The Mughal emperors, from the early 16th century to the early 18th century, built and ruled the Mughal Empire on the Indian subcontinent, mainly corresponding to the modern countries of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The Mughals were a branch of the Timurid dynasty of Turkic origin from what is now Uzbekistan. Their power rapidly dwindled during the 18th century and the last of the emperors were deposed in 1857, with the establishment of the British Raj. Mughal emperors were of direct descent from Timur (generally known in the West as Tamerlane the Great), and also affiliated with Genghis Khan, because of Timur’s marriage with a Genghizid princess. The Mughals also had significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances, as emperors were born to Rajput and Persian princesses. Only the first two Mughal emperors, Babur and Humayun, were fully Central Asian (Turki or what is now known as Uzbek), whereas Akbar was half-Persian (his mother was of Persian origin), Jahangir was half-Rajput and quarter-Persian, and Shah Jahan was three-quarters Rajput. Nevertheless, all Mughals were of Turkic seeds. At their Empire's greatest extent in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, Mughals controlled much of the Indian subcontinent, extending from Bengal in the east to Kabul and Sindh in the west, Kashmir in the north to the Kaveri basin in the south. Its population at the time has been estimated as between 110 and 150 million (a quarter of the world's population), over a territory of more than 3.2 million square kilometres (1.2 million square miles). It was the second largest empire to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning approximately four million square kilometres at its zenith, after only the Maurya Empire, which spanned approximately five million square kilometres. The Mughal Empire ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, and around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic power, accounting for 24.4% of world GDP, and the world leader in manufacturing, producing 25% of global industrial output up until the 18th century. The Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age". Here is a list of all the rulers who ascended to the throne of Mughal Emperor. Who do you think had the greatest impact on the course of world history? Rank these rulers from most influential to least.
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Babur (Persian: بابر, translit. Bābur, lit. 'Tiger'; 14 February 1483 – 26 December 1530), born Zahīr ud-Dīn Muhammad, was the founder and first Emperor of the Mughal dynasty in the Indian subcontinent. He was a direct descendant of Emperor Timur the Great (Tamurlane) from what is now Uzbekistan. Babur was the eldest son of Umar Sheikh Mirza, governor of Fergana and son of Timur the Great. He ascended the throne of Fergana in its capital Akhsikent in 1495 at the age of twelve and faced rebellion. He conquered Samarkand two years later, only to lose the vilayat of Fergana soon after. In his attempt to reconquer Fergana, he lost control of Samarkand. In 1501, his attempt to recapture both vilayats went in vain as he was defeated by Muhammad Shaybani Khan. In 1504, he conquered Kabul, which was under the rule of the infant heir of Ulugh Begh. Babur formed a partnership with Safavid ruler Ismail I and reconquered parts of Turkistan, including Samarkand, only to again lose it and the other newly conquered lands to the Sheybanids. After losing Samarkand for the third time, Babur turned his attention to creating his empire in north India. At that time, the Indo-Gangetic Plain of the northern Indian Subcontinent was ruled by Ibrahim Lodi of the Afghan Lodi dynasty, whereas Rajputana was ruled by a Hindu Rajput Confederacy, led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. In 1524, Daulat Khan Lodi, a rebel of the Lodhi dynasty, invited Babur to overthrow Ibrahim and become ruler. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal empire. However, he again faced opposition, this time from Rana Sanga of Mewar who considered Babur a foreigner. The Rana was defeated in the Battle of Khanwa. Babur married several times. Notable among his sons are Humayun, Kamran Mirza and Hindal Mirza. Babur died in 1530 and was succeeded by Humayun. According to Babur's wishes, he was buried in Bagh-e-Babur in Kabul, Afghanistan. Being a patrilineal descendant of Timur, Babur considered himself a Timurid and Turki (what is now ethnic Uzbek and Uyghur people of Central Asia). He is considered a national hero in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. Many of his poems also have become popular folk songs. He wrote his autobiography, Baburnama, in Chaghatai Turkic and this was translated into Persian during Akbar's reign.
