This day in 1707 marked the death of the great Indian ruler Aurangzeb, very likely the richest and most powerful man in the world in his time. Aurangzeb is remembered in Indian history as the man who autocratically ruled over their greatest empire. He bore the title of “Great Mughal”, which signified the ruler of the Mughal Empire.
Unfortunately, Aurangzeb was a particularly intolerant ruler who persecuted other religions, and so became hated throughout India. Namely, Aurangzeb was an orthodox Muslim and sought to impose his religion on the entire Indian subcontinent, which kindled resentment among millions of local Hindus.
Aurangzeb’s Mughal Empire was a greater power than any that existed in India before it. It is estimated that Aurangzeb had over 150 million subjects, almost a quarter of the estimated world population at that time. His empire encompassed today’s India and Pakistan, and even a part of Afghanistan.
In comparison, the most powerful European ruler in Aurangzeb’s time was the famous Louis XIV (the Sun King). However, Louis’s kingdom was actually rather small in comparison to Aurangzeb’s. It did not have even 20 million inhabitants. In fact, the whole of Europe probably had no more than 120 million people.
Aurangzeb’s income was many times higher than Louis’s. For example, Aurangzeb had a mobile capital which allegedly comprised 500,000 people, 50,000 camels, and 30,000 elephants.