Category Archives: History

Dera Gufa Massacre

Before 1947, Muzaffarabad district of Kashmir (now under control of Pakistan) region had a good presence of Kashmiri Pandits, who became Sikhs during and even after Gurus’ era. ‘Dera Gufa’ (ਡੇਰਾ ਗੁਫ਼ਾ) was a famous Sikh religious center, which was very popular in and around Muzaffarabad. The ‘Dera Gufa’ was situated on a bank of river Krishna Ganga. It was close to border of Kashmir and Pakistan.

On October 22, 1947, when the recitation of ‘Sri Sukhmani Sahib’, a holy composition in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was about to be completed in early morning, a bullet fired from a gun struck to Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji inside the Gurdwara. It was an attack by Pakistani tribesmen backed by Pakistani army.

Sant Kishan Singh and many prominent Sikhs of the region were inside at that time along with about 1500 Sikhs from nearby villages.

In a few moments, tribesmen and Pakistani army besieged the Gurdwara.

The young Sikhs came outside to face invaders. They killed many attackers and then were martyred one by one in front of Gurdwara Sahib. Now, only old people, women and children were inside the Gurdwara.

When Pakistanis faced no resistance any more, they put the Gurdwara Sahib on fire. Inside the Gurdwara, there were hundreds of women, old men and children. As the fire spread and heat became unbearable, people started to come out of the Gurdwara. As they came out, Pakistanis fired on them.

Among those martyred were Bibi Anand Kaur wife of late Sant Narayan Singh (a famous Sikh preacher and head of the Dera), and Bibi Malap Kaur, a daughter of Sant Narayan Singh.

Many Sikh women, including Bibi Parduman Kaur, a daughter of Sant Narayan Singh were abducted by invaders.

About 1300 Sikh men, women and children were martyred in this massacre.

Massacre in Gurdwara Patshahi 6, Naluchhi

In October, 1947, Pakistani tribesmen and Pakistani army attacked Kashmir. Sikhs lived in many villages all over the state. In this page, we are remembering a massacre which took place in Gurdwara Patshahi 6, Naluchi (ਨਲੂਛੀ).

Gurdwara Patshahi 6 was built in memory of the sixth Guru, Sri Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji’s Kashmir tour.

Many Kashmiri Pandits of Muzzaferbad (now in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) region became Sikhs during Gurus’ era. During Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s Guruship and later as well, many of them joined the fold of Khalsa.

They were settled down in Naluchi and other nearby villages in Muzzaferabad. When they heard news of Pakistani attack of famous Sikh religious center ‘Dera Gufa’, they prepared themselves to face invaders.

Local Sikhs were given a few weapons by the state government. Under the command of S. Jagtar Singh, S. Saran Singh and Giani Ujagar Singh, around 400 Sikhs took positions to protect the Gurdwara Sahib.

Pakistani army and tribesmen entered Naluchi from two sides and besieged the Gurdwara.

Sikhs had though limited ammunition with them; they fought fearlessly for three days and killed many invaders. On the fourth day, when they had no ammunition left with them, they came out of their positions and drank the cup of martyrdom one by one.

Domel Massacre

In October, 1947, Pakistani tribesmen and Pakistani army attacked Kashmir. Sikhs lived in many villages all over the state. In this page, we are remembering a massacre which took place in Domel (Punjabi: ਦੋਮੇਲ, Hindi: दोमेल).

Domel

Sikhs were settled down in many villages around Muzzafrabad (present Capital of Pakistan occupied Kashmir). When Pakistanis attacked Kashmir, many Sikhs living near border villages were martyred without getting any chance to leave the area.

As the news of massacres of Sikhs and Hindus spread in Muzzafrabad and nearby villages, they tried to go to safe places.

A group of about 1200 Sikh men and women of 8-9 villages (Kotli, Avihar, Basnara, Haru, Rarha, Tera and Bakka etc) were trying to escape under their leaders Sant Baldev Singh, Giani Rangeel Singh and S. Gurbaksh Singh.

When they reached ‘Domel’ (near Muzzafrabad, they were confronted by Pakistani Army. The Pakistani army commander promised Sikhs that if they surrender their weapons to Pakistani army, they would be sent to Jammu safely.
These Sikhs have not enough weapons and ammunition to battle an army of a country. Also, they thought Pakistani army will not harm innocent civilians. Sikhs gave their arms to Pakistanis. Immediately after getting all weapons of Sikhs, the army commander asked them either to embrace Islam or get killed.

When the leaders of this group of Sikhs found that they were betrayed, they asked to give them time to consider Pakistanis’ offer. Pakistanis agreed.

There was a hotel in Domel, whose Hindu owner was killed during this invasion. These Sikhs took a ‘Karhahi’ (ਕੜਾਹੀ, an iron utensil used to cook ‘Karhah Prashad’) and other utensils from this hotel.

They prepared ‘Karhah Prashad’ (ਕੜਾਹ ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦ) and gathered in form of congregation. As not a single Sikh was ready to be a Muslim, they decided to embrace martyrdom.

They performed an ‘Ardas’ (ਅਰਦਾਸ) asking the Waheguru for ‘Trust of Dharma and Gurmat’. The ‘Karhah Prashad’ was distributed among them. All of them took ‘Karhah Prashad’ with devotion.

The Sikh women and children were advised to run towards river Neelum. Bibi Makhan Kaur (wife of Sant Baldev Singh) and his young daughter led the women and children towards the river.

