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Aurangzeb’s Deccan Policy

Aurangzeb’s Deccan policy was influenced partly by imperial interests and partly by the religious considerations.

In Deccan Aurangzeb failed to assess the situation realistically hence unable to take actions.Shivaji had carved out an independent Maratha state in the territories north and south of Konkan. To contain the Marathas Aurangzeb invaded Bijapur under Sikandar Adil Shah and annexed it in 1686.This brought an end to Adil Shahi dynasty. Bijapur became the seat of the Mughal provincial governor.

Aurangzeb ordered attack against Abul Hassan Qutub Shah of Golconda. In 1687 the Mughal army entered the fort and Golconda was annexed to Mughal Empire. After the downfall of Bijapur and Golconda Aurangzeb concentrated all his forces against the Marathas.

In 1689 Sambhaji was taken captive and executed and his son Sahu was captured. Aurangzeb gave Sahu the mansab of 7000 and treated him well. But he misjudged the strength of Marathas. The Marathas recovered themselves and commenced a people’s war which exhausted Aurangzeb’s treasury and compelled him to be on the defensive.

The war booty from Golconda and Bijapur was insufficient to cover the cost of the last phase of the Deccan wars. The reputation of the Mughal army was undermined by continuous rebellions and attacks from the Marathas in the Deccan. Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 finally brought to an end on the Deccan. What caused the real breakdown of the Mughal Empire was his faulty Deccan policy.

Aurangzeb’s Deccan policy can be divided into four phases
Phase-I (1658-68)
It was led by Jai Singh.The Mughals failed to lay siege on Bijapur in 1665 and Jai Singh died in 1667.

Phase-II (1668-84)
It was unsuccessful because of a tripartite alliance between Golconda,Shivaji and Bijapur in which Madanna and Akanna played a crucial role.

This phase saw the capture of Bijapur (1686) and Golconda (1687).

In this phase Sambhaji the son and successor of Shivaji was captured and executed.