The Mughal legacy lives on: 251 towns, villages named after Akbar, 63 Aurangabads

Union Minister V K Singh wants New Delhi’s Akbar Road renamed. But there are at least 704 towns and villages named after the famous Mughals all over India. The share of Akbar is the largest — 251.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Mumbai | Updated: May 19, 2016 1:34 am
v k singh, akbar road, renaming akbar road, maharana pratap road, v k singh road renaming, vk sing akbar road, india news, delhi news, latest news VK Singh. (Express Photo by Praveen Jain)

The demand by Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh to rename New Delhi’s Akbar Road after Maharana Pratap marks another effort to wipe out the Mughals from the history of India. The demand was echoed on Wednesday by BJP spokesperson Shaina NC, who tweeted that an Akbar Road in India was akin to having a “Hitler Road in Israel”, and that “no country honours its oppressors like we do!!”

Akbar, among the greatest of all rulers anywhere in the world and a monarch far ahead of his medieval times, has been consistently sought to be denigrated or cast in shadow by leaders of the BJP. Last August, Aurangzeb Road in the same Lutyens’s Delhi was named after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, replacing the memory of a “cruel” king with that of a much loved former President. BJP MP Maheish Girri, who proposed the move, spoke of the need to “correct the mistakes made in our history”.

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The Mughals are entwined inseparably with India’s history and culture. Apart from the historical monuments that they have left behind, the most visible legacy of their rule is in the various towns and villages across India that bear their names.


Of the 6 lakh cities, towns and villages in the country, 704 carry the name of the first six Mughal Emperors (or, technically, of their namesakes), who were at the helm when the dynasty was at its strongest. From the founding of the dynasty after the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb had an unbroken reign of 181 years, barring the period 1540-1554 when the Surs were in power.

The most evident legacy is that of Akbar, who has 251 villages and towns named after him. Uttar Pradesh, the heartland of the Empire, carries the deepest imprint of the legacy, with 396 villages and towns with populations of 1 lakh or more named after the Mughals.


Nearly half of these Mughal names are standalone ones like Akbarpur, Aurangabad, Humayunpur and Baburpur, but there are also syncretic ones like Akbar Nivas Khandrika and Damodarpur Shahjahan. There are close to 70 Akbarpurs across the country, followed by 63 Aurangabads. The best known Aurangabad is the historical city in Maharashtra founded by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1653 — which senior leaders of both the Shiv Sena and the BJP have been talking about renaming.

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  1. K
    Feb 1, 2017 at 9:55 am
    We need to destroy parasites, capitalists and their agents, puppets; how long shall we tolerate these criminals and corrupts?
    1. A
      May 19, 2016 at 5:53 pm
      What to say about the decorated posts that these fellows held. One Chief of Army turns into a lowly cheap politicians, V K Singh. Another Thief of Air Force turns into an pimp between Agusta Westland and India, criminal Thyagi.
      1. S
        Sagar kolhe
        May 19, 2016 at 1:31 pm
        Central Govt should focus on Developments rather than Communal Politics. They came to power on Agenda of Development but newAgenda differce real one. It proves BJP cant do development but communal politics only. What Development figures they show are Fabricated which doesnt meets to reality. Next election people will teach You lesson dont forget
        1. A
          May 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm
          This is stupidity. Mughals made India their home, they're part of Indian history. They were very much Indians just like these stupid politicians.
          1. A
            May 18, 2016 at 11:58 pm
            Send the Writer of this Article Zeeshan Shaikh to stan. He loves Cruel Akbar!
            1. A
              May 19, 2016 at 1:12 am
              Ok, then we shouldn't have changed Madras or Bangalore!
              1. F
                May 20, 2016 at 10:21 am
                Please don't hurt india by doing fanatic politics in this way if they r foreigners u r also the same
                1. U
                  Umesh Dash
                  May 18, 2016 at 11:12 pm
                  After indipendence the roads, towns, airports, universities are also named after one dynasty family who ruled the country for many decades with corruption, favouritism and nepotism. This shows how tolerant of Indian psyche to dynasty in spite of all the ills. Though moghuls invaded our country and ruled for almost two centuries with establishing dynasty and looting the country and naming every place possible after them, the tolerance of accepting dynasty and all the ills probably started during that time and which is continuing even after indipendence. Now most Indians are educated, hard working, wants country to rise to pinacle of development without any corruption, nepotism and favouratism, now the time has to correct all the historical wrongs both before and after indipendence
                  1. D
                    Dinesh Kasar
                    May 19, 2016 at 2:43 am
                    If Mouguls are enemy then what are British. We still have British legacy in defence forces. Where they don't have food together in same mess. Different category of warriors have different rules.
                    1. M
                      Manish Garg
                      May 19, 2016 at 9:44 am
                      SO MANY AURANGABADS
                      1. M
                        m singh
                        May 19, 2016 at 12:09 am
                        sir why mr vk singh is wearing the rank and why he takes payment every thing is started by babur for this you can go through babur nama
                        1. M
                          Mohan Rao
                          May 18, 2016 at 11:43 pm
                          These things happen only to north indian people and regions = it is their rotten subservient and slavish culture.
                          1. A
                            Anand Ch
                            May 19, 2016 at 12:40 am
                            That is why there should be an ordinance to rename all previous mogul names with appropriate Indian names. Get it fast.
                            1. N
                              May 19, 2016 at 1:48 am
                              Thanks Indian express for publishing excellent information.. People must understand that Mughals are foreigners...Mughals are our enemy... Mughals killed lakhs of Hindus and established their Kingdom.. Islam came with Muslim Kings..people must recognise more Mughal names...bye bye Mughals ...go to Mona or Uzbekistan
                              1. J
                                May 20, 2016 at 5:30 pm
                                I suggest they should demolish historical monuments like Taj Mahal,Red Fort, qutub Minar and all such mugal dynasty related place..start building big of living centres.
                                1. G
                                  G. V.
                                  May 19, 2016 at 3:01 am
                                  I am happy that you have researched so much information on how many names of Mughal emperors are there to our Indian towns and cities. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;But one thing is sure that we should be proud of our Ex General Mr. V K SINGH that he has taken a positive step towards wiping out the Mughal Emperors who have only had aggression policy towards our India and Indians. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;So instead of supporting him you are trying to show Mr. V K SINGH that how many names can he change ?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;So in fact we Indians should support this intiative not criticise his wish and all Indians wish. I consider you as true Indian. If you agree that you are true indian then publish your opology in tomorrow's Indian express. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Let's honour our Indian Good kings like Maharana Pratap and Shri Shivaji Maharaj instead of Babur and Humayun who only destro our culture and Indian;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Yours Sincerely - G.V. Nikam ( An Indian)lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;I belong firstly to India.
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