Abu'l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar (15 October 1542 – 27 October 1605), popularly known as Akbar I and later Akbar the Great, was the third Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1556 to 1605. Akbar succeeded his father, Humayun, under a regent, Bairam Khan, who helped the young emperor expand and consolidate Mughal domains in India. A strong personality and a successful general, Akbar gradually enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent north of the Godavari river. His power and influence, however, extended over the entire country because of Mughal military, political, cultural, and economic dominance. To unify the vast Mughal state, Akbar established a centralised system of administration throughout his empire and adopted a policy of conciliating conquered rulers through marriage and diplomacy. To preserve peace and order in a religiously and culturally diverse empire, he adopted policies that won him the support of his non-Muslim subjects. Eschewing tribal bonds and Islamic state identity, Akbar strove to unite far-flung lands of his realm through loyalty, expressed through an Indo-Persian culture, to himself as an emperor who had near-divine status. Mughal India developed a strong and stable economy, leading to commercial expansion and greater patronage of culture. Akbar himself was a patron of art and culture. He was fond of literature, and created a library of over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers. Akbar also established the library of Fatehpur Sikri exclusively for women, and he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm. Holy men of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion. Akbar's courts at Delhi, Agra, and Fatehpur Sikri became centres of the arts, letters, and learning. Perso-Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture. Disillusioned with orthodox Islam and perhaps hoping to bring about religious unity within his empire, Akbar promulgated Din-i-Ilahi, a syncretic creed derived mainly from Islam and Hinduism as well as some parts of Zoroastrianism and Christianity. A simple, monotheistic cult, tolerant in outlook, it centered on Akbar as a prophet, for which he drew the ire of the ulema and orthodox Muslims. Many of his courtiers followed Din-i-Ilahi as their religion as well, as many believed that Akbar was a prophet. One famous courtier who followed this blended religion was Birbal. Akbar's reign significantly influenced the course of Indian history. During his rule, the Mughal empire tripled in size and wealth. He created a powerful military system and instituted effective political and social reforms. By abolishing the sectarian tax on non-Muslims and appointing them to high civil and military posts, he was the first Mughal ruler to win the trust and loyalty of the native subjects. He had Sanskrit literature translated, participated in native festivals, realising that a stable empire depended on the co-operation and good-will of his subjects. Thus, the foundations for a multicultural empire under Mughal rule were laid during his reign. Akbar was succeeded as emperor by his son, Prince Salim later known as Jahangir.
Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad (6 March 1508 – 27 January 1556), better known by his regnal name, Humayun, was the second emperor of the Mughal Empire, who ruled over territory in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early but regained it with the aid of the Safavid dynasty of Persia, with additional territory. At the time of his death in 1556, the Mughal Empire spanned almost one million square kilometres. In December 1530, Humayun succeeded his father to the throne of Farghana as ruler of the Mughal territories in the Indian subcontinent. At the age of 23, Humayun was an inexperienced ruler when he came to power. His half-brother Kamran Mirza inherited Kabul and Lahore, the northernmost parts of their father's empire. Mirza was to become a bitter rival of Humayun. Humayun lost Mughal territories to Sher Shah Suri, but regained them 15 years later with Safavid aid. Humayun's return from Persia was accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen and signalled an important change in Mughal court culture. The Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language and literature. There are many stone carvings and thousands of Persian manuscripts in India dating from the time of Humayun. Subsequently, Humayun further expanded the Empire in a very short time, leaving a substantial legacy for his son, Akbar. His peaceful personality, patience and non-provocative methods of speech earned him the title ’Insān-i-Kamil (Perfect Man), among the Mughals.
