First battle of Panipat, 21 April 1526
The first battle of Panipat (21 April 1526) was a major victory for Babur over Sultan Ibrahim Lodi of Delhi, won during his fifth and final expedition into Hindustan, and that helped establish the Mogul Empire.
Babur's fifth expedition began late in 1525, at a time when his control of the Punjab was under threat. His former ally, Alam Khan, the uncle of Ibrahim, had returned to Lahore from Kabul earlier in the year, and had promptly allied himself with Babur's enemy Daulat Khan, the former governor of Lahore for Ibrahim, and also briefly an ally of Babur. At about the same time that Babur left Kabul the new allies attacked Delhi, where they suffered a crushing defeat. Daulat Khan was forced to submit to Babur after promising to resist him, while Alam Khan returned to Babur's side during the march on Delhi.
With the Punjap secure Babur advanced to Sirhind, then to Ambala, sending his son Humayun to defeat a detachment from Ibrahim's army at Hisar-Firuza on 26 February 1526. From Ambala Babur moved east to reach the Jumna at Ambala. He then turned south, defeating another part of Ibrahim's army at a battle in the Doab on 2 April 1526. Ibrahim had not been idle. His victory at Delhi in 1525 had been won with quite a small force, but he had now raised a much larger army.
According to Babur he was told that Ibrahim's army contained 100,000 men and 1,000 elephants. Other sources give lower figures, (as low as 40,000 in some) which may reflect the number of effective fighting men or a desire to reduce the prestige of Babur's victory. Having raised this army Ibrahim advanced from Agra, to Delhi and then slowly moved north from the city, towards Panipat.
Babur's own army had been 12,000 strong when it crossed the Indus. Since them some men would have been lost, while Babur had also joined up with his garrison in the Punjab and with some local supporters, so his army may actually have grown by the time he reached Panipat, but he was still very badly outnumbered.
Babur came up with a plan that successfully negated Ibrahim's numerical advantage. In the last stage of the march Babur ordered his men to gather up as many carts as they could find. These seven hundred carts were lashed together in the 'Ottoman fashion', although using ropes to connect the carts rather than the chains used by the Ottomans. Enough space was left between each pair of carts to place five or six mantlets, and Babur's matchlock men were posted behind the mantlets. A number of gaps were left in the line, separated by an arrow's flight, and each wide enough to let 100-200 horsemen use them. One flank of Babur's line was protected by the town of Panipat, the other flank by a barrier of brush and ditches. He split his army into the normal left, right, centre and vanguard, but also created a reserve, and more importantly posted outflanking parties at the extreme right and left of the line. His plan was to wait for Ibrahim to attack the fortified line, and then have the flanking parties attack the rear of the enemy army.
The biggest problem Babur faced was getting Ibrahim to actually attack. The two armies faced each other for a week before the battle. Every day Babur's men rode out towards the enemy camp, firing arrows into their massed ranks and attempting to provoke a confrontation, but without success. Eventually Babur decided to launch a night attack on Ibrahim's camp, hoping that this would provoke a battle. A force of 4,000-5,000 men was selected to make this attack, but the night march went badly wrong, and at dawn Babur's men were in a dangerously exposed position close to Ibrahim's lines. Babur reacted by sending his son Humayun and an advanced guard towards the isolated men, and then followed up with the entire army, but although Ibrahim formed up as if he was about to pursuit Babur's men, no pursuit followed.
That night Babur's camp was disrupted by a false alarm, and on the morning of 21 April Ibrahim finally left his camp and moved to attack Babur's lines. Babur's plan worked perfectly. His flanking parties attacked the rear of Ibrahim's force, and the left and right wings attacked its sides. Ibrahim was unable to force his way through the barriers in Babur's centre, and his army became increasingly compressed. His left and right wings were soon unable to either attack or retreat, leaving only his centre still really active.
Although Babur's victory at Panipat is normally credited to his use of artillery, his own account of the battle suggests that it was his archers who played the biggest part in the battle, firing into the compacted Lodi army from left, right and rear. Only two small cannon are clearly mentioned, although the same text could refer to two small gun batteries.
