Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Third Battle of Panipat:That Changed History of India

Panipat is 90 Km away from Delhi. Three battles were fought here. Third battle of Panipat has great significance in the history of sub continent.

This Battle was a colossal defeat for the Marathas, after this battle colonial rule starts in Indian sub-continent. Third battle of Panipat is a core example of foreign invasion.

The Third Battle of Panipat was a major battle of Indian history, fought on 14th January 1761.

It was fought between the Afghan forces of Ahmad Shah Abdali, the king of Afghanistan along with his local Rohilla and other Pathan and Oudh allies, against the Maratha Empire, which were the main actors to scuttle the Mughal rule and tried to take over the Mughal crown.
It was the time in which the glory of Mughal Empire was about to fade away, other powers in sub-continent were emerging in order to replace the Mughal rulers.

French, British, Sikhs, Marathas and other independent groups were rising to claim the throne which was about to be vacated by Mughals due to their inefficiency and apathetic behavior.  

Ahmed shah Abdali invaded India many times. Ahmed Shah invaded Punjab for the first time in January 1748 then in 1750, 1751, 1753, 1756, 1757, 1758, and 1759. The third battle of Panipat starts when Ahmed Shah Abdali invades India in 1759. Afghan army enters India in 1759 in Karnal without any apparent resistance by this time Marathas had captured Delhi. 
But when Afghan forces gradually started to approach towards center, skirmishes started between Maratha and Afghan forces. 

This was the time when both forces started making allies and partners and perceived war as a final and inevitable solution in the shape of Panipat battle. Sikhs, Jatts, Rajputs, and Nawabs of Oudh, Bengal, Mysore, etc were tried to win over by both the sides. 

Since Marathas had strained relations with almost all other groups so it helped them very little in this regard, whereas, Ahmad Shah won support of Shuja-uddin- Duala, Rajputs, and Jatts.

The main factor which strengthened Afghans was the support of Muslim rulers such as Najib-ud-Daulah and Shuja-ud-Daulah. In 1760 Afghan forces marched to Shahdara near Delhi river Jamuna divides both armies on each side.

Marathan army was led by Sadashiv Rao cousin of Marathan Peshwa Balaji Bhaji Rao on the other hand Afghan army was led by Ahmad Shah Abdali. 

Ahmad Shah Abdali

The course of battle starts on 27th March 1760 when Marathan army begins its advance from Deccan to reach Delhi and in October they reached Delhi. 

This was the time when small conflicts occurred between them. On 23rd, 24th October Afghans crossed Jumna River and reached Bhagpat. On 26th October Afghans drove Marathan forces to Panipat ground.

Ahmad Shah Abdali took his position 5 miles south to Jumna River and created a complete blockade of Marathan camps. Skirmishes continued till November. 

Ahmad did not make any advance on Marathan forces albeit it was continuously advised by his allies to finish of the enemy.

Marathas wanted to make settlement with Afghans but allies did not accept their proposal.Due to the failure of negotiations it made Marathas desperate and they launched a sudden offensive upon Afghan forces on 6th January 1761.
It was the day when conclusion of this battle was drawn; Ahmad Shah Abdali kept his nerves and composure and handled this sudden attack professionally.

Initially Marathan forces got edge due to their surprising attack and movement but very quickly Afghan army led by French trained general Gardi was able to overpower them.

Sadashiv Rao was killed and Marathas faced a complete defeat by Afghan invaders, which paralyzed Marathan power for next 10 years.

This, Third battle of Panipat was victory of invaders. Defeat of Marathas cleared the way for later British supremacy and fall of Moghul Empire,that changed history of India 

Note:---This blog and photos are based on various sources available on net,and taken with thanks.

The End

No comments: