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Akbar vs. Aurangzeb: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 19, 2024
Akbar, known for his policy of religious tolerance, was a Mughal Emperor who expanded the empire considerably, while Aurangzeb, his great-grandson, was known for strict Islamic policies and empire consolidation.
Akbar vs. Aurangzeb

Key Differences

Akbar, ruling from 1556 to 1605, was renowned for his inclusive governance and promotion of cultural and religious harmony. In contrast, Aurangzeb, who ruled from 1658 to 1707, is often remembered for his orthodox Islamic policies and less tolerant stance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
Akbar's reign is marked by significant territorial expansion and the establishment of a centralized administrative system. Aurangzeb, though also expanding the Mughal territory, was more focused on consolidation and strict governance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
Culturally, Akbar encouraged art, literature, and architecture, leading to a unique Indo-Persian culture. Aurangzeb, however, was less patronizing of the arts and more focused on Islamic scholarship and architecture.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
Akbar's religious policies included the abolition of the Jizya tax on non-Muslims and initiating a syncretic religion, Din-i-Ilahi. Aurangzeb, on the other hand, is known for re-imposing the Jizya and strictly adhering to Islamic law.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
In administration, Akbar innovated with policies like Mansabdari system, while Aurangzeb's reign saw a more stringent implementation of Sharia law and Islamic principles in governance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Reign Period

1556 to 1605.
1658 to 1707.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Religious Policy

Promoted religious tolerance.
Imposed strict Islamic practices.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Cultural Contributions

Fostered Indo-Persian culture and arts.
Focused more on Islamic architecture.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Territorial Expansion

Expanded empire significantly.
Focused on consolidation.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Administrative Reforms

Introduced innovative systems.
Emphasized Islamic law in governance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024
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Akbar and Aurangzeb Definitions

Akbar

Akbar expanded the Mughal Empire through military and diplomatic successes.
Akbar annexed Rajput kingdoms through both warfare and alliances.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Aurangzeb

Less patronage towards arts compared to his predecessors.
Aurangzeb did not support the music and arts as Akbar did.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Akbar

Innovator in administrative and governance methods.
Akbar implemented the Mansabdari system to streamline administration.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Aurangzeb

Implemented policies that reversed Akbar's legacy of tolerance.
Aurangzeb reintroduced the Jizya tax on non-Muslims.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Akbar

A Mughal Emperor known for his tolerance and cultural integration.
Akbar's court had scholars from diverse religious backgrounds.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024
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Aurangzeb

Known for his austere personal life and devotion to Islam.
Aurangzeb was personally involved in Quranic studies and prayers.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Akbar

Promoter of the arts and culture in his empire.
The construction of Fatehpur Sikri was a major cultural achievement under Akbar.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Aurangzeb

A Mughal Emperor noted for his Islamic orthodoxy and empire expansion.
Aurangzeb expanded Mughal rule to the southern parts of India.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Akbar

Initiated religious discussions and debates in his court.
Akbar's Ibadat Khana was a place for religious discourse.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Aurangzeb

Aurangzeb emphasized Sharia law in his administration.
Aurangzeb's reign saw the implementation of Islamic laws in governance.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 23, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is Aurangzeb known for?

His orthodox Islamic rule and expansion of the empire.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

How did Akbar view other religions?

He was known for his tolerance and inclusivity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

How did Akbar manage his empire?

Through innovative administrative reforms.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

What were Aurangzeb's religious policies?

He was known for strict adherence to Islamic law.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

How did Aurangzeb impact the Mughal Empire?

He expanded it but also faced internal revolts.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Who was Akbar?

A Mughal Emperor known for his progressive policies.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Was Aurangzeb tolerant like Akbar?

No, he was less tolerant and more orthodox.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Akbar expand the Mughal Empire?

Yes, significantly through conquests and alliances.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Was Aurangzeb a successful military leader?

Yes, he was successful in expanding the empire.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

What was Akbar's approach to governance?

He was innovative and inclusive in administration.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Aurangzeb build many architectural marvels?

His contributions were more modest compared to Akbar.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Akbar promote the arts?

Yes, he was a great patron of arts and culture.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Aurangzeb face challenges during his reign?

Yes, including revolts and administrative challenges.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

What was Aurangzeb's stance on arts?

He was less inclined towards patronizing arts.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Akbar have any unique religious beliefs?

He created Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic religion.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Did Akbar have a specific religious affiliation?

He practiced Islam but promoted interfaith harmony.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

How long did Aurangzeb rule the Mughal Empire?

He ruled for about 49 years.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

How did Akbar interact with other religions?

He encouraged dialogue and religious debates.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

What was Aurangzeb's policy towards Hindu temples?

He is known to have destroyed several temples.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

Was Akbar's rule marked by military conquests?

Yes, alongside diplomatic strategies.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 19, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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