Aurangzeb also destroyed what was the most famous temple in Varanasi, Vishwanath Temple, dedicated to Shiva.
The Sikhs of Punjab grew both in strength and numbers in rebellion against Aurangzeb's armies.
Aurangzeb agreed, but as the Sikhs fled, the Mughals attacked in betrayal of the agreement.
In both instances, Shah Jahan called off the attacks near the moment of Aurangzeb's triumph.
Up until Aurangzeb's reign, Indian Islam had been informed by mystical Sufi precepts.
The old emperor surrendered the Red Fort of Agra to Aurangzeb's nobles, but Aurangzeb refused any meeting with his father, declaring that Dara was his enemy.
The new governor relaxed enforcement of Aurangzeb's edicts, and an uneasy peace ensued.
When the tolerant Muslim kingdoms of Golconda and Bijapur fell beneath Aurangzeb's might, rebellious Hindus flocked to join Shivaji and the Maratha Confederacy.
Aurangzeb's son Akbar left the Mughal court and joined with Sambhaji, inspiring some Mughal forces to join the Marathas.
Aurangzeb for the next few years ignored the rise of the Marathas.
Aurangzeb's military skill proved successful, and the story of how he spread his prayer rug and prayed in the midst of battle brought him much fame.
A series of bloody battles followed, with troops loyal to Aurangzeb battering Dara's armies.
After Aurangzeb's death, new leadership arose among the Marathas, who soon became unified under the rule of the Peshwas.
Soon after, however his youngest brother Murad Baksh, with secret promises of support from Aurangzeb, declared himself emperor in Gujarat.
Gobind Singh sent Aurangzeb an eloquent yet defiant letter entitled the Zafarnama (Notification of Victory), accusing the emperor of treachery, and claiming a moral victory.
Aurangzeb kept Shah Jahan under house arrest at the Red Fort in Agra.
On receipt of this letter, Aurangzeb invited Gobind Singh to meet in Ahmednagar, but Aurangzeb died before Gobind Singh arrived.
When its Maharaja Jaswant Singh died in 1679, Aurangzeb seized control of Jodhpur, destroying many temples.
Aurangzeb sent an army of ten thousand, including his Imperial Guard, and put the rebellion down at great cost of life.
In 1647, Shah Jahan made him governor of Balkh and Badakhshan (near modern Turkmenistan and Afghanistan), replacing Aurangzeb's ineffective brother Murad Baksh.
Shah Jahan followed the Mughal practice of assigning authority to his sons, and in 1634 made Aurangzeb governor of the Deccan.
In 1679, contrary to the advice of many of his court nobles and theologians, Aurangzeb reimposed the Jizyah tax on non-Muslims.
Following his coronation in 1659, Aurangzeb sent his trusted general and maternal uncle Shaista Khan to the Deccan to recover his lost forts.
Legends about the cruelty of this execution abound, including stories that Aurangzeb had Dara's severed head sent to Shah Jahan.
Aurangzeb captured Sambhaji and publicly tortured and killed him in 1688.
Most significantly, Aurangzeb initiated laws that specifically interfered with non-Muslim worship.
In 1671, Aurangzeb issued an order that only Muslims could be landlords of crown lands.
Aurangzeb gave a wide berth to the Rajputs, who were mostly Hindu.
After Aurangzeb's death, his son Bahadur Shah I took the throne, and the Mughal Empire, due both to Aurangzeb's overextension and cruelty, and to Bahadur's weak military and leadership qualities, entered a long decline.
Aurangzeb killed all four of Gobind Singh's sons and decimated much of the Sikh army.
Aurangzeb's eldest brother, Dara Shikoh, was regarded as heir apparent, but the succession proved far from certain.
At last, Aurangzeb sent his Jaipuri general Jai Singh, a Hindu, to attack the Marathas.
Aurangzeb, ostensibly in support of Murad, marched north from Aurangabad, gathering support from nobles and generals.
Aurangzeb pushed into the northwest—into Punjab, and what is now Afghanistan.
Aurangzeb in response moved his court to Aurangabad and took over command of the Deccan campaign.
Aurangzeb for many represents an anti-hero, an example of someone whose rule exacerbated enmity between different peoples and tended to divide person from person.
Whatever his motivation, among the temples Aurangzeb destroyed were two most sacred to Hindus, in Varanasi and Mathura.
Aurangzeb gave up the Hindu-inspired practices of former Mughal emperors, especially the practice of “darshan,” or public appearances to bestow blessings, which had been commonplace since the time of Akbar.
Without much effort, one can follow a direct line from Aurangzeb to many of the political and religious conflicts of the present day.
In 1661, Aurangzeb ordered the demolition of the temple, and constructed the Katra Masjid mosque.
In 1644, Aurangzeb's sister Jahanara Begum was seriously burnt in Agra.
To demonstrate a spirit of unity and tolerance, the guru agreed to help the brahmins: He told them to inform Aurangzeb that the brahmins would convert only if Guru Tegh Bahadur himself was converted.
Aurangzeb's policies did much to drive the Hindu and Muslim communities apart, which was later exacerbated by British policy, which may have deliberately perpetuated communitarian division since this justified their continued rule.
Aurangzeb installed his son Bahadur Shah as governor of the northwest territories, including Sikh-controlled parts of Punjab.
From the beginning of his reign, Aurangzeb permitted and encouraged the defacement and destruction of Hindu temples.
Aurangzeb's influence continues through the centuries, affecting not only India, but Asia and the world.
In 1659, Aurangzeb arranged a formal coronation in Delhi.
Aurangzeb suffered his father's displeasure when returning to Agra three weeks after the event.
In 1652, Aurangzeb was again appointed governor of the Deccan.
After Jahangir's death in 1627, Aurangzeb returned to live with his parents.
In an effort to raise additional revenues, Aurangzeb attacked the border kingdoms of Golconda (near Hyderabad) (1657), and Bijapur (1658).
Aurangzeb began to enact and enforce a series of edicts—with less tolerance for non-Muslims, and with harsh punishments.
Aurangzeb ordered its demolition in 1669 and constructed a mosque on the site, whose minarets stand 71 meters above the Ganges.
Aurangzeb used vast military might to expand and consolidate the Mughal Empire, at high cost.
Aurangzeb later claimed (1654) to have resigned the post in protest of his father favoring Dara.
Early in Aurangzeb's reign, various insurgent groups of Sikhs engaged Mughal troops in increasingly bloody battles.
During his reign, many hundreds—perhaps many thousands—of temples were desecrated: facades and interiors were defaced and their murtis (images, considered idols by Aurangzeb) looted.
Aurangzeb regarded this popularity as a potential threat, and was determined to subdue it.
Aurangzeb waged continual war for more than two decades with no resolution.
During Aurangzeb's reign many Indians converted to Islam.