Born to be king

On July 14, 1636, Aurangzeb was appointed Viceroy of the Deccan by Shah Jahan.

Published - July 14, 2017 02:22 pm IST

Aurangzeb was one of greatest rulers among the Mughals. Born on October 24, 1618 CE, at Dohad in the Bombay Presidency, he ruled over some of the largest territories when compared to any other leader in Indian history. His empire extended from Kabul in present-day Afghanistan to areas in South India bordering Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

Early years

He started his military training when he was nine years old. He proved his bravery at a young age and it is known that he even fought a charging elephant single handedly when he was 15. This feat earned him the command of 10, 000 cavalries and 4,000 infantry. On July 14, 1636, when he was 17, he was made the Viceroy of the Deccan. He did justice to his role as viceroy. However, he did not have peace of mind and this made him turn to the Quran (The religious book of the Muslims) for direction in life. He gave up his duties as Viceroy and left to live in the wild regions of the Western Ghats. He lived there for several months as a Faqir (poor, simple man), following a life of prayer and self-discipline.


Shah Jahan was displeased with this. He stopped Aurangazeb’s allowances and took away his estates. Aurangzeb lived devoid of all princely stature.

Back in power

In 1644, Aurangzeb’s eldest sister Jahan Ara — Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter — suffered from a burn injury. Shah Jahan was furious as Aurangzeb did not come back immediately and took more than three weeks to return to Agra. Jahan Ara took time to heal and finally, when she recovered, the emperor was so happy that he could not refuse her anything. It was at her request that Aurangzeb was raised back to his rank.

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