July 14 1636 – Aurangzeb Is Appointed Viceroy of Deccan by Shah Jahan

On July 14th 1636, Aurangzeb was appointed the Viceroy of Deccan by his father and Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.


Aurangzeb, the son of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, was the sixth Mughal Emperor of India. Under the rule of Aurangzeb, the Mughal Empire stretched from Ghazni to Chittagong and from Kashmir to Karnataka, covering almost the whole of India.


On being made viceroy of the Deccan, one of the first things Aurangzeb did was to bring the Nizam Shah dynasty to an end. Shah Jahan’s territories had suffered because of the rampant expansion of Ahmednagar during the reign of the young prince Murtaza Shah III. By 1636, shortly after he had been made Viceroy, Aurangzeb had ended the Shah’s empire.


In 1644, Aurangzeb faced his father's ire when he failed to show up immediately after his sister accidentally burned herself while in Agra. Following Aurangzeb’s delay in visiting his ailing sister, Shah Jahan was furious and immediately dismissed him from his position of Viceroy of Deccan. In 1645, he was barred from the court and after he mentioned his sorrow to fellow Mughal commanders.


Shah Jahan appointed him Governor of Gujarat, where he worked hard and was appreciated for doing a good job. By 1647, Shah Jahan had moved Aurangzeb from Gujarat and made him Governor of Balkh, a position earlier held by Aurangzeb’s brother Murad Baksh, who did not prove to be effective at his job. Balkh was under attack from the Uzbek and Turkoman tribes who were proving to be difficult to deal with. By the end of that year Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan reached a compromise and gave away territory in exchange for a small recognition of Mughal sovereignty. Post this, the Mughals further suffered at the hands of the Uzbeks who continue to attack the Mughals as they made their way across to Kabul. By the end of the two years that Aurangzeb had been Governor of Balkh, little had been achieved when compared to the large scale money spent on these campaigns.

Aurangzeb went on to become Governor of Sindh and Multan, which again did not prove to be very successful. He was unsuccessful in removing the Safavids from Kandahar. After Aurangzeb was removed from the position of Viceroy of Deccan, his position was taken by his brother Dara Shikoh, which left Aurangzeb feeling resentful, believing that his brother had manipulated the situation to come to power in the Deccan.


Aurangzeb was shrewd ruler who was hungry for power, to accomplish this, he imprisoned his father Shah Jahan in 1658 and jailed him in Agra Fort right across the Taj Mahal. After that, he had his brothet Dara Shikoh, who was a favourite of their father, killed. Aurangzeb expanded the Mughal Empire greatly and was a strong ruler. He was the last of the powerful Mughals and, after his death, the Mughal Empire began to slide towards a decline.


Also On This Day:


1663: Religious leader Swami Shivanand Saraswati passes away.


1942: British Quit India resolution is passed by the Congress Working Committee.


1992: The Lok Sabha passes a bill seeking to confer on the President the powers of the Legislature of Jammu & Kashmir.


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