Mughal emperor from 1658 to 1707

Muhy-ud-Din Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir (4 November 16183 March 1707), more commonly known as Aurangzeb ("Jewel in the crown") or by his chosen imperial title Alamgir ("Conquerer of the World"), was the sixth Mughal Emperor, whose Islamic reign across most of the Indian subcontinent lasted from 1658 until his death in 1707.

No age is wanting in able men; it is the duty of wise masters to find them out, win them over, and get work done by means of them, without listening to the calumnies of selfish men against them.


  • Answer me, sycophant, ought you not to have instructed me on one point at least, so essential to be known by a king; namely on the reciprocal duties between the sovereign and his subjects? Ought you not also to have foreseen that I might, at some future period, be compelled to contend with my brothers, sword in hand, for the crown, and for my very existence. Such, as you must well know, has been the fate of the children of almost every king of Hindustan. Did you ever instruct me in the art of war, how to besiege a town, or draw up an army in battle array? Happy for me that I consulted wiser heads than thine on these subjects! Go, withdraw to the village. Henceforth let no person know either who thou art, or what is become of thee.
  • I wish you to recollect that the greatest conquerors are not always the greatest kings. The nations of the earth have often been subjugated by mere uncivilized barbarians, and the most extensive conquests have, in a few short years, crumbled to pieces. He is the truly great king who makes it the chief business of his life to govern his subjects with equity.
  • Health to thee! My heart is near thee. Old age is arrived: weakness subdues me, and strength has forsaken all my members. I came a stranger into this world, and a stranger I depart. I know nothing of myself, what I am, and for what I am destined. The instant which passed in power, has left only sorrow behind it. I have not been the guardian and protector of the empire. My valuable time has been passed vainly. I had a patron in my own dwelling (conscience), but his glorious light was unseen by my dim sight. Life is not lasting; there is no vestige of departed breath, and all hopes from futurity are lost. The fever has left me, but nothing of me remains but skin and bone. My son (Kam Baksh), though gone towards Bijapur, is still near; and you, my son, are yet nearer. The worthy of esteem, Shah Alam, is far distant; and my grandson (Azim-ush-Shan), by the orders of God, is arrived near Hindustan. The camp and followers, helpless and alarmed, are, like myself, full of affliction, restless as the quicksilver. Separated from their lord, they know not if they have a master or not.
  • Wherefore should I not offer my congratulations? But the very fact of them being Sayyids, those fountains of felicity, demands heartly exertions in support of Islam and their ancestor Muhammad the Lord of Apostles. Let two Kaftans of honor for the two brothers be issued from my wardrobe and let them be sent with two swords, jewel-hilted and provided with pearl mounted belts, let Jamdat-ul-Mulk write much praise and congratulations when sending these presents.
    • Congratulating the Sayyid Brothers, as quoted in Later Mughals : Volume II : 1719-1739 (1922) by William Irvine
  • The temple of Somnath was demolished early in my reign and idol worship (there) put down. It is not known what the state of things there is at present. If the idolaters have again taken to the worship of images at the place, then destroy the temple in such a way that no trace of the building may be left, and also expel them (the worshippers) from the place.
    • Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, pp. 185-86. [1]
  • The village of Sattara near Aurangabad was my hunting ground. Here on the top of a hill, stood a temple with an image of Khande Rai. By God's grace I demolished it, and forbade the temple dancers (muralis) to ply their shameful profession.
    • Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. II, p. 94 [2]
  • The demolition of a temple is possible at any time, as it cannot walk away from its place.
    • Aurangzeb to Zullfiqar Khan and Mughal Khan. Kalimat-i-Tayyibat, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 188. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • The houses of this country (Maharashtra) are exceedingly strong and built solely of stone and iron. The hatchet-men of the Government in the course of my marching do not get sufficient strength and power (i.e., time) to destroy and raze the temples of the infidels that meet the eye on the way. You should appoint an orthodox inspector (darogha) who may afterwards destroy them at leisure and dig up their foundations.
    • Maharashtra . Aurangzeb to Ruhullah Khan in Kalimat-i-Aurangzib. Kalimat-i-Aurangzeb, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 188-89 quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers. [3]
  • In these days, information has reached our court that several people have, out of spite and rancour, harassed the Hindu residents of Banaras and nearby places, including a group of Brahmins who are in charge of ancient temples there. These people want to remove those Brahmins from their charge of temple-keeping, which has caused them considerable distress. Therefore, upon receiving this order, you must see that nobody unlawfully disturbs the Brahmins or other Hindus of that region, so that they might remain in their traditional place and pray for the continuance of the Empire.
  • In Ahmadabad and other parganas of Gujarat, in the days before my accession, temples were destroyed by my order. They have been repaired and idol worship has been resumed. Carry out the former orders.
    • Farman dated 20 November 1665 recorded in Mirat-i-Ahmadi, p. 275; translated by Jadunath Sarkar in History of Aurangzib: Mainly Based on Persian Sources - Vol. III, p. 185; Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, p. 575; The Crescent in India: A Study in Medieval History by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 554; Hindu Temples, what Happened to Them: The Islamic Evidence, by Arun Shourie & Sita Ram Goel, p. 33
  • Peace be with you and yours, I am grown very old and weak, and my limbs are feeble. Many were around me when I was born, but now I am going alone. I know not why I am or wherefore I came into the world. I bewail the moments which I have spent forgetful of God’s worship. I have not done well by the country or its people. My years have gone by profitless. God has been in my heart, yet my darkened eyes have not recognized his light. Life is transient, and the lost moment never comes back. There is no hope for me in the future. The fever is gone: but only skin and dried flesh are mine. ... The army is confounded and without heart or help, even as I am: apart from God, with no rest for the heart. They know not whether they have a King or not. Nothing brought I into this world, but I carry away with me the burthen of my sins. I know not what punishment be in store for me to suffer. Though my trust is in the mercy and goodness of God, I deplore my sins. When I have lost hope in myself, how can I hope in other! – Come what will, I have launched my bark upon the waters. ... Farewell! Farewell! Farewell!
  • Soul of my soul ... Now I am going alone. I grieve for your helplessness. But what is the use? Every torment I have inflicted, every sin I have committed, every wrong I have done, I carry the consequences with me. Strange that I came with nothing into the world, and now go away with this stupendous caravan of sin! ... Wherever I look I see only God. ... I have greatly sinned, and I know not what torment awaits me. ... Let not Muslims be slain and the reproach fall upon my useless head. I commit you and your sons to God’s care, and bid you farewell. I am sorely troubled. Your sick mother, Udaipuri, would fain die with me. ... Peace!

Quotes about AurangzebEdit

  • Verily, the guide and teacher of this path [of rebellion against, a reigning father] is Your Majesty ; others are merely following your footsteps. How can the path which Your Majesty chose to follow can be called 'the path of ill-luck'?
