The reputation of the Mughal war machine was undermined by the
rebellions of the zamindars in northern India and the ravages of the
marauding bands of Marathas in the Deccan. Bhim Sen, who served the
Mughals gives a most realistic analysis of the Maratha rise at the end of the
seventeenth century.
    Aurangzeb’s death in 1707 at the ripe age of eighty-nine finally ended the
age of the Great Mughals. His failures are ascribed to his bigotry and narrow-
minded religious policy. What caused the real breakdown, however, was his
unrealistic estimate of the Deccan problems. And after prince Akbar’s
rebellion, Aurangzeb never trusted his remaining three sons and he shivered
at the memory of Shah Jahan’s last days. His main concern was as much to
neutralise his sons’ intrigues as to destroy the Marathas.