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Qwiz5 Quizbowl Essentials: The Mughal Dynasty

Updated: Sep 17, 2019

The Mughal Empire ruled much of present day India following the Babur’s victory at the 1526 Battle of Panipat. Though the empire technically lasted into the 19th century, its influence significantly waned after the death of its sixth emperor Aurangzeb in 1707.

Laura shows her glass unicorn to Jim in a picture from "The Glass Menagerie". Part of the Qwiz5 series by Qwiz Quizbowl Camp, written to help quiz bowl teams power more tossups!

By analyzing questions, you can see patterns emerge, patterns that will help you answer more tossups. Qwiz5 is all about those patterns. In each installment of Qwiz5, we take an answer line and look at its five most common clues. Here we explore five clues that will help you answer a tossup on the Mughal Dynasty.


Babur founded the Mughal Dynasty after defeating the Delhi Sutanate led by Ibrahim Lodi and the First Battle of Panipat (1526). He was a direct descendant of Tamerlane and was the King of the central Asian region of Ferghana before the Battle of Panipat. He wrote a well-known series of memoirs.


Akbar was the third Mughal Emperor. Because he was young when he succeeded his father Humayun to the throne, Akbar had a regent, Bairam Khan who advised him in the early years of his reign. He had another group of advisors known as the Nine Jewels, and founded his own syncretic religion, Din-I-Ilahi.


Shah Jahan was the grandson of Akbar. He is best known for building the Taj Mahal, a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz in the city of Agra. He also commissioned the Red Fort in Delhi. He was succeeded by his son Aurangzeb.


The Peacock Throne was commissioned by Shah Jahan and served as the traditional seat of the Mughal Emperor. It sat in the Hall of Private Audiences in the Red Fort and was encrusted by a number of jewels, most notably by the 187 carat diamond known as Koh-i-Noor.


The Maratha Empire (led by Shivaji) effectively ended the Mughal Dynasty when they defeated forces led by Aurangzeb during the Deccan Wars (also known as the War of Twenty-Seven Years).


Quizbowl is about learning, not rote memorization, so we encourage you to use this as a springboard for further reading rather than as an endpoint. Here are a few things to check out:

* You can read the full text of the Baburnama, the memoirs of Babur here.

* The UNESCO World Heritage site on the Taj Mahal

* The Gone podcast has an interesting episode about the Peacock Throne where they estimate that to build it today would cost nearly $1 Trillion. Listen Below...

* This video is a really good overview of the live and accomplishments of Akbar the Great.


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