    My fathered bartered away the garden of Eden for two grains of wheat; I shall be an unworthy son if I do not sell it for a grain of barley!
    • Muhammad Akbar to Aurangzeb; see Studies in Aurangzib's reign: Being Studies in Mughal India, first series by Jadunath Sarkar, p. 68, Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, p. 581; Mughal Empire in India, 1526-1761: Volume 2 by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 637
  • Your Majesty's reign the ministers have no power, the nobles enjoy no trust, the soldiers wretchedly poor, the writers are without employment, the traders are without means, and the peasantry are down-trodden... On the Hindu tribes two calamities have descended, (first) the exaction of the jaziya in the town and (second) the oppression of the enemy in the country. When such sufferings have come down upon the heads of the people from all sides, why should they not fail to prey or thank their ruler?
    • Muhammad Akbar to Aurangzeb; see Studies in Mughal India: Being Historical Essays by Jadunath Sarkar, p. 102, Essays on Medieval Indian History by Satish Chandra, p. 324; Mughal Empire in India, 1526-1761: Volume 2 by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 637; The Mughal-Maratha Relations: Twenty Five Fateful Years, 1682-1707 by G. T. Kulkarni, p. 22
  • The Emperor learnt from a secret news writer of Delhi that in Jaisinghpura Bairagis used to worship idols, and that the Censor on hearing of it had gone there, arrested Sri Krishna Bairagi and taken him with 15 idols away to his house; then the Rajputs had assembled flocked to the Censor's house, wounded three footmen of the Censor and tried to seize the Censor himself; so that the latter set the Bairagi free and sent the copper idols to the local subahdar.'...
    • Akhbarat, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189., quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • In the reign of the great Prince Ãlamgîr, Like the full shining moon, The enlightener of the world, Praise be to God that this happy place, Was by Motamid Khãn completed as an alms. It was the idol temple of the vile Gwãlî, He made it a mosque, like a mansion of paradise. .... He closed the idol temple: Exclamations rose from earth to heaven, When the light put far away the abode of darkness,
    • Inscription on mosque on the right hand side of the GaNeša Gate in the fort at Gwalior. Archaeological Survey of India, Four Reports Made During the Years 1862-63-64-65 by Alexander Cunningham, Varanasi Reprint, 1972. p. 335.
  • “Aurangazeb, the puritan champion of Islam”, writes Searle Bates, “piled persecution upon repression”. In 1669 he issued orders “to the Government of all provinces to demolish the schools and temples of infidels and put down their teaching and religious practices strongly”. As a result a large number of Hindu shrines, including the famous Hindu places of worship suffered destruction. “Gross desecration”, writes Searle Bates... “was frequently added, such as the killing of cows in sanctuaries and the trampling of idols in public squares. In 1679 Aurangazeb reimposed “the Jizya Tax on the unbelievers with the object of spreading Islam and overthrowing infidel practices”. Hindu religious fairs were prohibited. People were encouraged to embrace Islam by the offer “of grants to converts or of jobs in Government employ, or of liberation from prison”. These measures resulted in “a noticeable bulk of accessions”, to the Muslim immigrant minority from “weak portions of heterogeneous Indian Society”.
    • Searle Bates, in Religious Liberty, Religious Liberty: an Inquiry by M. Searle Bates, 1947. Quoted from Madhya Pradesh (India), Goel, S. R., Niyogi, M. B. (1998). Vindicated by time: The Niyogi Committee report on Christian missionary activities. ISBN 9789385485121 PART III CHAPTER I. – RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN OTHER COUNTRIES
  • One age followed another--and still, generation after generation, the successors of the three Brahmins watched their priceless Moonstone, night and day. One age followed another until the first years of the eighteenth Christian century saw the reign of Aurungzebe, Emperor of the Moguls. At his command havoc and rapine were let loose once more among the temples of the worship of Brahmah. The shrine of the four-handed god was polluted by the slaughter of sacred animals; the images of the deities were broken in pieces; and the Moonstone was seized by an officer of rank in the army of Aurungzebe.
  • The son who so ruthlessly deposed him was one of the greatest saints in the history of Islam, and perhaps the most nearly unique of the Mogul emperors. The mullahs who had educated him had so imbued him with religion that at one time the young prince had thought of renouncing the empire and the world, and becoming a religious recluse. Throughout his life, despite his despotism, his subtle diplomacy, and a conception of morals as applying only to his own sect, he remained a pious Moslem, reading prayers at great length, memorizing the entire Koran, and warring against infidelity. He spent hours in devotion, and days in fasts. For the most part he practised his religion as earnestly as he professed it. It is true that in politics he was cold and calculating, capable of lying cleverly for his country and his god. But he was the least cruel of the Moguls, and the mildest; slaughter abated in his reign, and he made hardly any use of punishment in dealing with crime. He was consistently humble in deportment, patient under provocation, and resigned in misfortune. He abstained scrupulously from all food, drink or luxury forbidden by his faith; though skilled in music, he abandoned it as a sensual pleasure; and apparently he carried out his resolve to spend nothing upon himself save, what he had been able to earn by the labor of his hands.116 He was a St. Augustine on the throne.
    • Will Durant Our Oriental Heritage. Ch. XVI : From Alexander to Aurangzeb, § VIII. THE DECLINE OF THE MOGULS
  • Aurangzeb cared nothing for art, destroyed its "heathen" monuments with coarse bigotry, and fought, through a reign of half a century, to eradicate from India almost all religions but his own. He issued orders to the provincial governors, and to his other subordinates, to raze to the ground all the temples of either Hindus or Christians, to smash every idol, and to close every Hindu school. In one year ( 1679-80) sixty-six temples were broken to pieces in Amber alone, sixty-three at Chitor, one hundred and twenty-three at Udaipur; and over the site of a Benares temple especially sacred to the Hindus he built, in deliberate insult, a Mohammedan mosque. He forbade all public worship of the Hindu faiths, and laid upon every unconverted Hindu a heavy capitation tax. As a result of his fanaticism, thousands of the temples which had represented or housed the art of India through a millennium were laid in ruins. We can never know, from looking at India today, what grandeur and beauty she once possessed. Aurangzeb converted a handful of timid Hindus to Islam, but he wrecked his dynasty- and his country. A few Moslems worshiped him as a saint, but the mute and terrorized millions of India looked upon him as a monster, fled from his tax-gatherers, and prayed for his death. During his reign the Mogul empire in India reached its height, extending into the Deccan; but it was a power that. had no foundation in the affection of the people, and was doomed to fall at the first hostile and vigorous touch. The Emperor himself, in his last years, began to realize that by the very narrowness of his piety he had destroyed the heritage of his fathers.