Sikh men went to Pakistani army commander. Amidst the holy slogans of ‘Bole So Nihal, Sat Sri Akal’ (ਬੋਲੇ ਸੋ ਨਿਹਾਲ ॥ ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ॥) they announced that they were ready to drink the cup of martyrdom.

Pakistanis opened fire by machineguns. Hundreds of faithful Sikhs cheerfully embraced the martyrdom.

Sikh women carried their children in their arms and jumped into the river.

The Malach Massacre

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Before 1947, Sikhs were populated in many cities and villages of present Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.

Presently, Malach (ਮਲਾਛ) is a subdivision of Union Council of Nathia Gali (in present Abbottabad District). There were four big villages in Malach region, where Sikhs were settled in good numbers. These villages were Jasa, Bhata, Dhrarhi (ਧਰਾੜੀ) and Sehar. There was another big village of Bagan, where Sikhs were in less numbers. Majority of residents of Bagan were Muslims.

There were a few other small villages in the region, where a handful Sikhs lived. Pasala, Bhotal and Badsar were among these villages.

Though, Pakistan came into existence officially on August 14, 1947, killing of Sikhs and Hindus in Abbottabad started in December, 1946. Many Sikhs were killed by mobs in December 1946 in Mansehra Tehsil.

In December last, 1946, religious fanatics held a meeting in village Bagan. They were present there in number of thousands. With their hot speeches, speakers of the gathering instigated locals and others to attack and kill Sikhs in the region.

Sikhs in Malach region listened about massacres of Sikhs and Hindus in Mansehra and other regions. They knew they had no option but to leave their ancestral land and properties to settle down in India. Their motherland was now to be known as Pakistan, a Muslim country.

Local Sikh leaders, S. Jawahar Singh, S. Chet Singh, S. Gulab Singh and S. Pritam Singh etc sent messages to Sikhs living in far villages to gather in village Bhata or Jasa. Many Sikhs of those villages gathered in Jasa. To reach India safely was a dangerous task.

To defend themselves from any attack, Sikhs gathered in Jasa made safety posts on roofs of two adjoining houses of S. Raj Singh and S. Garib Singh. Sikh women and children stayed in other Sikh houses of the village.

Two Sikhs, S. Raja Singh and S. Kaka Singh were sent to Abbottabad to get Police help, so that Sikhs stuck in Jasa could be evacuated safely. Putting their lives in danger, Raja Singh and Kaka Singh reached Abbotabad. The police reached Jasa and thus Sikhs were evacuated.

Sikhs gathered in village Bhata were not so lucky.

On January 3, 1947, thousands of rioters first attacked Sikhs of village Badgar and killed them on the spot; then they proceeded towards Bhata raising slogans of ‘Naara –e-Tadbeer’ (ਨਾਅਰਾ-ਏ-ਤਦਬੀਰ) and ‘Ali Ali’ (ਅਲੀ ਅਲੀ).

When Muslims of Bhata saw that Sikhs of their village were in danger, they asked Sikhs to embrace Islam to avoid killings. Sikhs at once refused to abandon their faith in Guru.

Now, attackers asked Sikhs in loud voice to embrace Islam to avoid death. Local Sikh leaders, S. Pritam Singh and S. Garib Singh roaring like lions replied in loud voice that it was better to die a martyr than to be a Muslim.

As soon as the Sikh leaders refused to be Muslims, attackers opened fire. Sikhs had a very few guns and limited ammunition, but they responded with fire.

The firing lasted for short time. Many attackers were killed by Sikhs. When rioters saw their own men were being killed, they adopted another plan. They besieged the village to make sure no Sikh could escape and put houses of Sikhs on fire.

Sikh women and children took refuge in those houses. When S. Pritam Singh saw those houses in fire, to help those women and children he came out of his safe position. As he reached in ‘Veranda’ of the house, he was shot with seven bullets. The brave Sardar tasted the martyrdom.

On the one hand, Sikh women and children were caught in fire; on the other hand, Sikhs were firing on attackers. S. Dharam Singh (115 years old), S. Garib Singh and S. Asa Singh fought very bravely with their limited ammunition and at last drank the cup of martyrdom.

Sikh women, elders and children were burnt alive in those houses.

Five Sikhs (S. Mahan Singh, S. Hari Singh, S. Nirmal Singh, S. Prakash Singh and S. Sangat Singh) were shot dead in village’s streets.

In village ‘Bhata’ total 124 Sikhs were martyred. In Sehra 12, in Badgar 5, in Jasa 7 and in Kala Pani 1 Sikhs were martyred by fanatics.

Source: ‘Brahman Sikh Itihas’ (Punjabi) by Jaswant Singh ‘Sudan’ and Prem Singh ‘Sasan’.

Bhai Dya Singh Ji

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Bhai Dya Ram (later on, Bhai Dya Singh) was son of Bhai Jati Malak and grandson of Bhai Singha Purohit.

Before leaving for his heavenly abode, Bhai Jati Mal Ji placed Bhai Dya Ram Ji under guardianship of Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji.

Bhai Dya Ram Ji served five Gurus, Guru Hargobind Sahib Ji, Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, Guru Harkrishan Sahib Ji, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Sahib Ji.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji went to Nahan and founded a town of Sri Paunta Sahib (now in Himachal Pradesh), Bhai Dya Ram Ji was with Guru Ji.