Jahāngīr, also spelled Jehangir, original name Nūr-ud-dīn Muhammad Salīm, (born August 31, 1569, Fatehpur Sikri [India]—died October 28, 1627, en route to Lahore [now in Pakistan]), Mughal emperor of India from 1605 to 1627. Prince Salīm was the eldest son of the emperor Akbar, who early marked Salīm to succeed him. Impatient for power, however, Salīm revolted in 1599 while Akbar was engaged in the Deccan. Akbar on his deathbed confirmed Salīm as his successor. The new emperor chose the Persian name Jahāngīr (“World Seizer”) as his reign name. Jahāngīr continued his father’s traditions. A war with the Rajput principality of Mewar was ended in 1614 on generous terms. Campaigns against Ahmadnagar, initiated under Akbar’s rule, were continued fitfully, with Mughal arms and diplomacy often thwarted by the able Ḥabshī (slave), Malik ʿAmbār. In 1617 and 1621, however, Prince Khurram (later Shah Jahān) concluded apparently victorious peace treaties. Jahāngīr, like his father, was not a strict Sunni Muslim; he allowed, for example, the Jesuits to dispute publicly with Muslim ʿulamāʾ (theologians) and to make converts. After 1611 Jahāngīr accepted the influence of his Persian wife, Mehr al-Nesāʾ (Nūr Jahān); her father, Iʿtimād al-Dawlah; and her brother Āṣaf Khan. Together with Prince Khurram, that clique dominated politics until 1622. Thereafter, Jahāngīr’s declining years were darkened by a breach between Nūr Jahān and Prince Khurram, who rebelled openly between 1622 and 1625. In 1626 Jahāngīr was temporarily placed under duress by Mahābat Khan, another rival of Nūr Jahān’s group. Jahāngīr died while traveling from Kashmir to Lahore. Jahāngīr, a heavy drinker and opium eater—until excess taught him comparative moderation—encouraged Persian culture in Mughal India. He possessed a sensitivity to nature, an acute perception of human character, and an artistic sensibility, which expressed itself in an unmatched patronage of painting. Mughal painting reached a high level of elegance and richness during his reign. Sources: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jahangir
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram (5 January 1592 – 22 January 1666) better known by his regnal name Shah Jahan (Persian: "King of the World"), was the fifth Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1628 to 1658. Shah Jahan was widely considered to be the most competent of Emperor Jahangir's four sons and after Jahangir's death in late 1627, when a war of succession ensued, Shah Jahan emerged victorious. He put to death all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor in January 1628 in Agra under the regnal title "Shah Jahan" (which was originally given to him as a princely title). Although an able military commander, Shah Jahan is perhaps best remembered for his architectural achievements. The period of his reign is widely considered to be the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of which is the Taj Mahal in Agra, which entombs his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell seriously ill, which set off a war of succession among his four sons, in which his third son Aurangzeb, emerged victorious. Shah Jahan recovered from his illness, but Aurangzeb put his father under house arrest in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666. On 31 July 1658, Aurangzeb crowned himself emperor under the title "Alamgir." The Mughal Empire reached the pinnacle of its glory during Shah Jahan's reign and he is widely considered to be one of the greatest Mughal emperors.
Shahryar (16 January 1605 – 23 January 1628) was the fifth and youngest son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir. After Jahangir's death, Shahryar made an attempt to become emperor and was successful with the help of his powerful stepmother Nur Jahan, who was also his mother-in-law. However, he was only titular and suffered defeat and was killed at the orders of his victorious brother Shah Jahan. His only daughter was married to Aurangzeb. Shazada Salef ud din Muhammad Shahryar was born a few months before his grandfather, Emperor Akbar's death (in 1605). His mother was a Daughter of Raja Birbal. He was the younger halfbrother of Rebel Prince Khusrau Mirza, The Drinker Muhammad Parviz. He was cared by also of Nur Jahan. The prince was educated by Muhammad All Irfan and Fatima Bibi Kashmiri appointed by Nur Jahan. In the 16th year of Jahangir's reign, Shahryar married Mihr-un-nissa Begum, the daughter of his step-mother Nur Jahan by her first marriage to Sher Afghan. Shahryar and Mihr-un-nissa had a daughter Arzani Banu Begum. At Nur Jahan's request, he was given the pargana of Dholpur and its fort from Jahangir which Prince Khurram wanted for himself. He appointed Daria Khan, an Afghan, as its in-charge. This led to a skirmish between Nur Jahan's appointed in-charge Sharifu-l-Mulk, who was a servant of both Shahryar and Daria Khan. Sharifu-l-Mulk arrived on the scene shortly, and tried to force himself into the fort. On October 13, 1625, Jahangir appointed Shahryar