  • The Girvan-Vanmanjari of Dhuniraj written in 1702-04 during the reign of Aurangzeb, brings out this problem clearly. The book is written in the form of a catechism between two Brahmanas discussing the correct course of action to be adopted to put a stop to the injustices of Aurangzeb. One of them advocates protest and resistance. The other is of the view that such a course would still more exacerbate the tyranny of the King, but if they cooperated with the regime, they might obtain some relief and minimise the tribulations of the Hindus under the Mughal government.
    • Girvan-Vanmanjari of Dhuniraj. Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • What are the facts? In Benares (Varanasi), Aurangzeb (1658-1707) did not just build an isolated mosque on a destroyed temple. He ordered all temples destroyed, among them the Kashi Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism, and had mosques built on a number of cleared temple sites. All other Hindu sacred places within his reach equally suffered destruction, with mosques built on them; among them, Krishna's birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt Somnath temple on the coast of Gujrat, the Vishnu temple replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares, the Treta-ka-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. The number of temples destroyed by Aurangzeb is counted in 4, if not in 5 figures. According to the official court chronicle, Aurangzeb "ordered all provincial governors to destroy all schools and temples of the Pagans and to make a complete end to all Pagan teachings and practices". The chronicle sums up the destructions like this: "Hasan Ali Khan came and said that 172 temples in the area had been destroyed... His majesty went to Chittor, and 63 temples were destroyed... Abu Tarab, appointed to destroy the idol-temples of Amber, reported that 66 temples had been razed to the ground". In quite a number of cases, inscriptions on mosques and local tradition do confirm that Aurangzeb built them in forcible replacement of temples (some of these inscriptions have been quoted in Sitaram Goel: Hindu temples, vol.2, along with a number of independent written accounts). Aurangzeb's reign was marked by never-ending unrest and rebellions, caused by his anti-Hindu policies, which included the reimposition of the jizya and other zimma rules, and indeed the demolition of temples.
    • Koenraad Elst (1992), Negationism in India. chapter 2
  • “In the name of Allãh, the Beneficent, the Merciful. There is no god except Allãh. Muhammad is His Prophet, verily. In the just reign of ‘Ãlamgîr, the king who is the asylum of Faith (and) whose universal generosity makes the sea and mine shame-stricken, one of his devoted servants, Muhammad Ashraf of god faith, saw a place where there was a temple. Like Khalîl (Prophet Abraham), he broke the temple at the command of God, and arranged for the construction of a very steadfast mosque. Year (AH) one thousand and seventy-eight” (AH 1078 = AD 1667).
    • Inscription on Jãmi‘ Masjid in Akot, Maharashtra. Epigraphia Indica - Arabic and Persian Supplement, 1963, p. 54.
  • “In obedience to the commandment of the Almighty God, the Lord of both the worlds; and in love of… the exalted Prophet: During the reign of Shãhjahãn, the king of the seven climes, the viceregent of God (lit. Truth), the master of the necks of people… the benevolent and generous Prince Aurangzeb, whose existence is a blessing of the Merciful God on people: He built a house for worship with (all) the qualities of heaven: after the site has been previously occupied by the temple of infidels…”
    • Inscription on Mosque at Bodhan, Andhra Pradesh, Epigraphia Indo-Moslemica, 1919-1920 quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • “God there is none but He and we worship not anyone except Him. (He) built a mosque in place of the temple, and wrote over its door the (Qur’ãnic) verse-‘Verily, We conquered.’ When the exalted mind of the Khedive, the refuge of Religion, supported by Divine Grace, Abu’z-Zafar MuHi-ud-dîn Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahãdur ‘Ãlamgîr, the victorious, was inclined to, and occupied in, destroying the base of infidelity and darkness and to strengthen the foundation of Islamic religion, the humblest servant Mukhtãr Khãn al-Husaini as-Sabzwãrî, the governor of the province of Zafarãbãd, demolished the temple and built a mosque and laid out a garden which by the Grace of the Omniscient God were completed on the 25th of Rabi’-ul-Awwal in the 14th year of the auspicious reign (AH 1082) corresponding with the date contained in this hemistich-By the Grace of God this temple became a mosque…”
    • Inscription on mosque in Bidar, Karnataka. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1927-28, p. 33. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • Although the king of the time [Aurangzeb] is not a prophet, yet there is no doubt in his being a friend of God. He built the mosque and broke the idols (at a time) when 1103 years had passed from the flight (of the Prophet).”
    • Inscription on mosque in Cuddapah, Andhra Pradesh. Epigraphia Indo - Moslemica, 1937-38, p. 55. quoted from Shourie, A., & Goel, S. R. (1993). Hindu temples: What happened to them. Vol. II.
  • With the coming of Aurangzeb, the policy of sulah-i-kul (peace with all) initiated by Akbar in the later part of his reign suffered a complete reversal. Aurangzeb had started his career as a but-shikan (iconoclast) 13 years before he ascended the throne at Delhi. ... The evidence [...] is always an exercise in suppressio veri suggestio falsi. For instance, Aurangzeb’s petty donations to 2-3 Hindu temples patronized by some pet Hindu courtiers, are played up with great fanfare. But his systematic demolition of thousands of Hindu temples and defilement of countless images of Gods and Goddesses, throughout his long reign, is never mentioned. Such pitiable attempts at pitting molehills of munificence against mountains of malevolence, go against all sense of proportion in judging a whole period of Indian history.
    • Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 7.
  • Shah Alamgir, that high and mighty king...
    In whom Islam attained a loftier fame...
    He the last arrow to our quiver left
    In the affray of Faith with Unbelief
    • Muhammad Iqbal, The Secrets of Selflessness, Emperor Alamgir and the Tiger
  • In the city of Agra there was a large temple, in which there were numerous idols, adorned and embellished with precious jewels and valuable pearls. It was the custom of the infidels to resort to this temple from far and near several times in each year to worship the idols, and a certain fee to the Government was fixed upon each man, for which he obtained admittance. As there was a large congress of pilgrims, a very considerable amount was realized from them, and paid into the royal treasury. This practice had been observed to the end of the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan, and in the commencement of Aurangzeb's government; but when the latter was informed of it, he was exceedingly angry and abolished the custom. The greatest nobles of his court represented to him that a large sum was realized and paid into the public treasury, and that if it was abolished, a great reduction in the income of the state would take place. The Emperor observed, 'What you say is right, but I have considered well on the subject, and have reflected on it deeply; but if you wish to augment the revenue, there is a better plan for attaining the object by exacting the jizya. By this means idolatry will be suppressed, the Muhammadan religion and the true faith will be honoured, our proper duty will be performed, the finances of the state will be increased, and the infidels will be disgraced.' 'This was highly approved by all the nobles; and the Emperor ordered all the golden and silver idols to be broken, and the temple destroyed.
