Model Question and Answers for APSC | The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
The third battle of Panipat was fought in 1761. Why were so many empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat?
Ans: Battles of Panipat, (1526, 1556, 1761), three military engagements, important in the history of northern India, were fought at Panipat, a level plain suitable for cavalry movements, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Delhi.
Empire-shaking battles fought at Panipat
- 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 It marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. This was one of the earliest battles involving gunpowder firearms and field artillery.
- The Second Battle of Panipat was fought between the forces of Samrat Hem Chandra Vikramaditya, popularly calledHemu, the Hindu king who was ruling North India from Delhi, and the army of Akbar, on November 5, 1556. It was a decisive victory for Akbar’s generals Khan Zaman I and Bairam Khan.
- The third battle (Jan. 14, 1761) ended the Maratha attempt to succeed the Mughals as rulers of India and marked the virtual end of the Mughal The Maratha army, under the Bhao Sahib, uncle of the Peshwa (chief minister), was trapped and destroyed by the Afghan chief Aḥmad Shah Durrānī. This began 40 years of anarchy in northwestern India and cleared the way for later British supremacy.
Reasons for Empire-shaking battles at Panipat:
- Panipat was of immense strategic importance to India in the pre-modern It was located along the banks of Yamuna and near Delhi. It used to be commonly said that whoever controlled Delhi, controlled North India.
- Delhi itself was located in an excellent position: between two agriculturally prosperous regions i.e. the plains of the Indus and the plains of the Ganges.
- The short monsoon season and presence of warfare artisans nearby made place apt for war
- All empire-shaking challenges in India would have been made against the ruler who controlled Delhi, thus, giving Panipat an important role in the battle.
- India faced multiple invaders from the North and especially the North-west, and Panipat became the preferred battleground for such invaders and the Indian rulers to face each other.
- Notably, Panipat fell on the Grand Trunk Road built by Shershah Suri, which made it easy for conquerors to find their way there.
- Additionally, Panipat was an area with a terrain that consisted mostly of large plains, making it suitable for war.
- Also, its proximity to the capital of Delhi made it easy for the Indian rulers to transport weapons, military and food supplies etc to the battleground, and still keep the capital insulated from the conflict at hand.