The hardest part of the battle lasted from early in the morning until about noon. Ibrahim himself was killed during the fighting, although his body was not discovered until later in the afternoon. Babur dispatched a force towards Agra to try and catch the fleeing Sultan, before sending Humayun with a larger force to occupy the city and seize Ibrahim's treasury. According to Babur's memoirs his men estimated that they had killed 15-16,000 of the enemy, although the inhabitants of Agra estimated the losses at 40-50,000. Many of the survivors were captured, and
Three days after the battle Babur entered Delhi, where he found Ibrahim's mother and family and a number of his prisoners, treating both groups well. The battle of Panipat had established Babur as a major power in Hindustan, but he was not yet the acknowledged ruler of all of the areas claimed by Ibrahim - indeed for some time his authority was limited to the Punjab, Agra and Delhi.
First battle of Panipat, 21 April 1526 - History
Battle of Panipat
It was on this scene that the Mughal or Turkish chief Babur appeared in the year 1517. He was trying to recover in one direction what he had lost in others. Babul’s dynasty is entitled Mughal or Mongol but it should in fact be thought of as Turkish, which language they spoke. Turk and Mongol had been intermixed in the ebb and flow of Central Asian intertribal warfare. Babur was fifth in descent from the great Taimur. His father’s kingdom was reduced to the small principality of Farghana in Badakshan.
Babur suceeded as a boy of eleven in 1494 but soon found himself threatened by the Uzbeg chief Shaibani Khan. He was soon a fugitive and spent years between 1494 and 1513 trying to maintain himself in Farghana and recover Samarkand.
In 1504, in one of the turns of north-western politics, he gained control of Kabul and Kandahar. Gradually he merged these two districts with Badakshan and formed a personal kingdom which for him was a compensation for the loss of Samarkhand. But his over ambitious attitude made him look towards India as a southern expansion of his fledgling empire.
During his frequent raids to India he had noticed the wealth and prosperity there. He had also noticed the disunity and disaffection which prevailed in the region. It was a easy prey for a fugitive like him. But the real invitation came when the Afgan governor of Punjab disillusioned my Ibrahim Lodhi’s pretensions invited him to invade India and replace Ibrahim Lodhi.
Babur took his cue with the two invasions of 1523-24 and 1525-26 leading up to the battle of Panipat on 21 April 1526.
Battle of Panipat (1526, 1556, 1761), three military engagements, important in the history of northern India, fought at Panipat, a level plain suitable for cavalry movements, about 50 miles (80 km) north ofDelhi. The first battle (April 21, 1526) was between theMughal chief Bābur, then ruler of Kabul, and Sultan Ibrāhīm Lodī of Delhi. Although the sultan’s army outnumbered the Mughals’, it was unused to the wheeling tactics of the cavalry and suffered from deep divisions. Ibrāhīm was killed, and his army was defeated. This marked the beginning of theMughal empire in India.
Battle Forces and Tactics
Babur’s Mughal forces consisted of between 13,000 and 15,000 men, mostly horse cavalry. His secret weapon was 20 to 24 pieces of field artillery, a relatively recent innovation in warfare.
Arrayed against the Mughals were Ibrahim Lodi’s 30,000 to 40,000 soldiers, plus tens of thousands of camp followers. Lodi’s primary weapon of shock and awe was his troop of war elephants – numbering anywhere from 100 to 1,000 trained and battle-hardened pachyderms, according to different sources.
Ibrahim Lodi was no tactician – his army simply marched out in a disorganized block, relying on sheer numbers and the aforementioned elephants to overwhelm the enemy. Babur, however, employed two tactics unfamiliar to Lodi, which turned the tide of the battle.
The first was tulughma, dividing a smaller force into forward left, rear left, forward right, rear right, and center divisions. The highly mobile right and left divisions peeled out and surrounded the larger enemy force, driving them towards the center. At the center, Babur arrayed his cannons. The second tactical innovation was Babur’s use of carts, called araba. His artillery forces were shielded behind a row of carts which were tide together with leather ropes, to prevent the enemy from getting between them and attacking the artillerymen. This tactic was borrowed from the Ottoman Turks.
The Battle of Panipat
After conquering the Punjab region (which today is divided between northern India and Pakistan), Babur drove on toward Delhi. Early on the morning of April 21, 1526, his army met the Delhi sultan’s at Panipat, now in Haryana State, about 90 kilometers north of Delhi.
