Rajput Victories in Indian history

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Maharana Sangram Singh I, Maharana Pratap, Maharana Kumbha

During the recent controversy on release of the movie Padmaavat some did not go into the merits of points being made by protestors but sought to justify the alleged depiction of Rajputs in the movie on the premise that Rajputs never won any wars, their valour is myth.

Living in modern India, it is easy to find fault. Remember that as the Rajput principalities were huge in number, with no unity and bifurcated on clan lines, they lacked a common leadership, hence they were easily defeated, esp. when the invaders came with large armies befitted with modern weaponry. Still the Rajputs won many a vital battle.

With this background I requested the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur to prepare a list of battles fought and won by the Rajputs. The foundation kindly obliged. Please find details below and decide for yourself. - Introduction by Editor.  

 

1. Against the Ghurid's  

  • Battle of Kasahrada (1178) - Mularaja II of Solanki Dynasty defeated Mu'izz ad-Din Muhammad Ghori.

  • First battle of Tarain (1190–1191 CE) - In the ensuing battle, Prithviraj's army decisively defeated the Ghurids. Muhammad of Ghor was injured and forced to retreat.  

  • Second battle of Tarain - Prithviraj's camp lost 100,000 men (including Govindaraja of Delhi) in this debacle. Prithviraj himself tried to escape on a horse, but was pursued and caught near the Sarasvati fort (possibly modern Sirsa). Subsequently, Muhammad of Ghor captured Ajmer after killing several thousand defenders, enslaved many more, and destroyed the city's temples.

2. Against the Sultanate's of Delhi, Gujarat and Malwa -  

  • Siege of Ranthambore (1236) - Vagbhata Chauhan recaptured Ranthambore during the reign of the Delhi ruler Razia.

  • Siege of Ranthambore (1248) - Vagabhata Chauhan successfully defended the fort against Nasir ud din Mahmud.

  • Siege of Ranthambore (1253) - Vagbhata Chauhan repelled another invasion from the Mamluks.

  • Siege of Ranthambore (1259) - Nasir ud din Mahmud captured Ranthambore from Jaitrasingh Chauhan.

  • Siege of Ranthambore (1283) - Shakti Dev Chauhan recaptured Ranthambore from the Mamluks.

  • Battle of Ranthambore (1290) - Jalaluddin Firuz Khalji attacked Hammir Deo because of his rising power. Jalaludin's forces were defeated by Hammir.

  • Siege of Jaisalmer (1294-1295) - Alauddin Khilji commanded the Khilji army under Jalaluddin Firuz Khilji and plundered Jaisalmer after a siege that lasted for a year. For some years afterwards Jaisalmer remained abandoned before the surviving Bhati's reoccupied it.  

  • Siege of Ranthombore (1301) - Hammir Deo defeated Alauddin Khilji's generals Ulugh Khan and Nusrat Khan; later, Alauddin defeated Hammir Deo.

  • Siege of Chittor (1303) - Alauddin Khilji defeated Rawal Ratan Singh.

  • Battle of Chittor (1321) - Maharana Hamir Singh defeated the Tughlaq dynasty and recovered Mewar.

  • Battle of Singoli (1336) - Maharana Hamir Singh defeated Muhammad bin Tughluq and annexed Ajmer, Ranthambhore, Nagor and Shivapuri. The Tughlaq dynasty was forced to pay 5,000,000 Tankas for the safe passage of their sultan.

  • Battle of Sarangpur (1437) - Maharana Kumbha defeated Sultan Mahmud Khilji of Malwa.

  • Battle of Mandalgarh and Banas (1442-1446) - A series of battles took place between Mahmud Khalji of Malwa and Maharana Kumbha of Mewar. Bloodied by these engagements the Sultan did not attack Mewar for another ten years.

  • Siege of Gagron (February 1444) - Sultan Mahmud besieged Gagron which belonged to Palhan Singh Khichi. Maharana Kumbha had sent reinforcements under his commander Dahir, but Dahir died in battle and Palhan was killed by Bhils while fleeing from the fort. 

  • Battle of Abu (1455) - Qutbuddin sent Imadul Mulk to invade Mewar through Abu, but Imadul suffered heavy losses against the Mewari soldiers posted on the hills and was immediately called back.

  • Battle of Nagaur (1456) - Maharana Kumbha defeated the combined armies of Shams Khan (Sultan of Nagaur) and Qutuddin (Sultan of Gujarat) and captured Nagaur, Kasli, Khandela and Shakambhari.

  • Battle of Mandalgarh (1456) - Sultan Mahmud attacked Mandalgarh, he sent seven detachments to attack the Maharana from multiple directions. The Malwa forces under Taj Khan and Ali Khan suffered heavy losses in battle against Maharana Kumbha after which Mahmud retreated the next morning.

  • Siege of Mandalgarh (December 1456-October 1457) - In December Maharana Kumbha was forced to move north to confront the sultan of Gujarat. Sultan Mahmud once again attacked Mandalgarh and captured it after a siege. 

  • Siege of Kumbalgarh (1458-9) - Sultan Mahmud besieged Kumbalgarh but finding the fort too strong he retreated back to Mandu.

  • Battle of Nagaur (1467) - Sultan Mahmud invaded Mewar and fought a battle with Maharana Kumbha, but retreated after taking heavy losses. This was the last battle fought between the two rivals.

  • Battle of Peepar (1492) - Rao Satal defeated Gudhla Khan, an Afghan general and rescued 140 maidens that had been captured. Rao Satal himself died that night of the wounds received in the battle.

  • Battle of Gagron (1514) - Maharana Sangram Singh I defeated Sultan of Gujarat.