    • Kanzul-Mahfuz (Kanzu-l Mahfuz), in: Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VIII, pp. 38 -39.
  • Aurangzeb ordered the temples of the Sikhs to be destroyed and the guru's agents (masands) for collecting the tithes and presents of the faithful to be expelled from the cities.
    • Muntakhab-al Lubab, by Hashim Ali Khan (Khafi Khan), Quoted in Jadunath Sarkar, Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 207, footnote. [5]
  • During the Subedari of religious-minded, noble prince, vestiges of the Temple of Chintaman situated on the side of Saraspur built by Satidas jeweller, were removed under the Prince's order and a masjid was erected on its remains. It was named Quwwat-ul-Islam.
    • Ali Muhammad Khan, Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965, P. 194
  • As it has come to His Majesty's knowledge that some inhabitants of the mahals appertaining to the province of Gujarat have (again) built the temples which had been demolished by imperial order before his accession' therefore His Majesty orders that' the formerly demolished and recently restored temples should be pulled down... The Emperor ordered the destruction of the Hateshwar temple at Vadnagar, the special guardian of the Nagar Brahmans [1693].... Salih Bahadur was sent to pull down the temple of Malarna (1669).
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzeb, Vol. III, p. 186-88, quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • A markedly selective and one-sided claim is that Aurangzeb donated so many bighas of land to so and so temple without mentioning the case of hundreds of others he desecrated and razed.
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7
  • Following in its footsteps, a noted historian has sought to exonerate Mahmud of Ghazni’s bigotry and fanaticism, and several writers in India have come forward to defend Aurangzeb against Jadunath Sarkar’s charge of religious intolerance. It is interesting to note that in the revised edition of the Encyclopaedia of Islam, one of them, while re-writing the article on Aurangzeb originally written by William Irvine, has expressed the view that the charge of breaking Hindu temples brought against Aurangzeb is a disputed point. Alas for poor Jadunath Sarkar, who must have turned in his grave if he were buried. For, after reading his History of Aurangzib, one would be tempted to ask, if the temple-breaking policy of Aurangzeb is a disputed point, is there a single fact in the whole recorded history of mankind which may be taken as undisputed?”
  • As his blessed nature dictated, he was characterized by perfect devotion to the rites of the Faith; he followed the teaching of the great Imam. Abu Hanifa (God be pleased with him!), and established and enforced to the best of his power the five foundations of Islam. Through the auspices of his hearty endeavour, the Hanafi creed (i.e., the Orthodox Sunni faith) has gained such strength and currency in the great country of Hindustan as was never seen in the times of any of the preceding sovereigns. By one stroke of the pen, the Hindu clerks (writers) were dismissed from the public employment. Large numbers of the places of worship of the infidels and great temples of these wicked people have been thrown down and desolated. Men who can see only the outside of things are filled with wonder at the successful accomplishment of such a seemingly difficult task. And on the sites of the temples lofty mosques have been built.
    • Maasir-i-alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 312-15
  • Hindu writers have been entirely excluded from holding public offices, and all the worshipping places of the infidels and great temples of these infamous people have been thrown down and destroyed in a manner which excites astonishment at the successful completion of so difficult a task. His Majesty personally teaches the sacred kalima to many infidels with success. All the mosques in the empire are repaired at public expense. Imama, criers to the daily prayers, and readers of the khutba, have been appointed to each of them, so that a large sum of money has been and is still laid out in these disbursements.
    • Mir-at-i 'alam, Mir-at-i Jahan-numa, of Bakhtawar Khan, in Elliot and Dowson, Vol. VII, p. 159.
  • “When the imperial army was encamping at Mathura, a holy city of the Hindus, the state of affairs with regard to temples of Mathura was brought to the notice of His Majesty. Thus, he ordered the faujdar of the city, Abdul Nabi Khan, to raze to the ground every temple and to construct big mosques (over their demolished sites)."
    • Futuhat-i-‘Alamgiri of Ishwardas Nagar, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 82
  • Distinguished historian Ranbir Vohra writes in his historical survey, The Making of India, “Most Hindus recall little of Emperor Aurangzeb's brutal, savage reign except that under his general order all the schools and temples of the Hindus were to be destroyed, and that hundreds of temples, particularly the Viswanath Temple at Benares and the Vishnu Temple at Mathura, had been demolished. That the Muslim rulers had built mosques over many of the razed Hindu temples was also a well-known fact."
    • Indo–US Relations: Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Nuclear Energy, by Nirode Mohanty, p. 50, ch. 1
  • No new temple was allowed to be built nor any old one to be repaired, so that the total disappearance of all places of Hindu worship was to be merely a question of time. But even this delay, this slow operation of Time, was intolerable to many of the more fiery spirits of Islam, who tried to hasten the abolition of ‘infidelity’ by anticipating the destructive hand of Time and forcibly pulling down temples.
  • Aurangzeb’s orthodoxy cannot, of course, be entirely denied. Therefore, explanations upon explanations – secular explanations! – are invented...The general conclusion: what Aurangzeb did ‘was a setback to the policy of broad toleration followed by his predecessors’! And even he did it for secular reasons! And even though compelled by these reasons, he did it only for the shortest time, for the years marked by hostilities instigated by ‘local elements’! ... However, there is little mystery. For there are two pillars of progressive history writing in India: first, to fabricate evidence which will establish Hindus to be intolerant; second, to respect and show an empathetic understanding of Islamic communalism. And the litmus test of whether you are committed to secular history writing is whether you are prepared to stand up for Aurangzeb!
    • Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Such were the benevolent intentions of your ancestors. Whilst they pursued these great and generous principles, wheresoever they directed their steps, conquest and prosperity went before them; and then they reduced many countries and fortresses to their obedience. During your majesty’s reign, many have been alienated from the empire, and further loss of territory must necessarily follow, since devastation and rapine now universally prevail without restraint. Your subjects are trampled under foot, and every province of your empire is impoverished, depopulation spreads, and difficulties accumulate. ... If Your Majesty places any faith in those books by distinction called divine; you will there be instructed that God is the God of all mankind, not the God of Muhammadans alone. The Pagan and the Musalman are equally in His presence. Distinctions of colour are of his ordination. It is He who gives existence. In your temples, to His name the voice is raised in prayer; in a house of images, when the bell is shaken, still He is the object of adoration. To vilify the religion or customs of other men is to set at naught the pleasure of the Almighty. When we deface a picture we naturally incur the resentment of the painter; and justly has the poet said, “Presume not to arraign or scrutinize the various works of power divine.” In fine, the tribute you demand from the Hindus is repugnant to justice; it is equally foreign from good policy, as it must impoverish the country; moreover, it is an innovation and an infringement of the laws of Hindostan.