Using his tulughma formation, Babur trapped the Lodi army in a pincher motion. He then used his cannons to great effect the Delhi war elephants had never heard such a loud and terrible noise, and the spooked animals turned around and ran through their own lines, crushing Lodi’s soldiers as they ran. Despite these advantages, the battle was a close contest given the Delhi Sultanate’s overwhelming numerical superiority.
As the bloody encounter dragged on toward midday, however, more and more of Lodi’s soldiers defected to Babur’s side. Finally, the tyrannical sultan of Delhi was abandoned by his surviving officers, and left to die on the battlefield from his wounds. The Mughal upstart from Kabul had prevailed.
The Aftermath of the Battle
According to the Baburnama, Emperor Babur’s autobiography, the Mughals killed 15,000 to 16,000 of the Delhi soldiers. Other local accounts put the total losses at closer to 40,000 or 50,000. Of Babur’s own troops, some 4,000 were killed in the battle. There is no record of the elephants’ fate.
The First Battle of Panipat is a crucial turning point in the history of India. Although it would take time for Babur and his successors to consolidate control over the country, the defeat of the Delhi Sultanate was a major step towards the establishment of the Mughal Empire, which would rule India until it was defeated in turn by the British Raj in 1868.
The Mughal path to empire was not smooth. Indeed, Babur’s son Humayan lost the entire kingdom during his reign, but was able to regain some territory before his death. The empire was truly solidified by Babur’s grandson, Akbar the Great later successors included the ruthless Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj Mahal.
Important Events and Effects of The First Battle of Panipat
In November, 1525 Babur attacked India with 12,000 soldiers. When he reached at Peshawar he got the news that Daulat Khan Lodi had changes the side. He had collected an Army of 30,000- 40,000 soldiers and outed the Amirs of Babur from Sailkut and reached upto Lahore.
Therefore, first of all Babur paid his heed towards Daulat Khan Lodi. At Babur’s approach, the Army of Daulat Khan Lodi melted away. Daulat Khan Lodi surrendered and was pardoned. Thus within three weeks of crossing the Indus, Babur became the Master of the Punjab.
On 20th April, 1526 Babur reached the famous historical field of Panipat alongwith his army with a view to conquer India. Ibrahim Lodi met Babur at Panipat with a force estimated at 1000,000 men and 1000 elephants. Since the Indian Armies generally contained large hordes of servants, the fighting men on Ibrahim Lodi’s side must have been farless than this figure. Babur had crossed the Indus with a force of 12,000 but this had been swelled by his army in India, and the large number of Hidustani Nobles and soldiers who joined Babur in the Punjab.
Even then, Babur’s Army was numerically inferior. In the morning of 21st April, 1526, they fought a pitched battle. Babur, with the tactical use of Tuluguma Encircled Ibrahim Lodi’s army, and his artillery rained a hell of fire and shots on it. The Lodi Army was totally destroyed. Babur himself wrote, “By the grace and mercy of Almighty (God), the mighty army of Delhi as laid in the dust in the course of half a day”. After half a day of battle Babur came out victorious. Ibrahim Lodi lost his life alongwith his 15,000 soldiers in the Battle of Panipat.
Battle [ edit | edit source ]
Hearing of the size of Ibrahim's army, Babur secured his right flank against the city of Panipat, while digging a trench covered with tree branches to secure his left flank. In the center, he placed 700 carts tied together with ropes. Between every two carts there were breastworks for his matchlockmen. Babur also ensured there was enough space for his cavalry to charge between these carts. Α]
When Ibrahim's army arrived, he found the approach to Babur's army too narrow to attack. While Ibrahim redeployed his forces to allow for the narrower front, Babur quickly took advantage of the situation to flank (tulghuma) the Lodi army. Α] Many of Ibrahim's troops, were unable to get into action and as the battle turned against Ibrahim, they fled. Β] Faced with musket fire, cannon fire and cavalry attacks from all sides, Ibrahim Lodi fought and died with 6,000 of his remaining troops. Α]
Advantage of cannons in the battle [ edit | edit source ]
Babur's guns proved decisive in battle, firstly because Ibrahim Lodi lacked any field artillery, but also because the sound of the cannon frightened Lodi's elephants, causing them to trample Lodi's own men. Β]
Tactics [ edit | edit source ]
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New tactics introduced by Babur were the tulghuma and the araba. Tulghuma meant dividing the whole army into various units, viz. the Left, the Right and the Centre. The Left and Right divisions were further subdivided into Forward and Rear divisions. Through this a small army could be used to surround the enemy from all the sides. the Centre Forward division was then provided with carts (araba) which were placed in rows facing the enemy and tied to each other with animal hide ropes. Behind them were placed cannons protected and supported by mantlets which could be used to easily maneuver the cannons. These two tactics made Babur's artillery lethal. The cannons could be fired without any fear of being hit, as they were shielded by the bullock carts held in place by hide ropes. The heavy cannons could also be easily traversed onto new targets, as they could be maneuvered by the mantlets which were on wheels.
