1679-1707: Second Mughal Invasion of Marwar: Aurangzeb vs Durgadas Rathore

Rana Jaswant Singh died in December 1678 while camping in Afghanistan. He left no heir and Aurangzeb took this opportunity to impose Mughal rule over Marwar. However, soon after Jaswant Singh’s death two of the queens each gave birth to male children. One of these sons died soon after his birth, leaving the other – Ajit Singh – as sole heir. Aurangzeb initially refused to recognise Ajit Singh as the legitimate heir but later agreed to to bestow a title and a grant if the child be raised in the imperial harem. This was not acceptable to Rathores and they resolved to rescue Ajit Singh and their queens from Delhi.

The infant Ajit Singh was taken to safety in Balunda, where the wife of one of the delegation kept the child for almost a year. Later, he was moved to the safety of the Aravalli Hills near Abu Sirohi, a remote town on the southern fringes of Marwar. There Ajit Singh grew up in anonymity. The Rathore army under Durgadas Rathore carried out a relentless struggle against the occupying forces. In 1707 after the death of Aurangzeb, Durgadas defeated the local Mughal force and reoccupied Jodhpur and their lost territories.

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