The Mughal period produced a vast literature. This was possible because the Mughal emperors were great patrons of literature.
Apart from Persian and Hindi literature, Bengali and Punjabi literature also made strides. Some of the important source books in history were written.
Babur and literary activities:
Babur whose mother-tongue was Turkish wrote his ‘Tuzak-i-Baburi’ (Memories of Babur) in Turki. During the reign of Akbar, it was translated into Persian. He patronized several scholars.
Humayun and literary activities:
During his time, his sister Gulabadan Begum wrote ‘Humayunnama’. Humayun also constructed a big library. In fact his death took place on account of a fall from the staircase of his library.
Akbar and literary activities:
Undoubtedly, the period saw the production of a lot of literature of a very high standard. Most of his ‘Navratans’ (Nine Jewels) were great literary figures. Abul Fazal was a great historian, philosopher and scholar of the period. He is famous for two important works ‘Akbarnama’ and ‘Ain-i-Akbari’.
Badauni, a historian of fame wrote, ‘Muntakhab-ul-Tawarikh’. An other noted historian Nizam- ud-Din wrote ‘Tabaqat-i-Akbari’ the Arthava Veda, the Ramayana and the Mahabharat.
Sur, Das, a blind band of Agra wrote Sursagar’ in Brij Bhasha.
Sant Tulsi Das produced the immortal Ramcharitmanas’ in Awadhi, the eastern Hindi dialect.
The period saw the production of a dictionary of Persian-Sanskrit, named Parsi Parkash’.
Guru Granth Sahib’, the most sacred book of the Sikhs was compiled during this period.
Malik Muhammad Jayasi wrote the famous Padmavat’.
Jahangir himself wrote his autobiography ‘Tuzuk-i-Jahangiri’. Other important literary and historical works were ‘lqbalanam-i-Jahangir and ‘Masir-i-Jahangir’.
Shah Jahan and literacy activities:
Shah Jahan’s courtier Abul Hamid Lahori wrote ‘Padshanama’. Prince Dara Shikoh was a great scholar of Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit. On account of his patronage, the ‘Upanishads’, the Bhagavad-Gita’, the ‘Yoga Vashista’ and the ‘Ramayana’ were translated in Persian.
Aurangzeb and literacy activities:
The most important work during the period was ‘Fatwa-i-Alamgiri’—a digest of Muslim law. Other works were ‘Muntakhab-ul ‘-a famous history by Khafi Khan and ‘Nuskho-i- Dilkusha’ by Bhimsen.