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Monday, 14 August 2017

Battle of Ghaghra - Death of Babur

The Battle of Ghaghra was fought between Emperor Zahir ud-Din Muhammad Babur and the Eastern Afghan Confederates under Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultanate of Bengal, Nusrat Shah. The battle was fought in 1529.

The Battle of Ghaghra was fought between Emperor Zahir ud-Din Muhammad Babur and the Eastern Afghan Confederates under Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultanate of Bengal, Nusrat Shah. The battle was fought in 1529.

Background

The first Battle of Panipat was fought between Babur's forces and Ibrahim Lodi's troops on 21 April 1526. Ibrahim Lodi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate was defeated in the battle, which paved the way for beginning of the Mughal era in India. Babur became the ruler of Delhi and Agra.


After the battle Sultan Mahmud Lodi, the brother of Ibrahim Lodi declared himself Sultan and continued to resist Mughal forces. Later he joined Rana Sanga of Mewar and provided 10,000 Afghan soldiers to Rana Sanga against Babur in battle of Khanwa in 1527. After the defeat of Rana Sanga in the battle, Sultan Mahmud Lodi fled eastwards and found shelter under Sultan Nusrat Shah of Bengal.
Now, Sultan Mahmud Lodi established himself in Bihar and gathered a large army. At the head of this force he advanced on Banaras and proceeded beyond it as far as Chunar. He laid siege to the fortress of Chunar, but as Babur proceeded against him and drove them into Bengal.
Babur decided to put an end to the threats from Sultan Mahmud Lodi. But Babur was at peace with Sultan Nusrat Shah with whom Sultan Mahmud Lodi taken shelter. So Babur opened negotiations with Sultan Nusrat Shah, but this never created a war.


Babur decided to bring them to battle, he sent an ultimatum for a passage on the confluence of the Ganga and its tributary to Sultan Nusrat Shah. But due to the negotiations of Babur in past Sultan refused for a passage.
Babur declared a war against Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultanate of Bengal, Nusrat Shah in 1529.

Battle

The forces of Emperor Babur and the Eastern Afghan Confederates under Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultanate of Bengal, Nusrat Shah met on the confluence of the Ganga and its tributary, the Ghagara, on 6th May, 1529. A fierce battle was fought between them. Though, boats and artillery were used by both sides the Afghans under Sultan Mahmud Lodi and Sultan Nusrat Shah were defeated.


After the battle

This victory was decisive in its consequences. Babur became the sovereign of Bihar, and the Afghan chiefs joined him with their troops. Now Babur got full control from the Indus to Bihar and from the Himalayas to Gwalior and Chanderi.
The Sultan of Bengal Nusrat Shah accepted peace proposals of Babur.

Death of Babur

Later Babur died on December 26, 1530 at the age of 47 due to an unknown illness caused by heavy drinking and Hashish intoxication and was buried in Agra. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Humayun.

Friday, 11 August 2017

Battle of Khanwa - Fall of Rana Sanga

The Battle of Khanwa was fought between invading forces led by the first Mughal Emperor Babur and the Rajput forces led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. The battle was fought near the village of Khanwa, in Bharatpur District of Rajasthan, on March 17, 1527.
The Battle of Khanwa was fought between invading forces led by the first Mughal Emperor Babur and the Rajput forces led by Rana Sanga of Mewar. The battle was fought near the village of Khanwa, in Bharatpur District of Rajasthan, on March 17, 1527. The foundation laid at the battle of Panipat for the establishment of the Mughal Empire in India was strengthened by this battle.

Background

The first battle of Panipat was fought between Babur's forces and Ibrahim Lodi's troops on 21 April 1526. Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate was defeated in the battle, which paved the way for beginning of the Mughal era in India. Babur became the ruler of Delhi and Agra.



On the other side Rana Sanga had crushed the Gujarat and conquered Malwa and was now close to Agra. He heard that Babur had defeated Ibrahim Lodi and was now master of the Delhi Sultanate. Rana Sanga thought Babur would also withdraw after seizing the treasures of city, but later realized that Babur was intended to stay and expand his rule in India.

Babur sent Humayun with military detachments for the conquest of Dholpur, Gwaliyar, and Bayana (The strong forts forming the outer boundaries of Agra).Later Rana Sanga advanced to Agra. On hearing this Babur sent Humayun with military detachments for the conquest of Dholpur, Gwaliyar, and Bayana (The strong forts forming the outer boundaries of Agra). The commanders of Dholpur and Gwaliyar surrendered their forts to Babur accepting his generous terms. But the commander of Bayana, Nizam Khan negotiated with surrender. Babur's initial military detachment to Bayana was also defeated and dispersed by Rana Sanga's forces. However later Bayana surrendered to Babur.

