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Bahadur Shah Zafar ascended the throne and became the Emperor

December 31, 1836
Mirza Firuz Shah
Akbar Shah II 1806–1837

Bahadur Shah Zafar ascended the throne and became the Emperor



Bahadur Shah Zafar (also known as Aboo Zafar) ascended the Mughal throne in 1837 at the age of 62. He succeeded his father, Emperor Akbar Shah II. Zafar (meaning 'victory' in Persian) was a poet and an artist. “The eldest son of his late Majesty Mirza Aboo Zuffer has quietly succeeded to the throne under the usual salutes. The customary huzurs were presented to him. Since when a full durbar has been held and all is tranquil in the Palace.” Zafar had been on the throne for twenty years when the First War of Independence took place in 1857. Reign Bahadur Shah Zafar ruled over a Mughal Empire that had by the early nineteenth century been reduced to only the city of Delhi and the surrounding territory as far as Palam. The Maratha Empire had brought an end to the Mughal Empire in the Deccan during the 18th century and the regions of India formerly under Mughal rule had either been absorbed by the Marathas or had declared independence and become smaller kingdoms. The Marathas installed Shah Alam II in the throne in 1772, under the protection of the Maratha general Mahadaji Shinde and maintained suzerainty over Mughal affairs in Delhi. The East India Company became the dominant political and military power in mid-nineteenth-century India. Outside the region controlled by the company, hundreds of kingdoms and principalities, fragmented their land. The emperor was respected by the company, who provided him with a pension. The emperor permitted the company to collect taxes from Delhi and maintain a military force in it. Zafar never had any interest in statecraft or had any "imperial ambition". After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British exiled him from Delhi. Bahadur Shah Zafar was a noted Urdu poet, having written a number of Urdu ghazals. While some part of his opus was lost or destroyed during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a large collection did survive, and was compiled into the Kulliyyat-i-Zafar. The court that he maintained was home to several prolific Urdu writers, including Mirza Ghalib, Dagh, Mumin, and Zauq.


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The Mughal Images immediately took a much greater interest in realistic portraiture than was typical of Persian miniatures. Animals and plants were the main subject of many miniatures for albums and were more realistically depicted. To upload your images click here.

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