Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire

Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire by Robert Orme (1728–1801) was Orme’s last publication. This edition of the book was published posthumously. In this, Orme describes the story of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707), and his efforts to conquer the Deccan. He focuses mainly on the expanding Maratha power under Chhatrapati Shivaji (1630-1680) and the onset of British… Read more »

Reading between the lines

From medieval coins to colonial-era photography, we bring a diverse array of objects from our collection that reinforce the arguments made by Saubiya Chasmawala’s art

East India Company, Silver Rupee (Rupiya) of Chinapattam Mint

The East India Company (EIC) had established themselves in the village town called ‘Madrasapattam’ (now Chennai) in 1639-1640. This became the first major English settlement in India. In 1687, Aurangzeb’s conquest of Golconda and Bijapur led to the introduction of silver coins in southern India. The EIC sought permission from the Mughal Empire to mint… Read more »

Muhammad Shah, Silver Rupee of Kolhapur Mint

In the years following Aurangzeb’s death in 1707, the lustre of the Mughal empire began to dull. Territories shrunk as three emperors came and went, dispatched speedily by enemies and influential noblemen. But even in these uncertain times, one managed stay on and reign for 29 years. Roshan Akhtar Muhammad Shah, popularly known as Rangeela,… Read more »

Aurangzeb, Silver Coin of Gingee Mint

Gingee was a formidable fort in southern Arcot in the erstwhile Carnatic region. It was captured by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in 1677 and remained in the hands of the Marathas until 1698. In this year, Shivaji’s son Rajaram Bhosle I ensconced himself in the fort in response to Aurangzeb’s advancing armies in the kingdom. Mughal… Read more »

Aurangzeb, Silver Coin of Chinnapattam Mint

The emperor of Hindustan from 1658 to 1707, Aurangzeb was driven by a coruscating ambition. The Mughal empire burgeoned to its maximum size under his reign. However, he was a conservative when it came to coin design. Read more about how the personality of an emperor got imprinted on the coins issued by him in… Read more »

Delhi; The Pearl Mosque or the Moti Masjid

Inscription Recto “Bourne 1351. THE MOTEE MUSJID. DELHI.1351”. This is an image of the Moti Masjid situated inside the Red Fort in Delhi. It was built by Aurangzeb and served as his private mosque, the entre structure is built of marble with inlays in black stone. The photograph shows the front of the mosque including… Read more »

Farrukhsiyar, Gold Fanam

The great-grandson of Aurangzeb is best known for setting a series of unfortunate events in motion. Thanks to Muhammed Farrukhsiyar’s tenuous hold on the throne of the empire, his reign (1713 to 1719 CE) marked a crucial shift in power from the emperor to the court ministers or kingmakers. The ones in question here were… Read more »

Aurangazeb, Silver

Aurangzeb Alamgir forbade the use of the Kalima on coins, as he did not want it be defiled by usage. However, he did keep the tradition of inscribing couplets on Imperial coins. This silver coin bears the “Mihir-e-Munir” couplet on the reverse, which reads “SIKKA-ZAD DAR-JAHAN MEHRE MUNIR SHAH AURANGZEB ALAMGIR”. In English this translates… Read more »