Military alliance against Babur

Rana Sanga started building a formidable military alliance against Babur and succeeded. All the leading Rajput kings from Rajasthan, including those from Harauti, Jalor, Sirohi, Dungarpur, Dhundhar, and Amber joined Rana Sanga virtually.
Rana Sanga started building a formidable military alliance against Babur and succeeded. All the leading Rajput kings from Rajasthan, including those from Harauti, Jalor, Sirohi, Dungarpur, Dhundhar, and Amber joined Rana Sanga virtually. Medini Rao of Chanderi in Malwa also joined the alliance. Rao Ganga Ji Rathore of Marwar sent a contingent on his behalf. Further, Mahmud Lodi (brother of Ibrahim Lodi) joined the alliance with a force of 10,000 Afghans under him. Hasan Khan Mewat, the ruler of Mewat joined the alliance with a force of 12,000. Raja Khanzada Hasan Khan Mewati an ambitious Muslim Rajput ruler of Mewat also joind Rana Sanga.

Then Rana Sanga sent his vassal Sardar Silhadi of Raisen to Babur and ordered to leave India. But Silhadi was bribed by Babur and made a deal that Silhadi would join Babur’s camp along with his men at critical moment of battle and thus defeat Rana Sanga. Silhadi went back to Rana Sanga and told Babur is intended to fight.



Battle

The Rajput and allied Muslim forces led by Rana Sanga, met Babur’s army at Khanwa in 1527.
Babur prepared a strong offensive-defensive formation. Rana Sanga, prepared in a traditional way, marched with an army of 120 chiefs, 80,000 horses and 500 war elephants.
Battle started with an attack launched by Rana Sanga was fought for 10 hours. Rajput fought brilliantly and was successful in the beginning but the artillery used by the Mughal army changed the fate of Rajput’s in the battle. The Canons did the fearful execution. The cannon fire was new to the Rajput’s and the war elephants were not trained to fight against cannon. Elephants were terrified due to sound and smoke of cannon fire and this made the elephants in the Rajput army to scatter in all directions. Suddenly as per the deal with Babur,  the defection of Silhadi and his contingent caused a split in the Rajput forces. Mughal Cavalry   caused the maximum loss and Rajputs fled in every direction. Raja Hasan Khan Mewati died in the battle and Rana Sanga fled away from the battle ground and Babur stood victorious.
“The historian Pradeep Barua notes that Babur's cannons had put an end to the outdated trends in Indian warfare.”



After the Battle

The foundation laid at the battle of Panipat for the establishment of the Mughal Empire in India was strengthened by this victory and provided Babur a superior control over North India.

The defeat of Rana Sanga caused fear in other kingdoms of the Rajputana and all the remaining kingdoms fell one by one without much resistance.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Rajendra Chola II - Battle Of Koppam

Rajendra Chola II - Battle Of Koppam

Rajendra Chola II is very well remembered for his role in "The Battle Of Koppam". He was born in a great dynasty which saw great emperors like Karikala Chola, Vijayalaya Chola, Aditya Chola I, Parantaka I, Rajaraja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja Chola I etc. Rajendra Chola II is the younger brother of Rajadhiraja Chola. He ruled between 1054-1063 A.D. He succeeded his brother Rajadhiraja Chola in 1054 A.D. He was successful in maintaining a vast empire which was given to him by his elder brother. No loss of territory was recorded during his reign.

Rajendra Chola II was declared earlier in his life as co-regent by his brother Rajadhiraja Chola. He shared the administration of empire with his brother. He handled the internal affairs of the state as a co-regent.


Rajendra Chola II's Role In Battle Of Koppam :

During the reign of Rajadhiraja Chola and when Rajendra Chola was a co-regent, Rajadhiraja wanted to suppress the rising power of Chalukyas in Northern Karnataka and Southern part of Maharashtra and annex them to Chola empire. The king of Chalukyas was Somesvara I. In 1053 A.D., Rajadhiraja Chola along with his brother Rajendra Chola II led a campaign against Chalukyas.

Somesvara I knew very well that he would be very easily defeated by Cholas but there was no option for him other than facing the mighty Chola forces. The two army forces met at a place called Koppam. This battle is referred as "Battle Of Koppam". The battle started, Chola troops were holding the upper hand. Suddenly Chalukyan archers shot Rajadhiraja Chola who was riding a war elephant leading Chola forces from the front. He was wounded mortally. He died fighting on the elephant in the battle. On seeing this, the Chola troops panicked and began to retreat.