The battle was fought on 7 April near the small village of Panipat (now an industrial town in Haryana), in the present day Indian state of Haryana, an area that has been the site of a number of decisive battles for the control of Northern India since the twelfth century.
It is estimated that Babur's forces numbered around 15,000 men and had between 20 to 24 pieces of field artillery. Babur estimated Lodi had around 100,000 men, though that number included camp followers, while the fighting force was around 30,000 to 40,000 men in total, along with at least 1000 war elephants. Ώ]
First Battle of Panipat (1526)
The First Battle of Panipat was fought between the invading forces of Babur and the Lodi Empire, which took place on 21 April 1526 in North India. It marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowderfirearms and field artillery.
In 1526, the Mughal forces of Babur, the Timurid ruler of Kabulistan, defeated the much larger ruling army of Ibrahim Lodi,Sultan of Delhi. The battle was fought on 21 April near the small village of Panipat, in the present day Indian state of Haryana, an area that has been the site of a number of decisive battles for the control of Northern India since the twelfth century.
It is estimated that Babur’s forces numbered around 15,000 men and had between 20 to 24 pieces of field artillery. Babur estimated Lodi had around 100,000 men, though that number included camp followers, while the fighting force was around 30,000 to 40,000 men in total, along with at least 1000 war elephants.
Advantage of Cannons in the Battle
It is generally held that Babur’s guns proved decisive in battle, firstly because Ibrahim Lodi lacked any field artillery, but also because the sound of the cannon frightened Lodi’s elephants, causing them to trample Lodi’s own men. However a reading of the contemporary sources show that more than the gun, it was the tactics which helped in winning the day. The new war tactics introduced by Babur were the tulughma and the araba. Tulughma meant dividing the whole army into various units, viz. the Left, the Right and the Centre. The Left and Right divisions were further subdivided into Forward and Rear divisions. Through this a small army could be used to surround the enemy from all the sides. the Centre Forward division was then provided with carts (araba) which were placed in rows facing the enemy and tied to each other with animal hide ropes. Behind them were placed cannons protected and supported by mantelets which could be used to easily manoeuvre the canons. These two tactics made Babur’s artillery lethal. The guns and cannons could be fired without any fear of being hit as they were shielded by the bullock carts which were held in place due to the hide ropes holding them together. the nozzle of the heavy cannons could also be easily changed as they could be manoeuvered by the mantelets which were provided with wheels.
Ibrahim Lodi died on the field of battle, abandoned by his feudatories and generals (many of whom were mercenaries). Most of them changed their allegiance to the new master of Delhi. However had Sultan Ibrahim survived another hour of fighting he would have won, as Babur had no reserves and his troops were rapidly tiring.
The First Battle of Panipat: Factors for Ibrahim’s defeat
Whenever there is a reference to the first battle of Panipat it is a common practice to talk of the blood of Timur and Genghis Khan in Babar’s veins. Further, the use of light cannons and guns shielded by a barricade of carts and the flanking maneuvers deployed by Babar are considered as the decisive factor in his victory at Panipat(1). However, there is a serious need to cross check these factors.
It is often ignored that Babar’s career in Central Asia is one of frequent defeats and not of glorious success. He captured and lost Samarqand in 1497 and again in 1501-02. Babar also failed to hold his ancestoral kingdom of Farghana. In utter despair and he left for Tashkant which was held by his maternal uncle. In his account of 908 (A.H.) July 7th 1502 to June 26th 1503(C.E.) Babar writes :
“During my stay at Tashkint I endured poverty and humiliation. No country or hope of one! If l went to my Khan dada’s gate, went sometimes with one man, some times with two…. I used to go to Shah Begim, entering her house, bareheaded and barefoot, just as if it were my own(2) .”
