Muhammad Shah

Muhammad Shah was the successor to the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The powerful Saiyid brothers helped enthrone him at the age of seventeen. He was known as Rangila (colourful) due to his flamboyant lifestyle. He ruled Delhi, the capital of the Mughal Empire, for 30 years. He built numerous monuments during his reign.

During his reign, Muhammad Shah had to face two major raids on Delhi. The first raid carried out by the Turkish Shah of Persia (Iran), Nadir Shah, in 1739. Muhammad Shah was defeated in the battle of Karnal, now in Haryana. Nadir Shah massacred and sacked the city. Although the empire was returned back to Muhammad Shah, Nadir Shah carried away the famous Peacock Throne, the Koh-i-Noor Diamond and a huge amount of wealth.

The second raid on Delhi took place 18 years later in 1757. This time Delhi was invaded by an Afghan leader called Ahmad Shah Abdali, who also looted the city. Ahmad Shah Abdali appointed a local chieftain, Najib Khan, as his chief agent in Delhi. This weakened the Mughal Empire further.

Updated on 7th June, 2005


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