The battles of Panipat have their own history and importance in India. Do you know between whom the battles of Panipat took place and when? Let us study through this article.
Panipat is located to the north of Delhi and there have been three such battles which changed the history of India.
Battle of Panipat 1
When: 21 April 1526
The battle between who: Babur and Ibrahim Lodhi
Place: Near Panipat
On 21 April 1526, the first battle of Panipat took place between the invading armies of Babur and the Lodhi Empire. This battle saw the emergence of Mughal rule and established a strong foothold on the subcontinent. According to legends, this was an early battle in which gun powder, fire arms and field artillery were used.
In detail about the first battle of Panipat
Babur was the Timurid ruler of Kabulistan and in 1526 defeated the huge army of Ibrahim Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi. The battle took place near Panipat, a small village in the present Haryana state. There is no doubt that the region has been the site of many decisive battles for control of northern India since the 12th century.
It is estimated that Babur's forces numbered about 15,000 men and field troops of 20 to 24 troops. According to Babur's estimate, Ibrahim Lodhi had about 100,000 men, including camp followers, and at least 1,000 war elephants with a fighting force of about 30,000 to 40,000 men.
What were the benefits of using cannons in battle?
Ibrahim Lodhi had a large army, yet he lost to Babur. It can be said that this was possible due to artillery and cannon. It is also said that the sound of the cannon was so much loud that it also frightened Ibrahim Lodhi's elephants and trampled Lodhi's men. It is also said that apart from guns and all, it was a Babur's strategy that won him victory. Let us tell you that the new war strategy launched by Babur was Tulugama and Araba. In Tulugama, the entire army was divided into three units like Left, Right and Center. The left and right divisions were further divided into forward and rear divisions. Due to this, a small army was able to surround the enemy from all around. The center forward divisions were provided with carts (arabas), which were placed in rows facing the enemy and tied to each other by ropes. In the war itself, Ibrahim Lodhi was killed.
Battle of Panipat 2
When: 5 November 1556
The battle between who: Emperor Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, (Hemu) and Akbar
It can be said that the second battle of Panipat marked the beginning of Akbar's reign in India as Akbar began to take over the throne this year.
The Mughal ruler Humayun died in Delhi on 24 January 1556 and his son Akbar was entrusted with the throne. At that time, Akbar was 13 years old. On 14 February 1556, Akbar was enthroned as king. Let us tell you that during the coronation, Akbar was confined to Kabul, Kandahar, Delhi and some parts of Punjab. Akbar was campaigning in Kabul with his mentor Bairam Khan.
Emperor Hem Chandra was defeated by Vikramaditya or Hemu in the Battle of Delhi Akbar / Humayun. Hemu was the first advisor to Sher Shah Suri's son Islam Shah from 1545 to 1553 and was from Rewari (present-day Haryana). From 1553 to 1556, Hemu won around 22 wars as Prime Minister and head of Islam Shah and defeated the Afghan rebels against the Sur rule.
In January 1556, when Humayun died, Hemu killed the ruler of Bengal, Muhammad Shah, and ended the rebellion. Now Hemu started a campaign to win the battle in northern India. He attacked Agra and as a result, the commander of Akbar's army fled from there without fighting. Finally, Hemu came under the control of Etawah, Kalpi and Agra province.
After this Hemu went to Delhi and stationed his army outside the city of Tughlakabad. On 6 October 1556, the army faced Mughal resistance. After Akbar's fierce war, the armies were driven out and Tardi Beg, the commander of the Mughal army, fled from where Hemu captured Delhi. Do you know that about 3000 Mughal forces were killed in the war. On 7 October 1556, Hemu was crowned in Purana Qila and Hindu rule was established in North India after 350 years of Mughal domination. He was conferred with the title of Emperor Hem Chandra Vikramaditya.
Detail about the war
Situation was created for the second battle of Panipat and on 5 November 1556, Akbar's army marched towards Delhi and a fight took place between the two armies. According to some legends, Akbar's mentor and Akbar himself did not participate in the fight. At the age of 13, Akbar was not allowed to participate in the war and was given special protection of about 5000 armies. He was also instructed by Bairam Khan that if the Mughal army loses, he should flee towards Kabul.
Hemu himself led his army and had around 1500 elephants and was a vanguard of the Artillery Park. Hemu attacked with about 30,000 cavalry and Afghans. On the other hand, the Mughal army consisted of 10,000 cavalry, of which 5,000 were experienced soldiers. Hemu's army was on the victorious side of the war. He did not show up in his area during the war. Not seeing Hemu in his territory, Hemu's army became disorganized and lost in the ensuing confusion.
After several hours, Hemu was found dead and brought to Akbar's tent camp in Saudapur village of Panipat by Shah Quli Khan Maharam. This war established a strong Mughal empire and Akbar's rule began.
Battle of Panipat 3
When: January 14, 1761
Who fought: Maratha Empire and King of Afghanistan alliance, with two Indian Muslim allies Ahmed Shah Durrani ie Rohila Afghan of Doab and Nawaz Shuja-ud-Daula of Awadh
This fight has its own significance because it ended Maratha dominance in India. At the time of the war, the Marathas were under the leadership of the Peshwas and were establishing control over the whole of North India and the Afghans on the other side were led by Ahmed Shah Abdali.
Let us tell you that this battle is considered to be one of the biggest battles fought in the 18th century and also the most deadly attacks took place on a single day.
Detail about the war
On 14 January 1761, the Marathas attacked Abdali. During the war, Malhar Rao Holkar escaped. Abdali's army was damaged by Ibrahim Gardi's artillery. By evening, the Marathas were badly defeated, most of the Maratha soldiers were killed and the rest of them fled. But the fight continued the next day. Many important rulers of Marathas including Bhau, Peshwa's son, Vishwas Rao, Jaswant Rao Pawar, Scindia etc. were involved in the war and were killed. The main reason for the defeat of the Marathas was Bhau's failure and Abdali's superiority against Bhau as a commander. Also, one reason for the defeat was that in the Maratha camp, there were many women and servants who were a burden on the Maratha army.
The Maratha force numbered about 45,000 and the Abdali army had about 60,000 soldiers. After losing control of the Doab for Bhau, he felt a lack of supply. He wasted three months in a battle with Abdali in Panipat and the worst was that the Maratha army was half-starved for the last two months. The Marathas did not use their guerrilla technology in the war and depended on cannons under Ibrahim Gardi. There is no doubt that Abdali had a better cavalry than the Marathas.
On the other hand, Bhau failed to get the support of Rajputs and Jats and it is also considered a reason for defeat in the war. According to Sardesai, the Marathas suffered loss of life but the power of the Marathas was not destroyed nor did their ideals change.
In the war, the Marathas also lost tribal leaders like Raghunath Rao, who also opened the way to defeat. The Peshwas became weak in battle and led to the dissolution of the Maratha Empire.
For some time, Scindia remained the protector of the Mughal emperor, but the Marathas failed to strengthen their hold in the north. Therefore, the British got a chance to eliminate the French in India and occupy power in Bengal.
Therefore, we can say that all three battles of Panipat have their own importance and reason.