Friday, August 16, 2013

Mewar Kings and Kingdom - History - Bibliography

Maharana Raj Singh and His Times
Shah Jahan sent a large force against Chittor

Battle of Saraighat - 1671 - Defeat of Mughal Army by Ahoms (Assamese)

 The Mughal Emperor Auranjeb deputed the powerful Rajput king Raja Ram Singha as the Commander-in-Chief of the Mughal army to attack Ahoms.

The  king Chakradwaj Singha ordered the deployment of Assamese forces on both the banks of the Brahmaputra  The Barphukan was aware that the Mughals would definitely try to invade the country on the north bank of the Brahmaputra as they could move faster on the land routes of the north bank. The south bank of the Brahmaputra was relatively safer as the enemy needed to cross the mighty river Brahmaputra to attack the Assamese forces on the south bank. Moreover, the Assamese naval force was fairly strong and the border posts were strategically important.Hence he fortified the border posts.

Lachit Barphukan camped in Itakhuli. He had a very strong personality.  None could look straight at his face. After detailing his soldiers, he came and held discussion with the commanders.

However, the debacle of the Assamese forces at Alaboi in which ten thousand soldiers were killed by the Mughal army disheartened King Chakradwaj Singha. In fact, Lachit was not interested to fight the Mughal army on the north bank. On the insistence of the king, he had sent his soldiers to fight the land battle at Allaboi near Agiathuri resulting in a catastrophe.

After the death of king Chakradwaj, his cousin Udayaditya ascended the throne. He was in favour of a negotiated settlement and there were diplomatic missions between the Barphukan and Raja Ram Singha.  But the conditions given by Ram Singha that Guwahati be returned to the Mughal was totally unacceptable and so Lachit Barphukan procrastinated. On the other hand, the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb was furious that Raja Ram Singha was not being able to wrest away Guwahati and the lower Assam from the Ahom king. He ordered Ram Singha to fight the Assamese.

Raja Ram Singha was now determined to fight the Assamese. So he sent Munnawar Khan, his nephew Rabat Khan, Lasid Khan, two Firingis (foreigners) on war boats. They fired their guns and shot their arrows from their boats to launch an attack on the Assamese. The Assamese fleet retreated to Amrajurighat.

It was, therefore, thought by the Mughal Commanders that the landing of their men and horses would be easy at that open shore for an attack on Guwahati. But, in the meantime, high sand banks had been built by the Assamese all along it from the foot of the Kamakhya Hill to that of Sukreswar. When the Mughal fleet reached the Juria Hill, the Assamese army retreated to Asvakranta. This compelled their land forces also to retreat in order to avert an encircling movement by the enemy. . Even with high temperature, Lachit Barphukan remained alert and was informed every few minutes about the advance of the enemy up the river. There was such a concentration of the Ahom navy at Guwahati that it was possible to walk over the bridge of war-boats alone from one bank of the Brahmaputra to the other. The Mughals pressed forward to the open shore of Andharubali and the Assamese fell back to the Bar-Sila after an action which did not succeed in stemming the enemy’s progress. It seemed as if there was a break-down in the command, though there was not any inherent lack of energy and strength of the Ahom navy, which had regained its supremacy under Chakradhvaj Singha.

Some of the Assamese boatmen wanted to retreat to Kajali and Samdhara. The commander at Aswaklanta, a Hazarika of the Miri Sandiqui family, asked the Barphukan to come to his rescue. Lachit Barphukan sent the following reply:-“Tell your men, I am going to die on this spot and I will never think of abandoning my charge. I have a piece of land on the top of the Chila hill which will provide sufficient accommodation for my dead body. If I survive I shall go after all the people who have left their places.” A commander named Nara Hazarika rushed from Sindurighopa, and knelt down before the retreating soldiers shouting, “My countrymen, do please flee if you want to pour poison on this platter of gold!” The Barphukan immediately placed 2,000 men at the disposal of Nara Hazarika.

The Buragohain was at Lathia. Hatibarua Deka loaded all the belongings of the Buragohain on the boats without his knowledge. Even the belongings of the Barphukan were also loaded without his knowledge into the boats which reached Latasil. The Barphukan who was very ill was watching this scene from his sick bed at his archery store .When he heard that the Mughals had reached Juria, he asked the attendants to take him out so that he could see how far the Mughals had arrived. He was taken out to the gate yard of his residence by four Bhuyans.