During Guru Gobind Singh Ji’s stay in Sri Paunta Sahib, Ram Rai, the elder son of Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib Ji, died in Dehradun. Bhai Dya Ram Ji went to Dehradun with Guru Gobind Singh Ji. As directed by Guru Gobind Singh Ji, Bhai Dya Ram Ji performed rituals to install Mata Punjab Kaur as the head of the centre. (For more details, please read this article: Mata Punjab Kaur.

In the marriage of King Fateh Shah’s daughter, Guru Gobind Singh Ji sent valuable gifts for the bride through Bhai Dya Ram Ji along with Bhai Nand Chand. When in Sri Nagar Garhwal, the capital of Fateh Shah, Guru’s gifts were sent back by Fateh Shah, his men tried to snatch costly gifts from Bhai Dya Ram Ji. With presence of mind and his bravery, Bhai Dya Ram brought all the gifts safe back to Guru Ji. He asked Guru Ji to get ready for battle, as he was sure that Ajmer Chand and other hill chiefs were to attack Guru Ji.

In battle of Bhangani (now Bhangani Sahib, in Himachal Pradesh), Bhai Dya Ram Ji showed his great skill of warfare. He fought with an exemplary bravery.

The ‘Apuni Katha’ in Sri Dasam Granth describes in these words the bravery of Bhai Dya Ram Ji:

ਕੁਪਿਓ ਦੇਵਤੇਸੰ ਦਯਾਰਾਮ ਜੁਧੰ ॥
ਕੀਯੰ ਦ੍ਰੋਣ ਕੀ ਜਿਉ ਮਹਾ ਜੁਧ ਸੁਧੰ ॥

(ਯੁੱਧ ਵਿਚ ਦਯਾ ਰਾਮ ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣ ਨੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਕ੍ਰੋਧ ਕੀਤਾ ਅਤੇ ਦ੍ਰੋਣਾਚਾਰਯ ਵਰਗਾ (ਭਿਆਨਕ) ਯੁੱਧ ਮਚਾਇਆ।)

Means, Brahman Dya Ram was angered in the battle. He fought like Dronacharya (ਦ੍ਰੋਣਾਚਾਰੀਆ).

(Daronacharya was a teacher who taught Pandavs and Kauravs the art of warfare, in Mahabharata).

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji returned to Makhowal and founded Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhai Dya Ram Ji remained in Guru’s company.

When Guru Gobind Singh Ji introduced ‘Khande Ki Pahul’ (ਖੰਡੇ ਦੀ ਪਾਹੁਲ), Bhai Dya Singh tasted the ‘Pahul’ and became Dya Singh. Bhai Dya Ram was a lifelong companion of Guru Gobind Singh Sahib.

When Guru Ji evacuated the city of Sri Anandpur Sahib, Bhai Dya Ram joined Guru Ji in Bathinda region. Bhai Dya Ram Ji, who was a very old man at that point in time, went up to Nanded city with Guru Gobind Singh.

Bhai Dya Singh left for his heavenly abode in Hazur Sahib, Nanded.

Pandit Shivdatt

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਬ੍ਰਹਮਣ ਤਹਾਂ ਕਾ ਥਾ ਰਈਸ ਨਿਤਜਾਇ।
ਗੰਗਾ ਤਟ ਪੂਜਾ ਕਰੇ ਗੁਰਲੀਲਾ ਦਰਸਾਇ। (‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(Shivdatt Brahman was a rich man. He used to go to the bank of Ganga to perform ‘Pooja’ daily. He would see Guru’s Leela). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

Pandit Shivdatt was a rich Brahman of Patna city (now Sri Patna Sahib). He was very popular among local Hindus because of his religious life. (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib Ji (later, Guru Gobind Sahib Ji) was living in Patna Sahib and was only a few years old at that time.

Pandit Shivdatt Ji used to take dip in Ganga River every day in Patna city. After taking bath, he would sit on the bank of river Ganga and meditate. The history tells us that Pandit Shivdatt was a devotee of Sri Ram Chandra.

When he would sit in meditation, (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would come there and say in sweet words, “Pandit Ji”. This innocent childlike act of (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib would delight Pandit Shivdatt. Pandit would open his eyes and find (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib standing in front of him.

Pandit Shivdatt used to watch (Guru) Gobind Rai Sahib’s ‘Leela’ (child’s lovely actions) daily on the bank of river Ganga. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji with his friends used to make two parties of soldiers and had artificial fight with each other. He would give training of bow and arrow to a group of children.

Child (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji used to carry a bow and arrows with him. Sri Ram Chandra also carried a bow and arrows. Pandit Shivdatt was an old worshipper of Sri Ram Chandra. Perhaps, during his meditation, Pandit Shivdatt felt that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was an incarnation of Sri Ram.

He started to believe that (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was indeed an incarnation of Sri Ram Chandra Ji. Out of his this certainty, he desired to see (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram Chandra.

As usual, Pandit Shivdatt took bath in river Ganga and then sat on the bank. On the other hand, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji reached there with other children. Pandit Shivdatt saw Sri Ram Chandra himself appeared there before his eyes. When a devotee sees his god with his own eyes, his joy can never be explained in words.