as Governor of Thatta. Sharif-ul Mulk carried out the administration as the Deputy of the Prince. After the death of his father Jahangir on 28 October 1627, Shahryar, as Nur Jahan desired, ascended to the Mughal throne, but for only three months. Since he was in Lahore at the time, he immediately took over the imperial treasury and distributed over 70 lakh rupees among old and new noblemen to secure his throne... Meanwhile, on the death of the Emperor, Mirza Baisinghar, son of the late Prince Daniyal, fled to Lahore and joined Shahryar. Soon, near Lahore, Shahryar's forces met those of Asaf Khan, (father of Mumtaz Mahal), who wanted his son-in-law Shah Jahan to ascend the throne, and had already proclaimed Dawar as Emperor near Agra, as a stop-gap arrangement to save the throne for Shah Jahan. Shahryar lost the battle and fled into the fort, where the next morning he was presented in front of Dawar Baksh, who placed him in confinement and two to three days later had him blinded by Asaf Khan, thus bringing his short reign to a tragic end. It is said that Shahryar also had a form of leprosy due to which he had lost all his hair including his eyebrows and eyelashes. Like all Mughal princes, Shahryar also had training in poetry and, after he was blinded towards the end of his life, he wrote a poignant verse titled, Bi Gu Kur Shud didah-i-Aftab. On the 2nd Jumada-l awwal, 1037 A.H., (1628), Shah Jahan ascended to the throne at Lahore, and on the 26th Jumada-l awwal, January 23 1628, upon his orders, Dawar, his brother Garshasp, Shahryar, and Tahmuras and Hoshang, sons of the deceased Prince Daniyal, were all put to death by Asaf Khan. After Shahryar's death, Shah Jahan ruled the empire for thirty years, until imprisoned by Aurangzeb and dying eight years later. Asaf Khan, was made the prime minister of Mughal Empire, and Nur Jahan, with an annual pension of two lakh and spent the rest of her days, confined in her palace in Lahore, along with her daughter Mihr-un-nissa Begum, the widow of Shahryar. Nur Jahan died in 1645 at age 68.
Muhi-ud-Din Muhammad (Persian: محي الدين محمد) (3 November 1618 – 3 March 1707), commonly known by the sobriquet Aurangzeb (Persian: اورنگزیب "Ornament of the Throne") or by his regnal title Alamgir (Persian: عالمگير "Conqueror of the World"), was the sixth, and widely considered the last effective Mughal emperor. His reign lasted for 49 years from 1658 until his death in 1707. Aurangzeb was a notable expansionist and during his reign, the Mughal Empire reached its greatest extent, ruling over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent. During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to 4 million square kilometres, and he ruled over a population estimated to be over 158 million subjects, with an annual yearly revenue of $450 million (more than ten times that of his contemporary Louis XIV of France), or £38,624,680 (2,879,469,894 rupees) in 1690. Under his reign, India surpassed China once again to become the world's largest economy, worth over $90 billion, nearly a quarter of world GDP in 1700. Aurangzeb has been subject to controversy and criticism for his policies that abandoned his predecessors' legacy of pluralism and religious tolerance, citing his introduction of the Jizya tax, destruction of Hindu temples, and execution of the ninth Sikh guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur while other historians question this, arguing that his destruction of temples has been exaggerated, and noting that he also built temples, also destroyed Islamic mosques, paid for the maintenance of temples, employed significantly more Hindus in his imperial bureaucracy than his predecessors did, and opposed bigotry against Hindus and Shia Muslims. It was at the end of his reign that the downfall of the Mughal Empire began. Rebellions and wars eventually led to the exhaustion of the imperial Mughal treasury and army. He was a strong-handed authoritarian ruler, and following his death the expansionary period of the Mughal Empire came to an end. Nevertheless, the contiguous territory of the Mughal Empire still remained intact more or less until the reign of Muhammad Shah.
Abu'l Faaiz Qutb-ud-Din Muhammad Azam (28 June 1653 – 8 June 1707), commonly known as Azam Shah ("King Azam"), was a titular Mughal emperor, who reigned from 14 March 1707 to 8 June 1707. He was the eldest son of the sixth Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (also known as Alamgir) and his chief consort Dilras Banu Begum. Azam was appointed as the heir-apparent (Shahi Ali Jah) to his father on 12 August 1681. He served as the Viceroy of Berar Subah, Malwa, Bengal, Gujarat, Deccan, etc. He ascended the Mughal throne in Ahmednagar upon the death of his father on 14 March 1707. However, Azam Shah and his three sons, Sultan Bidar Bakht, Shahzada Jawan Bakht Bahadur and Shahzada Sikandar Shan Bahadur, were later defeated and killed by Azam Shah's older half-brother, Prince Shah Alam (later crowned as Bahadur Shah I), during the Battle of Jajau on 8 June 1707.
