Muslim, Indian, and Western historians all see Akbar as the greatest ruler of Indian history. When his father, Humayun, died in 1556, Akbar became padshah ("ruler of the empire") at the age of thirteen. Under the guidance of Bairam Khan, who had been instrumental in Humayun's reconquests of Panipat, Dehli, and Agra, Akbar instantly began seizing more territory throughout Hindustan. Bairam Khan fell from power in 1560, but Akbar continued his conquest of India and Afghanistan. By the time he died in 1605 (his reign, 1556 to 1605, corresponds almost exactly to that of Elizabeth I of England), his Empire was greater than that of Babur and included almost all of northern India.
In order to govern this territory, Akbar developed a bureaucracy and a system of autonomy for the imperial provinces. Akbar's bureaucracy was among the most efficient in the world. He put military governors, or mansabars , in charge of each region. Each governor was responsible for the provincial military a