  • Aurangzeb's purpose in building those three mosques was the same intentionally offensive political purpose that moved the Russians to build their Orthodox cathedral in the city-centre at Warsaw. Those mosques were intended to signify that an Islamic government was reigning supreme, even over Hinduism's holiest of holy places. I must say that Aurangzeb had a veritable genius for picking out provocative sites. Aurangzeb and Philip II of Spain are a pair. They are incarnations of the gloomily fanatical vein in the Christian - Muslim - Jewish family of religions. Aurangzeb - poor wretched misguided bad man - spent a lifetime of hard labour in raising massive monuments to his own discredit. Perhaps the Poles were really kinder in destroying the Russians' self-discrediting monument in Warsaw than you have been in sparing Aurangzeb's mosques.
  • Aurangzeb did this for two reasons: first, because by this time his treasures had begun to shrink owing to expenditure on his campaigns ; secondly, to force the Hindus to become Mahomedans. Many who were unable to pay turned Mahomedans, to obtain relief from the insults of the collectors. ... [Aurangzeb] was of the opinion that he had found in this tax an excellent means of succeeding in converting them, besides thereby replenishing his treasuries greatly...
    • About the Jizya during Aurangzeb's reign. Niccolao Manucci: Storia do Mogor. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1990). Indian muslims: Who are they.
  • “In this realm of India, although King Aurangzeb destroyed numerous temples, there does not thereby fail to be many left at different places, both in his empire and in the territories subject to the tributary Princes. All of them are thronged with worshippers; even those that are destroyed are still venerated by the Hindus and visited for the offering of alms... “The chief temples destroyed by King Aurangzeb within his kingdom were the following: Maisa (? Mayapur), Matura (Mathura), Caxis (Kashi), Hajudia (Ajudhya), and an infinite number of others ; but, not to tire the reader, I do not append their names.”
    • Storia do Mogor’ of Niccolo Manucci, p. 244-5, (Vol. 3, p. 244-5, London, John Murray, published for the Government of India, 1907). quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 8
  • “From the time that Ourungzeb ascended the throne, a great persecution of the Hindoos commenced : their temples were pulled down; their places of religious resort destroyed; their images mutilated; and a tax was levied on every house. The Rajpoots of the adjacent country were conquered, made obedient to the Emperor, and powerful armies were against those who resisted his commands. All were reduced to submission except one Raja, named Sheo Raj, who set a noble example of heroism and independence.
    “The power and authority of the Emperor had been generally acknowledged and established, the temples and holy places of the Hindoos pulled down, and their hearts trembled at beholding the sacrilegious destruction of all they held sacred and dear; for, an impenal mandate had been received by Fidaee Khan, stating, that ‘in the city of Oorchha the Hindoos practiced the rites of idolatry, sounding the Sunkh, ringing bells, making offerings to the manes of deceased ancestors, putting marks on their foreheads, wearing necklaces, and conducting themselves with contumely, pride, and presumption; that by the toleration of such rites, infidelity remained in the world; that the sound of the Sunkh prevented Moohummudans going to heaven; and that it had therefore become expedient to suppress those customs, and to decree that their temples should be destroyed, and mosques built on their sites; that if the temples were new or repaired, their upper parts should be demolished, and minarets erected, in order that they might become mosques for Mohummudan worship; that Moollahs should be appointed to read in them the glorious Qooran, pray morning and evening with a loud voice, and that Qazees should be nominated for the administration of justice; for with the equity of the Qazee God is well pleased;’ it being obvious, that when their temples no longer existed, their faith would dwindle away. On the receipt of this decree, Fidaee Khan prepared to carry it into execution. Apprehending, however, that the Boondelas would assemble in defence of their religion, he collected the imperial forces, amounting to eighteen thousand men; and vowing the destruction of the infidels, should they oppose the imperial mandate, unfurled his standard, and encamped at Dhoom Ghaut.”
    • Chhatra-prakāsa’, written by Lal Kavi alias Gore Lāla. (a contemporary account) Transl. Major Price. Capt. W.R. Pogson . quoted in Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 8
  • He (Aurengzebe) determined to enforce the conversion of the Hindoos throughout the empire, by the severest penalties.
    “In the month of January the Great Moghul ordered all the Governors and Moorish officers to stop the practice of the Heathens’ religion in the whole country, and to wall up (= close down) all the pagodas and temples of the idolaters. Or to reduce the taxes of Mohammedan merchants, but at the same time, increase the taxes of the idolaters in the hope that some of the heathens would embrace the Mohammedan religion. In order to highlight his piety (= devotion) the emperor sent a very large sum of money to Mecca to honour his great prophet, Mohammad. He also hurriedly dispatched orders to protect all public places from debauchery (= practices of excessive sensual pleasures), but as for himself, he did not observe orders in his palace.”
    • N. De Graff, when at Hughly in Bengal, in the year 1670.” , cited in Orme’s ‘Historical fragments of the Mogul empire’, (p. 250), (“Voyages De Nicolas De Graaf Aux Indes Orientales,” pp. 43-44), quoted in Sir Jadunath Sarkar ‘History of Aurangzeb’ (vol. III), Ist edition, 1928, Orient Longman (Reprint, 1972), (p. 186), quoted from Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 15
  • In the month of January, all the Governors and native officers received an order from the great Mughal prohibiting the practice of pagan religion throughout the country and closing down all the temples and sanctuaries of idol worshippers, in the hope that some pagans would embrace the Muslim religion.
