Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Nine Jewels/Gems/Navratnas of Akbar

Abul Fazl:

Abul Fazl
Picture showing Abul-Fazl presenting Akbarnama to Akbar.
Shaikh Abu Fazal (January 14, 1551 – August 12, 1602) was the vizier (wazir) of the mughal emperor Akbar and brother of Faizi (another jewel of Akbar). He was a profound thinker and writer. Fazl authored the book Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar's reign in three volumes, (the third volume is known as the Ain-i-Akbari) and a Persian translation of the Bible.

It is stated that the book took seven years to be completed and the original manuscripts contained a number of paintings supporting the texts, and all the paintings represented the Mughal school of painting, and work of masters of the imperial workshop, including Basawan, whose use of portraiture in its illustrations was an innovation in Indian art.

He came to Akbar's court in 1575 and was influential in Akbar's religious views becoming more liberal into the 1580s and 1590s. He also led the Mughal imperial army in its wars in the Deccan.

Faizi (24 September 1547 – 5 October 1595) was the elder brother of Abul Fazl and a poet laureate of Akbar's court. Akbar considered him as a genius and appointed him as a tutor for his sons, Salim, Murad and Daniyal. Faizi is credited with the translation of Lilavati (Lilavati is Indian mathematician Bhāskara II's treatise on mathematics.) into Persian.

Raja Birbal:
Raja Birbal
Birbal (1528–1586) was was a Hindu advisor in the Akbar's court. His original name was Mahesh Das. He was one of the main advisor and a friend of Akbar. Birbal was appointed by the emperor as a poet and singer, but because of his unique qualities of being extremely clever and witty, later he formed a close association with Akbar, becoming an important advisor and soon being sent on military expeditions despite having no previous background. Birbal was talented in writing prose and in music and gained fame for his poetry and singing.

Birbal was given the title "Kavi Rai" (poet laureate) from the emperor within a few years of his appointment in the emperors court. Later when Birbal became one of the good friend of Akbar then Akbar bestowed him with the new name " Raja Birbal".

Read more about Birbal.

Raja Man Singh:
Raja Man Singh
Raja Man Singh
Man Sing (December 21, 1550 – July 6, 1614) was the Kacchwaha rajput King of Amber, a state later known as Jaipur. He was a trusted general of the Akbar and was the grandson of Akbar’s father-in-law. Mughal emperor Akbar bestowed him with the title "Mirza Raja".

Man Singh is credited with defeating Maharana Pratap, in the battle of Haldighati, and the Afghans.
On 17 March 1594, Raja Man Singh was appointed Subahdar (Governor) of Bengal, Bihar, and Odisha.

Mian Tansen:
Mian Tansen
Mian Tansen
Mian Tansen (1506 - 1589) was also known with the name Mohammad Ata Khan. he was born in a Hindu Gaur Brahmin family in a village near Gwalior, India and his original name was Ramtanu Pandey. Tansen was a prominent Hindustani classical music composer and musician. Akbar gave him the title Mian (an honorific, meaning learned man). Tansen learnt music from Swami Haridas (A legendary composer from Vrindavan ) and later from Hazrat Mohammad Ghaus. It is said that Tansen had no equal apart from his teacher.

Initially Tansen was a singer in the court of King Ramchandra Baghela of Reva, India and later was recruited by Akbar as his court musician.  His raga Deepak and raga Megh Malhar are famous. In some stories it is stated that Tansen could bring rain by singing the Raga Megh Malhar. Similarly he could start a fire by singing in the Raga Deepak. He has also composed several Ragas that have been the foundation of classical music like Miyan ka Bhairav known today as Bhairav, Darbari Todi, Darbari Kanada, Malhar, Sarang and Rageshwari.

Raja Todar Mal:
Raja Todar Mal
Raja Todar Mal
Raja Todar Mal,a Khatri Rajput, was a Finance Minister in Akbar's court. He started his career under Sher Shah Suri and later he joined the Akbar's court. He was not only a finance minister but also an able warrior who assisted Akbar in controlling the Afghan rebels in Bengal, who led various battles. Raja Todar Mal introduced standard weights and measures, a land survey and settlement system, revenue districts and officers.Todar Mal is known for his expertise in land revenue matters, his systematic approach to revenue collection became a model for the future Mughals, the Marathas as well as the British. He also introduced a new system of revenue known as zabt.

Faqir Aziao-Din:

Faqir Aziao-Din was one of Akbar's chief advisors, and belonged to his inner circle. Akbar regarded his advice in high esteem. He used to give the Emperor Akbar advice on religious matters.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana:
Rahim Das
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana
Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana  (1556 – 1626)  was also known as Rahim Das. He was a poet in the times of Mughal King Akbar. Rahim is famous for his Hindi couplets and his books on Astrology.Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana was the son of Akbar’s trusted caretaker, Bairam Khan who had Turk ancestry.

After Bairam Khan was murdered, his wife became the second wife of Akbar, which made Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khan his stepson, and later he became one of his nine prominent ministers, the Navaratnas, or nine gems.

Although a Muslim by birth, Rahim was a devotee of Lord Krishna and wrote poetry dedicated to him. He was also an avid Astrolger, and the writer of two important works in Astrology Khet Kautukam and Dwawishd Yogavali are still popular.

The village of Khankhana, is named after him, which is located in the Nawanshahr district of the state of Punjab, India.

Read popular Couplets(Dohe) of Rahim.

Mullah Do Piaza:
Mullah Do Piaza
Mullah Do Piaza
Mullah Do Piaza was also an advisor in the Akbar's court. He was also known for his wit and humour.

Note: Wikipedia and some other sources mention that Mullah Do Piaza is a fictional character.


  1. Can you find the portrait of Saiyid Mahmud Khan Barha, a general of emperor Akbar?

  2. Did you find the Portrait of Sayyid Mahmud Khan Barha?

    1. Sorry i tried but not got much about him ...But you can try this Wikipedia link about him, this might help you -

      Sayyid Mahmud Khan Barha

  3. can't find much pictures but then also great thanks


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