Bahadur Shah (Urdu: بہادر شاه اول—Bahādur Shāh Awwal) (14 October 1643 – 27 February 1712), the seventh Mughal emperor of India, ruled from 1707 until his death in 1712. In his youth, he conspired to overthrow his father Aurangzeb, the fifth Mughal emperor, and ascend to the throne a number of times. Shah's plans were intercepted by the emperor, who imprisoned him several times. In 1663, he was also imprisoned by Marathas for seven years. From 1696 to 1707, he was governor of Akbarabad (later known as Agra), Kabul and Lahore. After Aurangzeb's death his eldest son, Muhammad Azam Shah, declared himself successor, however was shortly defeated in the Battle of Jajau and overthrown by Shah. During his reign, Shah annexed the Rajput states of Jodhpur and Amber for a short time and sparked controversy in the khutba by inserting the declaration of Ali as wali. His reign was also disturbed by several rebellions, the Sikhs under the leadership of Banda Singh Bahadur, Rajputs and fellow Mughal Kam Bakhsh. According to historian William Irvine, the emperor was in Lahore in January 1712 when his "health failed". On 24 February he made his final public appearance, and died during the night of 27–28 February; according to Mughal noble Kamwar Khan, he died of "enlargement of the spleen". On 11 April, his body was sent to Delhi under the supervision of his widow Mihr-Parwar and Chin Qilich Khan. He was buried on 15 May in the courtyard of the Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) in Mehrauli, which he built near the dargah of Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. He was succeeded by his son Jahandar Shah who ruled until 1713. Bahadur Shah was buried in the Moti Masjid at Mehrauli in Delhi.
Mirza Mu'izz-ud-Din Beig Mohammed Khan (10 May 1661 – 12 February 1713), more commonly known as Jahandar Shah, was a Mughal Emperor who ruled for a brief period in 1712–1713. Prince Jahandar Shah was born in Deccan Subah, to Emperor Bahadur Shah I and Nizam Bai, the daughter of Mirza Raja Jai Singh. He was appointed as Vizier of Balkh in 1671 by his grandfather, Aurangzeb. When their father died on 27 February 1712, he and his brother, Azim-ush-Shan, both declared themselves emperor and battled for succession. Azim-us-Shan was killed on 17 March 1712, after which Jahandar Shah ruled for an additional eleven months. Before ascending the throne, Jahandar Shah sailed around the Indian Ocean and was a very prosperous trader. He was also appointed Subedar of Sindh. He fathered three sons, including Aziz-ud-Din, who reigned as Mughal emperor between 1754 and 1759. Jahandar Shah led a frivolous life, and his court was often enlivened by dancing and entertainment. He chose a favourite wife, Lal Kunwar, who was a mere dancing girl before her elevation to the position of Queen Consort. Together they shocked the Mughal Empire and were even opposed by Aurangzeb's surviving daughter, Zinat-un-Nissa. His authority was rejected by the third Nawab of the Carnatic, Muhammed Saadatullah Khan I, who killed De Singh of Orchha, primarily due to the Nawab's belief that he was the righteous commander of the Gingee Fort. Khan began a smear campaign referring to Jahandar Shah as an usurper to the Mughal throne. To further strengthen his authority, Jahandar Shah sent gifts to the Ottoman Sultan Ahmad III. Jahandar Shah's first wife was the daughter of Mirza Mukarram Khan Safavi. The marriage took place on 13 October 1676. After her death he married her niece, Sayyid-un-nissa Begum, the daughter of Mirza Rustam. The marriage took place on 30 August 1684. Qazi Abu Sa'id united them in the presence of Emperor Aurangzeb, and Prince Muhammad Muazzam (future Bahadur Shah I). The marriage was consummated on 18 September. Sayyid-un-nissa Begum was presented with jewels worth 67,000 rupees. The celebrations were supervised by Princess Zinat-un-nissa Begum. His third wife was Anup Bai who held the title of Muazzamabadi Mahal. She was the mother of Prince Muhammad Aziz-ud-din Mirza, born on 6 June 1699. She died at Delhi on 17 April 1735, nineteen years before her son's accession to the throne as Emperor Alamgir II. His fourth wife was Lal Kunwar Begum, the daughter of Khasusiyat Khan. Jahandar Shah was very fond of her, and after his accession to the throne, he gave her the title Imtiyaz Mahal.
