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Emperors Of The Peacock Throne

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  529 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
A stirring account of one of the world’s greatest empires

In December 1525, Zahir-ud-din Babur, descended from Chengiz Khan and Timur Lenk, crossed the Indus river into the Punjab with a modest army and some cannon. At Panipat, five months later, he fought the most important battle of his life and routed the mammoth army of Sultan Ibrahim Lodi, the Afghan ruler of Hindustan
Paperback, 1st Edition, 555 pages
Published 2007 by Penguin Books India
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Apr 11, 2015 Riah rated it really liked it
Shelves: india, history
I loved most of this book, although I definitely skimmed some of the battles. A great historical account of the Mughal empire. Since I'm reading this in Pune, I was especially interested in how the Marathas managed to roust the Mughal empire - sadly, I thought that was the weakest section of the book.

On the other hand, there were so many things I enjoyed (potential spoilers ahead but it's also historical nonfiction so c'mon, we know how things turn out):

- I knew the least about Babur, and he so
Samuel Rajkumar
Nov 01, 2011 Samuel Rajkumar rated it really liked it
A very well researched and written history of the Mughal Emperors from Babur to Aurangazeb, along with sketches of interesting personalities of importance, like Sher Shah and Shivaji. The book brings alive the rulers with a rich narrative and helps set in context most moments of the Mughal era.

On the plus side, the characters of the first six Mughal emperors are brought out very well, along with the court and harem intrigues and politics. However, this book is a only a story of the Mughal empero
Nikhil Gulati
Oct 03, 2012 Nikhil Gulati rated it it was amazing
This book is lucidly written and is an excellent account of the lives of the major Mughal emperors. The only problem I have with it is that it has no illustrations. There are no maps to make sense of the innumerable places, kingdoms, rivers etc the author speaks about. Moreover, when the author talks about Mughal art reaching its pinnacle during Jehangir's time it's sad to not be able to see some examples of it in the book itself. Would have definitely added to the book's charm.
Dec 26, 2013 Arvind rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A great introduction to 8 kings -> 6 Mughal and Sher Shah Suri and Shivaji in this book of 500+ pages. This was my third book by the author and all 3 have been very readable. Around 70 pages being devoted to each king means no unnecessary detail and yet u feel satisfied with some depth and a bit to learn about each of them. Recommended if u like history.
DBV Subbarao
Dec 18, 2015 DBV Subbarao rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
Very well written. Babur's enterprising exploits, Humayun's reserved nature, Akbar's pragmatic philosophy, Jahangir's conservative rule, Shah Jahan's pomp and Aurangazeb's religious fervour , here is a book that tells it all in a very gripping way. I enjoyed reading this book all through.
Penny D
Sep 04, 2012 Penny D rated it liked it
Shelves: history
The only problem with this book is that it lacks maps, as though the author expects us to know the entire terrain from Kabul to the Deccan.
Jan 23, 2017 Akshay rated it it was amazing
Highly recommended. I have read a lot of Eraly's past work, and love his style of writing history - he writes like a novelist and not a historian! The Emperors of the Peacock Throne too is has the same strengths, his prose makes the history accessible and also connects the dots between the events quite well. One of the things that is striking is the stories of each of the Mughal emperors could be a movie in its own right - there is patricide, fratricide, war, love, politics, hardships, and heart ...more
Mar 11, 2014 Rohini rated it really liked it
This is not a book for the faint-hearted - 521 pages, not including the 20 odd pages of notes at end, make it quite a bit more than a mouthful. It is a slow but rewarding read nonetheless.

It is missing some key elements that are basic expectations when it comes to a work of history. There are no maps in the book, not one. Considering that a lot of the subject matter revolves around battles over territories and the expansion and collapse of the empire, these would have been invaluable and are sor
Nov 22, 2012 Geetly rated it really liked it

This proved to be an excellent book for me to get a refresher course in the rise and fall of the Mughal Empire. Its well researched and well narrated. In its coverage of the msot important events spanning 200 years, there could be areas lacking depth but then there is plenty of material available if someone wanted to go deeper in a particular event or life.
This is a book for nayone who would like to get a beginner's understanding of how the Mughals entered Hindustan and spread their wings all th
The Mughal Era of India gets a sweeping, if harried, overview in this sprawling account. Abraham Eraly is obviously proud of his subject and his engagement with the material powers his narrative through some of the more tedious bits. "The more tedious bits", however, do take up a healthy chunk of his book. Most of the time, this is a mere and boring catalogue of dates, rulers, uprisings and downfalls, with little distinction between this and that mughal. Eraly's prose style, a romantic, slightly ...more
Amul Saha
Jan 17, 2015 Amul Saha rated it liked it
Two lips have I;
one for drinking,
And one to apologize.

- Talib Amuli

Of all the words that I read in this book, I'm somehow able to sum up my understanding of Mughal emperors using these; probably because of the obvious resemblance between our otherwise uncommon names and somehow because of the message that it carries, in a succinct yet overarching way.

Mughal emperors were more Hindustani (Indian) than they'd have liked to accept; contributing equally to the Indian culture in their own way. Ruthle
Jan 26, 2014 Orlaith rated it really liked it
A history book that reads like a novel, thanks to Eraly's skill as a writer.

It tells the story of the first six Mughal emperors of India: Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Shah Jahan (who built the Taj Mahal) and Aurangzeb. It also details the birth of the Marathas as a ruling force, as they gather confidence in fighting the Mughal empire.