  • “When it had come to the knowledge of the Emperor that many rich Gujarati banias had built temples within their homes to perform their devotions, in his religious fervour, he ordered that the Governors of the province should carry out an inspection. All the temples in the cities and villages had been destroyed. Now these inner sanctums were also to be laid low and the least sign of the practice of the Hindu religion was to be wiped out. The numbers of this community, particularly at Hyderabad and Cambay where they were to be found in large numbers, were greatly alarmed at these instructions. It was said that the banias managed to circumvent the Mughal orders by giving presents to the Governors who thereupon took their inspection tours very lightly.” ( p. 914)
  • “Following the Emperor’s orders with regard to the destruction of temples, the Moors brought one down in the Carnatic. This incited the Hindus to revolt in an attempt to prevent this action. The two communities clashed openly and both sides sustained loss of life. As a result, the Moors were forced to postpone their demolition activities to a later date.” ( p. 1249)
  • “Yachappa Nayak, the Hindu noble to whom I have referred earlier in my narrative, on seeing that the Mughal army after repeated orders from the Emperor, was bent on the destruction of the Hindu temples, left Mughal service and entered the territory of Gingee with his men. From there, he wrote to all the Hindu Princes, urging them to unite against the enemy of their community and religion.” ( p. 1256)
    • Francois Martin . ‘India in the 17th Century (Social, Economic and Political, Memoirs of Francois Martin 1670-1694, translated by Lotika Varadarajan and published by Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., 1989). quoted from Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 15
  • “Santidas, Pagod, The Ceremonie of King Auranzev, for converting a Pagod into a mosque. Amedabad being inhabited also by a great number of Heathens, there are Pageds, or Idol-Temples in it. That which was called the Pagod of Santidas was the chief, before Auranzeb converted it into a Mosque. When he performed the Ceremonie, he caused a Cow to be killed in the place, knowing very well, that after such an Action, the Gentiles according to their Law, could worship no more therein. All round the Temple there is a Cloyster furnished, with lovely Cells, beautified with Figures of Marble in relief, representing naked Women sitting after the Oriental fashion. The inside Roof of the Mosque is pretty enough, and the Walls are full of the Figures of Men and Beasts; but Auranzeb, who hath always made 2 (to) shew of an affected Devotion, which at length raised him to the Throne, caused the Noses of all these Figures which added a great deal of Magnificence to that Mosque, to be beat off.” (Part III, p. 10)
    • Jean de Thévenot, Voyages, quoted from Kishore, Kunal (2016). Ayodhyā revisited. ch 15
  • Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal Emperor (r. 1658-1707), is perhaps the most despised of India’s medieval Muslim rulers. People cite various alleged “facts” about Aurangzeb’s reign to support their contemporary condemnation, few of which are true. For instance, contrary to widespread belief, Aurangzeb did not destroy thousands of Hindu temples. He did not perpetrate anything approximating a genocide of Hindus. He did not instigate a large-scale conversion program that offered millions of Hindu the choice of Islam or the sword.
  • Over the centuries, many commentators have spread the myth of the bigoted, evil Aurangzeb on the basis of shockingly thin evidence. Many false ideas still mar popular memory of Aurangzeb, including that he massacred millions of Hindus and destroyed thousands of temples. Neither of these commonly believed “facts” is supported by historical evidence, although some scholars have attempted, usually in bad faith, to provide an alleged basis for such tall tales. More common than bald-faced lies, however, have been biased interpretations of cherry-picked episodes selected with the unabashed goal of supporting a foregone rebuke of Aurangzeb.


  • In 1661 Aurangzeb in his zeal to uphold the law of Islam sent orders to his Viceroy of Bihar, Daud Khan, to conquer Palamau. In the military operations that followed many temples were destroyed...Towards the end of the same year when Mir Jumla made a war on the Raja of Kuch Bihar, the Mughals destroyed many temples during the course of, their operations. Idols were broken and some temples were converted into mosques.
    • Palamau (Bihar), Koch Bihar (Bengal). Alamgirnamah of Mirza Muhammad Kazim , cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 129.
  • “The temple of Chintaman, situated close to Sarash-pur, and built by Sitadas jeweller, was converted into a mosque named Quuat-ul-islam by order of the Prince Aurangzib, in 1645.” (Mirat-i-Ahmadi, 232.) The Bombay Gazetteer, vol. I. pt, I. p. 280, adds that he slaughtered a cow in the temple, but Shah Jahan ordered the building to be restored to the Hindus.
    • Sarkar, Jadunath (1972). History of Aurangzib: Volume III. App. V. (about the Jain temple built by Shanti Lal Jain)
  • ‘It was reported to the Emperor (Aurangzeb) that in the Temple of Keshava Rai at Mathura, there was a stone railing presented by ‘Bishukoh’ (one without dignity i.e. Prince Dara, Aurangzeb’s elder brother). On hearing it, the Emperor observed, “In the religion of the Musalmans, it is improper even to look at a Temple and this Bishukoh had installed this kathra (barrier railing). Such an act is totally unbecoming of a Musalman. This railing should be removed (forthwith).”
    • Umurat-i-Hazur Kishwar-Kashai, Julus (R.Yr.) 9, Rabi II 24 / 13 October 1666.
  • “The Emperor ordered Jumdat-ul-Mulk to write to the Mutsaddis of all the subahs (provinces) of the empire that display of fire-works (atishbazi) is being forbidden. Also, Faulad Khan was ordered to arrange for announcement in the city by the beat of a drum that no one is to indulge in atishbazi.”
    • Akhbarat-i-Darbar-i-Mu‘alla, Julus 10, Shawwal 24 / April 9th 1667.
  • Orders were issued by the Sublime Court to dismiss the Hindu Chowkinavis and to appoint in their place Musalmans, and, likewise, a way should be found for replacing the Amins of the Haft-chowkis by the Musalmans.
    • Hindu Chowkinavis and Amins of the Haft-chowkis to be replaced by the Musalmans. Siyaha Akhbarat Darbar Mu'alla, Julus (R. Yr.) 10, Zilhijja 16/30 May 1667
  • "The Emperor said to Shaikh Nizam that his prayers were not having any effect. What could be the reason for this ? The Shaikh said, 'The reason is that a large number of Hindus are serving as ahlikhidmat (officials and officers) and as musahibs (courtiers) and they are ever (seen) in the Royal presence, and, as a result, the prayers do not have any effect'. The Emperor ordered that it is necessary that the Musalmans be appointed to serve in place of the Hindus."
    • Siyaha Waqai Darbar, Julus (R.Yr.) 10, Muharram 18 / 1st July 1667.
  • “A darvesh brought to the notice of the Emperor that the Musalmans (of the country) felt dejected on account of (the burden of) Zakat and that they should be exempted from paying it. Jumdat-ul Mulk now sought the Emperor’s orders regarding the matter. The Emperor (Aurangzeb) ordered that the Musalmans were to be exempted from paying it, but it should be charged from the Hindus.”
    • Siyaha Akhbart-i-Darbar-i-Mu‘alla, Julus (R.Yr.) 10, Zilqada 2 / 16th April 1667.
  • The Lord Cherisher of the Faith learnt that in the provinces of Tatta, Multan, and especially at Benares, the Brahman misbelievers used to teach their false books in their established schools, and that admirers and students both Hindu and Muslim, used to come from great distances to these misguided men in order to acquire this vile learning. His Majesty, eager to establish Islam, issued orders to the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and with the utmost urgency put down the teaching and the public practice of the religion of these misbelievers. (...) It was reported that, according to the Emperor's command, his officers had demolished the temple of Viswanath at Kashi.
