In Medieval India, Delhi was the most important political centre and Panipat was an ideal Battleground near Delhi. The invaders who entered from North West part of India and attacked Delhi have often encountered strong Indian resistance. The Three Big Battles at Panipat which changed the course of Indian history are explained below.
First Battle of Panipat:
The first battle of Panipat was fought between Invading forces of Babur and the ruler of Delhi sultanate Ibrahim Lodi. Back home Babur was struggling to establish a strong kingdom. He focused his attention towards the east and conquered Kabul in 1504. Daulat Khan Lodi the political opponent of Ibrahim Lodi and the governor of Lahore invited Babur to overthrow Ibrahim Lodi. In the battle, Babur set up a trap and disintegrated the Ibrahim Lodi’s Army. Babur was the first king who ended the outdated ways of war and used canons in the battle. Babur defeated Ibrahim Lodi at the First Battle of Panipat in 1526 and founded the Mughal Empire. Ibrahim Lodi was killed on the Battleground.
Second Battle of Panipat:
The second battle of Panipat was fought between the ruler of Rajputana king Hemu and the Army of Mughal Emperor Akbar in1556. Humayun lost is an empire to Sher Shah Suri who established the Sur Empire in 1540. After the death of Sher Shah Suri in 1553 the war of succession broke out. In this situation Humayun made quick advances and recaptured the territory lost by him. When Humayun died on 26 January 1556, Hemu conquered the Mughal territory. Upon hearing the defeat of Mughal army Akbar and his guardian Bairam Khan prepared to recapture Delhi. They looted the poorly guarded Hemu’s artillery which was being transported. In the second Battle of Panipat, Mughal army had only 10,000 cavalries with them but the looted artillery was very advantageous. The king Hemu had 30,000-strong cavalry and 500 war elephants. In the war when king Hemu was about to win the war he was wounded by an arrow and fell unconscious. King Hemu was captured and beheaded by Bairam Khan.
Third Battle of Panipat:
The third battle of Panipat was the biggest of the three battles involving over 125,000 troops fought at Panipat on 14 January 1761. The war was fought between Maratha army led by Sadashivrao Bhau and invader Ahmad Shah Abdali. The political unawareness of Sadashivrao Bhau, divided Maratha forces were the main reasons for defeat of Maratha Army. After the battle was over Hindus were massacred in large scale by Abdali’s Army. The women chose to jump into the well to avoid the tortures of Abdali’s Army. The bodies of Vishwasrao and Bhau were recovered by the Marathas and were cremated according to their custom.