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Navaratnas of Emperor Akbar

22-06-2017 07:00 AM | Pooja Nevewani | My Indian Dream

Navaratnas of Emperor Akbar | My Indian Dream

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What so special about Emperor Akbar's nine gems

Emperor Akbar is very well known for his rule and statesmanship. The great Mughal Emperor had a set of wise advisors who guided him through his administration. These advisors and top officials in his court were his Navaratnas or nine gems. Emperor Akbar also had a great interest in arts and literature. Therefore his nine jewels were a combination of artists, musicians, writers, finance ministers, warriors, and poets.

Raja Man Singh I

Raja Man Singh I was the Chief of Staff Akbar’s Mughal Army. Emperor Akbar was married to Man Singh’s aunt which many believe is the reason for his appointment. In 1576, he had led the Mughal Army against Maharana Pratap in the battle of Haldighati. By 1586, he became in charge of about 5000 soldiers which was later increased to 7000 in 1605. This was the rank anyone could achieve except for Akbar’s son. Akbar often referred Man Singh I as his ‘son’. He had also commissioned some constructions amongst which the Krishna temple in Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh is famous.


Tansen was the Culture Minister of Emperor Akbar and a renowned singer. He was also a court singer of Emperor Akbar. Emperor Akbar first saw Tansen in the court of Ram Chand, Hindu King of Gwalior. On request, he sent Tansen to Akbar’s court with additional gifts. Tansen has conferred the title of ‘Mian’, which means the learned man. He has majorly contributed to Hindustani Classical Music and his compositions led to the emergence of many regional music schools in North India called Gharana. He wrote Sangita Sara and Sri Ganesh Stotra.

Fakir Aziao-Din 

Fakir Aziao-Din was the Religious Minister of Emperor Akbar. He advised the Emperor over various religious matters. The word ‘Fakir’ means sage in Urdu. Not much is known about his life.


Faizi was Emperor Akbar’s Minister of Education and mentor of the royal princes.  He was the brother of another member of Akbar’s Court, Abu’l Fazl ibn Mubarak. He was a scholar in Islamic theology and Greek literature and philosophy. He was a renowned poet and scholar who later became Akbar’s court poet. He has written over hundreds of poetries. One of his collection of poems is Tabashir al-Subh.

Mulla Do-Piyaza

Mulla Do-Piyaza was the Home Minister in Akbar’s court. This post is responsible for maintenance of internal security of the kingdom just like the police force. However many scholars mention Mulla Do-Piyaza as a fictional character. He is portrayed as a witty character against Birbal.

Raja Birbal

Raja Birbal is the famous amongst the nine jewels of Emperor Akbar because of the famous Akbar-Birbal folk tales. He was the Foreign affairs Minister in Emperor Akbar’s court. He served Akbar over 30 years and was very close to him. He was the only Hindu to convert to Din-i Ilahi, the religion created by Akbar. After Akbar’s reign, folk tales about Birbal’s cleverness and his bond with Akbar became famous and is still a favourite read amongst kids.

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana

Abdul Rahim Khan-I-Khana was Defense Minister in Emperor Akbar’s court. He also served in Jahangir’s court. His major accomplishments were his two books on astrology, translation of Babar’s memoirs and ‘dohas’ which is a genre of poetry.

Raja Todar Mal

Raja Todar Mal was the Finance Minister of Akbar’s court. He is well known for improving the Mughal’s financial system. He introduced land surveying systems, standard weights and measures and revenue districts. His methods are followed even today.

 Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak

Abu'l-Fazl ibn Mubarak was the Prime Minister of Emperor Akbar’s court. He was also called the ‘Grand Vizier’. He had learned Arabic and Islamic teachings are a very young age. He was the one who significantly influenced Akbar’s religious mindset. Under his mentorship, Akbar became more ideologically liberal. He also wrote the famous account of Emperor Akbar’s reign called ‘Akbarnama’.

About the Author


A bibliophile who likes to gain and share knowledge.
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