Abu'l Muzaffar Muin ud-din Muhammad Shah Farrukh-siyar Alim Akbar Sani Wala Shan Padshah-i-bahr-u-bar (Shahid-i-Mazlum), or Farrukhsiyar (20 August 1685 – 19 April 1719), was the Mughal emperor from 1713 to 1719 after he murdered Jahandar Shah. Reportedly a handsome man who was easily swayed by his advisers, he lacked the ability, knowledge and character to rule independently. Farrukhsiyar was the son of Azim-ush-Shan (the second son of emperor Bahadur Shah I) and Sahiba Nizwan. His reign saw the primacy of the Sayyid brothers, who became the effective power behind the façade of Mughal rule. Farrukhsiyar's frequent plotting led the brothers to depose him.
Rafi-ul Darjat (1 December 1699 – 13 June 1719), the youngest son of Rafi-ush-Shan and the nephew of Azim ush Shan, was the 10th Mughal Emperor. He succeeded Furrukhsiyar on 28 February 1719, being proclaimed Badshah by the Syed Brothers. As Rafi-ul Darajat owed his throne to the Syed Brothers they took full advantage of this. They wanted him to be a puppet ruler and so took steps to curtail his power. The previous emperor Furrukhsiyar was deposed by the Syed Brothers as he had tried to maintain his independence. The reign of Rafi Ul-Darjat was one of turbulence. On 18 May 1719, less than three months after his own accession, Rafi Ul-Darjat's uncle, Nekusiyar, assumed the throne at the Agra Fort as he thought he was more eligible for the post. The Syed Brothers were extremely determined to defend the emperor they had raised to the throne and punish the offender. They swiftly succeeded. Only three months after Nekusiyar's enthronement, the fort surrendered and Nekusiyar was captured. He was respectfully received by the Amir Ul-Umara and confined at Salimgarh where he died in 1723. Before dying, Rafi-ud-Darajat requested that his elder brother be enthroned. Accordingly, on 6 June 1719, after a reign of 3 months and six days, he was dethroned. Two days later his brother, Rafi ud-Daulah, was enthroned. Rafi Ul-Darjat died of lung cancer or was murdered at Agra, 13 June 1719. His remains were interred near the shrine of Sufi saint Khawaja Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli in Delhi.
Shah Jahan II (شاه جہان دوم) (June 1696 – 19 September 1719, birth name Rafi ud-Daulah رفی الدولت) was Mughal emperor for a brief period in 1719. He was cousin of Farrukhsiyar and brother of Rafi Ul-Darjat. He succeeded his short-lived brother Rafi Ul-Darjat in that year, being proclaimed Badshah by the Syed Brothers. After Farrukhsiyar was assassinated by the Syed Brothers, Rafi Ul-Darjat was placed on the throne.
Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Shah (born Roshan Akhtar) (7 August 1702 – 26 April 1748) was Mughal emperor from 1719 to 1748. He was son of Khujista Akhtar, the fourth son of Bahadur Shah I. With the help of the Sayyid brothers, he ascended the throne at the young age of 17. He later got rid of them with the help of Asaf Jah I – Syed Hussain Ali Khan was murdered at Fatehpur Sikri in 1720 and Syed Hassan Ali Khan Barha was fatally poisoned in 1722. Muhammad Shah was a great patron of the arts, including musical, cultural and administrative developments. His pen-name was Sada Rangila ("ever joyous") and he is often referred to as "Muhammad Shah Rangila". Although he was a patron of the arts, Muhammad Shah's reign was marked by rapid and irreversible decline of the Mughal Empire. The Mughal Empire was already decaying, but the invasion by Nader Shah of Persia and the subsequent sacking of Delhi, the Mughal capital, greatly accelerated the pace. The course of events not only shocked and mortified the Mughals themselves, but also foreign invaders, including the British.
