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Razmnama leaf Brooklyn Museum.

The Razmnāma (Book of War) (رزم نامہ) is a Persian translation of the Mahabharata. In Persian, “Razm” means “war” and "nama" means “tale” or “epic”; the name Razmnamah, therefore, means a tale of war. In 1574 Akbar started a Ibadat Khana or a house of translation works in Fatehpur Sikri. He endorsed the work to a few officials to make translations of the Sanskrit books Rajatarangini, Ramayana and Mahabharata into the Persian language.[1]

First copy[edit]

Arjuna hit target By Artist Daswanth and kesho From Jaipur copy of Akbar.

In 1582 an order was passed to translate the Mahabharata into Persian. The translation work of the Mahabharata, which has one lakh (100,000) Slokas, was carried out during the period 1584–1586. Today a copy of this translation work can be found in the “City Palace Museum” of Jaipur.[2] Mushfiq has contributed the paintings to this book. The speciality of this Razmnamah is the paintings of the events of Mahabharata in the book.[3] Copy of Akbar's Razmnama prevent in pothikhana of Jaipur Maharaja. Abul Fazl wrote prefer for this Razmnama. In folio 11 of this copy Abul Fazl give date 1588 A.D. of his prefer. The Jeypore RazmNamah, written by Khwaja Inayatullah on paper from Dowlatabad, contains 169 full-page miniatures with Name of Artist.[4] Jaipur Razmnama has seal of Akbar, shahjahan and shah Alam. In this Manuscript, 169 episode illustrated in this manuscript. The artist of this copy were Basawan, Daswanth and Lal.[5] 147 illustrations of this Razmnama manuscript reproduced in T.H. Hendly book Memorials of the Jeypore Exhibition in 1883.[4]

Second copy[edit]

The second copy of the Razmnama was completed between 1598 and 1599. When compared with the first copy, the second copy is found to be more elaborate. the 161 paintings found in this copy provide illustratrations of the Mahabharata. The paintings were the token of the excellence of the artists of Akbar’s time. It clearly shows the patronage of artists during Akbar’s reign. The copies were sent to members of royal families as gifts to help them understand the Hindu religion better. According to Akbar’s courtier Abd al-Qadir Badayuni, Akbar ordered the copies to be sent to all the Amirs of his kingdom, with instructions to receive them as a gift from God. According to the preface written by Abul Fazl the historian in Akbar's court, the intention behind these gifts and their distribution was very pious.[1]


  1. ^ a b "Welcome to Project MUSE". muse.jhu.edu. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  2. ^ "Kamat Research Database: The Imperial Razm Nama and Ramayana of the Emperor Akbar An Age of Splendour - Islamic Art in India,". kamat.com. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  3. ^ "Brooklyn Museum: Items Tagged "Razm-nama"". brooklynmuseum.org. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  4. ^ a b By Hendly (1883). Memorials of jeypore exhibition Volume. IV. London: Mapin. p. 2.
  5. ^ Asok Kumar das (1998). Mughal masters: Further Studies. Mumbai: Marg publications.


Memorials Of The Jeypore Exhibition of Razmnama on Internet archive