    • 1669. Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh). Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 51-55; see Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins. (Different translation: “News came to court that in accordance with the Emperor’s command his officers had demolished the temple of Vishvanath [Bishwanath] at Banaras”. ... The Emperor ordered the governors of all the provinces to demolish the schools and temples of the infidels and strongly put down their teaching and religious practices.” )
  • A general policy towards Hindu temples was proclaimed in April 1669. Maasir-i-alamgiri records: "On the 17th of Zil Kada 1079 (9th April 1669) it reached the ears of His Majesty, the protector of the faith, that in the province of Thatta, Multan, and Benares, but especially in the latter, foolish Brahmans were in the habit of expounding frivolous books in their schools, and that students and learners, Muslims as well as Hindus, went there, even from long distances, led by a desire to become acquainted with the wicked sciences they taught. The Director of the Faith, consequently, issued orders to all governors of provinces to destroy with a willing hand the schools and temples of the infidels and they were strictly enjoined to put an entire stop to the teaching and practising of idolatrous forms of worship. On the 15th Rabiul-akhir (end September) it was reported to his religious Majesty, leader of the unitarians, that in obedience to order, the government officers had destroyed the temple of Bishnath at Benares."....
    • Goel, Sita Ram (2001). The story of Islamic imperialism in India. ISBN 9788185990231 Ch. 7.
  • Next, he took a step further, and in the 12th year of his reign (9th April, 1669) he issued a general order “to demolish all the schools and temples of the infidels and to put down their religious teaching and practices.
    • History of Aurangzib by Jadunath Sarkar, [7]
    • Also translated as: In April, 1669 he ordered the provincial governors to ‘destroy the temples and schools of the Brahmans… and to utterly put down the teachings and religious practices of the infidels…. in: ‘Anecdotes of Aurangzib and Historical Essays’ by Jadunath Sarkar
  • The Emperor learning that in the temple of Keshav Rai at Mathura there was a stone railing presented by Dara Shukoh, remarked, 'In the Muslim faith it is a sin even to look at a temple, and this Dara had restored a railing in a temple. This fact is not creditable to the Muhammadans. Remove the railing.' By his order Abdun Nabi Khan (the faujdar of Mathura) removed it (1666).
    • Akhbarat, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189., quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • “In August, 1669, the temple of Vishvanath at Banaras was demolished. The presiding priest of the temple was just in time to remove the idols and throw them into a neighbouring well which thus became a centre of interest ever after. The temple of Gopi Nath in Banaras was also destroyed about the same time. He (Aurangzeb) is alleged to have tried to demolish the Shiva temple of Jangamwadi in Banaras”, but could not succeed because of opposition.
    • Maasir-i-Alamgiri, p. 88., R. Sharma, quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6


  • Order issued on all faujdars of thanas, civil officers (mutasaddis), agents of jagirdars, kroris, and amlas from Katak to Medinipur on the frontier of Orissa:- The imperial paymaster Asad Khan has sent a letter written by order of the Emperor, to say, that the Emperor learning from the newsletters of the province of Orissa that at the village of Tilkuti in Medinipur a temple has been (newly) built, has issued his august mandate for its destruction, and the destruction of all temples built anywhere in this province by the worthless infidels. Therefore, you are commanded with extreme urgency that immediately on the receipt of this letter you should destroy the above-mentioned temples. Every idol-house built during the last 10 or 12 years, whether with brick or clay, should be demolished without delay. Also, do not allow the crushed Hindus and despicable infidels to repair their old temples. Reports of the destruction of temples should be sent to the Court under the seal of the qazis and attested by pious Shaikhs.
    • Aurangzeb's order in Orissa recorded by Muraqat-i-Abul Hasan, completed in 1670. Bengal and Orissa . Muraqat-i-AbuI Hasan by Maulana Abul Hasa, quoted in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 187 [8], also in Last Spring: The Lives and Times of Great Mughals by Abraham Eraly. also in Northern India, 1658-1681 by Jadunath Sarkar p. 187 also in The Panjab Past and Present, Volume 9 [Department of Punjab Historical Studies, Punjabi University, 1975], p. 105
  • “In every parganah officers have come from the thanahs with orders from the Presence for the destruction of idols.”
    • —A letter preserved in the Yasho-Madhav temple of Dhamrai in the Dacca district, dated 27 June, 1672, and printed in J. M. Ray’s Bengali History of Dacca, i. 389. quoted in Sarkar, Jadunath (1972). History of Aurangzib: Volume III. App. V.
  • 25 May 1679: ‘Khan-i-Jahan Bahadur returned from Jodhpur after demolishing its temples, and bringing with himself several cart-loads of idols. The Emperor ordered that the idols, which were mostly of gold, silver, brass, copper or stone and adorned with jewels, should be cast in the quadrangle of the Court and under the steps of the Jama Mosque for being trodden upon.’
    • Akhbarat. Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, Volume III, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1972 reprint, pp. 185–89., quoted from Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • As all the aims of the religious Emperor were directed to the spreading of the law of Islam and the overthrow of the practices of the infidels, he issued orders to the high diwani officers that from Wednesday, the 2nd April 1679 / 1st Rabi I, in obedience to the Quranic injunction, “till they pay commutation money (Jizyah) out of their hand and they be humbled”, and in agreement with the canonical tradition, Jizyah should be collected from the infidels (zimmis) of the capital and the provinces. Many of the honest scholars of the time were appointed to discharge the work (of collecting Jizyah). May God actuate him (Emperor Aurangzeb) to do that which He loves and is pleased with, and make his future life better than the present.
    • 2nd April 1679 (Maasir-i-‘Alamgiri, p. 175, Tr. J.N. Sarkar), quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • 27 January 1670: During this month of Ramzan abounding in miracles, the Emperor as the promoter of justice and overthrower of mischief, as a knower of truth and destroyer of oppression, as the zephyr of the garden of victory and the reviver of the faith of the Prophet, issued orders for the demolition of the temple situated in Mathura, famous as the Dehra of Kesho Rai. In a short time by the great exertions of his officers, the destruction of this strong foundation of infidelity was accomplished, and on its site a lofty mosque was built at the expenditure of a large sum. This temple of folly was built by that gross idiot Birsingh Deo Bundela. Before his accession to the throne, the Emperor Jahangir was displeased with Shaikh Abul Fazl. This infidel [Birsingh] became a royal favourite by slaying him [Abul Fazl], and after Jahangir’s accession was rewarded for this service with the permission to build the temple, which he did at an expense of thirty-three lakhs of rupees.
    Praised be the august God of the faith of Islam, that in the auspicious reign of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence [Aurangzeb], such a wonderful and seemingly impossible work was successfully accomplished. On seeing this instance of the strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the proud Rajas were stifled, and in amazement they stood like facing the wall. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought to Agra, and buried under the steps of the mosque of the Begam Sahib, in order to be continually trodden upon. The name of Mathura was changed to Islamabad.