Ahmad Shah Bahadur, Mirza Ahmad Shah, Mujahid-ud-Din Ahmad Shah Ghazi (23 December 1725 – 1 January 1775) was born to Mughal Emperor Muhammad Shah. He succeeded his father to the throne as the 15th Mughal Emperor in 1748 at the age of 22. When Ahmed Shah Bahadur came to power the rule of the Mughal Empire was collapsing, furthermore his administrative weaknesses eventually led to the rise of the usurping Feroze Jung III. Ahmed Shah Bahadur inherited a much weakened Mughal state. He was emperor in title for six years, but left all affairs of state to rivalling factions. He was deposed by the Vizier Feroze Jung III and later blinded along with his mother. He spent the remaining years of his life in prison and died of natural causes in January 1775.
Aziz-ud-din Alamgir II (6 June 1699 – 29 November 1759), (عالمگير ثانی) was the Mughal Emperor of India from 3 June 1754 to 29 November 1759. He was the son of Jahandar Shah. Aziz-ud-Din, the second son of Jahandar Shah, was raised to the throne by Imad-ul-Mulk after he deposed Ahmad Shah Bahadur in 1754. On ascending the throne, he took the title of Alamgir and tried to follow the approach of Aurangzeb Alamgir. At the time of his accession to throne he was an old man of 55 years. He had no experience of administration and warfare as he had spent most of his life in jail. He was a weak ruler, with all powers vested in the hand of his vizier, Ghazi-ud-Din Imad-ul-Mulk. In 1756, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded India once again and captured Delhi and plundered Mathura. Marathas became more powerful because of their collaboration with Imad-ul-Mulk, and dominated the whole of northern India. This was the peak of Maratha expansion, which caused great trouble for the Mughal Empire, already weak with no strong ruler. Relations between Alamgir II and his usurping vizier, Imad-ul-Mulk had now deteriorated. He was murdered by Imad-ul-Mulk. Alamgir II's son Ali Gauhar escaped persecution from Delhi, while Shah Jahan III was placed on the throne.
Shah Jahan III (1711 – 1772), (شاه جہان ۳) also known as Muhi-ul-millat was Mughal Emperor briefly. He was the son of Muhi-us-sunnat, the eldest son of Muhammad Kam Baksh who was the youngest son of Aurangzeb. He was placed on the Mughal throne in December 1759 as a result of the intricacies in Delhi with the help of Imad-ul-Mulk. He was later deposed by Maratha Sardars.
Ali Gauhar (25 June 1728 – 19 November 1806), historically known as Shah Alam II, was the sixteenth Mughal Emperor and the son of Alamgir II. Shah Alam II became the emperor of a crumbling Mughal empire. His power was so depleted during his reign that it led to a saying in the Persian language, Sultanat-e-Shah Alam, Az Dilli ta Palam, meaning, 'The kingdom of Shah Alam is from Delhi to Palam', Palam being a suburb of Delhi. Shah Alam faced many invasions, mainly by the Emir of Afghanistan, Ahmed Shah Abdali, which led to the Third Battle of Panipat between the Maratha Empire, who maintained suzerainty over Mughal affairs in Delhi and the Afghans led by Abdali. In 1760, the invading forces of Abdali were driven away by the Marathas, led by Sadashivrao Bhau, who deposed Shah Jahan III, the puppet Mughal emperor of Feroze Jung III, and installed Shah Alam II as the rightful emperor under the Maratha suzerainty. Shah Alam II was considered the only and rightful emperor, but he wasn't able to return to Delhi until 1772, under the protection of the Maratha general Mahadaji Shinde. He also fought against the British East India Company at the Battle of Buxar. Shah Alam II authored his own Diwan of poems and was known by the pen-name Aftab. His poems were guided, compiled and collected by Mirza Fakhir Makin.
