Who was Aurangzeb: Mughal Empire in 1700 AD -Revolts in Northern India



Jahangir was succeeded by his son Shah Jahan and Shah Jahan was succeeded by his son Aurangzeb. The last years of Shah Jahan were marked by bitter was between his four sons namely, Dara, Murad, Aurangzeb and Shuja. Aurangzeb won the war after defeating his three brothers and imprisoned his father Shah Jahan. He assumed the title of �Alamgir� which means �conqueror of the world�


Do you know, how long did Aurangzeb rule?


Aurangzeb's reign lasted almost 49 years. He started his reign from 1658 AD which ended in 1707 AD. During this period, the Mughal Empire expanded to such an extent that it formed the largest single-state India had ever known.


It extended from Kashmir in the north to Jinji (Tamilnadu) in the south and from the Hindukush (A mountain range that now stretches through Afghanistan from its center to northern Pakistan and into Tajikistan) in the west to Chittagong (Presently in Bangladesh) in the east.

Mughal Empire in 1700 AD


Revolts in Northern India:


What are the two important divisions of Aurangzeb�s reign?


The first part included the years from 1658 to 1680 when crushed the revolts in North India. The seconds half from 1681 to 1707 included the period when he lived in the Deccan and spent most of his time in the war with Marathas.


Following are the revolts during Aurangzeb's reign:


� The credit for the first revolt in 1669 against the Mughals during Aurangzeb�s reign goes to the Jats of the Agra-Delhi region. They were mostly farmers and rebelled against the high land tax. Gokala, a local zamindar led the revolt but was suppressed by Aurangzeb and his army.


� Once again the high land tax caused revolt and this time the revolt was started by the Bundelas. Although the revolt was suppressed by Aurangzeb, it led to the self-governing Jat and Bundela states in the early 18th century.


� Another revolt took place between the Satnamis and the local government officials in 1672.


Do you know who Satnamis was?


Satnamis was a religious body comprising peasants and artisans.


� In the North-East Frontier, the Ahom rulers expelled the Mughals from Guwahati and the neighboring area. As a result, the Mughal army marched and defeated the Ahom ruler and forced him to pay a large war indemnity and the annual tribute.


What is a war indemnity?


A war indemnity is a sum of money paid as compensation. It is especially paid to the defeated country as a condition of peace.


� The Afghan tribesmen were frequently attacking the North-west Frontier Province was Aurangzeb went to Peshawar in 1674 and, by the use of force and diplomacy, defeated the Afghans.


� Because of Aurangzeb�s policy of intolerance of religion, the Sikhs in Punjab opposed him. The ninth Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur started the revolt against Aurangzeb but got arrested. He was asked to embrace Islam by Aurangzeb but he denied it, as a result, he was beheaded.


After Guru Tegh Bahadur, his son Guru Gobind Singh turned the Sikhs into a martial race, called Khalsa. He fought many successful battles against the Mughals and after his death his son, Banda Bahadur continued the struggle against the Mughals.


� Aurangzeb attached great value to his alliance with Rajputs. He had good relations with them. However, later on, Aurangzeb came into conflict with the Rajputs rulers of two major kingdoms, Mewar and Marwar. Aurangzeb refused to acknowledge Ajit Singh as the successor of Jaswant Singh (the ruler of Mewar).


Jaswant Singh


Aurangzeb did this because when Jaswant Singh died, he left no male heir and his son, Ajit Singh was born few months after his death. Durgadas, an army official, led the army and started a revolt against Mughals. The war continued for a long time till he signed a peace treaty with the new Rana of Mewar which stated that Mughals would keep their control on Mewar. The warfare continued till 1698 when Ajit Singh was recognized as the ruler of Marwar.


Age of Magnificence


Why has the 17th century been described in medieval Indian history as an �age of magnificence�?


It was during the 17th century that the Mughal Empire reached the highest point of its glory. There was prosperity throughout the Empire. The rulers devoted themselves to the construction of magnificent buildings and mosques like the Taj Mahal, Humayun�s tomb, and Agra fort. Trade and commerce with foreign countries made considerable progress.



1. Which of the following son of Shah Jahan won the battle for the throne?
a. Shuja
b. Dara
c. Murad
d. Aurangzeb


2. Who started the revolt against the Mughals in 1669?
a. Rajputs
b. Sikhs
c. Muslims
d. Jats


3. Which of the following is not a Mughal architecture?
a. Taj Mahal
b. Humayun�s tomb
c. Agra Fort
d. Qutub Minar


4. __________ was the ninth guru of the Sikhs.
a. Guru Gobind Singh
b. Banda Bahadur
c. Jaswant Singh
d. Guru Tegh Bahadur


5. _________was a body comprising peasants and artisians.
a. Jats
b. Sikhs
c. Rajputs
d. Satnamis

Read More:
Who Was Jahangir: Administration and Relations with the Europeans

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