Shah Alam || (1759-1806)

 
Reign
24 December 1759-19 November 1806
Coronation
24 December 1759
Full name
'Abdu'llah Jalal ud-din Abu'l Muzaffar Ham ud-din Muhammad 'Ali Gauhar Shah-i-'Alam II
Born
25 June 1728(1728-06-25)
Birthplace
Delhi
Died
19 November 1806 (aged 78)
Place of death
Red Fort, Delhi
Buried
Red Fort, Delhi
Predecessor
Shah Jahan III
Successor
Akbar Shah II
Wife
Nawab Taj Mahal Begum Sahiba
Offspring
Over 50 sons and daughters
Dynasty
Timurid
Father
Alamgir II
Mother
Nawab Zinat Mahal Sahiba
Shah Alam II (1728–1806), also known as Ali Gauhar, was a Mughal emperor of India. He inherited the throne from his father, Alamgir II as Shah Alam II (1761–1805).After the murder of Alamgir II, his son Ali Gauhar succeeded him by taking the title of Shah Alam. Emperor Shah Alam was an ornamental figurehead with the reigns of government actually under the control of his Wazir, Ghazi-ud-Din.

Ghazi-ud-Din by his deceitful dealings had created around him a host of enemies, and in order to defeat them he sided with the Maratthas. During the reign of Alamgir II in 1758, the Maratthas had occupied Lahore and deposed Timur Shah who had been appointed a year earlier as viceroy by his father, Ahmad Shah Abdali. In August 1759, the Afghan monarch Ahmad Shah Abdali entered India. It took him almost two years to deal a fatal blow to Maratthas in the third battle of Panipat, fought on June 14, 1761. Consequently, the power of the Maratthas was crushed .

After the battle of Panipat, Ahmed Shah Abdali left the throne of Delhi to Shah Alam with Najib-ud-Daula as his Wazir. From 1761 to 1771, the capital was without a king. Shah Alam, after his unsuccessful effort to defeat the British in the Battle of Buxar in 1764, was taken in as the prisoner and did not return to Delhi till 1772. By giving the Diwani of Bengal, Bihar and Orrisa to the East India Company, Shah Alam strengthened British control over the Indian Sub-continent. After the death of Najib-ud-Daula, Shah Alam remained a puppet in the hands of the ministers and the Maraatthas. He appointed Sindhia, a Maraattha leader, as in-charge of the administration of Delhi.

In an expeditions against Dabitah Khan, who was earlier appointed as Mir Bakhsi by Shah Alam, the entire family of Dabitah Khan and other Rohilla leader were arrested and severely humiliated. Among them was Dabitahs son, Ghulam Qadir Rohilla, who was castrated and made to serve as a page in the palace. In September 1787, Ghulam Qadir Rohilla forced the emperor to appoint him as Mir Bakhshi and Regent. He then had to leave Delhi dues to differences with the emperor, but the next year he entered Delhi to take revenge. He blinded Shah Alam with great cruelty and subjected the inmates of the palace, princes and princesses to severely hardship and humiliation. Sindhia, however, hunted him down and the blinded Shah Alam was restored as the king.

Sindhia continue to be the overlord of Delhi till he was defeated by Lord Lake in 1803. The British, whose control over India was almost complete, didn't disturb Shah Alam who was a king only in name, and continued to rule till his death in 1806. Read About battle Of Buxar .

Battle of Buxar

 

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