Babar has also described how in the region of Akshi, which was once a part of his own kingdom, he was forced to flee in front of Tamble’s men though they did not number more than 20-25 on one occasion and 100 on the other(3).
Catherine B. Asher and Synthia Talbot, India before Europe, Cambridge University Press, 2007, P.116
Babur-Nama, translated from the original Turki text of Zahirud-din Muhammad Babur Padshad Ghazi, by A.S. Beveridge, (first pub. 1922) oriental books Reprint, 1970, Vol. I, P.157
Babar obtained Kabul and Ghazni in Oct. 1504. “Without a fight, without an effort.” in view of the internal disorder there. He also conquered Kandhar, only to lose it within a few weeks. In 1511 Babar with the help of Shah Ismail Safavi of lran recovered Samarqand and also occupied Bukhara and Khurasan. As a price for Shah’s help, Babar even embraced Shiaism and agreed to accept Shah’s suzerainty, a step which Humanyun had to repeat during his exile in Iran. This also created lots of problems for all subsequent Mughal rulers as the Shah of Iran continued to claimed suzerainty over the Mughal empire. However, Babar was defeated in May 1512 by Ubaid Ullah Khan at Kul-I Malik and was eventually forced to abandon the entire Trans-oxiana. Thus ended in smoke his dreams in Central Asia and was forced to think of India.
Ibrahim Lodi had ascended the throne of Delhi in 1517. A headstrong prince, he failed to carry most of his nobles along. Many of the top ranking Lodi, Lohani, Farmuli and Niyazi Afghans revolted and the Sultan had to resort to force to suppress their rebellions. Alam Khan Lodi, an uncle of the Sultan, claimed the throne of Delhi for himself and was supported by some disaffected nobles. Daulat Khan Lodi,the governor of Punjab, behaved like a defacto ruler. When sultan tried to contain Daulat Khan he went to the extent of joining hands with Babar. The sultan imprisioned Dilawar Khan, Daulat Khan’s son, but he managed to escape.
Ibrahim Lodi sent a army to Punjab and was able to defeat Daulat Khan. At this point of time Babar led his fourth expedition to India, captured Punjab and divided it among Daulat Khan, Dilawar Khan and Alam Khan.
Soon after Babar’s return to Kabul Alam Khan tried to capture Delhi. He succeeded in gathering an army of 30 to 40 thousand men and his game plan was to attack Delhi at night so that taking advantage of the dark and without a loss of face, the disaffected Afghan nobles could cross over to his side. Ibrahim also feared this development and stayed inside his tent till dawn when the invaders were attacked and repulsed.
However, this raid made it clear that Ibrahim was not in a position to fully trust his own men, particularly if the battle was fought at night.
Babar reached Panipat on April 12, 1526 and feared an immediate attack by Ibrahim. However, this did not happen. Ibrahim fully understood his advantage, had no intention to attack. His plan was to force Babar to face the Indian summer and cut off his supplies. Certainly the Indian summer could have done the same thing to Babar as the North Indian winter did to Marathas in 1761. It was for this reason that Ibrahim refused to be provoked by raids of Babar during the next seven days. This made Babar desperate. His army was on the verge of loosing heart as he himself admits. On the advice of his”Hindustani well wishers” he sent a raiding party of four to five thousand men against Ibrahim on the night of 18th-19th April. The raid failed but was enough to scare Ibrahim who wanted to avoid a night battle for fear of internal sabotage These were the circumstances which made Ibrahim change his well thought out plan and accept the risk of an offensive, which led to his defeat.
Had Ibrahim been sure of the loyality of his own men, he would have struck to his original plan and forced Babar to retreat. It also makes clear that the mutual distrust of the Afghans played as big a role in their defeat at Panipat as the guns and Tulghama of Babar. There is every reason to believe that the event could have taken the opposite tum had the Afghans not been a house divided against themselves. Alam Khan who worked against the Afghan cause was ignored after Panipat and Dilawar Khan subsequently died in the prision of Shershah, who expelled from India Humayun, the son and successor of Babar.
