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The War of Succession after Shah Jahan

04-SEP-2014 12:02

    The emperor Shah Jahan fell ill in 1657. Since there was no established rule of succession among Mughal princes, all the four princes prepared themselves for the war of succession.

    Dara Shikoh was in Delhi when Shah Jahan fell ill and started behaving like his successor. He immediately sent imperial armies to crush Shah Shuja and Murad Baksh who declared themselves of King of Bengal and Gujarat respectively.

    The imperial army under Shah Shuja handed a crushing defeat to Shah Shuja and his ambition to capture the throne of Delhi was shattered.

    Meanwhile Aurangzeb joined forces with Murad baksh and met the imperial army on the banks of river Narmada. The battle was known as the Battle of Dharmatpur.

    Battle of Dharmatpur

    Battle of Dharmatpur was fought on 15 April 1658 near Ujjain. The joined forces of Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh defeated the imperial army sent by Shah Jahan.

    Battle of Samurgarh

    Battle of Samurgarh was fought between Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh in 1658. Samurgarh was near Agra.

    Aurangzeb won the battle and Dara was forced to flee the battlefield.  After his victory, Aurnagzeb reached Agra and imprisoned the old emperor Shah Jahan.

    Execution of brothers

    After imprisoning Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb sent Murad Baksh to prison and got him executed. Meanwhile, Dara rebuilt his forces and fought against Aurangzeb’s army at Deorain near Ajmer in 1659. Dara once again fled the battlefield sought asylum from Malik Jiwan who betrayed him and handed him over to Aurnagzeb. Dara was soon executed by Aurangzeb.

    Aurangzeb also pursued Shah Shuja who fled to Arakan after getting defeated by imperial army and was killed in a quarrel there against the local king.


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