The Barphukan wanted to go to confront the Mughals but the astrologer Achyutananda Doloi said, “The time is not the auspicious for it”. The Barphukan said, “Doloi, I shall now severe your head before the Heavenly King does it!” The Doloi said, “You may do so.” The Barphukan remained at his gate house taking information about the naval battle. He said, “The Mughals have crossed Amrajuri; Doloi, the Heavenly King will not spare you nor me. You have paved the way for your annihilation, brought about my disgrace and destroyed my livelihood!” After a few seconds, the astrologer announced, “Now is the most appropriate time to catch the enemy!”

The Barphukan immediately came down the steps of the gate house, supported by Nodai of Kharangi and boarded his boat. Seeing the retreating of the Ahom soldiers, the oarsmen wanted to go upstream leaving the scene of contest. The Barphukan exclaimed, “How dare you row the boats upstream? The  King has given me the command of the people of the place here. Should I go back to my wife and family without fighting the enemy? How dare these serfs of boatmen venture to row up the boats without my permission?” So saying he hit four oarsmen with the blunt edge of his sword and threw them into the water. He beat up his body guards and threw them into the river. He, however, allowed them to come when their comrades entreated him for mercy.

The effect was electrifying. Words spread that the Barphukan   was killing those who were retreating without fighting the enemy and throwing them into the river. The Barphukan said loudly, “Let the Mughals capture me alive and let my people go home in peace!” His fleet of seven boats with mounted guns sped towards the enemies. This gallant and extra-ordinary act of the Ahom General at once restored the morale of his army and the navy  and immediately the shore batteries of the Ahoms and the archers, on the north and south banks went into action with terrific volleys and their naval forces fell upon the Mughal fleet and threw it into confusion. A big battle ensued in the area of Saraighat and both the sides called up their strength. The Sharing Phukan, the Neog Kataki and many Hazarikas proceeded from Rangmahal and joined their army in this violent contest. The Mughal Commandant Sharip Khan and two other Amirs commanding the navy fell downs dead. Innumerable Mughal soldiers were killed and many of their boats with men, horses and war materials were sunk. The survivors made quick retreat in their boats. A large amount of booty came into the possession of the Ahoms. There was no other fighting after this naval fight. That was the historic battle of Saraighat fought in the middle of March, 1671, which became the Waterloo for the mighty Mughals in the east.

The Assamese people regained their lost glory. The victory of the Assamese people in the battle of Saraighat was a landmark in the history of Assam and we are proud of this great achievement of Veer Lachit.

Defeat of Rohilla Khan (Ruhullah Khan) by Chhatrasal - 1673

The Mughal authority was set at naught and chaos and confusion reigned supreme in the territories around Dhamoni due to the raids by Chhatrasal. Khaliq, the Faujdar of Dhamoni sent urgent messengers to the Emperor. The Emperor sent Ruhullah Khan (23rd March, 1673) to take charge of Dhamoni with express orders to suppress Chhatrasal and his brothers. The chiefs of various neighbouring states including Datia, Orchha, Chanderi etc. were ordered to render every assistance to the new Faujdar against Chhatrasal.

Ruhullah Khan advanced with a large army towards Garhakota(28 miles east of Sagar) to attack  Chhatrasal. The battle which began in the afternoon continued till night. The Bundelas  repelled the Mughal forces inflicting heavy losses and Ruhullah Khan was forced to beat a retreat.

The news of the  failure of the Mughal expedition reached the Emperor. He  fined Ruhullah Khan and ordered him to suppress the Bundelas with the help of a contingent of Turks that was sent. Ruhullah Khan again advanced with a strong army and encountered the Bundelas at Basia(10 miles west of Sagar). In the engagement that followed the Bundelas made a dash upon the Mughal artillery. At that time gunpowder was being distributed among the gunners, which was set alight by the Bundelas and the resulting explosions created panic in the Mughal army. Taking advantage, the Bundelas swooped upon the enemy forces and routed them completely.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Battle of Kayadara (Gujarat), 1178 - Defeat of Muhammed Ghori

 In 1178 Muhammed Ghori, marched towards Gujarat capital of Anhilwara (modern Patan).

Gujarat was ruled by the young Indian ruler Bhimdev Solanki II (ruled 1178–1241). The army was commanded by his mother Naikidevi.  Muhammad's army had suffered greatly during the march across the desert, and Naikidevi inflicted a major defeat on him at the village of Kayadara (near to Mount Abu, about forty miles to the north-east of Anhilwara).  The invading army suffered heavy casualties during the battle, and also in the retreat back across the desert to Multan.