ਐਨ ਬੈਨ ਗੁਰ ਰਾਮ ਸਰੂਪ । ਪੇਖੇ ਸ਼ਿਵਦਤ ਦਿਜਵਰ ਭੂਪ ।
ਕਟਿ ਪੀਤਾਂਬਰ ਕੰਧ ਕੁਵੰਡ । ਸਰ ਕਰ ਫੇਰਤ ਤੇਜ ਪ੍ਰਚੰਡ ।
ਗਹੇ ਚਰਨ ਗੁਰ ਕੇ ਦਵਿਜ ਆਇ । ਸੇਵਕ ਸਾਚ ਭਯੋ ਮਨ ਲਾਇ ।
(‘ਪੰਥ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ਼’, ਕਰਤਾ: ਗਿਆਨੀ ਗਿਆਨ ਸਿੰਘ)

(The great Brahman saw the Guru exactly in form of Sri Ram. He, the Guru wore yellow cloths and a bow on his shoulder. He was moving his hand on an arrow. The Brahman came forward and touched the feet of the Guru. He became Guru’s true servant from heart). (Book ‘Panth Prakash’, Author: Giani Gian Singh)

An imaginary picture shows (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in form of Sri Ram. Pandit Shivdatt is seen sitting in meditation.

Later on, a Gurdwara was built on the bank of river, which is called Gurdwara Sri Guru Gobind Singh Ghat (or Kangan Ghat). The word ‘Ghat’ stands for a place on the bank, generally paved, for bathing or harbouring boats etc.

Raja Fateh Chand Maini, a local chieftain served Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji with dedication during Guru Ji’s visit in 1665. Raja Fateh Chand and his wife received the Guru and his family with great honour. Guru Ji stayed in their newly built house with family. Fateh Chand Maini had no child.

On one occasion, he and his wife visited Pandit Shivdatt. The couple shared their feelings with Pandit Ji and asked to make a prayer (perform some religious rituals) so that the couple could get a son.

Pandit Shivdatt said, “You do not know whom to pray. Go to your home, sit and meditate on (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. He will fulfill your desire.”

Raja and queen decided to pursue what Pandit Ji asked to. The couple would sit daily and meditate of (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji. A few days passed off. Love and yearning grew slowly but surely.

One day, as the Raja and the Queen was sitting in meditation. Suddenly, (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji along with his playmates came there, sat in the lap of the Queen, embraced her and said in charming voice, “Mother, I have come.”

This was the first occasion in her life that she was called by someone ‘Mother’. She was overwhelmed with pleasure and thankfulness. The pleasant-sounding word ‘Mother’ delighted the childless queen. She held (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji in her arms.

The Queen served boiled grams and ‘puris’ to (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji and his companions. The life of Raja and his queen was now absolutely revolutionized. (Guru) Gobind Rai Ji was now their ‘adopted’ son. They converted their Palace into congregational centre.

Later on, a Gurdwara was constructed there, which is known as Gurdwara Bal Leela Maini Sangat. Boiled grams are served as ‘Prasad’ (ਪ੍ਰਸ਼ਾਦ) (consecrated food) to every visitor there in the Gurdwara.

The Pages of Guru History

Humayun

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Born at Kabul in March 1508, Humayun, ‘the fortunate’, was the eldest of Babar. Mahim Begam was his mother. He had three brothers, viz., Kamran, Askari and Hindal. Babar made special arrangements for his education. Humayun learnt Turkish, Arabic and Persian languages. He studied mathematics, philosophy, astronomy and astrology.

At the age of 20, he was appointed the Governor of Badakshan. He participated in the Battle of Panipat and Kanwah. In 1526, Babar gave him the district of Hissar Firoza. He also got the land of Sambhal. He was sent again to Badakshan in 1527, but was brought to Agra in 1529, on account of his illness.

On December 26, 1530, Babar died. The Prime Minister Khalifa Nizam-ud-Din Ali placed Mahdi Khwaja on the throne of Agra. Mahdi Khwaja was the brother-in-law of Babar. There was confusion for four days. At last, Humayun became the King and seated himself on the throne of Agra on December 30, 1530.

When Humayun became the King, he found himself in very difficult situation. There were three main enemies. In East, the Afghans were a big problem, under the leadership of Sher Khan. In South, Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujrat, became powerful. In Northwest, his own brother Kamran was a danger.

Humayun gave Sambhal to Askari and Alwar to Hindal. He gave the provinces of Kabul and Kandhar to Kamran. But this was not enough for Kamran. Kamran brought the Punjab under his control by force. Humayun did not think it prudent to put up a fight with Kamran and consequently agreed to give the province of the Punjab to him. Humayun also gave Kamran the district of Hissar Firoza. It was a suicidal step, because this gave Kamran control over the high road between Delhi and the Punjab. Humayun was deprived of the territory, which had been under control of his father. Punjab and Kabul was the source from which he could have recruited his new army. Only a new conquered empire was under his control, over which his hold was not secure.

Expedition of Kalinjar (1531)

In 1531, Humayun marched towards Kalinjar in Bundelkhand and besieged the fort. He was informed that the Rajput ruler of Kalinjar was hobnobbing with the Afghans. The siege of the fort lasted for several months. Humayun could not defeat the King of Kalinjar. At last, Humayun made peace and accepted huge money from the ruler of Kalinjar, because he came to know that the Afghans created disturbance in the East.

Battle of Dauhria (1532)

The Afghans were marching on to the province of Jaunpur. They had advanced as far as the Barabanki District.

Now, Humayun advanced to Jaunpur. He defeated the Afghans in the Battle Dauhria, near Lacknow in August 1532.

The siege of Chunar (1532)

After defeating the Afghans, Humayun advanced to Chunar and besieged the fort. The fort of Chunar was under control of Sher Khan, a big enemy. The siege lasted from September to December 1532 and then Humayun accepted a purely unthinking submission.

