The Nine Gems of Akbar by Neria H. Hebbar SignUp
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History Share This Page
The Nine Gems of Akbar
by Dr.Neria H. Hebbar Bookmark and Share
The Mughal Emperor Akbar (1543-1605), though illiterate and unable to read or write, demonstrated a remarkable appreciation of other religious thoughts. He was also a connoisseur of music and fine arts. The Mughal architecture, that later culminated in the glorious Taj Mahal, found its beginnings in Akbar’s rule. Music and miniature paintings reached their zenith. His tolerance to other religions perhaps came from his many queens including his principle wife who was a Hindu. He had also married a Christian, and several Indian and Persian Muslim women. Akbar reigned as the Mughal monarch for several decades and established himself as the most benevolent, tolerant Emperor; and history knows him as Akbar the Great.

The court of Akbar held some of the best India had to offer at that time. The Emperor had an enormously curious intellect. He would routinely assemble religious leaders of other religions in his court and patiently listen to them. Thus it was not only Hinduism he was curious about but had Christian missionaries who were more and more common after Vasco da Gama visited India. Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism also were his fascinations. He eventually formed his own religion, Din Ilahi, gathering the best from his understanding of the various religions. Akbar married thirty three times and had brides from all faiths. With his alliances with the daughters of nobles, he was able to bring peace in his empire. Several Rajput kings were his relatives by marriage and were loyal to him. Diplomacy through matrimony!

The great administrator who was also an aficionado of the arts attracted the best contemporary minds to his court. Nine such extraordinary talents, who shone brightly in their respective fields, were known as Akbar’s nine gems. The nomenclature as nine gems is chosen because there are nine well-known gems (nava-rathna). There were endless lists of worthy people in his court that shone like the brightest gems, and to choose only nine amongst them is a difficult task indeed.

  1. Abul Fazl

    (1551-1602) was the chronicler of Akbar’s rule. He authored the biographical Akbarnama, which was the result of seven years of painstaking work. He documented the history meticulously, giving a full and accurate picture of the prosperous life during the monarch’s reign. His account also shed light on the brilliant administrative capacity of the Emperor.

  2. Faizi

    (1547-1595) was Abul Fazl’s brother. He was a poet writing verses in Persian. Akbar had enormous respect for this genius and appointed him as a tutor for his son. His famous work is called Lilabati, on mathematics.

  3. Mian Tansen

    was a classical singer of unparalleled fame. He was born a Hindu in 1520 near Gwalior to Mukund Mishra, who was a poet himself. He learnt music from Swami Haridas and later from Hazrat Mohammad Ghaus. He was a court musician with the prince of Mewar and later recruited by Akbar as his court musician. The prince of Mewar was said to have been heartbroken to part with him. Tansen became a legendary name in India and was the composer of many classical ragas. His raga Deepak and raga Megh Malhar are famous. When he sang these ragas, Tansen was said to have lit the lamp and caused rain showers. He is also credited with creating raga Darbari Kanada and originating Drupad style of singing. Even today the classical gharanas try to align themselves with Mian Tansen. He was buried in Gwaliar, where a tomb has been constructed for him. There is a tamarind tree next to the tomb, which is reputed to be as old as the tomb itself. It is believed that one who chews a leaf from this tree in earnest faith will be bestowed with musical talents. It is unclear if Tansen converted to Islam. Akbar who was very fond of him gave him the title Mian. Tansen’s son Bilas Khan composed raga Bilaskhani Todi and his daughter Saraswati Devi was a well-known Drupad singer.

  4. Birbal

    (1528-1583) was a poor Brahmin who was appointed to the court of Akbar for his wit as well as wisdom. Born by the name Maheshdas, he was conferred the name Raja Birbal by the Emperor. A man of tireless wit and charm, he enjoyed the Emperor’s favor in administration as his trusted minister, and for his entertainment as his court jester. There are many witty stories of exchanges and interactions between the monarch and his minister that are popular even today. The stories are thought provoking, intelligent as well as educational. Birbal was also a poet and his collections under the pen name ‘Brahma” are preserved in Bharatpur Museum. Raja Birbal died in battle, attempting to quell unrest amongst Afghani tribes in Northwest India. Akbar was said to have mourned for a long time on hearing the news.

