Akbarnama or the History of Akbar is an illustrated manuscript, which narrates as the title suggests, the history of Akbar. This book is an important account of the great Mughal emperor and gives us valuable information about his life and more importantly, his times.
The book was commissioned by Akbar himself and written by Abul Fazl the favorite of Akabrs nine jewels( or Navratnas, as they were called).It is believed that the book took seven years to be completed and the original illustrated manuscripts contained a number of paintings supporting the texts, and all the paintings represented the Mughal school of painting and the miniature style of painting.
Indian Miniatures are intricate handmade illuminations executed flawlessly with subtle brushwork. Miniature painting derived its name from its diminutive size and intricate designs.
Akbar had to face a lot of flak for “trivialising the manuscripts” with illustrations. Referring to the frequently encountered religious objection to decorative arts in particular, and man-made beauty in general. Akbar said- “There are some who hate painting. I do not like such men.”
Akbar after all, was always a man of few words.
The Akbarnama consists three volumes or parts. The first volume deals with the genealogy of the descendants of Timur, and detailed information from the birth of Akbar, his accession to the throne, and reign until the seventeenth year from his accession to the throne. The second part narrates the reign of Akbar from the eighteenth year of his reign to the forty sixth year of his reign. The third volume is named Ain-e Akbari and details the administrative system of the Empire.