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The Bloody Struggle – Battle of Bahadurpur

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Shah Jahan on mughal throne

The tales of throne are red, and have always been. Every time the baton is to be passed, blood shreds. The throne not necessarily always settles on the one deserving it, it is snatched, fought for and sacrificed for.

One such tale dates to the land of Bahadurpur.  Emperor Shahjahan’s illness turned worse. The favourite of his son, and the eldest too, Dara, was looking after the situation. The news of the conditioned swifted across the lands and caught ears of prince Aurangzeb, Shuja- the prince of Bengal, and Murad from Gujarat.

Shah Jahan could see the inevitable fate that would fall upon him and his successors. He could flash his memory to the demises of father Jahangir, Nurjahan and his brothers Pervez and Shaharyar.

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Aurangzeb

Dara, had twice the task. Aurangzeb was invading capital from the Deccan side while Prince Shuja advanced for Raj Mahal and overthrew his elder brother to take the title of “Abbul Faiz, Nasaruddin Mohammad, Timur III, Alexander II Shah Shuja Bahadur Gazi”.

 

Dara, could not possible avoid the smell of the half hearted Mughal generals who were inclined towards Aurangzeb. He, used his wit and turned his trust upon the three Rajpoot rulers, who were opposed Mughals and their self claimed dominance. Amber’s Maharaja Mirza Raja Jaisinghji, pride of Jodhpur, Maharaja Jaswant Singhji and Rao Raja Chattar Salji Hada of Bundi, came in support of Dara.

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Raja Chattar Salji Hada of Bundi

Sulaiman Shikoh, Dara’s eldest son who was in his days of youth was sent with Maharaja Mirza Raja Jaisinghji with his might odd 20,000 cavalry, 200 Burkandazes and 2000 foot musketeers. They were accompanied by Diler Khan Rohilla, an Afgan leader to march towards Bengal and take on Prince Shuja.

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Maharaja Jaswant Singh ji of Jodhpur

On the opposite direction, Maharaja Jaswant Singh was sent to take on the combined forces of Prince Aurangzeb and Murad. The strategy though seemed working good, Dara had his fears. On his undertake, the Rathore head, braveheart Maharaja Jaswant Singhji incorporated the giants who were courageous and were ready to fight for the emperor.

 

It was this time, when a news came that changed the entire scenario. The emperor commanded a retreat. He asked the three princess to return to their royalties without bloodshed. This put the generals in a situation where they could virtually not obey a retreat after such an advance.

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Mirza Raja Jai Singh of Jaipur

Also, due to ill beaded Rajpoot troops, Maharaja Jaswant Singhji was not at par with Mirza Raja Singhji in terms generalship, and had questionable commanding record.

 

April 15, 1656. Day when history witnessed bravery personified by the heroic war skills by the Hadas and Rathores,  at the battle of Dharmat. Hada Madhosinghji with his four sons lost their lives in the battle, the fifth and the last was found severely at Gaddi, but could only live up to breathe his last at Deccan.

 

Injured Maharaja Jaswant Singhji wanted to board his horse when he was targeted. He fought bravely like his 90 p.c. but could not escape death. He was slipped from the battlefield by hid generals, Askaran, Mahesh Das and Goverdham. On his arrival, the anguished Maharani ordered to close the city gates and sent out a news that the land of Jodhpur did not get its Maharaja back. The demise swallowed the entire Jodhpur in sorrow.

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Sujha

While his happened, the Imperial army led by Mirza Raja Jaisinghji was in battle with Shuja in Bihar. As were the commands from the emperor, they were not to initiate the attack, but counter in case of advance from Shuja.

 

Shuja camped near the Ganges. Dara took a stop 3 miles off. The armies met at Bahadurpur, 5 miles from Benaras towards north east.

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Scene Battle of Bahadurpur

The Delhi troops were dicey with their choice for supremacy and but were less inclined towards Shuja.

 

In this critical phase, Shuja turned casual. He woke up late, had no clue of advancements and gradually lost all the grip he once held. On the contrary, the Imperial army geared up well and chalked a plan to take on Shuja.

 

On 14 Feb 1658, when the soldiers of Bengal rose to the dawn, first thing they could see were the rival soldiers shining like death upon them. The generals fled the quarters without paying much heed to what would happen to Shuja, who was still dreaming on his couch that barred entry of mosquitoes, ONLY. His attempt to drift away on an elephant, got him struck in the giant problem.

 

He was shot upon by muskets and arrows and is believed to have pulled out almost 2 quivers of arrow from his pierced body himself. His generals who didn’t flee, were in attempt to find an exit than hunt for glory. Surrounded by 3000 enemies, all his screaming appeals for life went unheard. Atop this, a leg of the elephant was chopped. Only route left to save his life was to take refuge under Isfandear Mamuri and Sayyid Ismail, who breached the circle and pulled him off and took him to their boats.

 

The naval firegun bought them the time they needed to flee. The escape was such that Mirza Jang Beg, the Vazir, could only take 400 men on board. The boats sailed in haste and didn’t stop for their own men also. The main army fled to Patna by land route. After this, Sulaiman’s many got the returns of the bravery. They laid their hands on everything that in their sense had value. Money, jewels, horses, elephants and everything else, met their new

 

holders. The total loss estimated to be 2,00,00,000 rupees, which was quite a bounty in those times. The gain was such that a few men could afford to throw away theirs to facilitate the laymen. All the way to Patna this happened, and the passing villages had their good time with the wealthy and happy mood army.

 

With Sulaiman in pursuit, Shuja reached Patna on 19th, and Monghyr to get respite and repair for whatever of men were left with him. He learnt from his recent mistakes and built a wall to watch for approaching scares. Sulaiman, camped 14 miles from Mongyhr (Mungir) to draft a strategy for this new hurdle. Not very long after he camped, he got a message from the emperor to patch up with Shuja and tackle the dangers approaching from the South.

Shuja’s presence could be a hazard to ruler of Delhi, thinking this, the Vazir, Jang Beg and Raja Jai Singhji, quickly agreed to Shuja having Mungir. As the pact took time long enough, Sulaiman got late to reach back and save his father, and himself.

Aurangzeb had taken over the throne and Delhi and Agra gave him their submission. Mirza Jaisingh on imperial command left Sulaiman and proceeded to Delhi. Sulaiman was advised to either go and jointly attack back with Shuja or hurry to his father at Punjab. He eventually lost time for both and landed in Shrinagar to be killed like others of his family.

Maharaja Mirza Raja Jaisinghji was sent for Dara Shikoh.

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Battle of Bahadurpur

Dara was being helped by Maharaja Jaswant Singhji who had already lost Fatehabad. They were battling Aurangzeb at Ajmer. The Fatehabad war had wiped out the Hadas of Bundi and Kota. Mirza Raja Jaisingh, who served the cause of Dara, was the untamed victorious head of the battle of Bahadurpur. He was a wit, that even Aurangzeb avoided to be trapped in.

By Reshu Sharma

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