Eraly's favourite characters are obvious, but he is consistent in portraying both the strengths and weaknesses of the six kings, as well as their wives, children and ad
Rajiv Chopra
Sep 28, 2014 Rajiv Chopra rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Indian history and the Mughals
This is a marvellous book. I like the way in which he has written the book, as he brings the old, dead Emperors back to life. This was truly the last, in a sense, golden age of India.

What he does, is to present the emperors as people. People who lived, grew and developed in India. He does present a more nuanced few of Aurangzeb than is presented in school text books, and also analyses the demise of the Mughal Empire extremely well.

It is indeed a saga, where nothing could be taken for granted, a
Dhaval Pandya
Mar 27, 2015 Dhaval Pandya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dhaval by: Self
A thorough and intriguing insight in to the timur dynasty. I was always looking for a detailed and neutral insight in to the Mughal history and probably this is the closest to it.

Starting right from the age of Babur till the time end of Aurungzeb, the book gives you perspective in to the lives and views of each succeeding emperors, their policies and priorities and how it affected respective times, their glories and their mistakes. All this with no filter gives this book the detailing it has.

A h
Anukriti Gulati
Aug 26, 2015 Anukriti Gulati rated it really liked it
A great political history of the Mughal Empire. Gives a lot of details and primary source accounts.

Did not appreciate the last line of the book-- European domination of India seemed not only inevitable, but desirable... I understood the context the author came from but in my opinion this last line was not needed.

Would have appreciated more history into women and harem politics. But possibly that would be the subject of another book. This focused on traditional political history.
Abhishek Kumar
May 24, 2014 Abhishek Kumar rated it really liked it
Very well researched book and very lucidly written. Mughals ruled India for almost three centuries and still we Indians know so little about them!( compared to our British rulers), probably because they are some time back in past. Mughals came from outside but they made India their home and had a profound effect on India's culture and psychy.
The book also describes the exploits of Shivaji in some detail which is a bonus.
Ali Rehman
Jan 11, 2014 Ali Rehman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a Muslim from Pakistan I was undergoing a weird feeling while reading this book I wanted to dissect the reasons for the mughal empire collapse and at the end of the well researched book I found the reasons The empire which started by the reign of Babar was lost after the demise of Aurangzaib and although all the emperors had some qualities but they failed to see the priorities of the kingdom and instead were busy in living their lavish lifestyle
Oct 22, 2013 Cody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: south-asia
Excellent narrative on the Mughal Emperors spanning their century and a half rule in India. The book gives a great look into the personalities of each of the rulers as well. Author is a little biased in places and especially against Aurangzeb but who can blame him? The country would have been a lot better off under Dara.
Dalia Singh
Apr 24, 2013 Dalia Singh rated it really liked it
Very detailed narrative of Mughal India. A must read to understand the medieval India. Loved reading this book. But a very big book and I had stopped after Akbar :-) , then again picked it up after 2 years and finished it :-)
Aug 03, 2013 Dhrishu rated it really liked it
a really good book since it provided so many unknown facts about the mughal emperors, in fact this book got me more interested in the mughals than the entire school curriculum regardijg the mughal empire.
Akshay Srikar
Nov 30, 2014 Akshay Srikar rated it really liked it
A small walk-thorough of the Mughals and how they failed India in bigger picture. Beautifully researched and written, the description of medieval India is not so much different from the current times.
Jan 01, 2015 Madhavi rated it really liked it
Book is very well researched.It would have if there were some illustrations and maps to go with the prose.It would have helped to better visualize the prose and made reading less boring.This is the reason why I am taking away a star.
Feb 20, 2012 Narita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
It's a good book. It covers the Mughal era from Babur till Aurangzeb's rule (1525-1705). It captures the details of 6 Mughal rulers Babur->Humayun->Akbar-> Jahangir-> Shahjahan-> Aurangzeb. Also, a brief overview of Rajputs and Marathas is also provided in this book.
Zeus Tiwari
Aug 07, 2011 Zeus Tiwari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
a complete story of how... an extraordinary empire was concreted & how it went to oblivion.

Specially loved the Shivagi part with Aurangzeb.
Jan 05, 2013 Muhammad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An an excellent comprehensive portrayal of Mughal Empire from Babur till Aurangzeb, my favorite book about Mughal History !
Jay Nair
Mar 07, 2014 Jay Nair rated it really liked it
Very well written, the author is able to make the reader re-live the grandeur of the Mughals and their rein in India.

History buffs will surely appreciate the depth of work.
Abhishek Srivastava
Mar 16, 2012 Abhishek Srivastava rated it it was amazing
Detailed, descriptive Study of life and times of six mughals, their friends and enemies Hats off to the writer
Azeem Ali
Very detailed account of the Great Mughals, it draws upon contemporary sources to portray the Mughal Emperors vividly.
Surabhi Mahajan Mehra
Jun 28, 2013 Surabhi Mahajan Mehra rated it really liked it
A very well researched book which captivates you with it's details. It's definitely a must read and if you have the time, re-read.
May 25, 2013 Hafee rated it really liked it
I'm completely overwhelmed by his concepts of anarkali and salim and this book gave great insight about the mughal empire.
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Abraham Eraly is an Indian writer. He has written many acclaimed books on Indian history.
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“He constructed a road from Gaur to the river Indus,” says Mushtaqui, but it is more likely that Sher Shah only repaired and realigned the road, for there had been a highway along that grid from ancient times.” 0 likes
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