  • Battle of Khatoli (1518) - Maharana Sangram Singh I defeated Ibrahim Lodhi.

  • Battle of Ahmadnagar (1519) - Maharana Sangram Singh I captured Sultan Mehmud of Malwa.

  • Battle of Dholpur (1519) - Maharana Sangram Singh I defeated Ibrahim Lodhi.

  • Battle of Gagron (1519) - Maharana Sangram Singh I defeated Mahmud Khalji of Malwa.

  • Seige of Nadsa 1520 - Maharana Sangram Singh I defeated Nizamulak, noble of Ahmadnagar.

  • Battle of Khanwa (1527) - Maharana Sangram Singh I led Rajput armies against Babur of Ferghana, but was defeated due to treachery by Silhadi of Raisen.

  • Battle of Jodhpur (July 1555) - Rao Maldev defeated the local Afghan garrison in Marwar and reoccupied his lost territories.

3. Against the Mughal Empire -  

  • Siege of Chittorgarh (1567) - Emperor Akbar defeated Rao Jaimal and Patta

  • Battle of Haldighati (1576) - Maharana Pratap defeated Man Singh (the commander of Akbar).

  • Battle of Dewair (1582) - Maharana Pratap attacked a Mughal stronghold which resulted in the flight of Mughal soldiers and closing of all the thirty-six Mughal posts in Mewar.

  • Battle of Dewar (1606) - Fought in a valley 40 km from KumbalgarhMaharana Amar Singh defeated and killed Sultan Khan, the Mughal prince Muhammad Parviz fled from the battlefield with his commander Asaf Khan.

  • Second Mughal Invasion of Marwar (1679-1707) - Auranzeb took Marwar under his direct control after the death of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. The Rathore army under Durgadas Rathore carried out a relentless struggle against the occupying forces. In 1707 after the death of Aurangzeb, Durgadas defeated the local Mughal force and reoccupied Jodhpur and their lost territories.

  • Battle of Udaipur (1680) - Aurangzeb attacked Mewar and plundered Udaipur. The citizens were safely escorted to the Aravalli hills by Maharana Raj Singh. However, 63 temples in and around Udaipur were plundered and many villages burnt down by Aurangzeb's general Taj Khan. The Mughal army was eventually starved out of Mewar because of the scorched earth techniques and guerrilla warfare used by the Maharana. After a failed campaign Aurangzeb left Mewar to his son Akbar and retreated to Ajmer.

  • Battle of Aravalli hills (1680) - In the second half of 1680, after several months of such setbacks, Aurangzeb decided on an all-out offensive. Niccolao Manucci, an Italian gunner in the Mughal army, says: "for this campaign, Aurangzeb put in pledge the whole of his kingdom." Three separate armies under Aurangzeb's sons Akbar, Azam and Muazzam penetrated the Aravalli hills from different directions. However, their artillery lost its effectiveness while being dragged around the rugged hills. Sons Azam and Muazzam were defeated by the Rajputs who fought under Durgadas Rathore and Maharana Raj Singh.  

  • Battle of Jodhpur (1707) - Durgadas Rathore took advantage of the disturbances following the death of Aurangzeb to seize Jodhpur in 1707 and eventually evict the occupying Mughal force out of Marwar.

  • Rajput Rebellion (September 1708) - The three Rajput Raja's of Amber, Udaipur and Jodhpur made a joint resistance against the Mughals. They first expelled the commandants of Jodhpur and Bayana and recovered Amer by a night attack. Next they killed Sayyid Hussain Khan Barha, the commandant of Mewat and many other officers. Bahadur Shah I, then in the Deccan was forced to patch up a truce with the Rajput Rajas.

  • Battle of Kama (October 4-7 1708) - Ajit Singh Kachwaha, the Rajput zamindar of Kama defeated the combined armies of Mughals and Jats. The Mughal-Jat army numbered 18,000 while the Kachwahas had 10,000 horsemen. After a bitter fight the Mughal faujdar Raza Bahadur was killed and the Jat leader Churaman was forced to flee to Thun.

4. Post Mughal rule -  

  • Battle of Gangwana (1741) - 1,000 Rathore cavaliers of Bhakt Singh fought a combined army of a 100,000 men consisting of MughalsKachwahasChauhansJadauns and Jats. In this battle Bhakt Singh was defeated but his cavalry charge killed and injured thousands of his foes. Sir Jadunath Sarkar wrote that, "the battle front was like tigers upon a flock of sheep". According to Harcharandas more than 12,000 men were slain in the battlefield.  

  • Battle of Raona (1750) - The Mughal Empire invaded Marwar but were repelled by the armies of Raja Ram Singh Rathore and Ishwari Singh Kachwaha.

  • Battle of Tunga or Battle of Lalsot (1787) - Combined forces of Jaipur and Jodhpur fought an indecisive battle against the Maratha forces of Mahadaji Shinde.

  • Siege of Mehrangarh (1806) - Man Singh of Marwar defeated the invading armies of JaipurMewar and Bikaner so comprehensively that Jagat Singh of Jaipur had to pay a sum of Rs 2,00,000 to secure his safe passage. In honour of Man Singh's victory over Jaipur the Jai Pol, or victory gate was built in the fort in 1808.  

  • Siege of Auwa (September 1857-January 1858) - Kushal Singh Rathore, a noble of Jodhpur joined the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British Empire. He beheaded Captain Mason and defeated a British army of 2,000 men under brigadier Lawrence. Another army of 30,000 men under Colonel Holmes forced Kushal Singh to retreat to his fort in Auwa. Holmes besieged the Auwa fort and breached it after 6 months of siege. Kushal Singh was able to escape to Udaipur. Auwa was then confiscated by the British until the death of Kushal Singh in 1864.

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