An army led by Qutb al-din Aibak,  Ghori's deputy  invaded again  in c.1195–97.  Bhimdev defeated Aibak again and adorned himself as "Abhinav Siddharaj". 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Battle of Rajasthan - 738 AD - Defeat of Arabs

The Battle of Rajasthan is a battle (or series of battles) where the Gurjar Hindu alliance defeated the Arab invaders in 738 CE  The final battle took place somewhere on the borders of modern Sindh-Rajasthan. Following their defeat the remnants of the Arab army fled to the other bank of the River Indus.The main Indian kings who contributed to the victory over the Arabs were the north Indian Gurjar Emperor Nagabhata I of the Pratihara Dynasty and the south Indian Gurjar Emperor Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya dynasty in the 8th century.

The most powerful kingdoms of North India in the 8th century were the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty and the Pala dynasty.
 In the early 8th Century the Kingdom of Sindh under Brahmin King Dahir of the Rai dynasty was convulsed by internal strife——taking advantage of the conditions the Arabs assaulted it and  occupied it under Muhammad ibn Qasim, the nephew of Al-Hajjaj (governor of Iraq and Khurasan). Qasim and his successors attempted to expand from Sindh into Punjab and other regions but were badly defeated by Lalitaditya of Kashmir and Yasovarman of Kannauj.

Junayd ibn Abd al-Rahman al-Murri, the successor of Muhammad ibn Qasim, in Sindh led a large army into the region in early 730 CE. Dividing this force into two he plundered several cities in southern Rajasthan, western Malwa, and Gujarat. The southern army moving south into Gujarat was defeated at Navsari by Avanijanashraya Pulakesi who was sent by the South Indian Gurjar Emperor Vikramaditya II of the Chalukya Empire. The army that went east, reached Avanti whose ruler Gurjara Pratihara Nagabhata I utterly defeated the invaders and they fled to save their life.

The Battle of Rajasthan

Gauging at the seriousness of the situation as well as the power of the arab forces, pratihara king, Nagabhata made pact with Jaysimha Varman of the Rashtrakuta Empire. Jaysimha in turn sent his son Avanijanashraya Pulakesi to support Nagabhata. The two Dynasties of India supplemented the already fighting Hindu Gurjar Mewar Kingdom, under Bappa Rawal, at the border of Rajasthan.

The battle was fought between 5,000-6,000 Gurjar Infantry and cavalry facing more than 30,000 Arabs. The Gurjar fought bravely and managed to kill the Arab leader Emir Junaid during the war. This enhanced the morale of the Gurjar hindu forces while the Arabs disorganized and demoralized due to their leaders death retreated and were frequently attacked by local forces until they reached the indus river taking great casualties.

Junayd's successor Tamim ibn Zaid al-Utbi organized a fresh campaigns against Rajasthan but failed to hold any territories there. He would be further pushed across River Indus by the combined forces of the King of Kannauj, Nagabhata thus limiting the Arabs to the territory of Sindh across River Indus.
 The Arabs crossed over to the other side of the River Indus, abandoning all their lands to the victorious Indian kings. The local chieftains took advantage of these conditions to re-establish their independence. Subsequently the Arabs constructed the city of Mansurah on the other side of the wide and deep Indus, which was safe from attack. This became their new capital in Sindh.

Rana Hamir - Recapture of Chittor - 1326

Chittor was besieged in 1303 AD by the army of Alauddin Khilji, sultan of Delhi, who is said to have coveted Padmini, Rani of Chittor, a legendary beauty of her day. The famous Jauhar followed, wherein Rani Padmini, led the ladies of the fort into death by self-immolation.  The next morning, the menfolk of Chittor rode out to face certain death on the field of honour.
After Chittor was lost, an extremely distant kinsman of Rawal Ratan Singh (Rana of Mewar), by name 'Laksha' or Lakshman Singh, proclaimed himself Rana-in-exile. Laksha was descended in direct patrilineage from Bappa Rawal (founder of Mewar Dynasty), and hence belonged to the Gehlot clan. But he was an eighth cousin twice removed of Rawal Ratan Singh. Laksha hailed from the village of Sisoda near the town of Nathdwara. Laksha was the father of nine sons, of whom the eldest was Ari.   Hammir was the only child of Ari.

Both Laksha and Ari died in various skirmishes when Hammir was yet an infant; resultantly, Hammir grew up under the tutelage of his uncle Ajay, the second son of Laksha.

