Bahadur Shah I becomes Mughal Emperor

On this day, 13th of January, 1709 CE, the Battle of Hyderabad took place between the two sons of Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah I and Kam Bakhsh. Bakhsh was critically injured and would die the next day. Bahadur Shah himself washed the wounds from Kam Baksh’s body and replaced his blood-stained clothes.

After the death of Aurangzeb, there were three official contenders to the Mughal throne – (1) Prince Muhammad Azam, (2) Muhammad Muazzam, also called Shah Alam and Bahadur Shah I, and (3) Kam Bakhsh. It was Prince Muhammad Azam who conveyed his father’s body for burial to Khuldabad. Moreover, Muhammad Azam had been Aurangzeb’s more-or-less official heir apparent since 1681.

At the time of Aurangzeb’s death (March 4, 1707), Muazzam was in Kabul far away from the scene; Kam Bakhsh was in the southern Deccan, but Muhammad Azam was right at hand near the imperial court. What followed was a race to Agra.

In spite of the forbidding distance, Muazzam (Bahadur Shah I) made good time. On 10 June 1707, he along with his men reached Jajau and defeated Muhammad Azam in the battle. Azam’s reign had barely lasted seventy-eight days.

The other contender, Kam Bakhsh, had stayed behind in the Deccan. Almost two years later, on 13 January 1709, he would be defeated and critically injured near Hyderabad in a battle with Muazzam and would die the next day. Thus, Bahadur Shah I became the Mughal Emperor until his death in 1712.

Source: The Great Mughal and Their India by Dirk Collier

You can read a bit more detailed account of the conflict here:

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