Mughal ruler Aurangzeb is notorious for his cruelty. He beheaded his elder brother Dara Shikoh in the battle of succession. The nephew (son of Dara Shikoh) who supported Dara Shikoh was killed.

Later, he also got those people killed, by whom he had got his brother and nephew killed. To monopolize power, his old father Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort, where he remained till his death.

However, apart from these cruelties, there is another aspect of Aurangzeb’s personality, which is less talked about. The stories of Aurangzeb’s love are very less known. Aurangzeb, once religious in nature, was so engrossed in the love of a dancer that he was ready to forget his oath and drink alcohol.

He fell in love with a girl plucking mangoes

This is about those days, when Aurangzeb was not a ruler but a prince. His age was 35 years. In those days, he was made the governor of the Deccan for the second time. He had left for Aurangabad to take up the post. He was about to pass through Burhanpur (present day Madhya Pradesh) . Aurangzeb’s aunt Suhela Bano lived in Burhanpur. He had arrived to meet her.

While there, he fell in love at first sight with a girl from his uncles’ harem. India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad in his book ‘Ghubar-e-Khatir’ has quoted the book ‘Masar-al-Umrah’ written by Nawab Shams-ud-Daula Shahnawaz Khan and his son Abdul Hayee Khan in the 18th century. This incident has been mentioned since.

BBC Hindi quoted Azad’s book as saying that while walking with her aunt in the mango orchard, the girl in the harem plucked a mango by grabbing it from a high branch and seeing her doing so, Aurangzeb lost his heart.

The girl’s name was Hirabai, who became famous as Zainabadi Mahal. Hirabai was proficient in singing and dancing. Aurangzeb played tricks to get Hirabai. In the end, he made a pact with his uncle, under which Aurangzeb gave another maid to his uncle in exchange for Hirabai.

When Aurangzeb was ready to drink alcohol 

The BBC Hindi quoted Masar-al-Umra as saying that after including the Zainabadi palace in his harem, Aurangzeb became indifferent to the world. He used to give Zainabadi a cup of wine filled with his own hands. One day Zainabadi insisted that Aurangzeb should also drink alcohol. She filled a cup of wine and asked Aurangzeb to gulp it. At first Aurangzeb kept avoiding and ignoring this request of Zainabadi. But when Zainabadi did not agree, he had agreed to drink alcohol.

In the state of helplessness, as soon as Aurangzeb raised the wine to his lips, Zainabadi immediately took the cup from him and said that her aim was not to drink but to test love.

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