The Khiljis had assigned their newly conquered territories to the administration of Maldeo, ruler of the nearby state of Jalore, who had allied with them during the recent war. In a bid to reconcile and co-opt the natives of the land to his rule, Maldeo arranged for the marriage of his widowed daughter Songari with Hammir.  Rana Hammir Singh re-established the state of Mewar in 1326 by engineering a coup d'état against his father-in-law. The dynasty thus founded by Hammir, who was descended in direct patrilineage from Bappa Rawal, came to be known as Sisodia after Sisoda, the mountain village whence Hammir hailed.

Bappa Rawal - Founder of Mewar Dynasty - Warrior Who Defeated Arabs - 713-780 AD

Bappa Rawal (AD. 713-810), was the founder of the Mewar Dynasty (r. 734-753).

Bappa Rawal was one of the most powerful and famous rulers of the Mewar Dynasty. He is  a surviving member of the Guhilot clan. But he established the Mewar Dynasty, naming it for the kingdom he had just taken. He went on to become a celebrated hero on battlefields near and far.  It is said that Bappa was blessed by Harit Rishi, a sage of the Mewar region, with kingship.

Bappa Rawal is said to have spent his childhood near a place called Nagda.

Bappa Rawal played an important role in the Battle of Rajasthan, a series of wars fought in the 8th century AD between the regional rulers of North-Western India and the Arabs of Sindh, in which the regional Indian rulers inflicted a resounding defeat on the invading Arabs.

In the 8th century Arab Muslims started attacking India within a few decades of the birth of Islam, which was basically an extension of invasion of Persia. In order to ward off Muslim invasions across the western and northern borders of Rajputana, Bappa united the smaller states of Ajmer and Jaisalmer to stop the attacks. Bappa Rawal fought and defeated the Arabs in the country and turned the tide for a while. Bin Qasim was able to defeat Dahir in Sindh but was stopped by Bappa Rawal.

Bappa defeated and pursued Bin Qasim through Saurashtra and back to the western banks of the Sindhu (i.e. current day Baluchistan). He then marched on to Ghazni and defeated the local ruler Salim and after nominating a representative returned to Chittor. Subsequently, Bappa Rawal and his armies invaded various kingdoms including Kandahar, Khorasan, Turan, Ispahan, Iran and made them vassals of his kingdom. Thus he not only defended India's frontiers but for a brief period was able to expand them.

Bappa Rawal was also known to be a just ruler. After having ruled his kingdom for almost 20 years he abdicated the throne in favour of his son, he became a devout Siva 'upasak' (worshipper of Shiva) and became a 'Yati' (an ascetic).

Bappa Rawal's Childhood

Bappa Rawal Story Book

First Battle of Rajastan - Arab lost badly

11 August - Day in History of India and Importance

1908 -Khudiram Bose was hanged

1961 - The Former Portuguese Territories of Dadra and Nagar Haveli were Merged to Create the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli

2012 - Mohammed Hamid Ansari was sworn in as 14th Vice President of India




1951 Sunil Shetty - Hindi Film Actor

Advance Study in the History of Modern India (Volume-2: 1803-1920)
G. S. Chhabra
Lotus Press, 01-Jan-2005 - India - 680 pages

Military History of India - Bibliography

Battle of Rajasthan 738 AD - Defeat of Arabs

Military History of British India, 1607-1947
H.S. Bhatia
Deep and Deep Publications, 1977 - India - 270 pages

The military history of the duke of Wellington in India (Google eBook)
Wm. H. Allen, 1852 - India - 123 pages

First Maratha-East India Company War

Maharana Pratap - Video Serial on Sony TV - Episodes 1 to 10



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

6 August - Day in History of India and Importance

1987 - India's first scientifically documented test tube baby was born. Name Indira Harsha





Avinash Dixit - Economist
G.S. Dhillon
Kotha Raghu Ramiah MP - Andhra Pradesh

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Ramkishun - M.P.

DOB: August 3, 1956

Ramkishun  is a member of the 15th Lok Sabha of India. He represents the Chandauli constituency of Uttar Pradesh and is a member of the Samajwadi Party (SP) political party.

Ramkishun has a bachelor of arts and bachelor of education degree. He is the co-author of "Corporate Strategic Management" and "Economics and Societal Development".

Thursday, August 1, 2013

1 August - Day in History of India and Importance

1920 -Death of Bal Gangadhar Tilak

Gandhi launched non-violent non-cooperation movement.

2000 - Lok Sabha adopted Uttar Pradesh State Reorganization bill creating Uttranchal State (27th State)





1882 Purushottam Das Tandon
1899 Kamala Nehru, Wife of Jawaharlal Nehru
1932 Meena Kumari