Mahmud Shah Bahadur (1749 – 1790), was Mughal Emperor of India for a brief period in 1788 as a puppet of Ghulam Qadir, after Shah Alam II had been deposed and blinded. He was the son of the former Mughal Emperor Ahmad Shah Bahadur. He was deposed in the same year by the Marathas and killed in 1790 on the orders of Emperor Shah Alam II, though it was he who had helped Shah Alam II during his brief reign by sending him water and food secretly when Ghulam Qadir had ordered that no food or water be supplied to the deposed Emperor. He had been made Subahdar of Punjab on 12 November 1752 as a child. Shahzada Bidar Bakht was born to Emperor Ahmad Shah in the year 1749, and afterwards given the titles Mahmud Shah Bahadur and Banka (champion). Little is known about his childhood except that he was appointed as the titular Subahdar (governor) of the province of Punjab on 12 November 1752 (when in fact, the province had already been ceded to Ahmad Shah Abdali). After his father's deposition in 1754, he was kept in confinement in the Salatin quarters of Delhi, where the progeny of all previous Mughal Emperors resided in poverty and neglect. As a result, these princes had in them a desire to be named Mughal Emperor at any cost, even though they knew that their reigns, imposed only through usurpation of any previous emperor's rule, would likely be short and fatal. This would manifest itself very clearly in the case of Prince Mahmud Shah. In 1788, Ghulam Qadir took over the Red Fort of Delhi from Emperor Shah Alam II's supporters through false promises, and an opportunity presented itself to the children of the ex-emperor Ahmad Shah. The ex-queens, Malika-uz-Zamani and Sahiba Begum, widows of emperor Muhammad Shah, entreated Ghulam Qadir to place Prince Mahmud Shah, the eldest living son of Ahmad Shah, as the new emperor, upon payment of 1.2 million Rupees. Ghulam Qadir, already looking for a way lo legitimize to some extent his treatment of the Timurid family, accepted. Hence, Mahmud Shah ascended the throne on 31 July as Nasir-ud-Din Muhammad Kuchuk Jahan Shah Padshah Ghazi. But his titular reign was full of misery. The plunder of the palaces had begun the previous day, and after some time, when the ex-emperor's immediate family had been robbed of all wealth, Mahmud Shah's turn came next. Ghulam Qadir plundered the female quarters, the widows of Muhammad Shah, and even took away Bidar Bakht's only kingly ornament, a string of pearls round his neck. Finally Mahadji Sindhia's forces arrived to the rescue of Shah Alam II. Attacking the Rohilla forces of Ghulam Qadir, they imposed a blockade on Delhi by the beginning of October. The situation became so dire that grain sold at 2 rupees a seer in Delhi, and Ghulam Qadir escaped from the city on 12 October, taking with him Mahmud Shah and some sons of Shah Alam II as prisoner. Mahmud Shah was deposed in absentia on 16 October 1788, upon Sindhia's capture of Delhi City. He was afterwards captured from the Rohillas. Mahmud Shah was allegedly put to death in 1790 by order of Shah Alam II, supposedly for usurping his authority in 1788. He left behind 2 daughters.
Akbar II (22 April 1760 – 28 September 1837), also known as Akbar Shah II, was the penultimate Mughal emperor of India. He reigned from 1806 to 1837. He was the second son of Shah Alam II and the father of Bahadur Shah II. Akbar had little de facto power due to the increasing British influence of India through the East India Company.He sent Ram Mohan Roy as an ambassador to Britain and gave him the title of Raja. During his regime, in 1835, the East India Company (EIC) discontinued calling itself subject of the Mughal Emperor and issuing coins in his name. The Persian lines in the Company's coins to this effect were deleted. He is credited with starting the Hindu-Muslim unity festival Phool Walon Ki Sair. His grave lies next to the dargah of 13th century Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki at Mehrauli.
Mirza Abu Zafar Sirajuddin Muhammad Bahadur Shah Zafar (24 October 1775 – 7 November 1862) was the last Mughal emperor. He was the second son of and became the successor to his father, Akbar II, upon his death on 28 September 1837. He was a nominal Emperor, as the Mughal Empire existed in name only and his authority was limited only to the city of Delhi (Shahjahanbad). Following his involvement in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British exiled him to Rangoon in British-controlled Burma, after convicting him on conspiracy charges. Zafar's father, Akbar II had been imprisoned by the British and he was not his father’s preferred choice as his successor. One of Akbar Shah's queens, Mumtaz Begum, pressured him to declare her son, Mirza Jahangir, as his successor. However, The East India Company exiled Jahangir after he attacked their resident, in the Red Fort, paving the way for Zafar to assume the throne.
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