It was a big mistake on the part of Humayun. It was clear that Sher Khan was trying to become the King of Delhi and Agra. So, Humayun ought to have crushed his power. Humayun paid a big price for this mistake later on.

He made another mistake, when he returned to Agra. He forgot about his enemies. He wasted a year and a half (1533-34) in feasts and festivities in Agra and Delhi. He distributed gifts to the nobles. He also spent money on building a big citadel at Delhi, which was called ‘Din Panah’.

When Humayun was busy in feasts, Bahadur Shah, the ruler of Gujrat, was increasing his power day by day.

The War Against Bahadur Shah (1535-36 A. D.)

Bahadur Shah was a very ambitious man. He wanted to become the King of King of Delhi and Agra. He attacked Malwa in 1531. He captured the fort of Raisina in 1532. In 1533, he defeated the Sisodia chief of Chittaur.

Bahadur Shah gave shelter to Mohammad Zamir Khan and Alam Khan Lodhi, who were the enemies of Humayun. Bahadur Shah refused to hand them over to Humayun, when he requested to do so.
Now, war with Bahadur Shah was inevitable. Humayun advanced to Gujrat against Bahadur Shah in 1534 A.D. At this time, Bahadur Shah was besieging the fort of Chittaur. Queen Karnawati of Chittaur appealed to Humayun for help. He marched towards Chittaur, but camped near Sarangpur and did not help the Queen.

Bahadur Shah succeeded to capture Chittaur. Now, Humayun advanced to Chittaur. The opposing armies collided near Mandsaur, about 60 miles far from Chittaur. Bahadur Shah was defeated. He ran away and took shelter in the Fort of Mandu.

When Humayun besieged the fort of Mandu and captured it, Bahadur Shah ran away to Champaner. Champaner was also besieged by Humayun, though he could not capture it. Now, Bahadur Shah took refuge in the island of Diu.

Humayun returned to Champaner and captured the fort. He got the treasure of Bahadur Shah, which was kept in a pond. By 1535, the conquest of Gujrat was completed.

Now, Humayun made another mistake. He made no arrangement to consolidate his position. He wasted a lot of time in merry making. He squandered away the treasure he got from Champaner.

Humayun appointed his brother Askari as Governor of Gujrat. Askari started to merry making and mismanaged the affairs of the state. Meanwhile Bahadur Shah increased his power. He got back a large number of towns. With the help of the local chiefs, he attacked on Askari. Askari ran away and Bahadur Shah got back all the Gujrat.

The War Against Sher Khan (1537-39)

Humayun returned to Agra. He wasted about one year (from August 1536 to July 1537) in merry making. Sher Khan was strengthening his position in Bengal and Bihar. In 1536, Sher Khan defeated the King of Bengal.

In 1537, Humayun decided to do something against Sher Khan. He proceeded to the East and besieged the Fort of Chunar, which belonged to Sher Khan. His old and wise advisor Khan Khana Yousaf Khail advised him to capture Gaur, the capital of Bengal, but Humayun was not agree to his advice. The siege lasted for six months (from October 1537 to March 1538).

After capturing the Fort of Chunar in March 1538, he advanced to Banaras. He stayed there for sometime. Then, he decided to conquer Bengal and reached Teliagarhi in May 1538. In August 1538, Humayun reached Gaur. Here, he again wasted his time (about 8 months) in merry making.

When Humayun was busy in merry making; his brother Hindal left Bihar and reached Agra. It was a dangerous situation of Humayun. So, he decided to return to Agra immediately. In March 1539, he started his return journey.

The Battle of Chausa (June 1539)

In March 1539, Humayun started his return journey, from Gaur to Agra. Sher Khan was watching him very carefully. He collected his army near Chausa, so that he could block the road to Agra.

When Humayun reached Chausa with army, he found that only a decisive victory over Sher Khan could have helped him to reach Agra. Both the armies faced each other for three months. No one started the fighting.

After three months, the rains started. The Mughal army’s encampment was flooded. It created great confusion in the armies of Humayun.

Sher Khan was aware of it. He already selected a high land for his army’s encampment. When the Mughal army’s encampment was flooded, Sher Khan found the opportunity he was waiting for. On June 26, 1539, he attacked on Humayun.

This attack resulted in stampede in Humayun’s army. His army men started to run all round. Hundreds of his men were killed by Sher Khan’s army and hundreds were drowned in the river, which was flooded badly.

Humayun lost two of his wives and a daughter. About 8,000 Mughal soldiers were killed. Humayun himself saved his life with help of Nizam, a water-carrier. It was a big defeat for Humayun.

Now, Sher Khan became the ruler of Bengal and Bihar. He took up the title of ‘Sher Shah’.

The Battle of Kannauj (May 17, 1540)

After his defeat at Chausa, Humayun reached Agra. He called his brothers and asked for help. Kamran offered to fight, but he was not reliable man. So, Humayun wanted Kamran to lend him only his troops. When the differences between Humayun and Kamran could not be composed, Kamran left with 20,000 troops to Lahore. Humayun wasted about six months in looking for help. Somehow, he managed to raise an army.

When Sher Shah came to know that Humayun did not get help from Kamran; he marched towards Agra with a powerful army. Humayun decided to face Sher Shah and reached near Kannauj. Sher Khan stopped him. Both the armies faced each other for one month.

It was heavy rain on May 15, 1540. The Mughal army’s encampment was flooded. When the Mughals were carrying their material to a safe place, Sher Shah attacked them.