Professor G. Khurana
Who can see longest into a country’s past can see farther into its future.
On This Day: First Battle of Panipat Was Fought Marking The Beginning of Mughal Empire in India
On this day, in the year 1526, the First Battle of Panipat was fought between Lodi Empire and the invading forces of Babur to establish the Mughal Empire in India. At the time, Mughal forces led by a Timurid ruler of Kabul, Babur were on invading spree in India. The Delhi Sultanate was ruled by the Afghan Lodi Dynasty.
In the year 1526, on April 21 , a fierce battle was fought between the ruling power Lodi Dynasty led by Ibrahim Lodi and Babur near a small village (present-day) Panipat, in Haryana.
The battle is termed as the first battle that introduced the use of gunpowder and field artillery. As Lodi’s army was largely dependent on cavalry, Babur’s military genius and modern technology led to their enemy’s defeat.
It is estimated that Babur’s 12000 men army defeated nearly 50,000 army troops led by Lodi. It is believed that the sound of cannons frightened the war elephants from Lodi’s side and they crushed their own men.
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Babur used modern tactics of warfare and introduced the deadly combination of Tulghuma and Araba. Tulghuma meant the division of the army into the left, right and centre units, while Araba referred to the carts used to launch cannon fire.
Ibrahim Lodi died on the field and Babur emerged victorious in the First Battle of Panipat. It is believed that if Ibrahim had lived another hour, the Mughals may have lost the battle as Babur had minimal reserves left. This marked the end of Lodi Dynasty or the Delhi Sultanate and established the Mughal Rule in Northern India.
The land of Panipat has witnessed many major battles in the history of India. It is also the land where maximum battles to conquer the Northern part of Indian were fought.
THE FIRST BATTLE OF PANIPAT.
The first battle of Panipat was fought between the invading forces of Babur and the sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi which took place on the 21st of April 1526 in a small village of Panipat, North India. It marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire and the end of the Delhi Sultanate. Babur used Gunpowder, Firearms and field artillery in the Indian subcontinent which was introduced by Mughals in this battle. Babur defeated the sultan of Delhi, Ibrahim Lodi, and started a new empire in India, Mughal Empire.
Bābur made his first raid into India in 1519 in Bajaur, located in present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan. After capturing the Fort of Bajaur, Babur massacred at least 3,000 Bajauris, and set up a tower of their skulls, charging them of being “false to Islam.”. then he marched towards the Punjab region (now divided between the Indian state and the Pakistani province) was part of the dominions of Sultan Ibrāhīm Lodī of Delhi, but the governor, Dawlat Khan Lodī, was a bit annoyed with the Sultan’s attempts to diminish his authority.
By 1524 Bābur had invaded Punjab three more times only to expand his rule and to fulfill his ancestor Timur’s legacy but he was unable to master the tangled course of the politics of Punjab and Delhi, sufficiently enough to achieve a firm foothold. Yet it was clear that the Delhi sultanate was involved in contentious quarreling and ripe for overthrow. After mounting a full-scale attack there, Bābur was recalled by an Uzbek attack on his Kabul kingdom, but a joint request for help from ʿAlam Khan, Ibrahim’s uncle, and Dawlat Khan Lodhi (Governor of Delhi) encouraged Babur to attempt his fifth raid, which later turned out to be a mega event in the history of India. Rana Sangha, a ruler of Mewar Rajasthan also invited Babur for the same purpose and promised military aid. Babur sent an ambassador to Ibrahim Lodhi, claiming himself the rightful heir to the throne of the country, however, the ambassador was detained at Lahore and released months later. In 1524, Babur then set out for Lahore and Punjab, to seize the empire he sought.
Crossing the Indus a census of the army revealed that the core fighting force numbering 12,000. This number grew as many joined his garrison in Punjab .Some local allies or mercenaries also joined increasing the count to around 20,000 at Panipat. Entering Sialkot unopposed he moved on to Ambala. From Ambala the army moved south to Shahabad, then east to reach the River Yamuna opposite Sarsawa.
DETAIL OF BATTLE
The battle was fought on 21 st April 1526 near the small village of Panipat beside the Yamuna river ( in the present day Indian state of Haryana), an area that has been the site of a number of decisive battles for the control of Northern India since twelfth century .
