The mughal Empire owes its decline and ultimate downfall to a combination of factors including Aurangzeb religious policy which is regarded as a cause for the decline of the Mughal Empire as it led to disunity among the people. The main cause of the Mughal downfall, however, was the absence of worthy and competent successors after Aurangzeb. The character of Mughal kings had deteriorated over a period of time.
Successive rulers after. Aurangzeb, in particular, were weak and lacked the character, motivation and commitment to rule the empire strongly. They had not only become lazy and cowardly but also totally disregarded their state duties and were unable to detain the declining empire from its fall.
The absence of any definite law of succession was another important factor. The war of successions not only led to bitterness, bloodshed, and loss of money and prestige of the empire over a period of time, but its eventual fall. The degeneration of the rulers had also led to the moral degeneration of the mobility.
Undr the early Mughals, the nobles distinguished them selves both in war and peace. But the elite under the later Mughals, as indeed those in today Pakistan, were more interested in worldly pursuit and self enhancement giving rise to extravagance and corruption in the administration. Growth of hostile and rival cliques in the court also undermined the strength of the government.
One of the most potent causes of the fall of the Mughal Empire was the deterioration and demoralization of the army. The military had not only become inefficient but also lacked in training, discipline and cohesion.
The army was autdated and consisted of contingents maintained by various nobles, which was the main source of army weakness. As the weakening of the nobles occurred, so did the army. This was because of the soldiers, instead of identifying and uniting as Mughal Indians, identified themselves with their ancestral ethnicities. The Mughals had no navy and only maintained small ships that were no match for the well-equipped ships of the foreign traders. It was this weakness that the French and the British used to their advantage and were eventually able to establish their control over India.