November 30, 2022 at 12:00:00 AM
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Gujarat under Mughal Empire: From Humayun to Aurangzeb, how did different emperors rule the coastal region?
It was during the reign of Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur that the control over the nobles slackened and Ahmedabad, the capital of the province, finally fell to the Marathas in 1752.
New Delhi: The territory of the Mughal Empire in the Indian subcontinent encompassed almost the entire country, and it included Gujarat as well. The Mughal dominance in the coastal state began in 1573 when Emperor Akbar invaded Gujarat by defeating the ruler of the Gujarat Sultanate under Muzaffar Shah III. Muzaffar tried to reconquer his kingdom in 1584 but was unsuccessful. Gujarat continued to remain the Mughal province (subah) governed by the viceroys and officers appointed by the Mughal emperors. It was during the reign of Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur that the control over the nobles slackened and Ahmedabad, the capital of the province, finally fell to the Marathas in 1752.
It was regained by noble Momin Khan for a short time but again lost to the Marathas in 1756 after a long siege. Finding an opportunity, the British captured Surat in 1759. After a setback at Panipat in 1761, the Marathas strengthened their hold on Gujarat. The invasion of Humayun Towards the end of 1532, Gujarat Sultan Bahadur Shah quarrelled with Emperor Humayun as he had sheltered Sultan Muhammad Zaman Mírza. Bahadur Shah laid siege to Chittor, and in March 1535, it fell into his hands. But near Mandasur, his army was shortly afterwards routed by Humayun. Champaner fell to Humayun, and the whole of Gujarat, except Sorath, came under his rule. But then, Sher Shah Suri revolted in Bihar and Jaunpur, and Humayun was forced to return to Agra. His departure triggered a rebellion against the Mughals, and his old nobles requested the king to join them. Mughals were defeated at Kaníj village near Mahmudabad (now Mahemdevad) and expelled from Gujarat.
Gujarat under Akbar In 1573, Mughal Emperor Akbar conquered the Gujarat Sultanate by defeating the young ruler Sultan Muzaffar Shah III and his quarrelling nobles. He appointed his foster brother Mirza Aziz Koka as the viceroy who faced a rebellion from the nobles of the former ruler. Akbar helped him to end the insurrection and appointed Mirza Khan who managed to establish a revenue system and subdued the rebels with the help of Todar Mal. Sultan Muzaffar Shah managed to recapture Ahmedabad, but only for a brief period. He committed suicide after losing in a battle, thus bringing the Gujarat Sultanate to an end.
The reign of Jahangir Jahangir initially appointed Qulij Khan as the viceroy of Gujarat in the first year of his reign, and later changed viceroys frequently, till the rebellions and protests of the nobles of the former Sultanate were subdued. He successfully averted an invasion by Malik Ambar from Daulatabad in the south. Viceroy Abdulla Khan Bahadur Firuz Jang undertook expeditions against the Nizam Shahi kingdom of Ahmednagar. Under Jahangir, the British East India Company was permitted to establish factories in Surat in 1612. In 1618, he appointed his son Prince Shah Jahan as the next viceroy. He rebelled against his father in 1622-1623 and was replaced by Prince Dawar Bakhsh whose imperial forces recovered Bharuch and Surat. Later, Saif Khan served as the viceroy of Gujarat until the end of Jahangir's reign and Shah Jahan's ascension in 1627.
The reign of Shah Jahan Shah Jahan became the Mughal Emperor in 1627, and between 1632 and 1635, four viceroys were appointed for various reasons. Then Azam Khan was appointed who put the province in order. The next viceroy In 1644, prince Aurangzeb was appointed as the viceroy who was engaged in religious disputes due to which, he was replaced. Prince Murad Bakhsh was appointed as the viceroy in 1654. In 1657, hearing about the news of Shah Jahan's severe illness, he declared himself the emperor and rebelled with his brother Aurangzeb. After Aurangzeb's victory in the war of succession, he dumped and imprisoned Murad Bakhsh and confined his father.
Gujarat under Aurangzeb Aurangzeb, after becoming the emperor, rewarded people who had helped him in his succession war, but he also changed the viceroys of Gujarat in quick succession. Maratha emperor Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj plundered Surat and emptied its riches. Ahmedabad faced flood in 1683 and the province faced famine in 1684. After the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, taking advantage of the situation due to warring princes for succession, the Marathas under Balaji Vishwanath entered Gujarat and reached as far as Ahmedabad and withdrew after receiving heavy tribute from the Mughal viceroy. During Aurangzeb's rule, the Mughal Empire weakened and started to fall apart. The Mughal Empire continued to weaken after Aurangzeb's death, and the Marathas established themselves firmly in Gujarat, and in 1759, the English of the British East India Company captured Surat.