Forgotten Indian Military History

Chimaji Appa

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I am starting this thread to post about forgotten Indian Military History which gets ignored in our textbooks. From Ancient times to Medieval Muslim invasions, lot of clashes between Locals and foreigners get forgotten. Feel free to post about your regions forgotten military history as well.

I will start with some Muslim defeats in Uttarakhand:
Some early Mughal/Muslim Invasions of the Siwalik Hills (Western Nepal and Uttarakhand);

1. In 1419, the governor of Sambhal conquers the fertile Terai region from the kingdom of Kumaon. The king sends his commander, Nilu Kathait, to drive out the invaders. He successfully defeats the governor and routs him out of the terai in open battle. The king ordered an inscription to be set up in his village for the bravery shown in the battle by the commander.

2. Mughals raid some principality. Sultan Mahmud, a nephew of the Mughal commander Pir Muhammad Khan, launches a raid into the Kumaon kingdom or the Doti Kingdom in far western Nepal/Eastern Kumaon. His army gets ambushed by the locals and many soldiers, along with the commander are killed. The chronicler Abdul Qadir Badayuni describes this event his Muntakhab-ut-Tawairkh.

3. The next governor of Oudh launched another invasion into the shivaliks. This raid was initially successful, but on the return from looting, the hill men ambushed and annihilated the expedition, and regained all the loot. Badauyuni describes that "the bravest of his (Hussain Khan-governor of Oudh's) men drank the cup of martyrdom".

4. Badauyuni relates that after this, Hussain Khan launched several more raids, but he could never penetrate into the interior and was repelled every single time by the hill forces. His last raid was successful, but the commander himself returned from the mountain injured with many of forces dead.

5. Shah Jahan sends a 130,000 strong expedition to coerce the Raja of Srinagar/Garhwal (Queen Karnavati). Karnavati lures the Mughal army into the interior of the kingdom by promising to pay tribute to the Mughals, and ambushes them somewhere near Srinagar. Najabat Khan, the Mughal commander, is said to have been the only survivor by the Maasir ul Umara. Nicholas Travernier claims that the survivors had their nose chopped by the queens forces.

6. After the raid of Hussain Khan -Nawab of Oudh-, the then Kumaon king, led by Rudra Chand and his general Purushottam Pant, led an army to expel the Mughal garrison at Terai, which they successfully did. The local tradition claims that the Akbar sent a massive army to coerce the Raja. The Raja, understanding the futility of the situation, is said to have challenged the commander in personal combat, which the Raja won. This tradition makes no sense as the Mughals would never adhere to the Rajas conditions, especially when the Mughals were much more powerful than them. It is possible that Rudra Chand repelled the Mughals, however.
 

Chimaji Appa

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Malwa- Mewar wars (Sultan Mahmoud Khalji vs Maharana Kumbha Sisodia);

Mahmud’s first invasion of Chittorgarh:

Sultan Mahmud Khalji of Malwa enters Mewar and heads to towards Chittorgarh. He attempts to plunder a temple but is held at bay for 7 days by the priests under the Rajput commander Deep Singh. After desecrating the temple, he then attempts to siege Chittor. Kumbha attacks the Malwa forces at night and inflicts heavy losses on them. The Muslims claim to have repulsed this attack, but it was not decisive by any means and Kumbha simply retired into his fort after inflicting damage on the Muslim army. It is also admitted by Shihab Hakim (The Malwa chronicler) that the Muslims simply gained no victory over Mewar.

RESULT: Invasion repelled, Mewar Victory

Mahmud’s 1st invasion of Mandalgarh:
Mahmud’s forces enter Mewar and cross the Banas river, where fighting immediately began between the 2 armies. After 3 days of fighting, negotiations between the commanders of the 2 sides commenced. Shihab Hakim claims that Kumbha offered to pay tribute, but this seems to be an exaggeration as if the Malwa army was close to victory, they would have not stopped the conquest of Mandalgarh. Moreover, the guarded language of the chronicler makes it apparent that Kumbha had the upper hand. Thus, not wanting to risk more losses at the hands of Kumbha, he patched up a treaty and retreated to Malwa.

RESULT: Invasion repulsed, Mewar Victory

Mahmuds second campaign against Mandalgarh:
Another battle occurred between the Rana's forces and Malwa at the Banas river. The Sultan entered Mewar and pitched his tent on the banks of the Banas, where another 2 day long, but indecisive battle was fought. On the third day, the Muslim sources claim that Kumbha was about to be defeated, and henced, paid tribute to the Sultan, but this seems to be a tactic admission that the Muslim sultan failed to conquer Mandalgarh (i.e. his goal). Why was he just satisfied with the money? However, the claims of Rajputana historians are equally exaggerated (that Mahmud was routed) when Kumbha did not chose to attack Malwa or make conquests into Mahmud’s territory.

RESULT: Stalemate/slight Mewar Victory (as Mahmud failed to conquer Mandalgarh).

Mahmud’s third invasion against Mandalgarh:
In 1456, the Sultan entered Mewar to conquer Mandalgarh for a 3rd time. Kumbha divided his army into 3 different divisions and attacked the Malwa army at the Banas river. Both sides seemed to have suffered heavy losses. The Muslims then claim to have retired due to the upcoming rainy season. This is a tactic admission that Mahmud suffered heavy losses the previous day and hence, found Mandalgarh hard to be conquered.

RESULT: Invasion repelled; Mewar Victory

Mahmud’s fourth invasion of Mandalgarh:
In the fall of 1456, Rana Kumbha was occupied against Nagaur (which he annexed), Gujarat (whom he defeated) and Marwar (who he stabilized). Mahmoud Khalji took this time to launch another invasion of Mandalgarh. He entered Mewar on Nov 26 1456 and laid waste to the county. Upon arriving at Mandalgarh, he began surveying the fort and making preparations. During this time, the Mewaris sallied out and engaged with Mahmud’s forces, but achieved no results. The siege continued and neither side could gain any advantage (with the Muslims beginning to lose hope) until Mahmud attacked the water reservoir which forced the Mewaris to surrender. A number of the soldiers fell fighting, while some of them surrendered. He erected a Mosque to commemorate his victory.

RESULT: Malwa Victory, Mandalgarh annexed

Mahmud’s 1467 expediton against Mewar:
Mahmud Khalji entered Mewar for the last time in his reign to battle with Kumbha. He marched towards the Fort of Jawar, where he plundered a temple, and then Khumbner, where he was met by Rana Kumbha, whose forces inflicted heavy losses on the Malwa army. The Muslims then marched towards Chittor, where there defeated and exhausted army chose to return to Malwa.

RESULT: Invasion Repelled, Mewar Victory

FINAL SCORE:

Mewar:
5

Malwa: 1
 

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