...
    Please clear up my mind...

  16. Nia,
    But why do you feel so ?
    Tell me the reasons , only then i would be able to help you.

    Also, do read this post, if you missed. :)

  17. Maybe because she was dare taunting akbar openly in front of public... i think no one other dare to do this to the king, right??
    And Akbar had given soo much power for her. Wasn't it too much for a queen?? And all the policies that akbar had made for rajput, especially amer klan. Maybe some people will think that HK had forced him to do that...

  18. Nia,
    No one can force Akbar to do anything. :)
    Try to analyze this in a different vein. Akbar did what he thought right. And the power which HK got was due to her own qualities. Not all women were like her, and that's why she is still remembered with great regard. And Akbar was a remarkable man to give such freedom to his wife. If you read the link which i gave above you will get it more clearly. :)