- Battle of Panipat (1556)
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Second Battle of Panipat
November 5, 1556( Muharram2,964 Hijri)
Panipat, Haryana, India
commander1=Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar
The Second Battle of Panipat was fought between the forces of
Samrat Hem Chander Vikramaditya, popularly called Hemu, and the army of Mughal emperor Akbar, on November 5, 1556. [citebook|title=History of Medieval India|author=S. Chand|id=ISBN 8121903645]
January 24, 1556, Mughal ruler Humayun died and was succeeded by his son, Akbar who was only thirteen years old. On February 14, 1556, in a garden at Kalanaur in Punjab, Akbar was enthroned as the king. At the time of his accession to the throne, the Mughal rule was confined to Kabul, Kandahar, parts of Delhiand Punjab. Akbar was then campaigning in Kabul with his guardian, Bairam Khan.
Hem Chander or Hemu was the Prime minister and military chief of
Adil Shah Suri, who ruled over a region east of Delhi established at Chunarand was seeking to expel the Mughals from Delhi. At the time of Humayun's death, Hemuhad quelled a rebellion in Bengal. He made his intentions of winning Delhi for himself known to his commanders. He then started a campaign winning battles throughout northern India. When he attacked Agra, the commander of the Mughal forces in Agraran away, leaving the state without a fight. A large area of Ettawah, Kalpi and Agra states had come under Hemu's control.
Hemu then moved towards
Delhiand stationed his forces outside the city at Tughlaqabad. On October 6, 1556, his army encountered Mughal resistance. After a fierce fight Akbar's forces were ousted, and Tardi Beg, the commander of the Mughal forces, ran away, allowing Hemu to capture Delhi without much difficulty. Around 3000 army personnel were killed. Hemu had himself coronated at Purana Quilaon October 7, 1556, and was bestowed the title of "Samrat Vikramaditya".
Delhiand Agradisturbed the Mughals at Kalanaur. Many Mughal Generals advised Akbarand Bairam Khanto retreat to Kabulas Mughal forces may not face Hemu's might, but Bairam Khandecided in favour of war. Akbar's army marched towards Delhi. On November 5, both armies met at the historic battlefield of Panipat, where, thirty years earlier, Akbar's grandfather Baburhad defeated Ibrahim Lodiin what is now known as the First Battle of Panipat. General Hemushowed most heroic courage during the battle. The Mughal forces were charged repeatedly by Elephantsto break their lines. General Hemuwas himself commanding his forces from atop an elephant. General Bairam Khandevised an ingenious plan to attack General Hemu by sending his archerswho in turn would be protected by swordsmenin a circleand get closer to General Hemuin this formation. As the formation got closer to the target they fired volley after volley of arrows towards General Hemu. An arrow struck Hemuin the eyeand knocked him senseless off his elephant. General Hemu’s army was now in disarray and defeated in the ensuing confusion. Hemu was captured by Sher Afghan Quli Khanand brought to Akbar’s tent. General Bairam Khanwas desirous that Akbar should slay General Hemuhimself and should establish his right to the title of “ Ghazi” (Champion of Faith or war veteran). But Akbar, the spirited boy that he was, refused to strike a defeated and wounded enemy. Bairam Khanirritated by Akbar’s scruples beheaded Hemuhimself. His head was sent to Kabul, where it was hanged outside Delhi Darwaza, while his body was placed in a gibbet outside Purana Qilain Delhi.
Akbar, after the Battle of Panipat, took
Agraand Delhiwithout much resistance. But soon after he took possession of his capital, he had to return to Punjab when intelligence informed him of Sikandar Shah Suri’s ( Adil Shah Suri’s brother) advancing campaign in Punjab. He was however defeated and taken captive after the siege of Fort Mankot by Mughal forces and exiled to Bengal. The victory of Akbar at the Battle of Panipat in 1556 was the real restoration of the MughalDynasty to Power in India. It marked the fulfillment of the destiny of the Houseof Timurin India as rulers.
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