It is estimated that Babur’s forces numbered around 12000 men and had between 20 to 24 pieces of field artillery. Babur estimated that Ibrahim Lodhi had around 100,000 men, though that number included camp followers, while the fighting force was around 30,000 to 40,000 men in total, along with at least 1000 war elephants.
Hearing the size of Ibrahim’s army, Babur secured his right flank against the city of Panipat, while digging a trench covered with tree branches to secure his left flanks. In the center, he placed 700 carts tied together with ropes. between every two carts, there were breastworks for his matchlock men. Babur also ensured that there was enough space to rest their guns and fires. this method is referred to as the “Ottoman device “due to its previous use by the Ottomans during the Battle of Chaldiran.
When Ibrahim’s army reached, he found the approach to Babur’s army too narrow to attack. Ibrahim allowed his forces to attack through the narrower front, Babur took advantage of the situation to flank (tulghama) the Lodi. The artillery section of Babur was led by Mustafa Khan and Ustad Ali. Many of Ibrahim’s troops were unable to get into action and fled when the battle turned against them. Ibrahim’s forces were badly defeated owing to the use of explosives and cannons by the Mughals and the far more superior war tactics used by Babur. Ibrahim Lodi was killed while trying to retreat and beheaded. About 20,000 Lodi soldiers were killed on the battlefield. As a result, many of his feudatories and generals changed their allegiance to the new ruler of Delhi.
However, fate could have been turned in the favor of Sultan Ibrahim, if he had survived another hour of fighting as Babur had no reserves left and his troops were rapidly tiring Ibrahim Lodhi goes down in Indian History as the only Sultan to die on the battlefield.
ADVANTAGE OF USING CANNONS IN THE BATTLE
It is generally held that Babur’s guns proved decisive in battle, firstly because Ibrahim Lodi lacked any field artillery, but also because the sound of the cannon frightened Lodi’s elephants, causing them to trample Lodi’s own men. However, a reading of the contemporary sources shows that more than the gun, it was the tactics that helped in winning the day. The new war tactics introduced by Babur were the tulghma and the araba. Tulughma meant dividing the whole army into various units, viz. the Left, the Right and the Centre. The Left and Right divisions were further subdivided into Forward and Rear divisions. Through this, a small army could be used to surround the enemy from all sides. the Centre Forward division was then provided with carts (araba) which were placed in rows facing the enemy and tied to each other with animal hide ropes. Behind them were placed cannons protected and supported by mantelets which could be used to easily manoeuvre the canons. These two tactics made Babur’s artillery lethal. The guns and cannons could be fired without any fear of being hit as they were shielded by the bullock carts which were held in place due to the hide ropes holding them together. the nozzle of the heavy cannons could also be easily changed as they could be manoeuvered by the mantelets which were provided with wheels.
RESULTS OF THE BATTLE
The first battle of Panipat resulted in the death of Ibrahim Lodi which marked the end of the Lodi Dynasty and also the Delhi Sultanate in India. With this started the Mughal Era in India, which is considered the Second Golden Era of Indian History.
Panipat , a part of modern day Haryana , has been a land of many important battles in the history of India and also the land that fought the maximum battles for rule over the Northern part of India .
SECOND BATTLE OF PANIPAT
Hemu and Akbar fought Second Battle of Panipat on October 1556. This battle took many twist and turns and ultimately fate favoured akbar which helped him revive his empire.
- Babur’s son Humayun lost to Sher Shah Suri and as a result was forced to leave India. Sher shah suri established Sur empire in 1540 in delhi and agra but he died soon in 1545.
- His younger son Islam Shah Suri succeeded him and died in 1553.
- Suri empire was in succession battle after this incident.
- Humayun as soon as he heard of Islam’s death came to regain control over Delhi and Agra.He did so by defeating Sikandar Shah suri in 23 July 1555.
- Subsequently, Adil Shahsucceeded Sikandar Shah Suri by assassinating 12 year son of Islam suri.
- During the reign of Islam shah suri, Hemu emerged as superintendent of market of Delhi and gradually ranked up to administrator and was now a high ranking officer and started building his own army and was completely given command of army.
- His desire was to throw mughals out of India and re establish its ancient values certainly.
- He was a highly capable military mind and won 22 wars for Adil shah.