The Mughal artillery did not play any part, as it could not be taken to the front, when Sher Shah started the attack.

Humayun fought for sometime. Most of his men ran away. At last, Humayun became fugitive and Sher Shah became the King of Delhi and Agra.

The Expulsion of Humayun (1541 to 1555 A.D.)

After his defeat at Kannauj, Humayun returned to Agra, but Sher Shah chased him. Now, Humayun went to Punjab. His brother Kamran did not help him. Ultimately, he decided to go to Sindh.

After facing so many problems, he reached Amarkot. He got shelter from the King of Amarkot. In 1542, his son Akbar was born there.

Humayun went to Persia, where the King Shah Tahmasp welcomed him. The Shah promised to help Humayun, and in return Humayun became Shia. The Shah agreed to give 14,000 men to Humayun on the condition that Kandhar was to be given to him. With this help, Humayun captured Kandhar and handed over it to the Shah.

After the death of Shah Tahmasp, Humayun put Kandhar under his control. In November 1544, he captured Kabul and Kamran ran away to Sindh. In 1546, Kamran recaptured Kabul. In 1547, Humayun recaptured Kabul after a siege. In 1549, Kamran occupied Kandhar. Humayun defeated him and made him prisoner. Kamran’s eyes were taken out and he was sent on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Kamran died in Mecca in 1557. Hindal was killed in a battlefield. Askari was also sent on a pilgrimage, but he died in his way to Mecca.

The Restoration of Humayun (July 1555)

Sher Shah, the King of Delhi, died in 1545. After his death, his son Islam Shah became the King. He ruled up to 1553. Mohammad Adil Shah succeeded him. He was very weak ruler. Ibrahim Shah and Sikandar Shah challenged his authority. Many battles were fought among the various rivals.

It was a big opportunity for Humayun. He advanced towards India and reached Peshawar in December 1554. In February 1555, he captured Lahore. Dipalpur was occupied in March 1555. In June 1555, he defeated Sikandar Sur near Sarhind.

Humayun entered Delhi in July 1555, after an interval of about 15 years, though he was not destined to rule for long.

Death

On January 24, 1556, Humayun slipped from the famous building know as ‘Din Panah’. After two days, he died on January 26, 1556. His body was buried at Delhi.

The Mughal Dynasty: Babur

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

Zahir-ud-Din Mohammad was born in 1483. Babur was his surname. The blood of two great conquerors of Asia, Mongols and Turks, Changiz khan Timur, mixed in Babur’s veins. He was the son of Umar Sheikh Mirza, who was the ruler of Farghana, in Turkistan.

Umar Sheikh Mirza, the father of Babur, did not have good relations with adjoining states. He made special arrangements for Babur’s education. Babur studied Persian, Arabic and Turkish languages. He also got special military training. He father himself taught him political education.

As a King of Farghana

Umar Sheikh Mirza died on June 8, 1494, when Babur was eleven years and four months old child. He succeeded his father and became the King of Farghana. His enemies surrounded him on all sides. Everyone wanted to take advantage of his childhood and inexperience.

His uncle Ahmad Mirza, the ruler of Samarkand, attacked him. Babur saved his kingdom successfully. When Ahmad Mirza died in 1495, Babur decided to have his revenge. He took full advantage of the confusion that prevailed in Samarkand after the death of Ahmad Mirza. He attacked on Samarkand and besieged it. The besiege of Samarkand lasted for seven months and in November, 1497 he captured it.

When Babur was celebrating his victory in Samarkand, he fell ill. His enemies in Farghana took advantage of his sickness. His ministers gave out that he was dead and put on the throne the younger brother of Babur, Jahangir.

When Babur recovered from his sickness; he marched from Samarkand to recover Farghana. He could not capture Farghana. When he returned to Samarkand, he came to know that even Samarkand was occupied in his absence by Ali, his cousin. Now, Babur was not the king of any place. It was the year of 1498.

Babur wandered for more than a year. In June 1499, he recaptured the capital of Farghana.

Now, Babur decided to capture Samarkand again. He conquered Samarkand for the second time, but he was forced by the Uzbek chief, Shaibani Khan to leave the same. He lost Farghana too for the second time in the same year. After these ups and downs of life, Babur was left with nothing in 1502. It was good to try luck somewhere else. So, he left his native land.

The Conquest of Kabul

There was political chaos in Kabul after 1501. Babur took advantage of it and occupied Kabul in 1504. As the King of Kabul, he ruled from 1504 to 1526. In 1520, Babur captured Badakshan and put it under the charge of Humayun, his son. He captured Kandhar in 1522 and gave it to Kamran, his son.

Samarkand Captured and Lost for the Third Time

Babur still wanted to capture Samarkand. Shaibani Khan, the ruler of Samarkand, had died. So, Babur again tried his luck to conquer Samarkand. He entered into an alliance with the Shah of Persia and captured Samarkand every easily.

However, he could not sit on the throne of Samarkand for long. Within less than a year, Ubaid Ullah Khan drove him out of Samarkand.

The Expeditions of India

After his failure in Samarkand, Babur paid his attention to the conquest of India. Actually, since he conquered Kabul, he had always been bent on subduing India, but for many reasons, he could not invade India before 1519.

The First Expedition (1519)

In 1519, Babur gathered an army and marched onto Bajour. He defeated the Yusufzais, an Afghan clan. He captured Bajour and Swat. Then he advanced to Bhera on the west of the Jhelum. River and captured it without any problem.