    17 December 1679: Hafiz Muhammad Amin Khan reported that some of his servants had ascended the hill and found the other side of the pass also deserted; (evidently) the Rana had evacuated Udaipur and fled. On the 4th January/12th Zil. H., the Emperor encamped in the pass. Hasan ‘Ali Khan was sent in pursuit of the infidel. Prince Muhammad ‘Azam and Khan Jahan Bahadur were permitted to view Udaipur. Ruhullah Khan and Ekkataz Khan went to demolish the great temple in front of the Rana’s palace, which was one of the rarest buildings of the age and the chief cause of the destruction of life and property of the despised worshippers. Twenty machator Rajputs [who] were sitting in the temple, vowed to give up their lives; first one of them came out to fight, killed some and was then himself slain, then came out another and so on, until every one of the twenty perished, after killing a large number of the imperialists including the trusted slave, Ikhlas. The temple was found empty. The hewers broke the images.
    • Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1947, reprinted by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, Delhi, 1986. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Different translation: January, 1670. “In this month of Ramzan, the religious-minded Emperor ordered the demolition of the temple at Mathura known as the Dehra of Keshav Rai. His officers accomplished it in a short time. A grand mosque was built on its site at a vast expenditure. The temple had been built by Bir Singh Dev Bundela, at a cost of 33 lakhs of Rupees. Praised be the God of the great faith of Islam that in the auspicious reign- of this destroyer of infidelity and turbulence, such a marvellous and [seemingly] impossible feat was accomplished. On seeing this [instance of the] strength of the Emperor’s faith and the grandeur of his devotion to God, the Rajahs felt suffocated and they stood in amazement like statues facing the walls. The idols, large and small, set with costly jewels, which had been set up in the temple, were brought to Agra and buried under the steps of the mosque of Jahanara, to be trodden upon continually.”
  • On the publication of this order (reimposing the Jiziyah) by Aurangzeb in 1679, the Hindus all round Delhi assembled in vast numbers under the jharokha of the Emperor… to represent their inability to pay and pray for the recall of the edict… But the Emperor would not listen to their complaints. One day, when he went to public prayer in the great mosque on the sabbath, a vast multitude of the Hindus thronged the road from the palace to the mosque, with the object of seeking relief. Money changers and drapers, all kinds of shopkeepers from the Urdu bazar mechanics, and workmen of all kinds, left off work and business and pressed into the way… Every moment the crowd increased, and the emperor’s equippage was brought to a stand-still. At length an order was given to bring out the elephants and direct them against the mob. Many fell trodden to death under the feet of elephants and horses. For some days the Hindus continued to assemble, in great numbers and complain, but at length they submitted to pay the Jiziyah.
    • Khafi Khan, trs. E and D, VII, p. 296. Quoted from Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India, Chapter 6. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.


  • On Monday, the 22nd February [1680]/1st Safar the Emperor went to view Chitor; by his order sixty-three temples of the place were destroyed.
    • Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1947, reprinted by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, Delhi, 1986. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers. (Different translation: His majesty proceeded to Chitor on the 1st of Safar. Temples to the number of sixty-three were here demolished.)
  • On Saturday, the 24th January, 1680/2nd Muharram, the Emperor went to view lake Udaisagar, constructed by the Rana, and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be demolished.'...On the 29th January [1680]/7th Muharram, Hasan 'Ali Khan brought to the Emperor twenty camel-loads of tents and other things captured from the Rana's palace and reported that one hundred and seventy-two other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been destroyed. The Khan received the title of Bahadur 'Alamgirshahi'...'Abu Turab, who had been sent to demolish the temples of Amber, returned to Court on Tuesday, the 10th August [1680]/24th Rajab, and reported that he had pulled down sixty-six temples.
    • Maasir-i-alamgiri, translated into English by Sir Jadu-Nath Sarkar, Calcutta, 1947, pp. 107-120, also quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers. (Different translation : Abu Tarab, who had been commissioned to effect the destruction of the idol temples in Amber, reported in person on the 24th Rajab, that threescore and six of these edifices had been levelled with the ground.)
  • January-February 1680: ‘The grand temple in front of the Maharana’s mansion (at Udaipur) – one of the wonderful buildings of the age, which had cost the infidels much money – was destroyed and its images broken.’ ‘On 24 January the Emperor went to view the lake Udaisagar and ordered all the three temples on its banks to be pulled down.’ ‘On 29 January Hasan Ali Khan reported that 172 other temples in the environs of Udaipur had been demolished.’ ‘On 22 February the Emperor went to look at Chitor, and by his order the 63 temples of the place were destroyed.’
    10 August 1680: ‘Abu Turab returned to Court and reported that he had pulled down 66 temples in Amber’. 2 August 1680: ‘Temple of Someshwar in western Mewar ordered to be destroyed.’
    September 1687: ‘On the capture of Golkonda, the Emperor appointed Abdur Rahim Khan as Censor of the city of Haidarabad with orders to put down infidel practices and (heretical) innovations and destroy the temples and build mosques on their sites.’
    • Akhbarat. Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, Volume III, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1972 reprint, pp. 185–89., quoted from Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
  • [About Aurangzeb at Udaipur:] The Emperor, within a short time, reached Udaipur and destroyed the gate of Dehbari, the palaces of Rana and the temples of Udaipur. Apart from it, the trees of his gardens were also destroyed.
    • Futûhãt-i-Ãlamgîrî, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1978. p. 130
  • 'When the war with the Rajputs was over, Aurangzeb decided to leave for the Deccan. His march seems to have been marked with the destruction to many temples on the way. On 21 May, 1681, the superintendent of the labourers was ordered to destroy all the temples on the route.'...'On 27 September, 1681, the emperor issued orders for the destruction of the temples at Lakheri.'...
    • Akhbarat, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 136-139


  • About this time, on 14 April, 1692, orders were issued to the provincial governor and the district fojdar to demolish the temples at Rasulpur.'...'Sankar, a messenger, was sent to demolish a temple near Sheogaon. He came back after pulling it down on 20 November, 1693.'...'Bijai Singh and several other Hindus were reported to be carrying on public worship of idols in a temple in the neighbourhood of Ajmer. On 23 June, 1694, the governor of Ajmer was ordered to destroy the temple and stop the public adoration of idol worship there.'...
    • Akhbarat, cited in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962. p. 136-139
  • 'In AD 1696-97 (AH 1108) orders were issued for the destruction of the major temples at Sorath in Gujarat.'...'He stopped public worship at the Hindu temple of Dwarka.'
    • Mirat-i-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, in : Sharma, Sri Ram, Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors, Bombay, 1962., p. 137-138


  • The Emperor, summoning Muhammad Khalil and Khidmat Rai, the darogha of hatchet-men... ordered them to demolish the temple of Pandharpur, and to take the butchers of the camp there and slaughter cows in the temple... It was done.
    • (1705). Akhbarat, cited in Sarkar, Jadu Nath, History of Aurangzeb,Volume III, Calcutta, 1972 Impression. p. 186-189., quoted in part in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.

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