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Akbar

was succeeded by his son Jahangir who ruled from 1605 till 1627. As it normally happens with successors of greater characters, his reign passed without any added glory. It is even mentioned that the one who really ruled the Empire was his wife Nur Jahan who was of Persian origin. This, let the Iranian side of Persia enter the power spheres of the Moguls Empire. There was no further expansion happened until Shah Jahan, grandson of Akbar, who ruled from 1627 till 1658.

his reign the final independent states of the Deccan broke and had to accept the Moguls supremacy. This situation was the result not only of political pressures but of an extraordinary drought that thrashed Golkunda, Bijapur and Ahmadnagar draining them to famine. For the years to come they were going to be considered tributary states. The relations between Golkunda and Bijapur were particularly problematic within the Empire, because these reigns were Shiites while the Moguls were Sunnites.
Under

During Shah reign the religious policies suffered a big turn around. He considered himself a full hearted Muslim, although it is said that this acquiring of consciousness obeyed to political interest, as he was seeking the support of the Indian Muslims (Sunnites) against the Persians from Kandahar (Shiites). Suddenly, the rituals of the court were all Muslim and the rights granted to the rest of the religions (profession, public adoration and summoning, etc.) were all abolished, while favors and preferences were granted to those who converted to Islam.

Blasphemers

were executed. A new law was issued (although never fully respected) that obliged the different courts to hire only Muslims for the posts. Shahs place in the throne was taken by his son Auzrangzeb (1658 1707)

Aurangzeb

became the first ruler in India to achieve that which so many other had attempted: to create a unified Empire that covered all the realms of India, were they Buddhist, Hindi, Muslim or even Christian. At the end of his reign everything from the Mountains of Afghanistan down to the borders with Lanka belonged to the Moguls.

His

ascendance to the throne became sort of a legend: In 1657 the news that Shah Jahan was terminally ill reached the courts. This was like a call to arms for his 4 sons, all of them governors of a subah. The sons were: 1) Dara Shikoh (the favorite of the Emperor, governor of the Panjab and Allahabad); 2) Murad, governor of Gujarat; 3) Shah Shuja, governor of Bengala and 4) Aurangzeb, governor of the Deccan.

The biggest rivalry was between the older, Dara, and the youngest, Aurangzeb. The interest of Dara lead to the northern part of India, while Aurangzeb was a conquest driven impetuous guy who, according to the elder brother, endangered the Empire (even if the young commander seemed to be quite victorious in his campaigns). In reality, he (as well as his father before dying) were suspicious that Aurangzeb wanted to create his own Empire in the south and become independent from the central power.

Religion was another issue. Dara flirted with Sufism and Indian mysticism just as Akbar. He even wrote Sufi biographies of Saints, chants and books that seemed to transport a lot of the Veda books to the Muslim culture. He even translated the Upanishads to Persian. Aurangzeb was a firm Muslim defender of Islam strong opponent of Brahmanism (he destroyed temples and blocked Rajput decisions). Using his brothers religious tendency and the acceptance his father observed to him and his beliefs, he imprisoned his father and usurped the throne.

Dara

was able to flee and organize a movement of resistance. But he was terminally defeated in 1658 by Aurangzeb forces and executed. Shah remained in prision and lived eight years more (!!). The remaining two brothers supported Auranzeb in the beginning, but betrayed him as soon as they considered the time was the right one. Both were defeated and killed.

The

expansion under the new Emperor obeyed the following logic: The first half of his expansion period until 1681, he concentrated on the northern part of India. After that he moved to the south until his dead in 1707.