Later Mughals

Bahadur Shah I (1707-1712)

Bahadur Shah I ruled for few years. He tried to win over the Rajputs by recognising Ajit Singh as the ruler of Jodhpur. He also tried to appease the Marathas by releasing Shahu, the grandson of Shivaji, and offering him a high administrative post. He also sought the friendship of the Sikhs.

Jahandar Shah (1712-1713) After the death of Bahadur Shah I, a war of succession broke out. Jahandar Shah emerged victorious and ruled for a few months. He was a puppet in the hands of Zulfiqar Khan, the most powerful noble of the time. Jahandar Shah was overthrown by his nephew, Farrukhsiyar.

Farrukhsiyar (1713-1719)

Farrukhsiyar was a ruler only in name. The empire was controlled by the Sayyid brothers – Abdullah Khan Baraha and Hussain Ali Khan Baraha. They were known as the ‘kingmakers’. In 1719, they removed Farrukhsiyar from the throne. Within a gap of a few months, they placed and removed two more rulers. Finally, they declared Muhammad Shah as the emperor.

Muhammad Shah (1720-1748)

Soon after coming to power, Muhammad Shah stripped the Sayyid brothers of their power and authority. He ruled for a long period and could have revived the empire. However, he did not even attempt to consolidate the empire. Powerful governors established independent kingdoms in different parts of the country. The Sikhs, Marathas, Jats and Rajputs revolted against the Mughals.

Invasion of Nadir Shah (1739)

During this period, the empire also faced two invasions. In the year 1739, Nadir Shah, the ruler of Iran, invaded India. He defeated the Mughals and carried away a large amount of treasure, including the Kohinoor diamond and peacock throne of Shah Jahan. His invasion was followed by that of Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761. The Mughals could never recover from the affect-effects of these two invasions.

Period from 1748-1858

After Muhammad Shah, the Mughal empire existed only in name. The regional kingdoms became very powerful during this period. The British had also started annexing Indian territories. In less than a century, they became the real masters of India.

The last Mughal emperor was Bahadur Shah Zafar. In the year 1858, the British removed him from the throne and brought an end to the Mughal Empire.


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