Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Third Battle Of Panipat.

Third Battle of Panipat (1761): End of Maratha Dominance Forever.

Al Salamu 'Alaykum.

The third battle of Panipat was fought between the Afghans and the Marathas.
The battle was significant as it marked the end of Maratha dominance in India.
At the time of this battle Afghans were under the leadership of Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Marathas under the leadership of Peshwas had established control across Northern India. During the eighteenth century the parallel decline of Mughal Empire and defeat of Marathas in the battle of Panipat saw a new beginning of the colonial rule in India.

The main cause attributed towards the defeat of Marathas in the battle was the lack of allies due to their brutal behavior during the earlier years of reign.

All important rulers including Sikhs, Jats, kingdom of Awadh, Rajputs and many more were all upset with the treatment of Marathas towards them. The third battle of Panipat was fought in between Kaalaa Aamb and Sanauli road of present day.

Both forces moved in lines, but intelligently the Afghans had cut all possible lines for Maratha Forces.
The Maratha Army consisted of the artillery in front, protected by infantry, pike men, bowman and musketeers. The cavalry was instructed to wait behind the artillery and bayonet holding musketeers and they were ready to charge when control of battlefield is fully established. Behind the line were thirty thousand young men who were not that expert in fighting and then about thirty thousand civilians.

This civilian line consisted of many middle class men, women, children who took this as an opportunity to visit pilgrimage to visit holy places and shrines and also Aryavarta (Aryan Land). Behind the civilian line there was another protective infantry line composed of comparatively young and experienced soldiers. 

On the other hand the Afghans also formed up a similar kind of Infantry in the third battle of Panipat, the left wing formed by the Najib`s Rohillas and the right wing by two brigades of Persian troops. The left center was controlled by two higher officials, Shuja-ud-Daulah and Ahmad Shah`s Vizier Shah Wali. The right center consisted of Rohillas, under Hafiz Rahamat and other chiefs of the Indian Pathans.

Pasand Khan led the left wing, which was composed of well-chosen Afghan horsemen. This way the army moved forward with the Shah at the center so that he could watch and control the battle.

The battle lasted for two months which ultimately resulted in the defeat of Marathas and their dominance in India.

Wa'laykum Salam.

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