  5. Raja Todar Mal

    was Akbar’s finance minister, who from 1560 onwards overhauled the revenue system in the kingdom. He introduced standard weights and measurements, revenue districts and officers. His systematic approach to revenue collection became a model for the future Mughals as well as the British. Raja Todar Mal was also a warrior who assisted Akbar in controlling the Afghan rebels in Bengal. Raja Todar Mal had learnt his craft from another able administrator Sher Shah. In 1582, Akbar bestowed on the raja the title Diwan-I- Ashraf.

  6. Raja Man Singh

    the Kacchwaha rajput raja of Amber. (Later Kacchwahas built Jaipur, close to Amber). This trusted lieutenant of Akbar was the grandson of Akbar’s father-in-law. His family had been inducted into Mughal hierarchy as amirs (nobles). Raja Man Singh assisted Akbar in many fronts including holding off advancing Hakim (Akbar’s half-brother, a governor of Kabyul) in Lahore. He also led campaigns in Orissa.

  7. Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khan

    a poet was the son of Akbar’s trusted protector and caretaker when he was a teenager, Bairam Khan. After Bairam Khan was murdered by treachery, his wife became the second wife of Akbar.

  8. Fagir Aziao Din and  (9) Mullan Do Piaza

    were two advisors belonging to Akbar’s inner circle.

I have seen other names mentioned as gems of Akbar’s court. Daswant, the painter and Abud us-Samad, a brilliant calligrapher, have also been named in some articles. Mir Fathullah Shiraz, who was a financier, philosopher, astrologer and an astute physician, has also been mentioned. Nevertheless, it is apparent that Akbar’s court was filled with brilliant minds in the fields of art, administration and warfare.

With these varieties of brave soldiers with sharp intellect and wit as well as some of the greatest names in the world of art and music, Akbar ruled what history calls the greatest Mughal Empire. Akbar came to be called the greatest of the six great Mughal emperors. The foresight of this illiterate and dyslexic Emperor was remarkable and unique in history.

Share This:
05-Apr-2003
More by :  Dr. Neria H. Hebbar
 
Views: 66510      Comments: 79

Comments on this Article

Comment birble was a great person

saimanvitha
09/29/2015 08:50 AM

Comment From APSACS Attock.Very helpful in history projects.


hanzala
02/23/2015 08:53 AM

Comment As with many Indian rulers Akbar's court had Navaratnas ("Nine Jewels"), a term denoting a group of nine extraordinary people. Akbar's Navratnas were:

* Abul-Fazel - Akbars's chief advisor and author of Akbarnama, the official history of Akbar's reign.
* Faizi Akbar's poet laureate who is best known for his Nal u Daman, a poetic rendering of the beloved story of Sanskrit story of Nala and Damayanti.
* Mian Tansen - a Hindu singer much beloved by Akbar who even called for him on his death bed
* Birbal - a high noble known for great wit
* Raja Todar Mal - Akbar's finance minister
* Raja Man Singh - trusted general of Akbar's
* Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana - an important noble and a renowned poet in Persian, Sanskrit, and Hindustani.
* Fakir Aziao-Din
* Mullah Do Piaza
I LIKED YOUR INFORMATION

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07/06/2013 13:08 PM

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06/03/2013 10:13 AM

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namrata aharwar
05/01/2013 01:28 AM

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ashu
04/11/2013 06:30 AM

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02/25/2013 10:42 AM

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manbir
02/06/2013 10:07 AM

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though increase info for humam

and pics pls tooo

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01/07/2013 13:20 PM

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riya doshi
01/04/2013 05:21 AM

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Shubhangi
01/01/2013 05:44 AM

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Abigael Kumar
12/12/2012 09:12 AM

Comment Lacks pics

shubhang
12/03/2012 11:33 AM

Comment nice information but much more is needed on the last gem of akbar .

gurshaan grewal
11/28/2012 02:28 AM

Comment nothing much is written about humam the physician and mullah do piaza...plz add it on

adwitiya
11/05/2012 12:36 PM

Comment ???? ????? ?????? ??? ??????? ??????? 
??? ???? ?? ?????, ?????? ?? ???? 
?? ?????? ?? ??????, ??????? ????????????? 
?????? ?????? ???? ???? ?? ?????

