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Akbar Taming a Wild Elephant

The Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great(1556-1605), was very much interested in hunting and gaming. He was also an avid elephant rider and used to tame elephants by his own. In the painting above the elephant named Hawai, (meaning airy in English) is running over river Januma. The elephant were nearly wild sometimes. That time, even the rider of Hawai was afraid of it. Akbar is embedded with another royal elephant named Bagha (meaning tiger in English), trying to control the Hawai from behind. The elephants are running over a bridge of big boats near the Fort of Agra. Akbar is barefooted here with exquisited dress and headdress. People are afraid of uncontrollable behaviour of the two mammoths. At the lower left corner of the left painting, A fiercely afraid man is jumping into the river, another boatman is trying to escape with his boat. Another man is lying down just besides the edge of the boat. His fearful attitude is easily catches the viewers attention. At the top part of the both painting, the Fort Agra is showing with exquisite red.

At the right side of the painting, the most prominent figure here is Akbar's Prime Minister, Ataga Khan is praying with his hands uphold in the centre of the image. He is nearly encircled by other onlookers of the incident. A lot of figures are present at the right side of the miniature, along with two elephants and horses. Harem girls are watching the incident behind the curtains.

This is one of the major miniatures of Akbarnama (Tales of Akbar). This colourful picture shows the power, prosperity, and exquisiteness of the Mughal dynasty. If you want to learn more about the Mughal paintings click the next link. Akbar hunting with Cheetahs

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Mustafa Ahmed Khan 10Mar 2021

Nice info

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