ALSO LEARN ABOUT : COLD WAR
Starting of war:
- Humayun died on 26 January 1556. Hemu was in Bengal at that time and it was certainly an ideal opportunity for him to regain his lost territory.
- As a result, hemu started a rapid march from Bengal towards delhi covering all major cities in between. Upon hearing the of hemu invasion, agra’s governor evacuated and fled the city.
- Hemu reached Tughlaqabad and defeated Tardi Beg Khan the mughal governor in Battle of Tughlaqabad. Tardi Beg Khan somehow managed to fled and reached to Bairam khan to warn him about hemu when he beheaded him.
- ON 5 November, 1556 again in field of panipat the battle starts. This time between Bairam Khan ( on behalf of Akbar) and Hemu. remained 8 miles away from the battle ground because Mughal army war led by Ali Quli Khan. With his 10,000 cavalry in centre with support from left and right sides.
- On the other hand, Hemu had an army of 30,000 strong cavalry, Afghan horsemen and 500 elephants.
- Hemu continued destroying mughal army himself, he was at the verge of victory but from nowhere an arrow came and struck hemu’s eyes. He went unconscious and seeing him in this condition broke formation of his army and hemu lost. MUGHALS won by sheer luck.
- Bairam khan beheaded Hemu. He was sent to Kabul and body was hanged at Delhi gate.
- Hemu’s soldiers too met with the same fate as their king.
- As a result,Akbar then regained control and ruled for a long period in India.
First Battle of Panipat (21st April, 1526)
The First Battle of Panipat was fought between armies of Ibrahim Lodi and Mughal Emperor Babur. Ibrahim Lodi was defeated in the battle. The war took place on 21st day of April, 1526.
Ibrahim Lodi, the Sultan of Delhi, was an arrogant type ruler. As a result of Afghan aristocrats were engaged in a conspiracy to dethrone him.
Daulat Khan, the Afghan ruler of Punjab, invited Mughal ruler Babur to invade India. In 1524 Babur tried to attack India. But as the difference between Babur and Daulat Khan grew, Babur had to make a retreat.
In the next year Babur came back with bigger force and by defeating Daulat Khan captured Punjab. Then the Mughal army marched towards Delhi. The Afghan and Mughal army faced each other in the battle field of Panipat near Delhi (1526 A.D.).
On reaching Panipat, Babur organized the defense of his troops. His right flank was covered by the town of Panipat while the left was protected by a ditch filled with trees.
Babar wanted Ibrahim to start the offensive. The latter knew nothing about the defensive arrangements of the enemy. He, therefore, launched an offensive. But the line of his troops was so extended that there was no room for all of them to participate in the attack. This caused the initial confusion. When they came within range they were hailed with a volley of guns and matchlocks and a shower of arrows. The presence of chained carts checked their advance. This broke their ranks. The Afghans began to get huddled together. The gunners and archers of Babur continued doing havoc in their ranks while the flanking parties on the right and the left turned their flanks and surrounded them on all sides.
By his clever leadership Babur defeated very large Afghan regiment with only twelve thousand soldiers. Ibrahim died on April 20, 1526. Thus, the Sultan Shahi in ended in India. Babur’s troops occupied both Delhi and Agra and the Mughal rule came into being.
Causes behind Babur’s success and Ibrahim Lodi’s defeat
The empire which Bahlul Lodi and Sikandar Lodi had reared up with such labor was rolled up by a single attack of Babur. This was the outcome of Ibrahim’s defeat in the First Battle of Panipat. What were its causes?
Ibrahim was not a good diplomat. Even in a crisis, he could not rope in the support of Daulat Khan, Muhammad Shah or Rana Sanga so that Babur found practically no difficulty in occupying the Punjab. Fortunately for Babur, his central Asian neighbors caused him no distraction so that he could confidently pursue his plans in India.
The soldiers of Ibrahim were not satisfied with him. Afghans were a house divided among them and Ibrahim was no able general.
If his spies of Ibrahim Lodi had been efficient, he should have surrounded the camp of Babur and cut off supplies instead of making a frontal attack on him. But Ibrahim was utterly innocent of even the existence of some defensive arrangement.
The tactics of Babur were utterly unknown to Indians and they possessed no arm which could be a match for Babur’s artillery.
The trained archers of Babur also contributed to Babur’s success.