???? ?? ???? ????? ?????? ???? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ???????? ??? ????????????? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???? ??? ????? ?? ???? ???? ?? ????? ??? ?? (?) ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ??????? ???? ?? ?????? ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???
1.???? ????? 2.??????  3. ?????????? ???-?-???? 4. ???? ?????? 5. ??????? ??????????? ?? ???? ?????-??? 6. ?????? 7. ????? 8. ???????-??-???????  9. ???? ??? ?????

???? ???: (???? - ???? ) ?? ???? ?? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ???? ???????? ? ???-?-????? ?? ?? ???? ?? ???
????:(???? - ????) ???? ????? ?? ??? ??? ?? ????? ??? ????? ???? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ??????: ????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? ???? ????? : (???? - ????) ????? ?? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ??????? ??? ???? ??????: ???? ?? ????? ?????? ??? ???????? ????? ?? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ??????? ????? ?? ??? :???? ??? ????: ?????? (?????) ?? ???????? ?????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?????? ??????? ??? ?????? ???? ???-?-????: ?? ??? ?? ?? ???? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?????? ?????-???: ???? ?? ??????? ??? ??????? ?? ??????: ???? ?? ??????? ???

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Prof N L Shraman
11/01/2012 11:05 AM

Comment nice details but........... humam ,... is missing out smehrer and pictures could rather potray more help to complete the project.. anyways nyc.....

kiara
10/28/2012 04:39 AM

Comment last information is not borne out of facts
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joe
10/23/2012 03:44 AM

Comment plz put some pictures

aditya
10/20/2012 00:25 AM

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utsav
10/15/2012 10:44 AM

Comment better than wikipedia
but.........................



.....


/....no pics

divyanshn kotawala
10/01/2012 05:38 AM

Comment it helped in my project...................but add some PICS.

sahil
09/30/2012 04:39 AM

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thanks

shubham verma
09/01/2012 11:06 AM

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bipuljyoti rabha
08/29/2012 10:38 AM

Comment nyc one ......................................................


but


there is no infomation about mirza aziz & raja bhagwan das

kitty
08/28/2012 07:50 AM

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dishani
08/15/2012 11:32 AM

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sharad soni
08/03/2012 04:10 AM

Comment this helped me complete my project.if it was in hindi it would be better to me.

tanyabansal
06/16/2012 07:24 AM

Comment an amazing site..it actually helped me getting information for my project.
I hope my teacher will be happy to read about the "nine gems" in detail..!! :)

$neha
06/09/2012 04:05 AM

Comment it is a good site to know the chronological order of mughal empire specially akbar,s nine gems.

kaleemullah saeed
05/18/2012 06:51 AM

Comment well summarized info it helps me a lot...........

Niki patel
02/11/2012 06:38 AM

Comment great information but a little more pictures needed

sanjana chatterjee
01/20/2012 11:57 AM

Comment Epic. I study in NPS Singapore and this just helped me in my H.W!!!


BUT!



NEED-OF-PICS!!!!!!!!

Prithvi
01/09/2012 00:49 AM

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J Sudarshan
01/01/2012 09:39 AM

Comment pl. provide the pics of the 9 gems.........

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12/26/2011 09:46 AM

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12/21/2011 02:20 AM

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Sai Ishwaram
12/17/2011 09:10 AM

Comment akbar the great and his nine people
it help for my activity or project
thanks boloji

glazing stars
12/03/2011 01:03 AM

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tarjani
11/08/2011 09:36 AM

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juanita
10/26/2011 03:00 AM

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10/25/2011 13:04 PM

Comment awesome

braindude
10/19/2011 09:49 AM

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gody
10/16/2011 11:24 AM

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suhana
10/14/2011 02:15 AM

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sidharath baid
10/12/2011 12:35 PM

Comment nice information

-
10/12/2011 08:12 AM

Comment Thanks. Helped me lot in my 4th standard project. Should have pictures also.

Adwait Joshi
10/11/2011 09:16 AM

Comment Thank You So much It Helped Me In 7th Class Project Akbar's 9 Gems
But Last 2 Gems Information Should Be More.

Siddhant Choudhry
10/10/2011 12:06 PM

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10/04/2011 23:26 PM

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It helped me a lot to do my project..:)

Maryoom
10/03/2011 09:02 AM

Comment Interesting information but details about the last 2 need to be given

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09/26/2011 04:40 AM

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09/06/2011 12:55 PM

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08/28/2011 00:35 AM

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08/23/2011 11:33 AM

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06/06/2011 06:07 AM

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neetu
05/25/2011 06:22 AM




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