New Book Dives Deep into the Love Life of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb

Every now and then, there is a debate whether Aurangzeb was a villain or a hero. Such debates become even more important when very few people know about his personal life.

Aurangzeb had two Hindu wives-one a Rajput named Udaipuri and another Nawab Bai. Udaipuri was so much in love with the sixth Mughal emperor that she had expressed her wish to perform ‘sati’ if Aurangzeb died before her. This fact was mentioned by Aurangzeb himself in a letter to his son Kambaksh. Interestingly, the two died within months in 1707. This is also mentioned in the Ruqqat-e-Alamgiri which was later translated by H Billimoria in English as ‘Latters of Aurangzeb’.

Aurangzeb has always been portrayed as an anti-Hindu ruler in the Indian history. There are still many unanswered questions over Aurangzeb’s decisions including orders to destroy temples in various Indian cities.

Journalist Afsar Ahmed has tried to answer many such questions in his latest book titled “Aurangzeb: Nayak ya Khalnayak (Villain or Hero)”. The first part of the book chronicles Aurangzeb’s childhood to power struggles he was part of.

There are anecdotes about his fondness for Sanskrit, his love life and his daredevil fights with elephants. Planned as a six volume series, it gives delicious insights into Aurangzeb’s tenure.

In the first volume of the book, the author discusses that there are several inconsistencies about the mother of Kambaksh, who is said to be the son of Udaipuri. Some argue that Kambaksh’s mother was a Georgian slave. Others claim that Kambaksh’s mother was a Rajput Hindu belonging to Sisodia clan.

Especially Major Tod, who wrote Rajput history, and Grant Duff, who wrote Maratha history, claim that Aurangzeb’s wife Udaipuri was actually a Rajput woman from Udaipur.

The book also fact-checks details of the last powerful Mughal emperor. It’s available online now.

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