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Mughal Empire – The Reign Of Shah Jahan And Aurangzeb

The Mughal Empire was the period when arts, literature and knowledge cherished in India. The period 1526 to 1707 is nearly a century, was ruled by the Mughal emperors and they connected various regions under their empire and formed the fundamental for the Indo-Persian culture. Shah Jahan was the successor of Jahangir and was the fifth emperor among the Mughals. His life time starts from 1592, fifth of January. The regions under the Mughal Empire prospered under the rule of ShahJahan.

Like his ancestors, Shah Jahan too was an eminent administrator and adorned in the expansion of the Mughal Empire. Shah Jahan was devoted to Islam and he did not tolerate other religion in his reign. He charged against all the Hindu temples. He was behind the demolition of various Christian churches at Lahore and Agra. He moved till Calcutta and invaded a Portuguese colony, as they were charged for kidnapping the Mughal men and exporting as slaves to Europe.

Apart from all the legal warfare, Shah Jahan is always remembered for his architectural sense. Whenever there was a construction, he indulged in all the minutest part of it. the one among the Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal was constructed under his reign. After the death of his wife Mumtaz, during the 14th delivery, Shah Jahan constructed this wonderful piece of art in her memory. She was his favorite that she was bold enough to accompany him during all the military expedition. The sculpture was constructed with refined care and dedication. Pure white marble is the base for this renowned building. The inner walls were engraved with scriptures of Quran. It is situated in front of river Yamuna. Apart from Taj Mahal, Red Fort and Jama Masjid at Delhi; Agra’s Pearl Mosque are some other sculptural model of Shah Jahan reign.

The renowned Indian asset, the Peacock Throne was built by Shah Jahan. The precious throne was made out of solid gold legs with 12 emerald pillars. The pillars were engraved with 2 peacocks and studded with precious diamonds, pearls and rubies. Shah Jahan lived an opulent life in the palace.

The empire was captured by his successor Aurangzeb. He was locked in a fort near Taj Mahal, at the point of battle of succession, among the three sons. Shah Jahan was too weak and old to stop the battle among his sons. He died there in the fort viewing Taj Mahal. After his death, he was buried near his wife inside the magnificent tomb.

Aurangzeb, the firm emperor

Aurangzeb was the son of Shah Jahan and born in 1618, third November. Just like his father, he was a devout Islam. He strictly ordered his people to follow Islam. He, without their acceptance, compelled people to convert into Muslim. He ruled the Mughal Empire for 50 years. He ruled the largest territory in the Indian history. Aurangzeb’s empire started from Kabul, Afghanistan till Madurai, Southern end of India, Tamilnadu.

He is entered as a kind hearted emperor, with simple lifestyle. The Islamic lunar calendar was again insisted in his period. He was against alcohol and gambling. Unlike Akbar, who levied taxes, Aurangzeb banned taxes and transport duties. He was a simple king to sell caps that he sewed and earned his living. He also sold manuscript Quran.

Aurangzeb’s military training commenced at his age of 16 and within a year, he became Deccan Viceroy. He was a pious man, but did not have aptitude for arts and architecture. By nature he loved battlefield and spent most of his time conquering other regions. He did not care much for self comforts in life. He was against any injustice happening in his period. His strict and stubborn rules turned against people. The frequent warfare started to empty the treasuries. At the end of his life in 90 years, he realized his cruel behaviors. And he died in 1707, March third.

The decline of the Mughals

The Mughal Empire did not decline suddenly after Aurangzeb. Indian Rebellion in the middle of 19th century was crushed. Bahadur Shah, the emperor was kept on trial and that was the end of the Mughal Empire. In 1857, the freedom struggle caught its mould through Sepoy Mutiny and the Indian history continued with the process of Freedom struggle.

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