Somesvara I for a moment thought that he won the battle but he was wrong. Rajendra Chola II immediately took command of the reserved forces and boosted the energy in the Chola army. An ordinary king would surrender in such situation or run away but Rajendra Chola II who had mighty Chola blood in his body was not ordinary. He was successful in boosting the confidence of Chola troops and rallying them together. The battle continued and this inflicted heavy losses on Chalukyan forces. The mighty Cholas won the battle and Rajendra Chola II crowned himself as the king of Chola empire and erected a victory pillar at Kolhapur. Thus Rajendra Chola II was the man behind the victory of Cholas in "Battle Of Koppam".



Other Conquests :

After winning "Battlle Of Koppam", Rajendra Chola II invaded Kalinga kingdom and Ilangai (Srilanka). The king of Kalinga Vira Salamegha aided the king of Ilangai Manabharanan when Ilangai was attacked by Rajendra Chola II. The king of Kalinga was killed and two sons of Manabharanan were captured by Rajendra Chola II in Kalinga war. He was succeeded by his younger brother Virarajendra Chola in 1063 A.D.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Rajadhiraja Chola - The Last Great Ruler Of Chola Dynasty - Battle Of Koppam

Rajadhiraja Chola - The Last Great Ruler Of Chola Dynasty

Rajadhiraja Chola is said to be the last great ruler of the Chola dynasty. He succeeded his father Rajendra Chola I and became the monarch  of Chola empire around 1044 A.D. His reign was between 1044 - 1052 A.D. He was born in a dynasty in which great kings like Karikala Chola, Vijayalaya Chola, Aditya Chola I, Parantaka I, Raja Raja Chola I, Rajendra Chola I etc,. He was declared crown prince/co-regent by his father Rajendra Chola in 1018 A.D. From then on both father and son ruled together. Rajadhiraja assisted his father in many battles in fact he led the army in wars. It was natural with such large empire that Rajadhiraja Chola suffered rebellions when he came to power. He was a great and skillful warrior who led from the front. The enemies panicked in the battlefield to face him. He was not a king who stand behind the protection of army in the battlefield. He was a king who stood shoulder to shoulder with his men on the front lines. This character of Rajadhiraja was the reason for his death which you will be knowing shortly.


Revolts In Lanka :

As we know that Rajendra Chola occupied whole Island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), in which Sinhalese king Mahinda V was defeated, captured and transported to Chola country as prisoner where he died in prison after 12 long years. Mahinda's son Kassapa wanted to drive out Chola occupiers from Sri Lanka. He occupied parts of Southern Sri Lanka and selected Rohana area as centre for his activities. He almost managed to withstand 95,000 Chola army and made them move northwards. He then crowned himself Vikramabahu in 1029 A.D.

These resistances in Sri Lanka were supported by Pandyans who were rivals to Cholas. And also Pandyans had a very close political as well as marital relations with the Sinhalese.


Conquests Of Rajadhiraja Chola :

Rajadhiraja wanted to stop the rising power of Western Chalukyas and restore Chola influence with Eastern Chalukyas in  Vengi. He personally led an expedition in to the Telugu country around 1046 A.D. In the battle at Dannada, Rajadhiraja Chola defeated Western Chalukyas and occupied Yetagiri and Kalyani (capital of Chlaukyas). The Chola forces crossed the river and erected a pillar of triumph in Yetagiri. After the victory, the coronation of Rajadhiraja was performed at Kalyanapura. For his victory over Chalukyas, he assumed the title "Vijayarajendra" which means "Victorious Rajendra". Around 1050 A.D. Chalukyan king Someshvara revolted against Chola rule and usurped the Chalukya throne from the Chola viceroy in Kalyani.

Rajadhiraja also conquered Rattamandalam (southern Karnataka) and seized southern parts of Chalukyan territory like Uchangi, Nulambavadi, Kadambalige etc. These stunning attacks of Rajadhiraja towards Chalukyan territory, shook Someshvara. Someshvara had no other option than to face brave Chola army. Both the armies met at a place called Koppam. This battle is called "Battle Of Koppam". In this battlle, Rajadhiraja assisted by his younger brother Rajendra Chola II. It was fought in 1054 A.D. It was won by Cholas.


Death And Succession :

In the "Battle Of Koppam", although the Cholas were victorious, king Rajadhiraja Chola died. As we discussed earlier that he was a king who stand on front lines in the battlefield and he died when Chalukyan archers shot him. He was riding a war elephant when he was shot. He died on that elephant. From the day he was chosen the heir by his father till the day he laid down his life on the battlefield, he led the life of a warrior king. The land of India lost another great king. He was succeeded by his brother Rajendra Chola II. 
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