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The Mughal Empire

From Babur’s conquest of Delhi in 1526 to 1857, the borders of the empire constantly and dramatically shifted, as seen in this time-lapse map.  From the late-sixteenth through late-seventeenth centuries, it was of the strongest, wealthiest, and most magnificent empires in the world. In the eighteenth century, the empire began to weaken and by 1803, Mughal territory shrank to the area around Delhi. However, the Mughals remained the symbolic center of authority in India until 1857, when the British exiled the last Mughal emperor and established the Raj.

Map courtesy of the Archaeological Computing Lab, University of Sydney, Australia


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The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.