The Mughal era 1450 CE
The Indian subcontinent is covered by a hotchpotch of states, the majority of which are ruled by Muslim sultans.
An Afghan chief called Babur has founded a powerful new state in northern India - the Mughal empire.
The long reign of Akbar the Great has brought the Mughal empire stability and prosperity.
The rule of Aurangzeb brings the Mughal empire to its largest territorial extent.
The last years of Aurangzeb's reign see a great revolt against Mughal rule, which the emperor has been unable to quell.
The Mughal empire is now falling apart as former governors and Hindu separatists establish self-governing states.
The Mughal emperor is now no more than a figurehead, though he still has immense prestige.