Babur reached as far as the Chenab. His ministers advised him to send an ambassador to Ibrahim Lodhi, the King of Delhi, demanding the restoration of the country, which belonged to the Turks. So, acting on the advice, he sent an ambassador to Ibrahim. His ambassador was detained at Lahore by Daulat Khan Lodhi and came back empty handed after many months.

Babur came to know about a revolt in his own kingdom, so he went back to Kabul.

The Second Expedition

In September 1519, Babur again attacked India. This time, he could reach Peshawar and then went back.

The Third Expedition

During his third expedition, Babur occupied Sialkot in Punjab. Then he had to go to Kandhar to suppress a revolt.

The Fourth Expedition

In 1524, Babur attacked India again. He was invited by Daulat Khan Lodhi, the Governor of Punjab. When Babur reached Lahore, he found that the Delhi army had already turned out Daulat Khan Lodhi. The Delhi army tried to stop Babur, but was defeated. Thus, Babur captured Lahore. Then he marched forward and occupied Jallundhar and Dipalpur. Daulat Khan Lodhi helped him. Babur gave Jallundhar and Sultanpur to Daulat Khan Lodhi and Lahore to Alam Khan. Daulat Khan Lodhi was not happy with this. He started to make plans against Babur. His own son, Dilawar Khan, told this to Babur. Now, Babur took away Sultanpur from Daulat Khan and gave to Dilawar Khan. After making all arrangements, Babur went back to Kabul.

As soon as Babur went back, Daulat Khan Lodhi captured Sultanpur and Lahore.

The Battle of Panipat (1526)

Babur set out for the conquest of India. In Punjab, Daulat Khan Lodhi opposed him with 40,000 soldiers. Babur defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi and made him a prisoner. Thus, he captured Lahore. He stayed in Lahore for sometime and then advanced to Delhi via Sirhind. He had 12,000 soldiers and powerful artillery.

Ibrahim Lodhi, the King of Delhi, came out of Delhi with 100,000 soldiers and many elephants to give battle to Babur. The Delhi army came straight on, at a quick march, without a halt from the start.

Both of the armies met on the historic plains of Panipat.

Babur had put seven hundreds carts in front of his army. This was a very wise step to save his soldiers from arrows of enemy. Between the carts, there had been installed cannons. He had famous gunners, like Mustafa and Ustad Ali. He put the right wing of his army near the city of Panipat. His army dug ditches in front of left wing of his army and covered these ditches with leaves etc. He kept his horsemen on both sides of his army. Thus, Babur was perfectly ready for the battle.

For eight days, no one attacked. At last, on April 21, 1526 A.D. they came to a clash.

Ibrahim’s war elephants were more a source of weakness than a source of strength against Babur’s scientific combination of cavalry and artillery.

Just like a mad crowd, the Delhi army attacked on Babur’s army. When Babur’s artillery started to fire, the Delhi soldiers took to their heels. Ibrahim’s war elephants crushed their own soldiers.

When Ibrahim’s war elephants were crushing its own army, Babur’s horsemen attacked on the Delhi army.

In a half-day, 15,000 soldiers were killed in the battlefield. Ibrahim Lodhi was one of them. The battlefield became an uncanny spot, which no man dared pass after dark.

In spite of the superior numerical strength of Ibrahim’s armies, he was defeated. The result was that the Kingdom of Delhi and Agra fell into the hands of Babur.

After the battle of Panipat, Babur captured Delhi and Agra immediately.

The Battle of Kanwah (1527 A.D.)

The victory of Panipat made Babur the ruler of Delhi. It was necessary to defeat Rana Sanga of Mewar, if Babur wanted to become the ruler of India. Rana Sanga himself had the ambition to occupy the throne of Delhi itself.

Actually, Rana Sanga was one of the people, who sent invitation to Babur to invade India. Rana Sanga thought that Babur would went back to Kabul after destroying the Delhi Kingdom. Rana Sanga promised to attack Delhi in order to help Babur, when the later would be fighting against Ibrahim Lodhi. Rana Sanga broke the agreement with Babur and did not help him. Even without the help of Rana Sanga, Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodhi and now he was settled in India. This saddened Rana Sanga. He wanted to reestablish the Hindu rule. It was possible only after defeating Babur. So, the battle between Babur and Rana Sanga was unavoidable.

In 1527, Rana Sanga advanced with about 90,000 soldiers and 500 elephants to Biana. On the other hand, Babur also marched towards Fatehpur Sikri. Rana Sanga’s army defeated the Advance-guard of Babur.

On March 16, 1527, Babur attacked Rana Sanga with heavy artillery fire, near Kanwah (also known as Khanua), about 10 miles far from Sikri. There were about 40,000 soldiers in Babur’s army.

After an obstinate battle, Rana Sanga was defeated and Babur became the Victor of Kanwah. Rana Sanga ran away. He died in January 1528.

The Battle of Chanderi (1528)

From Kanwah, Babur advanced to Chanderi, which was a stronghold of the Rajputs under a powerful chief Medini Rai. Babur reached Chanderi on January 20, 1528 and besieged the fort, where Medini Rai had taken shelter with his 5,000 followers. The Rajputs were determined to fight to the finish. Their women burnt themselves. Almost all the Rajputs lost their lives in the battlefield.

On January 29, 1528, Babur captured the Fort of Chanderi.

The Battle of Ghagra (1529)

The Afghans were still to be subdued. Mahmud Lodhi, a brother of Ibarahim Lodhi, had fled and taken refuge in Bihar. Then he went to Banaras and from there to Chunar. At last, he took refuge in Bengal. Babur decided to put an end to the Afghan menace and marched towards Bengal. On May 6, 1529, the battle of Ghagra was fought and the Afghans were defeated.

