The death of Aurangzeb, the mighty Mughal emperor in1707 is generally regarded as the beginning of the gradual decline of the powerful Mughal empire

  • Incompetent later Mughals could not stop the emergence of regional power centres


BAHADUR SHAH-I (AD1707-1712)

  • After the Aurangzeb in 1707, a war of succession started amongst his three surviving sons namely bahadur shah I, Azam, and kam baksh
  • Bahadur shah-I killed his two brothers defeated Kam Baksh in the battle of jajau in 1707
  • He released sahu and recognized the independence of Mewar and Marwar
  • Khafi Khan has called him shah-i-bekhabar since he appeases all the parties by grants and titles and rewards
  • He made peace with guru gobind Singh and raja chhatrasal
  • He granted the Marathas the right to collect sadresh Mukhi on the Deccan but not Chauth
  • He led an unsuccessful campaign against Banda Bahadur and died in the course of the campaign
  • Thus, Banda bahadur created the first Sikh capital at longer fort
  • A Dutch representative committee under the leadership of Joshua ketelar visited his court in 1711
  • His death in AD1712 was followed by a fresh war of succession among his four sons jahanadar shah, Azim-us-shah, Rafi-us-shah, and Jahan shah


  • He captured the throne, after liquidating his three brothers with the help of Zulfikar khan
  • Zulfikar Khan acted as the de-facto ruler
  • This was in fact the beginning of the practice of nobels acting as the kingmaker
  • He was dominated by his mistress lal kumwar who is said to have imitated the style of Nur Jahan
  • He gave the title of mirza raja to Jai Singh of malwa and maharaja to Ajit Singh of Marwar
  • He granted the Marathas, the Chauth, and sardeshmukhi of Deccan but it had to be collected by Mughal officer and then handed over to the Martha officials
  • Encouraged ijaara or the revenue farming/contract farming and abolished jizya
  • He Sayyed brothers-Abdullah khan and Hussian Ali


  • Worthless and negligent late Mughal emperors
  • Absence of definite law of succession, leading to instability of government and growth of partisanship at cost of patriotism
  • A heterogeneous and non-hereditary nobility
  • Degeneration of nobility with factious feuds and intrigues
  • Jagirdari crises and vast expansion of territories which made it difficult for the weak rulers to control it
  • Revolt of Rajputs, Sikhs, jats, and Maratha’s due to Aurangzeb’s religious policy
  • Failure of Aurangzeb Deccan policy
  • Invasions of nadir shah and Ahmed shah gave a death blow to the Mughal empire



  • Nadir Shah of Persia captured qandhar and eyed the Afghanistan territory on he Mughal border
  • The Mughal subedar Nasir khan without posing any resistance he fled from Afghanistan
  • Nadir shah entered Punjab through Peshawar
  • He met the royal Mughal army at Karnal in 1739
  • He defeated them and entered Delhi on the 20th of march and ordered a general massacre in which about 20000 citizens were killed
  • The property was ransacked and every part of the city was looted


  • Ahamed Shah Abdali the successor nadir shah launched his first invasion at Punjab in aAD1748
  • It was followed by another invasion in AD 1749 in which he defeated Moin-ul-Mulk the governor of Punjab
  • In AD 1752, Abdali invaded Punjab for the third time and fourth time in AD1756
  • In the fourth invasion, he reached up to Delhi and looted Indian territory as far as Mathura and agra\
  • He invaded India for the sixth time in AD 1760 and regained Punjab
  • A fierce battle was fought on 14th January 1761 between the ahamed shah Abdali and Marathas at Panipat
  • The Marathas suffered a crushing defeat

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