What were the Causes of Aurangzeb’s failure in the Deccan?


There were so many causes of Aurangzeb’s failure in the Deccan, but the most important causes were as under:

Aurangzeb Aiamgir (1658-1707)

The main cause of Aurangzeb’s failure in the Deccan is to be found in the contrast between the characters of the Mughals and the Marathas, If the Mughals had been the same hardy warriors that Babur led from the valleys of the Hindukush or if the Rajputs had supported them with all their might, the Marathas would have been allowed a short shrift.


However, Aurangzeb had alienated The Rajputs and they were not prepared to risk their lives for him for destroying those who were after all Hindus. Moreover, three or four generations of court-life had ruined the manliness of the Mughals. Instead of hardy swordsmen, they had become padded dandies.

They were wadding under their heavy armor. They luxuriated in comfortable saddles and velvet housings and bails and ornaments of their charges. They were adorned for procession when they should have been in rough campaigning out-fit. Their camp was as splendid and luxurious as if they were on guard at the Palace at Delhi. The Mughal Soldiers grumbled if their tents were not furnished as comfortable as in the quarters at Agra.

Their requirements attracted an immense crowd of camp-followers twenty times as numerous as the effective strength. About Aurangzeb’s camp at Galgala in 1695, Dr. Careri observes this: “I was told that the forces in this camp amounted to 60, 000 horses and 100, 000 on foot, for whose baggage there were 50,000 camels and 3,000 elephants; but that the settlers, merchants and artificers’ were much more numerous, the whole camp being a living city containing five millions of souls and abounding not only in provisions but in ail things that could be desired.

There were 250 bazaars or markets, every Amir or general having one to serve his men. In short, the whole camp was thirty miles about.” It cannot be denied that such an army was like a plague of locusts in a country and it ate up everything. Whenever the supplies of Mughal Annies were cut by the Marathas, famine followed.


The dilatory tactics of the Mughal Generals were also responsible for their failure. It is pointed out that Zul-Fikar, the best of officers of Aurangzeb, held treasonable parleys with the enemy and intentionally delayed a siege in the hope that the aged Emperor would die any moment and leave him in command of the troops.

Obviously, such generals and such soldiers were no match for the Marathas. It is true that the Mughals were more in numbers and resources and they could defeat the Marathas in pitched battles but the Marathas followed guerrilla tactics and refused to be drawn into a pitched battle. It is also true that the Mughals could conquer a fort by their lengthy sieges, but the Marathas had many forts and consequently this advantage of the Mughals did not help them was one long series of petty victories followed by larger losses.

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