Muhi-ud-Din MuhammadÂ (Persian:Â Ù…ØÙŠ Ø§Ù„Ø¯ÙŠÙ† Ù…ØÙ…Ø¯â€Ž) (3 November 1618 â€“ 3 March 1707),Â commonly known by theÂ sobriquetAurangzebÂ (Persian:Â Ø§ÙˆØ±Ù†Ú¯â€ŒØ²ÛŒØ¨â€Ž “Ornament of the Throne”)Â or by his regnal titleÂ AlamgirÂ (Persian:Â Ø¹Ø§Ù„Ù…Ú¯ÙŠØ±â€Ž “Conqueror of the World”),Â was the sixth, and widely considered the last effectiveÂ Mughal emperor. His reign lasted for 49 years from 1658 until his death in 1707.
Aurangzeb was a notable expansionist and during his reign, theÂ Mughal EmpireÂ reached its greatest extent, ruling over nearly all of theÂ Indian subcontinent.Â During his lifetime, victories in the south expanded the Mughal Empire to 4Â million square kilometres,Â and he ruled over a population estimated to be over 158 million subjects,Â with an annual yearly revenue of $450 million (more than ten times that of his contemporaryÂ Louis XIV of France),Â or Â£38,624,680 (2,879,469,894 rupees) in 1690.Â Under his reign, India surpassedÂ ChinaÂ once again to become the world’s largest economy, worth over $90 billion, nearly a quarter ofÂ world GDPÂ in 1700.
Aurangzeb has been subject to controversy and criticismÂ for his policies that abandoned his predecessors’ legacy of pluralism and religious tolerance, citing his introduction of theÂ JizyaÂ tax, destruction ofÂ Hindu temples, execution orÂ forced conversionÂ of his non-Muslim subjects to Islam and execution of the ninthÂ SikhÂ guru,Â Guru Tegh Bahadur.Â [a]Â while a minority of historians question this, arguing that his destruction of temples has been exaggerated,Â and noting that he also built temples,Â also destroyed IslamicÂ mosques, paid for the maintenance of temples,Â employed significantly moreÂ HindusÂ in his imperial bureaucracy than his predecessors did, and opposed bigotry against Hindus andÂ Shia Muslims.
It was at the end of his reign that the downfall of the Mughal Empire began due to his policy of religious intolerance. 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 ofÂ Muhammad Shah.