Battle of Panipat (1761)

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The Third battle of Panipat 13 January 1761. Ahmad Shah Durrani rides a brown horse, on the left, Najib Khan and Shuja-ud-Daula, on the right are Ahmad Khan Bangash and Hafiz Rahmat Khan, and before them a cavalry attack is made by Shah Wali Khan. A wounded Sadashivrao Bhau is being helped on the horse.

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761, at Panipat, about 60 miles (97 km) north of Delhi between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Empire and a coalition of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali with two Indian Muslim allies—the Rohilla Afghans of the Doab, and Shuja-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Awadh. Militarily, the battle pitted the French-supplied artillery and cavalry of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry and mounted artillery (zamburak and jizail) of the Afghans and Rohillas led by Ahmad Shah Durrani and Najib-ud-Daulah, both ethnic Afghans (the former is also known as Ahmad Shah Abdali). The battle is considered one of the largest fought in the 18th century, and has perhaps the largest number of fatalities in a single day reported in a classic formation battle between two armies.

Quotes[edit]

  • …We have already brought Lahore, Multan, Kashmir and other subahs on this side of Attock under our rule for the most part, and places which have not come under our rule we shall soon bring under us. Ahmad Khan Abdali's son Taimur Sultan and Jahan Khan have been pursued by our troops, and their troops completely looted. Both of them have now reached Peshawar with a few broken troops...we have decided to extend our rule up to Kandahar.
    • Raghoba's letter to the Peshwa 4th of May 1758; India's Historic Battles: From Alexander the Great to Kargil By Dr Kaushik Roy p 80-81
  • …All control of power is with the Hindus because they are the only people who are industrious and adaptable. Riches and prosperity are theirs, while Muslims have nothing but poverty and misery. At this juncture you are the only person, who has the initiative, the foresight, the power and capability to defeat the enemy and free the Muslims from the clutches of the infidels. God forbid if their domination continues, Muslims will even forget Islam and become undistinguishable from the non-Muslims
    • Shah Waliullah in his appeal for help from the Afghan King Ahmed Shah Abdali; Dr. Sayed Riaz Ahmad in his book Maulana Maududi and Islamic state, Lahore People's Publishing House, page 15 - 1976.
  • The cup is full to the brim, and cannot hold another drop. If anything can be done, do it. If not, let me know plainly and at once; for afterwards there will be no time for writing, or for speech
    • The Bhao appealing to his emissary prior to the Marhatta attack
  • “You profess to be a Hindu; but how is that you have kept this mosque standing so long?” said the Bhao
    “Maharaj! Of late, the Royal fortune of Hindustan has become fickle in her favour like a courtesan; to-night she is in the arms of one man and next in the embrace of another. If I could be sure that I should remain master of these territories all through my life, I would have leveled this mosque down to the earth. But of what use will it be, if I to-day destroy this mosque, and tomorrow the Musalmans come, and demolish the great temples and build four mosques in place of one? As your Excellency has come to these parts the affair is now in your hands.”
    • Suraj Mal; K.R. Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p. 73
  • Though, after all, the will of God will be done, it behoves us not the less to help destiny to be beneficent by our own best endeavours. Think carefully, consult Her Highness, your mother: I am not fond of trouble, and should not have come all this distance to see your Excellency were I not deeply interested.
    • Najib Ud Daula Afghan Rohilla Chief to Nawab of Oudh, successfully appealing to him to join the Abdali Campaign
  • What, have I come from the south relying on your strength? I will do what I like. You may stay here or go back to your own place. After overthrowing the Abdali, I shall come to reckoning with you.
    • The Bhao to Suraj Mal, in a conversation that ended the Jat-Maratha alliance; K.R. Qanungo, History of the Jats, Ed Dr Vir Singh, Delhi, 2003, p. 78
  • Whither would you run, friends, your country is far from here.
    • Shah Wali, Ahmed Shah's Prime Minister vainly trying to rally the courage of his followers, of whom many were in full retreat during the Marathas initial charge.
  • Two pearls have been dissolved, 27 gold coins have been lost and of the silver and copper the total cannot be cast up.
    • The cryptic message received by Peshwa Nanasaheb prior to hearing of his Army's destruction

External links[edit]

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