Babur’s Death (1530)

Babur died on December 26, 1530. He was buried in Kabul. It was his last desire. At the time of his death, Babur was hardly 48 years of age.

The Lodhi Dynasty

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit)

‘Lodhi’ is a clan of Afghans. Bahlol Lodhi was the founder of the Lodhi Dynasty. He belonged to the Lodhi clan. So, this dynasty is called the ‘Lodhi Dynasty.

When Bahlol Lodhi became the King of Delhi, India was already divided into many independent states. Gujrat, Malwa, Jaunpur and Bengal were independent states. Lahore, Dipalpur and Sirhind were under the control of Bahlol Lodhi himself.

Bahlol Lodhi

Bahlol Lodhi was born of a fighting clan. He was ambitious and determined to restore the strength of the Kingdom.

His grandfather Malik Bahram migrated to Multan during the reign of Firoz Tughluq. Malik Bahram worked under Malik Mardan Daulat, the Governor of Multan. In 1419, Bahlol’s uncle Sultan Shah was appointed the Governor of Sirhind by Khizar Khan and also given the title of Islam Khan. Islam Khan married his daughter to Bahlol Lodhi. He also nominated Bahlol as his heir. Thus, after the death Islam Khan, Bahlol Lodhi became the Governor of Sirhind. King Mohammad Shah bestowed upon him Dipalpur and Lahore.

When King Alam Shah retired to Badaon, Bahlol Lodhi became the King Delhi on April 19, 1451.

Bahlol Lodhi occupied Jaunpur, Mewat, Sambhal, Koil, Rewari, Etawah and Chandawar.

Sikandar Lodhi

His son Nizam Khan succeeded Bahlol Lodhi. Nizam Khan took up the title of Sikandar Shah. There were many chiefs, who wanted to put Barbak Shah, the elder brother of Sikandar Lodhi, on the throne. It is said that Sikandar’s mother was the daughter of a goldsmith; so many chiefs were against Sikandar. However, Sikandar Lodhi became the King in 1489.

After becoming the King, Sikandar attacked on his elder brother Barbak Shah, who was the ruler of Jaunpur and defeated him. Barbak Khan ran away to Badaon. He was pursued there and ultimately made to surrender. Sikandar put him once again on the throne of Jaunpur, but litter power was left in his hands.

Religious policy of Sikandar Lodhi

Sikandar Lodhi ordered to destroy the Hindu temples of Mathura. Mosques were constructed in their places. The idols of Hindu gods were given to butchers, who made them into meat weights.

A Brahman of Bengal maintained that Islam and Hinduism were both true and God could be approached by following any one of them. The Brahman was ordered to embrace Islam, because he himself admitted the truth of Islam. As the Brahman refused to embrace Islam, he was put to death.

Sikandar Lodhi also broke the sacred images of the Jawalamukhi temple at Nagarkot. During his reign, the Hindus were not allowed to have their bath on the banks of Jamuna.

Sikandar died on November 21, 1517.

Ibrahim Lodhi

After the death of Sikandar Lodhi, his eldest son Ibrahim Lodhi became the King.

Some the chiefs put Jalal Khan, a younger brother of Ibrahim, on the throne of Jaunpur. Ibrahim himself attacked on Jaunpur. Jalal Khan fled towards Agra. Ibrahim Lodhi was chasing him. Then, Jalal Khan took refuge with the King of Gwalior. When Ibrahim captured the fort of Gwalior, Jalal Khan fled towards Malwa. Some of landlords captured Jalal Khan and handed over to Ibrahim. He was put to death by the order of Ibrahim Lodhi.

Though Ibrahim Lodhi was a brave man, but he was not a wise person. He unwisely followed a policy of suppression towards some powerful chiefs. By this, he lost the sympathy of the chiefs.

Even the ordinary people were not happy with him. When discontent arose, and revolt sprang up, he endeavoured to reduce the rising conflagration by the blood of some of the leading chiefs.

In this situation, Avadh, Jaunpur and Bihar became independent states. Daulat Khan Lodhi also became the independent ruler of Punjab

It was under these circumstances that Alam Khan, a uncle of Ibrahim, and Daulat Khan Lodhi sent an invitation to Babur to invade India. Daulat Khan Lodhi thought that he could use Babur as a tool in establishing his own power in Punjab. Alam Khan wanted to be put on the throne of Delhi.

In 1524, Babur captured Lahore and gave the fiefs of Jallandhar and Sultanpur to Daulat Khan Lodhi. When Daulat Khan Lodhi did not behave well, these were taken away from him and given to Dilawar Khan, son of Daulat Khan.

After making arrangements for the administration of Punjab, Babur returned to Kabul. Now, Daulat Khan Lodhi took away the fief of Sultanpur from his son and turned out Alam Khan from Dipalpur.

Under these circumstances, Babur again attacked India with only 12,000 soldiers. First of all, he defeated Daulat Khan Lodhi. Then, he marched towards Delhi via Sirhind. Ibrahim Lodhi came out of Delhi to give battle to Babur. The opposing armies met on the historic plains of Panipat on April 21, 1526.

15,000 soldiers were killed in the battlefield. Ibrahim Lodhi was one of them.

The battle of Panipat ended the Lodhi Dynasty and placed the Delhi empire in Babur’s hands.