The name Alamzeb holds a special place in the history of India, particularly during the Mughal era. Alamzeb was one of the last great Mughal emperors who ruled over a vast empire that encompassed a significant part of the Indian subcontinent. However, there is an intriguing mystery surrounding Alamzeb’s real name that has puzzled historians and scholars for centuries.

Exploring the Enigma

Alamzeb, also known as Aurangzeb, was born on October 24, 1618, as the sixth Mughal emperor, the son of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The mystery behind Alamzeb’s real name lies in his decision to adopt the title Aurangzeb after he ascended to the throne. It is believed that Alamzeb chose the title Aurangzeb for its symbolic and strategic significance, rather than using his original name.

Unraveling the Origins of the Name

The name Aurangzeb has Persian origins, with “Aurang” meaning “throne” or “crown” and “zeb” translating to “adorned” or “ornamented.” Therefore, by adopting the name Aurangzeb, the emperor sought to assert his legitimacy and authority as the rightful heir to the Mughal throne. It was a common practice among Mughal emperors to adopt titles that conveyed power, glory, and divine mandate.

Significance of the Name Change

Alamzeb’s decision to change his name to Aurangzeb was not merely a symbolic gesture but a calculated move to establish his individuality and mark his reign distinct from his predecessors. By choosing a new title, Aurangzeb aimed to break away from the shadow of his father Shah Jahan, known for his grand architectural projects like the Taj Mahal, and carve out his legacy based on his own accomplishments and policies.

Evaluating Aurangzeb’s Legacy

Aurangzeb’s reign, marked by its length (1658-1707) and territorial expansion, has been a subject of heated debate among historians and scholars. Some view him as a staunch religious conservative, while others consider him a pragmatic ruler who sought to consolidate and strengthen the Mughal empire. Aurangzeb’s policies towards non-Muslims, particularly Hindus, have often been criticized for their intolerance and heavy-handedness. However, his military campaigns, administrative reforms, and fiscal policies have also been recognized for their effectiveness in maintaining the empire’s integrity and stability.

Legacy of a Controversial Emperor

Aurangzeb’s legacy remains a complex and controversial subject that continues to spark discussions and disagreements among historians. His reign symbolizes the twilight of the Mughal Empire, marked by its internal strife, external threats, and eventual decline. While some see him as a devout Islamic ruler who upheld religious orthodoxy, others criticize him for his harsh tactics and divisive policies. However, it is undeniable that Aurangzeb’s rule had a profound impact on the course of Indian history, shaping the socio-political landscape of the subcontinent for years to come.


Q1: Why did Alamzeb change his name to Aurangzeb?
A1: Alamzeb adopted the name Aurangzeb to assert his legitimacy, individuality, and authority as the Mughal emperor.

Q2: What does the name Aurangzeb mean?
A2: The name Aurangzeb has Persian origins, with “Aurang” meaning “throne” or “crown” and “zeb” translating to “adorned” or “ornamented.”

Q3: How long did Aurangzeb rule as emperor?
A3: Aurangzeb’s reign lasted from 1658 to 1707, making it one of the longest in Mughal history.

Q4: What is Aurangzeb’s legacy known for?
A4: Aurangzeb’s legacy is characterized by his military campaigns, administrative reforms, religious policies, and the territorial expansion of the Mughal Empire.

Q5: How did historians view Aurangzeb’s reign?
A5: Historians have differing views on Aurangzeb’s reign, with some praising his governance and others criticizing his policies towards non-Muslims and his role in the empire’s eventual decline.

In conclusion, the story behind Alamzeb’s real name** adds a layer of intrigue to the turbulent history of the Mughal Empire. Aurangzeb’s decision to adopt a new title reflected not only his ambitions and aspirations but also the complex dynamics of power and legacy within the royal court. Despite the controversies surrounding his rule, Aurangzeb remains a figure of historical significance whose actions continue to shape our understanding of India’s rich and diverse past.

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